U.S. President Donald Trump will attend three summits in Asia in November, one of which is hosted by the central Vietnamese city of Da Nang, Vice President Mike Pence said on Thursday.
President Trump will land in Da Nang for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit, Reuters quoted Pence as saying during a visit to the headquarters of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Jakarta on Thursday.
The other two events are the U.S.-ASEAN summit and the East Asia summit, both held in the Philippines, Pence said in a statement after meeting Vietnam's Le Luong Minh, the secretary general of ASEAN.
The U.S. vice president said the Trump administration would work with ASEAN on security issues and trade and freedom of navigation in the East Vietnam Sea.
Vietnam and the United States have advanced ties to a new level under the Obama administration amid a dispute with China over East Vietnam Sea issues, while Trump has also expressed his hope for a stronger relationship.
The APEC is a regional economic forum established in 1989, comprising 21 member states, including Australia, China, Japan, South Korea, Thailand, the United States, and Vietnam among others.
The forum is aimed at creating greater prosperity for the peoples of the region by promoting balanced, inclusive, sustainable, innovative and secure growth as well as accelerating regional economic integration.
Vietnam joined the forum in 1998 and successfully chaired APEC 2006, and the country is scheduled to host the 2017 gathering in the central city of Da Nang in November.
U.S President Trump has had indirect talks with Vietnam’s top leaders since his presidential election victory in November 2016.
In a letter sent to Vietnam’s State President Tran Dai Quang late March, Trump “affirmed his wishes to promote cooperation on economics, trade, regional and international issues,” according to the Vietnamese government website.
In mid-December 2016, the then President-elect Trump also told Vietnam's Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc in a telephone call he wanted to further strengthen fast-warming ties between the two countries.
The Vietnamese head of government also said in March he was ready to visit the United States to promote ties, particularly trade.