President Joe Biden will chalk up a fresh victory in his campaign to boost U.S. influence in the Indo-Pacific by sealing a deal with Vietnam next month aimed to draw Hanoi closer to Washington at a time of rising tensions with Beijing.
Biden will sign a strategic partnership agreement with Vietnam during a state visit to the Southeast Asian country in mid-September, according to three people with knowledge of the deal’s planning. They were granted anonymity because they weren’t authorized to speak on the record about the agreement.
The agreement will allow for new bilateral collaboration that will boost Vietnam’s efforts to develop its high technology sector in areas including semiconductor production and artificial intelligence.
Neither the White House nor the Vietnamese embassy in Washington responded to requests for comment.
The deal adds to Biden’s string of successful diplomatic initiatives aimed to reassert U.S. influence in Asia in the face of China’s growing economic, diplomatic and military muscle in the region. They include a historic Camp David summit Friday with Biden, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol — aimed at addressing regional threats from North Korea and China. [Continue reading…]