Vietnam and Australia Forge Extensive Strategic Alliance

Vietnam and Australia Forge Extensive Strategic Alliance

During a meeting held in Hanoi, Vietnamese Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son and his Australian counterpart Penny Wong expressed their commitment to upgrading the bilateral relationship between their countries to a comprehensive strategic partnership. This decision was made during the fifth Vietnam-Australia Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, which took place at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Hanoi. The meeting coincided with Wong’s second official visit to Vietnam.

The ministers acknowledged the significance of implementing previously agreed-upon high-level agreements, including the proposal to elevate the bilateral relationship to a comprehensive strategic partnership. This proposal was initially put forward during Vietnam National Assembly chairman Vuong Dinh Hue’s official visit to Australia in December 2022. The leaders of both countries had agreed to consider this idea once all necessary procedures were completed.

Vietnam and Australia have been fostering cooperation in various areas, particularly in the fields of security, national defense, and United Nations peacekeeping missions. Bilateral trade between the two countries reached nearly US$16 billion in 2022, with Vietnam ranking as Australia’s 10th largest trade partner and Australia being Vietnam’s seventh largest trade partner.

Furthermore, new avenues of collaboration have emerged, such as Australia’s AUD105 million (US$67.4 million) support package aimed at assisting Vietnam in developing infrastructure systems to address climate change challenges and promote clean energy.

The ministers also exchanged views on matters related to the East Sea (South China Sea) and emphasized the importance of maintaining peace, stability, security, freedom of navigation, and aviation. They underscored the role of international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), in resolving disputes.

The Vietnam-Australia Foreign Ministers’ Meeting is an annual event and serves as part of the celebration of the 50th anniversary of diplomatic ties between the two countries. Prior to Wong’s visit, Australian Governor-General David Hurley visited Vietnam in April, followed by Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s visit in June.

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