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US, Vietnamese top diplomats discuss greater chip cooperation, State Dept says

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Vietnamese Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son discussed expanding cooperation in semiconductors and supply chain diversification in a meeting on Monday in Washington, the State Department said.

In September, U.S. President Joe Biden visited Hanoi and signed an agreement to elevate ties between the two countries as part of Washington’s effort to counterbalance China in the Indo-Pacific.

The U.S. is seeking to reduce its dependence on Chinese supply chains by expanding manufacturing at home and boosting trade with trusted partners. This is particularly so in chipmaking with Washington seeking to curtail the sector’s exposure to China-linked risks, including trade friction and tensions over Taiwan.

Blinken and Son also discussed expanding cooperation on human rights, security, education and culture, the State Department said.

Rights groups, including Amnesty International, accused Biden of sidelining human rights issues on his September visit to Vietnam.

During that visit, Biden said he raised human rights issues with officials he spoke with.

(Reporting by Eric Beech; Editing by Christian Schmollinger)

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