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Blinken Tries to Bolster Ties With Vietnam Amid Rising U.S. Tensions With China

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken boards his plane at Hanoi Airport in Hanoi on April 16, 2023, to travel to Japan for the G7 Foreign Ministers' Meeting. Andrew Harnik / POOL / AFP

Vietnam was again at the center of great power politics this weekend during a brief visit by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, his first trip to the country as Washington’s top diplomat.

Blinken’s one overriding priority on this trip was to try and persuade the Vietnamese leadership to upgrade Hanoi’s ties with Washington from their decade-old comprehensive partnership to the same level of strategic partnership that Vietnam now maintains with China.

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