Press Statement by Secretary of State John Kerry on Vietnam’s National Day

Washington, DC
August 31, 2016

On behalf of President Obama and the American people, it is with great pleasure that I wish the people of Vietnam a joyous National Day this September 2.

The relationship between our two countries and peoples is stronger than it has ever been. We are poised to make even more progress in the months and years ahead as we work together to implement the historic initiatives announced during President Obama’s visit to Vietnam in May.

I was honored to accompany President Obama on his visit — my third trip to Vietnam as Secretary of State — and was struck, as I always am, by the remarkable transformation in our bilateral relations.

From the first time that I stepped foot in Vietnam as a young soldier in 1968 to my most recent visit in May, I’ve seen incredible changes taking shape, from the growing city skylines to the pulsating entrepreneurial energy to the increasing flow of people, goods, and ideas from every corner of Vietnam to the United States and elsewhere.

In the midst of these changes, what remains constant for me, and what I’ve always loved about Vietnam, is the warmth, and generosity, and ingenuity of the Vietnamese people.

It is their resiliency and innate desire to move beyond the shadow of the past toward a more prosperous, healthy, and free society for their children and future generations that had shaped Vietnam’s trajectory.

Vietnam is a country of tremendous potential, and I’m confident it will have a bright future thanks to the dedication of its young people, business community, and active civil society.

We look forward to continuing to deepen our comprehensive and increasingly strategic partnership with Vietnam to advance our shared interest in building and sustaining a rules-based order, not only in the Asia-Pacific region but throughout the world.

On this festive occasion, I wish the people of Vietnam peace and prosperity in the coming year.