By Invitation

Vietnam and US: From foes to friends

As Beijing asserts its claims over the South China Sea, Vietnam and the US find value in forging closer ties

Gone are the days when Vietnam and the United States were at each other's throats. Today, the two countries are giving each other bear hugs. And as China's shadow looms larger over South-east Asia, that embrace is likely to grow warmer.

The recent three-day visit by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to Vietnam testified to the growing importance of Vietnam's security value to the new US global strategy. It was no accident that President Donald Trump chose Danang last November to announce his new Indo-Pacific concept, a key part of which calls for keeping sea lanes and airways in the region open.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 17, 2018, with the headline 'Vietnam and US: From foes to friends'. Print Edition | Subscribe