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US President Says Will Visit ‘shortly’

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Joe Biden speaks about infrastructure jobs and job training in broadband, construction, and manufacturing following the passage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the CHIPS and Science Act and the Inflation Reduction Act during an event in the East Room of the White House in Washington, U.S., November 2, 2022. REUTERS/Leah Millis/

US President Joe Biden said he would travel to Vietnam “shortly” as part of an effort to improve ties with Hanoi, as Washington seeks to counter China’s influence in the region.

The United States and Vietnam have increasingly close trade links, while both share concern over China’s growing strength in the region.

Friction has been increasing for years between Beijing and South-East Asian nations over China’s sweeping maritime claims in the South China Sea.

Washington and Hanoi pledged in April to upgrade diplomatic ties when US Secretary of State Antony Blinken stopped over on his way to a G7 foreign ministers’ meeting in Japan.

The South China Sea, the longtime centre of tensions between China and Vietnam, is seen as a powder keg, and many fear a miscalculation or accident could ignite a military conflict. — AFP

Source : TheStar