This was the year Viet Nam was the only country in the world to host visits by Presidents of the U.S. and China. At the same time, Viet Nam raised relations with the U.S. and Japan to comprehensive strategic partnerships.
There were other major accomplishments during the year. Viet Nam hosted several high level visits by foreign leaders including Prime Ministers from Australia, Czech Republic, and Slovenia, President of South Korea, and Russian Deputy Prime Minister.
Viet Nam's leaders travelled extensively. President Vo Van Thuong made official visits to Australia, Italy, the Vatican and Japan. Prime Minister attended the ASEAN-Japan 50th Commemorative Summit in Tokyo. National Assembly Vuong Dinh Hue visited Argentina, Cuba and Uruguay.
Viet Nam's leaders were also active in participating in many high-level multilateral meetings. For example, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh attended the Group of 7 Expanded Summit in Japan, the World Economic Forum in China, 43rd ASEAN and related Summits in Indonesia, the United Nations General Assembly, and COP28 (28th Conference of Parties on Climate Change) in India.
President Vo Van Thuong attended the APEC Summit and the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework ministerial meeting in San Francisco. President Vo Van Thuong laid out a roadmap for the future in his address to APEC CEOs. He also gave an insightful address to the U.S. Council on Foreign Relations as he recounted how the two countries achieved trust in their bilateral relations.
Viet Nam's diplomatic successes led many observers to attribute it to "bamboo diplomacy" endorsed by General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong in 2016 and most recently at the 32nd Diplomatic Conference in Ha Noi in December 2023.
The "ends" of Viet Nam's long-term diplomatic strategic include but are not limited to maintaining Viet Nam's independence and socialist political system. The "ways" of achieving this include, among other things, diversification and multilateralization relations, self-reliance (not taking sides in major power rivalry), and "bamboo diplomacy". The "means" including funding, training, research, policy-making, high-level exchanges, strategic partnerships, etc.
Why has "bamboo" diplomacy been so successful? There are four major reasons. First, Viet Nam has an extensive, well-trained and professional diplomatic corps. Second, Viet Nam engaged in long-term strategic planning (ends, ways, and means). Third, Viet Nam engaged in continual critical review and adjustment of its foreign policies. Fourth, Viet Nam is trusted and has high prestige in the international community./.