Foreign relations of Vietnam
As of February 2019, Vietnam (officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam) maintains diplomatic relationships with 189 nations throughout the world, including all UN member states and UN observer states other than (i) UN member states Malawi, Bahamas, Tonga and Tuvalu and (ii) the UN observer Holy See. In 2011 the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam, at the 11th National Congress of the Communist Party of Vietnam, released an official statement about Vietnam's foreign policy and a section of the statement stated: "Vietnam is a friend and reliable partner of all countries in the international community, actively taking part in international and regional cooperation processes. Deepen, stabilize and sustain established international relations. Develop relations with countries and territories in the world, as well as international organizations, while showing: respect for each other's independence; sovereignty and territorial integrity; non-interference in each other's international affairs; non-use or threat of force; settlement of disagreements and disputes by means of peaceful negotiations; mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit."
Major steps have been taken by Vietnam to restore diplomatic ties with key countries. Full diplomatic relations were restored with New Zealand who opened its embassy in Hanoi in 1995, while Vietnam established an embassy in Wellington in 2003. Pakistan reopened its embassy in Hanoi in October 2000. Vietnam also reopened its embassy in Islamabad in December 2005 and trade office in Karachi in November 2005. United States–Vietnam relations improved in August 1995, when both nations upgraded their liaison offices opened during January 1995 to embassy status, with the United States later opening a consulate general in Ho Chi Minh City, and Vietnam opening a consulate in San Francisco.
Vietnam has a history stretching back more than 4,000 years. In its early history, Vietnam tried to maintain good relations with its neighbours. From the Hồng Bàng dynasty to many feudal dynasties like the Ngô, Đinh, Early Lê, Lý, Trần, Later Lê, Tây Sơn and Nguyễn, Vietnam's main diplomatic relationships were with neighboring Imperial China, Kingdom of Champa, Khmer Empire, Lan Xang kingdom and Siam. Later trading relationship were established with European Countries (such as through Dutch East India company) and Japan.
Post-World War II
+ Period 1945-1946: After the surrender of Japan, Both British and Chinese Kuomintang armies came into Vietnam territory to take the Japanese imperial army out of Indochina. The government of Democratic Republic of Vietnam decided to have the peace agreement with Chiang Kai-shek of Kuomintang that stationed in the north Vietnam to let them pay attention to fight the French in the south. After that, Vietnam signed the peace treaty with France in 6/3/1946.
+ Period 1947-1954 : Vietnam started to expand their foreign relation with the other countries in the world. In January, 1950, the People's Republic of China and the Soviet Union were the first two countries to recognize the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. Later, alliances were formed with Cambodia and Laos to make anti-French campaigns, building the friendship with the anti-colonial countries such as Thailand, Myanmar, Indonesia and India.
Cold War Era
In 1964, Zhou Enlai, worried about the escalation of U.S. forces in South Vietnam, made an informal agreement with the North. The agreement stipulated that if U.S. and South Vietnamese forces invaded North Vietnam, the Chinese would respond by loaning pilots to the North. During the invasion, Mao Zedong failed to send as many trained pilots as he promised. As a result, the North became more reliant on the Soviet Union for its defense.
By 1975, tension began to grow as Beijing increasingly viewed Vietnam as a potential Soviet instrument to encircle China. Meanwhile, Beijing's increasing support for Cambodia's Khmer Rouge sparked Vietnamese suspicions of China's motives.
Vietnamese-Chinese relations deteriorated significantly after Hanoi instituted a ban in March 1978 on private trade, a move that particularly affected the Sino-Vietnamese sector of the population. Following Vietnam's December 1978 invasion of Cambodia, China launched a retaliatory invasion of Vietnam's northern border region. Faced with severance of Chinese aid and strained international relations, Vietnam established even closer ties with the Soviet Union and its allies in the Comecon member states. Throughout the 1980s, Vietnam received nearly US$3 billion a year in economic and military aid from the Soviet Union and conducted most of its trade with the U.S.S.R. and Comecon countries. Soviet and Eastern bloc economic aid, however, ceased after the breakup of the Soviet Union.
Reform (Đổi Mới)
Vietnam did not begin to emerge from international isolation until it withdrew its troops from Cambodia in 1989. Within months of the 1991 Paris Agreements, Vietnam established diplomatic and economic relations with Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states and also with most countries of Western Europe and Asia's Far East. China re-established full diplomatic ties with Vietnam in 1991. The two nations concluded a land border demarcation agreement in 1999. In 1995, the US and Vietnam re-established diplomatic ties.
