U.S. President Joe Biden concluded his Vietnam visit on Monday by emphasizing new business agreements and furthering bilateral partnerships. Additionally, he paid homage to the late Sen. John McCain, who was imprisoned for several years in Hanoi during the Vietnam War.
Meeting both Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính and President Võ Văn Thưởng, Biden expressed intentions to bolster their collaboration, especially considering mutual concerns about China's increasing influence in the Pacific. The leaders expressed an interest in fortifying Vietnam’s semiconductor industry, with Biden underscoring the U.S.'s dedication to maintaining an open Pacific.
Prominent deals sealed during Biden’s Vietnam visit include a $7.5 billion contract between U.S.-based Boeing and Vietnam Airlines and Arizona-based Amkor Technology’s plan for a $1.6 billion facility in Bac Ninh Province. The U.S. has also pledged to aid Vietnam in combating regional and international transnational crimes, specifically addressing illicit fishing practices.
Despite escalating tensions with China, Biden clarified his Asian tour aims for stability rather than sparking a "cold war." This sentiment was accentuated when Nguyễn Phú Trong, general secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam, revealed Vietnam’s elevation of the U.S. to its topmost diplomatic rank, denoting the evolution of bilateral relations from the tumultuous times of the Vietnam War.
Biden's trip also included a poignant visit to the John Sidney McCain III Memorial, commemorating McCain's endurance during his capture in the Vietnam War. The memorial stands near where McCain's bomber was downed by North Vietnamese forces. Biden, paying respects, left a commemorative coin at the site.
McCain’s resilience during his imprisonment became a landmark in his life, paving his way to an influential political career in the U.S. Despite the adversities he faced in Vietnam, McCain staunchly advocated for reestablishing diplomatic ties with Vietnam.
During a luncheon, Biden expressed his profound admiration for McCain and acknowledged both him and John Kerry for their roles in fostering U.S.-Vietnam relations over the past 50 years.
As Biden journeyed back to Washington, he planned a stopover in Anchorage, Alaska, to honor the 22nd anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, addressing service members and first responders.