US, Vietnam to boost ties to 'comprehensive strategic partnership'

US President Joe Biden and Vietnam's Communist Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong have agreed to elevate their diplomatic relations to a "comprehensive strategic partnership."

The two leaders reached the agreement as they met in the Vietnamese capital, Hanoi, on Sunday. It was Biden's first visit to the Southeast Asian country as president.

In a joint media conference after their talks, Biden said the two countries had worked together to overcome the painful legacy. He also called the partnership a new chapter in the story of their nations.

Trong said Vietnam has been willing to fully cooperate with the United States. He went on to say that Vietnam's independence and cooperation is beneficial to the whole world.

Vietnam is at odds with China over the sovereignty of islands in the South China Sea. But it has robust economic connections with China.

The country also has deepened ties with Russia for many years through the purchase of weapons.

On the other hand, Vietnam is expanding its economic ties with the US. An increasing number of US companies are shifting their production centers from China to Vietnam.

President Biden apparently seeks to keep China and Russia in check by strengthening US-Vietnam ties in a wide range of fields, including security and economy.