WASHINGTON - Secretary of State Antony Blinken will visit Vietnam later this week in the latest bid to build relations with a growing US partner as tensions flare with China over Taiwan, the State Department said Monday.
Blinken will visit Hanoi on his way to a Group of Seven foreign ministers meeting this weekend in the Japanese mountain resort of Karuizawa.
Blinken will "discuss our shared vision of a connected, prosperous, peaceful and resilient Indo-Pacific region," a State Department statement said.
The United States has a growing relationship with Vietnam, including on defense, with the two countries largely reconciling despite bitter war memories.
Vietnam has longstanding tensions with China, whose own relations with the United States have deteriorated in recent years.
China on Monday completed military drills around Taiwan in the latest show of force against the self-governing democracy after its president traveled to the United States.
Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin will also meet Tuesday in Washington with their counterparts from the Philippines, which has agreed to strengthen military ties with Washington, its former colonial power.
It will be Blinken's first trip to Vietnam since becoming secretary of state, although Vice President Kamala Harris previously visited the country.
Blinken will head to Hanoi after joining President Joe Biden on a trip to Ireland including Northern Ireland.