Forward of the 80-year-old US president’s arrival, Hanoi’s central Hoan Kiem Lake space, full of households out for a weekend stroll, was adorned with American and Vietnamese flags.
Close by within the metropolis’s previous quarter, a memento store offered T-shirts with Biden’s face emblazoned throughout the entrance.
“I feel the US is an efficient good friend to Vietnam,” stated the store’s 61-year-old proprietor Truong Thanh Duc.
“With this go to of President Joe Biden, I feel he’ll convey extra enterprise contracts and jobs to Vietnamese individuals.”
In Vietnam, Biden will likely be juggling strategic pursuits with the defence of human rights. Authorities critics face intimidation, harassment and imprisonment after unfair trials, and there are studies of police torture to extract confessions, stated Human Rights Watch.
Whereas the president has usually criticised China’s human rights report, he has largely stayed quiet on Vietnam and campaigners are fearful he might not press the topic.
Nationwide Safety Advisor Jake Sullivan stated previous to the journey that Biden would increase points associated “to freedom of expression, freedom of faith, and different primary human rights”.
His go to comes days after a US authorities fee on spiritual freedom harshly criticised Vietnam for “egregious, ongoing, and systematic violations”.
On Saturday, Nguyen Bac Truyen, a authorized knowledgeable and non secular freedom advocate who was sentenced in 2018 to 11 years in jail for subversion, stated on Fb he had been launched and allowed to journey to Germany along with his spouse. Vietnam usually releases political prisoners previous to US presidential visits.
Biden’s go to comes on the heels of the G20 summit, the place leaders agreed on a joint declaration that papered over deep divisions on the battle in Ukraine and tackling local weather change, avoiding direct criticism of Moscow and any concrete pledge to part out polluting fossil fuels.
His Vietnam journey may even embrace a go to to the memorial of his good friend John McCain, the previous US senator shot down and held captive throughout the Vietnam Battle who in later years helped rebuild ties between the 2 international locations.