U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is in Hanoi on Saturday, his first visit to Vietnam since becoming the top U.S. diplomat.

Blinken met Saturday with Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh.

His visit to Vietnam is part of the Biden administration’s campaign to counter China’s increasing influence in the region.

The U.S. is building a $1.2 billion embassy compound in Hanoi, a move designed to demonstrate a U.S. commitment to improving ties with the Southeast Asian trading partner.

Vietnam, however, has a delicate balance to maintain. It does not want to antagonize its powerful neighbor, China, while strengthening its relationship with the U.S.

Blinken’s visit to Vietnam comes just two weeks after the 50th anniversary of former U.S. President Richard M. Nixon’s administration’s withdrawal of U.S. combat forces from Vietnam, marking the end of the Vietnam War.

Some information in this report was provided by The Associated Press and Reuters.

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