In the past decade, Vietnam has recognized the importance of growing global economic interdependence and has made concerted efforts to adjust its foreign relations to reflect the evolving international economic and political situation in Southeast Asia. The country has begun to integrate itself into the regional and global economy by joining international organizations. Vietnam has stepped up its efforts to attract foreign capital from the West and regularize relations with the world financial system. In the 1990s, following the lifting of the US veto on multilateral loans to the country, Vietnam became a member of the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the Asian Development Bank. The country has expanded trade with its East Asian neighbors as well as with countries in Western Europe and North America. Of particular significance was Vietnam's acceptance into ASEAN in July 1995. Vietnam joined the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum (APEC) in November 1998 and also hosted the ASEAN summit the following month. In 2005, Vietnam attended the inaugural East Asia Summit. Vietnam became a member of the World Trade Organization in November 2006.
While Vietnam has remained relatively conflict-free since its Cambodia days, tensions have arisen in the past between Vietnam and its neighbors, especially in the case of China since both nations assert claims to the Spratly Islands, an archipelago in a potentially oil-rich area of the South China Sea. Conflicting claims have produced over the years small scale armed altercations in the area. In 1988, more than 70 Vietnamese troops were killed during a confrontation with Chinese forces, when China occupied several islands under Vietnamese control in the Spratly Islands. China's assertion of control over the Spratly Islands and the entire South China Sea has elicited concern from Vietnam and its Southeast Asia neighbors. The territorial border between the two countries is being definitively mapped pursuant to a Land Border Agreement signed in December 1999, and an Agreement on Borders in the Gulf of Tonkin signed in December 2000. Vietnam and Russia declared a strategic partnership in March 2001 during the first visit ever to Hanoi of a Russian head of state, largely as an attempt to counterbalance China's growing profile in Southeast Asia.
Disputes – international: maritime boundary with Cambodia not defined; involved in a complex dispute over the Spratly Islands with the People's Republic of China (PRC), Malaysia, Philippines, and possibly Brunei; maritime boundary with Thailand resolved in August 1997; maritime boundary dispute with the PRC in the Gulf of Tonkin resolved in 2000; Paracel Islands occupied by the PRC; offshore islands and sections of boundary with Cambodia are in dispute; agreement on land border with the People's Republic of China was signed in December 1999.
Illicit drugs: minor producer of opium poppy with 21 km2 cultivated in 1999, capable of producing 11 metric tons of opium; probably minor transit point for Southeast Asian heroin destined for the US and Europe; growing opium/heroin addiction; possible small-scale heroin production
|Country||Formal relations began||Notes|
|Algeria||See Algeria–Vietnam relations|
|Angola||See Angola–Vietnam relations|
|Central African Republic||2008-11-10|
Both countries are full members of the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie.
|Kenya||1995-12-21||See Kenya–Vietnam relations|
|São Tomé and Príncipe||1976-11-06|
|Tanzania||1965-02-14||See Tanzania–Vietnam relations|
|Country||Formal relations began||Notes|
|Antigua and Barbuda||2013-11-08|
|Canada||1973-08-21||See Canada–Vietnam relations|
|Chile||See Chile–Vietnam relations
|Cuba||1960-12-02||See Cuba–Vietnam relations
|Dominican Republic||July 7, 2005||
|Guyana||19 April 1975|
|Haiti||26 September 1997||
|Mexico||1975-07-15||See Mexico–Vietnam relations
|Panama||28 August 1975||
|Paraguay||30 May 1995||
|Peru||See Peru–Vietnam relations
|Saint Vincent and the Grenadines||1995|
|United States||1995-07-11||See United States–Vietnam relations|
|Uruguay||See Uruguay–Vietnam relations
|Venezuela||1989-12-18||See Venezuela–Vietnam relations
Vietnam has an embassy in Caracas and Venezuela an embassy in Hanoi. Though bilateral trade was $11.7 million in 2007 relations show "great potential". Over the past ten years, the two countries have witnessed new developments in various fields, including politics, economics, culture and society, particularly in the oil and gas industry.
Vietnamese President Nguyễn Minh Triết arrived in Caracas on 18 November for a two-day official visit on an invitation from Hugo Chávez. Triet hailed Vietnam's friendship with Venezuela as he sought to focus on tying up oil and gas deals, including a joint development fund. He said that "We (Vietnamese) are grateful for the support and solidarity that they (Venezuelans) have offered us until now." Triết said.
