U.S. President Joe Biden will travel to Hanoi on Sept. 10 to meet with Vietnamese leaders and discuss ways to increase peace and stability around the Southeast Asian country, the White House said Monday, amid China's maritime assertiveness.
The leaders Biden is set to meet in the Vietnamese capital to "deepen the cooperation" will include the chief of the country's ruling Communist Party Nguyen Phu Trong, according to White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre.
She told a press briefing that the leaders will also seek to promote the growth of an innovation-driven Vietnamese economy, expand people-to-people exchanges and combat climate change.
The trip was announced about three weeks after Biden said he would visit Vietnam "shortly" during an off-camera campaign reception, without specifying when it would take place.
Biden will make the one-day visit after attending a summit of the Group of 20 major economies in India.
U.S. officials have long sought to forge stronger ties with Vietnam, believing the step is vital in advancing a free and open Indo-Pacific in the face of China's growing clout in the region.
In April, Secretary of State Antony Blinken traveled to Vietnam, which is embroiled in a long-standing territorial dispute with China in the South China Sea. Last month, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen also visited Hanoi to meet with senior officials and agreed with them to forge closer relations.
Biden in late March spoke over the phone with the ruling party's general secretary, the most powerful figure in Vietnam, and discussed "the importance of strengthening and expanding the bilateral relationship," while noting that 2023 is the 10th anniversary of the two countries' comprehensive partnership, the White House said at the time.
The spokeswoman also announced that Biden will stop in Alaska the day after his Hanoi trip to mark the 22nd anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States by taking part in a ceremony with members of the military and their families.