Australian PM Anthony Albanese will visit Vietnam on 3rd June, marking 50 years of bilateral diplomatic relations. His visit will
Australian PM Anthony Albanese will visit Vietnam on 3rd June, marking 50 years of bilateral diplomatic relations.
His visit will include meetings with senior leaders to promote Australian business and education initiatives. Discussions on pathways to boosting trade, investment, education and expansion of cooperation on climate, energy and the environment are also expected to be on the agenda. It’s unclear whether Albanese will bring up the issue of Australian-Vietnamese political prisoners, such as Chau Van Kham during the visit.
In April, the Australian government agreed to increase its official development assistance to Vietnam from AU$78.9 million (US$51.6 million) to AU$92.8 million (US$60.7 million). At the same time, the two countries are enjoying increased security and intelligence cooperation.
Like many other western countries, Australia is keen to develop closer relations with Vietnam as part of a “de-risking” from China strategy. Vietnam is also cautious about China, and the fact it is now so keen to bandwagon with countries it was once at war with says a lot about how it views its giant neighbor to the north. For Vietnam to increase its standing, it needs to focus on becoming a maritime power in the region, as does Australia. Deepened maritime cooperation built on political trust would be of benefit to both nations.