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China reiterates US must abandon ‘Cold War mentality’

US President Joe Biden at the Presidential Palace in Hanoi, Vietnam, September 11, 2023. (AFP)

China says when it comes to interaction with Asian countries the United States needs to abandon its hegemonic and “Cold War mentality.”

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning was addressing a press briefing in Beijing on Monday, a day after US President Joe Biden signed a new historic deal on a visit to Vietnam.

The US president signed the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership in Hanoi on Sunday, in his latest push to strengthen ties with Vietnam, more than 50 years since the last American soldier left the South Asian country.

The move had already irked Beijing, which called it more evidence of Washington’s “Cold War mentality.”

The Chinese spokeswoman said, "When dealing with Asian countries, the US must respect the common aspiration of countries in the region of seeking stability, cooperation and development.”

Mao urged the United States to “abide by the basic norms of international relations.”

Biden told reporters in Hanoi that Washington’s actions were not about containing or isolating China, but about maintaining stability in accordance with international rules and norms.

The Chinese diplomat further said Hanoi in multiple occasions has shown it places a premium on the enhancement of relations of cooperation on a strategic level between China and Vietnam.

China and Vietnam held a trade and economic cooperation forum in Beijing in June, which attracted about 400 representatives from the government and business communities.

Le Hong Hiep from Singapore's ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute believes the agreement with the US is "symbolic rather than [one of] substance.”

“In Vietnam's calculation, enhanced ties with the United States should not lead to a deterioration in its relationship with China.”

Vietnam is among a number of countries that contest China's claim to almost all of the South China Sea. The US is not a claimant, but says the water is crucial to its national interest.

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