Making news

Senator McCain - who helps lay foundation for Vietnam-US relations - passes away

Senator John McCain, who helped lay the foundation for a cooperative Vietnam-US relationship, passed away on August 25 (US time) at the age of 81.

McCain himself served in the invading war of the US in Vietnam. He joined in the Rolling Thunder air campaign in 1967, bombing targets in the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (northern Vietnam). His plane was shot down on October 26, 1967 and McCain was taken prisoner. He was returned to the US in an exchange of prisoners in 1973.

Returning from Vietnam, McCain joined politics and was one of the first persons campaigning for normalization of US-Vietnam relations through promoting humanitarian issues such as removing unexploded ordnance left by the war, searching for missing-in-action personnel, supporting people with disabilities caused by the war, and detoxifying areas polluted by dioxin.

In 1994, the US Senate approved a resolution sponsored by McCain and Senator John Kerry, calling to end the economic sanction against Vietnam, paving the way for the normalization of relations between the two countries one year later.

Following the normalization of bilateral ties, McCain and Kerry visited Vietnam many times to address the issue of American missing-in-action soldiers (POW/MIA).

Along with pushing for the normalization of relations with Vietnam, Senator McCain also supported the Vietnamese community in the US, serving as a bridge between them and the US authorities as well as the Vietnamese Government.

At a meeting with the Senator in Washington DC on January 21, 2016, Vietnamese Ambassador to the US Pham Quang Vinh praised the Senator for his great contribution to the friendly and cooperative relations between the two countries.

In reply, McCain said he always attaches importance to the US-Vietnam relations, and for him, Vietnam has an important position and role in the region.

Senator McCain is one of the persons who have laid the foundation for the Vietnam-US ties to develop into a comprehensive partnership with remarkable progress across the fields, benefiting both countries at present.