“We must keep working together to ensure the Asia-Pacific’s peace and prosperity that has served so many in this region, including Vietnam and the United States, so well for so long is preserved and enhanced,” Secretary of Defense Ash Carter said in Hanoi.

Carter spoke on the Vietnam leg of a 10-day trip to the Asia-Pacific region to strengthen U.S. alliances. During the visit, the secretary reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to Vietnam and signed the U.S.-Vietnam Joint Vision Statement on Defense Relations.

The joint vision statement includes these commitments:

  • Maintain security and stability within each country and the region.
  • Defend international law and principles.
  • Address the spread of weapons of mass destruction.
  • Protect the free flow of trade via land, air and sea.

A Defense Department statement said Vietnamese leaders expressed interest in leveraging the joint vision statement for further military-to-military cooperation to more effectively work together to promote regional and global security.

“Our nations have come a long way over the last 20 years, let alone the last 40 years,” Carter said.