Ambassador Osius’s Remarks at Ho Chi Minh Academy-U.S. Embassy 20th Anniversary of Bilateral Relations Conference

Ambassador Osius at Ho Chi Minh Academy-U.S. Embassy 20th Anniversary of Bilateral Relations Conference

Xin chào! Chào mừng quý vị tới dự buổi hội thảo hôm nay!

Tôi cảm thấy thật sự phấn khởi được phát biểu khai mạc buổi hội thảo quan trọng này cùng với người bạn của tôi, Tiến sỹ Tạ Ngọc Tấn. Cảm ơn Tiến sỹ Tấn vì sự lãnh đạo của Ngài. Tôi cũng cho rằng cuộc Hội thảo này đã không thể diễn ra nếu không có sự nỗ lực của nhiều người có mặt tại đây hôm nay, cả Việt nam và Mỹ. Tôi xin cảm ơn Học viện Chính trị quốc gia Hồ Chí Minh đã đăng cai sự kiện quan trọng này. Tôi cũng muốn cảm ơn trường Đại học Portland vì những đóng góp quan trọng của họ để sự kiện này có thể diễn ra.

In 1995 we established relations, but the past still loomed large, and road ahead was daunting, and filled with challenges. And yet, with persistence, courage and respect, our two countries have built the foundations for a new relationship. And so it is appropriate that we spent 2015 recognizing that great journey, remembering the past, but focusing on the future.

As Vice Foreign Minister Ha Kim Ngoc noted in a recent speech we do not need to be prisoners of the past. Since our two countries became Comprehensive Partners in 2013, we have shown the world what it means to move beyond history and forge a relationship . That is the spirit we must maintain in order to develop a vision for the next twenty years and beyond.

This conference will, I hope, highlight opportunities to deepen our already solid comprehensive partnership. I often think about our relationship in terms of two young people – one American, and one Vietnamese. What do they need from us to ensure their chances for peace, prosperity and success? I hope these two young people can be our motivation as we build a plan for expanding our cooperation. What can their lives be like if we continue on the path of collaboration.

If we continue to deepen our partnership, then twenty years from now young people from our two nations will, together, innovate and spearhead new business and investment opportunities that help fuel an ever-prosperous Vietnam. They will freely exchange ideas that will help them improve their businesses, their communities, and their governments?

If we continue to cooperate, then our families, businessmen, and tourists will easily hop on a plane and fly directly between our major cities. If we continue on the path we’re on now, the United States will certainly become the top investor in Vietnam.

Twenty years from now, if we continue our cooperation in education, Vietnamese children born this year will graduate with a world-class degree from Fulbright University and can choose between multiple job offers from employers around the world seeking the best and the brightest.

If we continue to work together on human rights and to support Vietnam’s goal of bringing laws into alignment with its Constitution and international commitments, then the talents, innovation, and ideas of our peoples will be unleashed, building a foundation of shared values and deepening our people-to-people ties.

If we continue building habits of collaboration and cooperation in this region and the world, then the relationships between our most promising leaders will be forged not through the aftermath of war but through the fruits of consistent and positive engagement. It will be a deep, respectful partnership.

If we continue to collaborate to resolve the world’s most difficult challenges, then our scientists and policymakers will work hand-in-hand to make the goals of the recently-signed Paris climate change agreement a reality. Together, they will prevent pandemics and promote better health for Americans and Vietnamese. We’ll make a powerful example of how our bilateral relationship can pay dividends on a global scale.

If we continue on this path, we’ll preserve peace in the South China Sea, and make peace in other parts of the world. Vietnam’s peacekeepers will serve alongside American ones.

The U.S. goal is clear and consistent: We support a strong, prosperous, and independent Vietnam that respects the rule of law and human rights, and we are committed to doing what it takes to get there.

Each pillar of the Comprehensive Partnership, signed by Presidents Obama and Sang in 2013, reflects this broad commitment. It’s our job, therefore, to sustain and nourish it. It’s not a foregone conclusion that we will succeed. But, with hard work and a vision for the future, nothing is impossible in U.S.-Vietnam relations.

I thank the organizers of the conference for creating an opportunity to highlight, identify, and discuss bold opportunities to push our bilateral relationship even further. I am confident, as I know all of you are as well, that the first twenty years was merely a prologue to a much longer and richer story.

Tôi rất trông đợi các cuộc thảo luận của chúng ta và hy vọng buổi hội thảo ngày hôm nay sẽ truyền cảm hứng cho sự hợp tác sâu sắc hơn nữa và đưa quan hệ của chúng ta phát triển theo những đường hướng mới và hiệu quả.

Xin cảm ơn.