Since Hugo Chávez's visit to Vietnam in 2006, his government stepped up bilateral relations with the country, which also included a visit by the Communist Party general secretary, Nông Đức Mạnh in 2007. Petróleos de Venezuela and Petrovietnam also announced a number of joint projects since the 2006 visit, including Petrovietnam's was given a concession in the Orinoco basin and an agreement to transport Venezuelan oil to Vietnam, where the two would together build an oil refinery that Vietnam lacks. On the 2006 visit, Chávez praised Vietnam's revolutionary history as he attacked the United States for its "imperialist" crimes in the Vietnam War. On the 2008 visit Triết returned similar comments as he lauded a group of Venezuelans who captured a US soldier during the Vietnam war in an unsuccessful bid to prevent the execution of a Vietnamese revolutionary. The two leaders also signed a deal for a $200 million joint fund and 15 cooperation projects.
In March 2008 an agreement was signed to cooperate in tourism between Vietnam and Venezuela. President Nguyễn Minh Triết received the PDVSA's Vice President Asdrubal Chavez and stated that oil and gas cooperation would become a typical example of their multi-faceted cooperation. In 2009 the Venezuelan government approved $46.5 million for an agricultural development project with Vietnam.
|Country||Formal relations began||Notes|
|Afghanistan||16 September 1974|
|Armenia||14 July 1992|
|Bahrain||31 March 1995|
|Bangladesh||11/2/1973||See Bangladesh–Vietnam relations|
|Bhutan||19 January 2012|
|Brunei||29 February 1992||See Brunei–Vietnam relations
Brunei has an embassy in Hanoi, and Vietnam has an embassy in Bandar Seri Begawan.
|Cambodia||24 June 1967||See Cambodia–Vietnam relations
Since the 1990s, relations between these nations have been improving. Both countries are members of multilateral regional organizations ASEAN and the Mekong–Ganga Cooperation. Both have opened and developed cross-border trade and sought to relax visa regulations to that end. Both governments have set official targets of increasing bilateral trade by 27% to US$2.3 billion by 2010 and to $6.5 billion by 2015. Vietnam exported US$1.2 billion worth of goods to Cambodia in 2007. While Cambodia is only the 16th largest importer of Vietnamese goods, Vietnam is Cambodia's third-largest export market.
18 January 1950 (PRC)
|See China–Vietnam relations
After both sides resumed trade links in 1991, growth in bilateral trade has increased from US$32 million in 1991 to almost $7.2 billion by 2004. Both governments have set the target of increasing trade volume to US$10 billion by 2010. Vietnam's exports to China include crude oil, coal, coffee and food, while China exports pharmaceuticals, machinery, petroleum, fertilizers and automobile parts to Vietnam. China has become Vietnam's second-largest trading partner and the largest source of imports. Both nations are working to establish an "economic corridor" from China's Yunnan to Vietnam's northern provinces and cities, and similar economic zones in the Gulf of Tonkin and connecting the Nanning of Guangxi province, Lang Son province, Hanoi, Haiphong and Quang Ninh province of Vietnam. Air and sea transport as well as railway have been opened between the two countries, so have the 7 pairs of national-level ports in the frontier provinces and regions of the two countries. Both sides have also launched joint ventures such as the Thai Nguyen Steel Complex, which produces hundreds of thousands of tonnes of steel products.
|East Timor||28 July 2002|
|Georgia||30 June 1992|
|India||7/1/1972||See India–Vietnam relations
India and Vietnam are members of the Mekong–Ganga Cooperation, created to develop to enhance close ties between India and nations of Southeast Asia. Vietnam has supported India's bid to become a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council and join the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC). In the 2003 joint declaration, India and Vietnam envisaged creating an "Arc of Advantage and Prosperity" in Southeast Asia; to this end, Vietnam has backed a more important relationship and role between India and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and its negotiation of an Indo-ASEAN free trade agreement. India and Vietnam have also built strategic partnerships, including extensive cooperation on developing nuclear power, enhancing regional security and fighting terrorism, transnational crime and drug trafficking.
