Vietnam was the United States’ 13th-largest trading partner last year, with bilateral trade increasing by more than 30%. Pictured: Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc addresses an Aug. 6 videoconference on the European Union-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement in Hanoi. (Photo: Nhac Nguyen/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images)
Anthony B. Kim researches international economic issues at The Heritage Foundation, with a strong focus on economic freedom. Kim is the research manager of the Index of Economic Freedom, the flagship product of the Heritage Foundation in partnership with The Wall Street Journal. Read his research.
This year marks the 25th anniversary of the United States and Vietnam reestablishing diplomatic relations.
Over the past 25 years—particularly since Vietnam’s accession to the World Trade Organization in December 2016, when the U.S. granted its former foe permanent normal trade relations status—U.S.-Vietnam economic and trade relations have expanded rapidly.
Vietnam reported 14 new coronavirus cases while taking one patient off the national count following negative retests on Thursday, according to the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control.
The country’s tally has topped 1,000 cases since the virus first hit it in January.
Eleven of the additional cases were registered in Da Nang, one in neighboring Quang Nam Province, and two imported infections.
The patient in Quang Nam is linked to the cluster in Da Nang, a touristy city on the central coast.
The two imported cases include a 33-year-old Filipino expert who entered Vietnam from South Korea and a 27-year-old Vietnamese returnee from Equatorial Guinea. Both were quarantined upon entry, as per regulations.
The Filipino is treated in Khanh Hoa Province, located in south-central Vietnam, while the Vietnamese patient is receiving medical care in Ho Chi Minh City.
On Thursday morning, the Ministry of Health confirmed a 87-year-old man had tested positive for COVID-19 when hospitalized in Hanoi one day earlier.
But the ministry removed the patient from the tally in the evening following his three consecutive negative retests the same day.
Vietnam also announced nine recoveries on Thursday, all in Da Nang.
The Southeast Asian nation has documented 1,007 COVID-19 patients, including 666 local infections as of Thursday night, according to the health ministry.
A total of 542 patients have beaten the pathogen while 25 have died, most having suffered critical concomitant conditions.
A separate patient died on August 12 after having tested negative for the virus four times.
Five hundred and twenty-five domestic cases, most traced back to Da Nang, have been recorded since July 25, when the beach city logged the first locally-transmitted infection after Vietnam had gone 99 days without documenting any community transmission.
Vietnam has closed the border to foreigners since March to quell OVID-19 but the country grants exemption to foreign experts and skilled workers who are to be quarantined upon arrival.
The Vietnamese government has arranged for many flights to take home citizens stranded in other countries over virus-related travel restrictions.
Vietnam has affirmed many times and reiterated that the Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagos are inseparable parts of its territory, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Le Thi Thu Hang has said.
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Le Thi Thu Hang (Photo: VNA)
She made the statement at a regular press conference of the Foreign Ministry on August 20, in response to media questions on Vietnam’s stance regarding China deploying an H-6J bomber to Phu Lam Island in the Hoang Sa archipelago in early August.
Vietnam has sufficient legal basis and historical evidence affirming its sovereignty over Hoang Sa and Truong Sa in line with international law, she said, adding that the deployment of weapons and fighter aircraft to Hoang Sa not only is a violation of Vietnam’s sovereignty but also further exacerbates the situation in the East Sea.
“We call on parties to make responsible contributions to maintaining peace, stability, and security in the East Sea,” Hang said.
Commenting on information that thousands of Chinese fishing vessels could flock to the East Sea after China’s fishing ban expires, Hang said Vietnam’s stance on the so-called fishing ban has been clearly stated.
On May 8, the spokesperson said in reply to questions about China’s fishing ban in the East Sea from May 1 to August 16 that as a coastal country in the East Sea and a member of the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), Vietnam has sovereignty, sovereign rights, and jurisdiction in waters as defined in the convention, and enjoys other legitimate rights in waters in accordance with the convention.
She made it clear that Vietnam rejects China’s unilateral decision. In the current global and regional context, Vietnam asks that China not further complicate the East Sea situation, she said./.VNA
A bill introduced in the US Congress would ban US government documents from referring to Xi Jinping, shown at a ceremony last month in Beijing for the BeiDou navigational satellite system, as China’s president. Photo: Xinhua
Lawmakers in Washington have introduced a bill to change the way the federal government refers to the leader of China, prohibiting the use of the term “president”.