John McCain and milestones in Vietnam-US relations

(VOVWORLD) - Senator John McCain, who passed away on Saturday at the age of 81, holds a very special place in the history of Vietnam-US relations. He was a vanguard in healing the wounds of war between the two countries.
John McCain and milestones in Vietnam-US relations - ảnh 1 Senator John McCain (Photo: AFP/VNA)

Navy pilot John McCain, a POW during the Vietnam war, was at the forefront of the restoration of Vietnam-US ties. In 1994, the US Senate approved a resolution sponsored by John McCain and John Kerry ending economic sanction against Vietnam and paving the way for normalization of relations one year later.

Pham Quang Vinh, former Vietnamese Ambassador to the US, said: “When most of the US held adamant views on Vietnam, John McCain and John Kerry, representing the two major American parties, supported normalization of relations. The two senators took advantage of the MIA issues on which Vietnam wanted to cooperate with the US. McCain rallied support year after year for normalization.”

McCain once said he had deep sympathies with Vietnam and would work hard to improve US-Vietnam relations. He pressed both sides to carry out humanitarian programs such as clearing landmines and unexploded ordnance left by the war, locate MIA soldiers, help people with disabilities from the war, and detoxify chemically contaminated areas.

He supported bilateral ties in diplomacy, economics, trade, and defence. Ambassador Vinh said: “John McCain strongly supported the first visit by Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong to the US in July 2015. He called it a historic visit, which showed progress in bilateral relations beyond expectations. He lobbied for removing restrictions, and high tariffs on Vietnamese tra fish, and for permitting arms sales to Vietnam. He recognized the importance of Vietnam-US relations in ensuring peace and marine security and safety in the Asia-Pacific region.”

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