|Indonesia||30 December 1955||See Indonesia–Vietnam relations
|Iran||4/8/1973||See Iran–Vietnam relations|
|Israel||12/7/1993||See Israel–Vietnam relations|
|Japan||1605 (Tokugawa shogunate)|
21 September 1973
|See Japan-Vietnam relations
|Kazakhstan||26 September 1992||
|Laos||5/9/1962||See Laos-Vietnam relations
Although Vietnam's historical record of leadership in the revolution and its military power and proximity will not cease to exist, Laos struck out ahead of Vietnam with its New Economic Mechanism to introduce market mechanisms into its economy. In so doing, Laos has opened the door to rapprochement with Thailand and China at some expense to its special dependence on Vietnam. Laos might have reached the same point of normalization in following Vietnam's economic and diplomatic change, but by moving ahead resolutely and responding to Thai and Chinese gestures, Laos has broadened its range of donors, trading partners, and investors independent of Vietnam's attempts to accomplish the same goal. Thus, Vietnam remains in the shadows as a mentor and emergency ally, and the tutelage of Laos has shifted dramatically to development banks and international entrepreneurs.
|Malaysia||30 March 1973||See Malaysia-Vietnam relations|
|Maldives||18 June 1975|
|Mongolia||1280 (Yuan dynasty)|
17 November 1954
|See Mongolia–Vietnam relations
The countries signed a Friendship and Cooperation Treaty in 1961, renewed it in 1979, and signed a new one in 1995. On 13 January 2003, the countries signed an 8-point cooperative document committing to cooperation between the two governments and their legislative bodies, replacing an earlier document signed in 1998.
There have been 13 sessions of the Vietnam-Mongolia inter-governmental committee on cooperation in trade, economics and sci-tech, with the next to be held in Ulaanbaatar in 2010. On 25 May 2004 in Ulaanbaatar, the countries signed agreements on railway transport and scientific and technological cooperation. Other agreements have covered areas such as plant protection and quarantine regulations, customs, health and education.
|Myanmar||28 May 1975||See Myanmar-Vietnam relations
|Nepal||15 May 1975|
|North Korea||1226 (Goryeo)|
31 January 1950
|See North Korea–Vietnam relations
|Pakistan||8/11/1972||See Pakistan–Vietnam relations
Pakistan opened its embassy in Hanoi in 1973. However, due to economic reasons, Pakistan closed the embassy in 1980. Vietnam also opened its embassy in Islamabad in 1978 and had to close it down in 1984 due to its own economic difficulty. Bilateral relations between Pakistan and Vietnam in recent years have considerably improved. Both countries' leaders expressed their willingness to strengthen their existing relations, not only in the political sphere but also in other areas such as trade and economics, and exchange more visits from one to another's country, including both high-ranking and working visits. Pakistan reopened its embassy in Hanoi in October 2000. Vietnam also reopened its embassy in Islamabad in December 2005 and trade office in Karachi in November 2005.
|Palestine||19 November 1988|
|Philippines||12/7/1976||See Philippines–Vietnam relations
Ever since the end of the Cold War relations between the Philippines and Vietnam has warmed rapidly. Today the Philippines and Vietnam are economic allies and have a free trade deal with each other. Both nations are a part of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC). The Philippines and Vietnam have conducted joint military exercises together in the South China Sea and are trying to find ways to turn the Spratly Islands from an area of conflict to an area of cooperation. Vietnam is also sometimes called the only communist military ally of the Philippines. The Philippines and Vietnam are also monitoring China's expansion into the South China Sea making sure that China is no threat to either Philippine or Vietnamese islands in the South China Sea. The Philippines also imports a large amount of writing material, clothes and other products from Vietnam. In May 2009, The Philippines has inked an agreement with Vietnam to cooperate in the fight against crimes and ensuring social order. In January 2010, the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Vietnam bourse "for mutual collaboration and communication of information and experience" to facilitate the development and efficient operations of both securities markets. In 2012, Vietnam sent two military assets for a good will visit to the Philippines. Both Vietnam and the Philippines have the same stand on the South China Sea disputes, patronizing multilateral talks and international court rulings to solve the issue, tactics which China has avoided. In 2016, the Philippines strengthened its stand on the dispute through a court ruling in an international court not associated with UN and poised to create stronger relations with Vietnam for strategic defense and economic cooperation.
