(Clinton) Today I am announcing the normalization
of diplomatic relationships with Vietnam. The road to normalization began in the 1980s.
In 1991, the U.S. presented Hanoi with a “roadmap” for phased normalization but initial exchanges
were limited to war legacy and humanitarian issues. In 1994, President Clinton lifted the trade
embargo on Vietnam, which was the last major step toward official normalization. On July 11, 1995, the two countries normalized
ties, an event that represented decades of effort by diplomats and leaders in both nations. May our children learn from us that
good people, through respectful dialogue, can discover, and rediscover their common
humanity. And that a painful, painful past can be redeemed in a peaceful and prosperous
future. Since then, Vietnam has integrated itself
into the global community, building good relations and expanding trade with its neighbors and
the U.S. The two countries reached a landmark trade
agreement in December 2001. Total trade has since increased nineteen hundred
percent from one-point-five billion dollars in 2001 to thirty billion dollars in 2013. Entry to the WTO and the declaration of permanent
normal trade relations with the U.S. have brought the two nations’ economies closer. They have also moved closer together culturally. In 2001, the first wave of Vietnamese students
came to study in the U.S. with congressional funding. Vietnam now sends the most students
to the U.S. among Southeast Asian countries, and is the fourth largest source country in
Asia. U.S.-Vietnam relations have grown into a broad
set of strong ties. They cooperate on political and security issues. Trade steadily increases.
Cultural and educational exchange is robust. And they cooperate on improving global health
and the environment. The U.S. is viewed with remarkable positivity
in Vietnam as a source of excellence in technology, business, and education. The future looks bright for the U.S. and Vietnam.
As the Trans-Pacific Partnership becomes established, mutual interests will continue to bring the
two nations closer together. And the establishment of the Fulbright University
Vietnam, highly anticipated by both governments, will make history by establishing a new model
for a private university in Vietnam and promises even stronger educational ties between the
two countries. Indeed, the future of this relationship holds
the promise of prosperity for both nations and for a more stable and secure Asia.