US President Biden Strikes Key Deals with Vietnam, Bolstering Supply Chains and Security Amid China Concerns

US President Biden Strikes Key Deals with Vietnam, Bolstering Supply Chains and Security Amid China Concerns

During his visit to Vietnam, US President Joe Biden secured deals with the country on semiconductors and minerals, which marks an important step in the Biden administration's strategy to secure global supply chains from China-related risks. The upgrade in diplomatic status for Vietnam is seen as essential by the US, as it views the country as a key player in its goal to diversify away from Chinese supply chains.

Vietnam, a significant manufacturing hub, is looking to establish itself as a low-cost manufacturing destination and is carefully navigating its relations between the US and China. In addition to the economic agreements, Biden's visit also highlights the growing security dimension between the US and Vietnam.

The US has offered assistance to Vietnam in diversifying its military supplies away from Russia, which has been a long-standing arms supplier for the country. The talks over an arms supply deal between Russia and Vietnam have raised concerns of potential US sanctions, and Vietnam is exploring other options, including engagement with top US defense officials.

The visit also emphasizes the importance of semiconductors and rare earth minerals. The US is keen on strengthening supply chains in these sectors, and Vietnam plays a crucial role as it has the world's second-largest deposits of rare earths after China.

The US government has allocated significant funding under the CHIPS Act to support semiconductor supply chains globally, with Vietnam being a potential recipient. While the economic and security partnerships between the US and Vietnam are thriving, human rights remain a controversial issue. The US has consistently criticized Vietnam for its restrictions on freedom of expression and the imprisonment of activists.

However, there are suggestions that Vietnam may release some activists as a gesture of goodwill. Overall, Biden's visit to Vietnam underscores the significance of the country in the US's Indo-Pacific strategy and highlights the growing partnership between the two nations.

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