|Qatar||8/2/1993||See Qatar–Vietnam relations
|Saudi Arabia||21 October 1999||
|Singapore||1/8/1973||See Singapore–Vietnam relations
|South Korea||1226 (Goryeo)|
22 December 1992
|See South Korea–Vietnam relations
|Sri Lanka||21 July 1970|
|Syria||21 July 1966|
unofficial relation (Now)
|see Taiwan–Vietnam relations
|Tajikistan||14 July 1992||
|Thailand||6/8/1976||See Thailand–Vietnam relations|
|Turkey||1978||See Turkey–Vietnam relations|
|Turkmenistan||29 July 1992||
|United Arab Emirates||1/8/1993||See United Arab Emirates–Vietnam relations
|Uzbekistan||17 January 1992||
|Yemen||16 October 1963|
|Country||Formal relations began||Notes|
|EU||1990||See Vietnam–European Union relations|
|Austria||See Austria–Vietnam relations|
|Belarus||24 January 1992||See Belarus–Vietnam relations|
|Belgium||22 March 1973|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||26 January 1996|
|Bulgaria||8/2/1950||See Bulgaria–Vietnam relations
|Czech Republic||2/2/1950 (as Czechoslovakia)||See Czech Republic–Vietnam relations
|Denmark||25 November 1971||See Denmark–Vietnam relations
|Estonia||20 February 1992|
|Finland||25 January 1973||
|France||12/4/1973||See France–Vietnam relations
France-Vietnam relations started as early as the 17th century with the mission of the Jesuit father Alexandre de Rhodes. Various traders would visit Vietnam during the 18th century, until the major involvement of French forces under Pigneau de Béhaine to help establish the Nguyễn dynasty from 1787 to 1789. France was heavily involved in Vietnam in the 19th century under the pretext of protecting the work of Catholic missionaries in the country. France progressively carved for itself a huge colony, which would form French Indochina in 1887. France continued to rule Vietnam as a colony until France's defeat in the First Indochina War and the proclamation of Vietnam's independence in 1954.
|Germany||03/02/1955 (with East Germany and unified Germany)|
23 September 1975 (with West Germany)
|See Germany–Vietnam relations|
|Greece||15 April 1975||See Greece–Vietnam relations
|Holy See||No relation||See Holy See–Vietnam relations
With the end of the Vietnam War, the Apostolic Delegate was forced to leave. Since an apostolic delegation, unlike an embassy, is not a bilateral institution with involvement by the State, the Apostolic Delegation for Vietnam has not been suppressed, but has remained inactive since 1975. In January 2011 the Holy See appointed the first ambassador, formally "non-resident representative to Vietnam" with Archbishop Leopoldo Girelli being the first to hold the post in addition to Archbishop Girelli's other role as Apostolic Nuncio to Singapore and Apostolic Delegate to Malaysia.
Temporary missions from the Holy See to discuss with the Government matters of common interest are sent every year or two, and there has been at least one visit to the Vatican by a Vietnamese mission. Marxism and communism officially promoted atheism, causing Roman Catholics and other Christians to be associated with the anti-communist South Vietnam region. This has strained relations between the Holy See and the Hanoi Government. Leading bishops have been imprisoned for several years, in what some observers have described as a persecution of the Vietnamese Church. There is also a question of Church property confiscated by the Vietnamese government and that the Church has sought to recover.
|Hungary||3/2/1950||See Hungary–Vietnam relations
|Italy||23 March 1973||See Italy–Vietnam relations
|Lithuania||18 March 1992|
|Luxembourg||15 November 1973||See Luxembourg–Vietnam relations|
|Malta||14 November 1974|
|Monaco||29 November 2007|
|Norway||25 November 1971|
|Poland||4/2/1950||See Poland–Vietnam relations
|Russia||30 January 1950 (as USSR)|
|See Russia–Vietnam relations|
|Serbia||10/3/1957 (as SFR Yugoslavia)||
|Slovakia||2/2/1950 (as Czechoslovakia)||See Slovakia–Vietnam relations
|Spain||23 May 1977||See Spain–Vietnam relations
|Ukraine||23 January 1992||See Ukraine–Vietnam relations|
|Country||Formal relations began||Notes|
|Australia||1973-02-26||See Australia–Vietnam relations
|New Zealand||1975-06-19||See New Zealand–Vietnam relations
Full diplomatic relations were restored in 1989. New Zealand opened its embassy in Hanoi in 1995, while Vietnam established an embassy in Wellington in 2003.
|Papua New Guinea||1989|
- List of diplomatic missions in Vietnam
- List of diplomatic missions of Vietnam
- Visa requirements for Vietnamese citizens
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