Washington – Dr. Andrew Wells-Dang, a senior expert
on Vietnam at the Centre for Asian Affairs of the US Institute of Peace (USIP), has highlighted achievements that Vietnam and the US have made in bilateral
cooperation on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of bilateral comprehensive
Talking to Vietnam News
Agency correspondents in Washington, Andrew Wells-Dang
said in the field of post-war recovery which he is now involved in at USIP, he
acknowledged that Vietnam and the US have achieved significant milestones in
the past decade. These include completing the dioxin remediation at Da Nang airport,
initiating a cleanup of the largest dioxin hotspot at Bien Hoa air base in Dong Nai province, and
expanding the US Agency for International Development (USAID)’s programmes to
support those with disabilities related to Agent Orange and unexploded
In 2021, the
Vietnamese Defence Ministry and the US Department of Defence launched the
Vietnam Wartime Accounting Initiative (VWAI), in which the USAID, Harvard
University, and USIP contribute information and analysis to aid the search
and identification of those missing in action.
Over the past
decade, there has also been progress in bilateral political, economic and
security relations. In his memoir “Nothing is Impossible,” former US
Ambassador to Vietnam Ted Osius mentioned Party General
Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong’s visit to the White House in 2016. He believed that
the visit had demonstrated that progress in Vietnam-US relations could be
achieved although the two countries have different political systems, contributing to building trust at
the highest political levels. Since then, both the Trump and Biden
administrations have emphasized their support for a strong, prosperous, and
independent Vietnam. The commitments of leaders from both political parties in
the US could serve as a basis for the increasingly growing partnership between the
two countries in the coming years, he said.
foundation of people-to-people diplomacy, including ties between former
soldiers, students, businesspeople, and non-governmental development
organisations, as a distinctive feature of the Vietnam-US relationship. Over 2.5
million Americans of Vietnamese origin also play an important role as a bridge between
the two countries.
pivotal factor is that families who suffered losses and pain on all sides in the war have now become a pillar of connection between the two
countries. When both sides acknowledge the past and build strong personal
relationships, it can serve as a basis for a shared vision of the future, he
recent trip to the US state of Utah along with Vietnamese Ambassador to the US
Nguyen Quoc Dung, he found that US companies are very interested in
trade and investment in Vietnam. The US primary and higher education
institutions also warmly welcome Vietnamese students to the US. After a
slight decline due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of Vietnamese students in
the US is now increasing again.
to economy and education, the Vietnam-US comprehensive
partnership also covers other pillars related to maritime security, climate and
environment, human rights, war legacy, and defence.
The scholar believed
that all these areas will keep growing. According to him, experts at the USIP are
particularly interested in cooperating with Vietnam on peace and security
issues regionally and globally. Vietnam has earned respect from countries on
all sides in global conflicts, indicating its potential role as a mediator for
20 years living in Vietnam, including 8 years in Hanoi and 12 years in Hoi An ancient town in the central province of Quang Nam.
He gets married to a Vietnamese woman and returned to the US with his family in 2019.
At the USIP, he and a group of experts on Asian affairs regularly build projects
to address war legacy issues in Vietnam and hold thematic workshops on war legacy,
aiming to heal war wounds and steer the US-Vietnam relations towards a future
of peace and prosperity./.