Xi Secures Major Deal With Key US Ally Months After Biden Touted ‘Historic’ Relations

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Jake Smith Contributor
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China and Vietnam announced a deal on Wednesday to increase strategic cooperation, months after President Joe Biden touted the United States’ strengthened “historic” relationship with Vietnam.

Chinese President Xi Jinping met with several Vietnamese leaders this week and said Wednesday that China and Vietnam have a “shared future” that will be built on all fronts, according to the South China Morning Post. Biden met with Vietnamese President Vo Van Thuong in September and praised the “historic” creation of a “Comprehensive Strategic Partnership” between the U.S. and Vietnam. (RELATED: China Likely Damaged Major Underwater Pipeline On Purpose, US Ally Says)

Xi likely wanted assurances from Vietnamese leaders that their relationship with the U.S. wouldn’t supersede China’s new partnership with Vietnam, analysts told The New York Times.

China could seek to exploit Vietnam’s resources against the U.S., such as by delaying plans to tap into Vietnam’s rare earth minerals or semiconductor industry, which the U.S. has made investments in since September as a sign of good faith, according to the NYT. Xi was “sending a message to the Chinese audience — that Beijing has not ‘lost’ a country in its periphery to the ‘Western camp,’” Huong Le Thu, deputy director of the International Crisis Group’s Asia program, told the NYT.

Beijing celebrated the new partnership with Vietnam on Wednesday.

“We believe that with concerted efforts of both sides, the China-Viet Nam relations will enter a new stage that enjoys deeper political mutual trust, more substantive security cooperation, deeper mutually beneficial cooperation, a more solid public foundation, closer coordination on multilateral affairs, better management of differences, and joint efforts for new achievements in the socialist development of the two countries,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said on Wednesday.

The two countries have also promised to work jointly to mitigate threats posed by “hostile forces,” and would seek compromise on “maritime differences,” according to the Post. Xi said this week that China and Vietnam should rebuff any “attempt to mess up the Asia-Pacific,” appearing to reference the U.S.’ actions in the region, according to the Post.

“This is a major strategic decision we have made to revitalize world socialism and ensure long-term stability and security of our two countries,” Xi said on Wednesday.

“This is truly a new page in the relationship between our two countries — an enduring, stable long-term framework that opens up a vast space for further development of the bond between us for decades to follow,” Biden told Thuong in September.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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