President Joe Biden, after wrapping up the 2023 Group of 20 summit in India, appeared exhausted as he addressed reporters in the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi. He candidly admitted that he had to go to bed due to his fatigue. However, before ending the press conference, a reporter shouted a question about Biden's meeting with Chinese Premier Li Qiang during the G20 summit. Biden, visibly tired, responded by saying they talked about stability and ensuring access to change for the Southern Hemisphere. A staff member abruptly ended the press conference, and Biden thanked everyone.
During his visit to Vietnam, President Biden entered into a comprehensive strategic partnership with the country, aiming to strengthen the U.S.-Vietnam relationship and work towards shared goals of peace, prosperity, and sustainable development. Biden made it clear that this partnership was not about isolating China but rather ensuring that international rules and regulations are upheld, particularly regarding airspace, space, and the ocean.
Biden's comments in Vietnam came after attending the Group of 20 summit in India, where he denied that strengthening ties with Hanoi was part of a broader effort to contain China. He emphasized his desire for a transparent and honest relationship with China. The president's visit to Vietnam coincided with the country elevating the United States to its highest diplomatic status, showcasing the significant progress made in the U.S.-Vietnam relationship since the Vietnam War. This expanded partnership is seen as a collective effort in Asia to counter China's influence.
Biden acknowledged that China is currently facing economic challenges but reiterated his hope for China's success as long as they play by the rules. He emphasized the importance of having a stable base in the Indo-Pacific region and dismissed the notion of isolating Beijing. Biden also mentioned his meeting with Chinese Premier Li Qiang, marking the highest-level interaction between U.S. and Chinese officials since his talks with President Xi Jinping at last year's G20 summit. President Xi had sent Li as his representative to the Group of 20 summit in India.
Biden's discussions with Vietnam's leaders focused on various issues, including climate change and the economy. He expressed his appreciation for Vietnam as a friend, reliable partner, and responsible member of the international community. The president's efforts in Vietnam reflect his pursuit of potential allies in the region while also seeking to ease tensions with China.
The White House has been contacted for further comment on these developments. Overall, President Biden's visit to Vietnam and his participation in the G20 summit highlight the administration's commitment to strengthening relationships in the Indo-Pacific and ensuring a stable and rules-based international order in the region.
themes: Joe Biden War China