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Apr 15, 2023 / 12:22

Antony Blinken breaks ground on new US embassy in Hanoi

The new campus represents the efforts of many diplomats and people from both sides and is symbolic and practical for the relationship between the two countries.

The groundbreaking ceremony for the new US embassy campus was held today [April 15] in Hanoi with the attendance of US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

 US Secretary of State Antony Blinken attends the groundbreaking ceremony of the new US Embassy in Hanoi on April 15. Photo: Vietnamplus

Senior Vietnamese and US officials attending the ceremony include Vietnam’s Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son, Deputy FM Ha Kim Ngoc, US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Kritenbrink, and Deputy Chairman of the Hanoi People’s Committee Duong Duc Tuan.

“This really is a particular pleasure because this has been a day long in the making,” Blinken said. He said that when he was in Vietnam as deputy secretary in 2015 and 2016, he saw firsthand how Vietnam and US officials worked together to find the land for the campus.

He thanked the Government of Vietnam and the embassy team for all the hard work that went into making this day possible.

 Senior officials of Vietnam and the US at the ceremony. Photo: US Embassy in Hanoi

Covering an area of 3.2ha in Cau Giay District, the campus will have a 99-year lease as announced during the visit of US Vice President Kamala Harris to Hanoi in August 2021.

The US$1.2-billion campus is an eight-story building that will house the entire embassy team and quadruple the number of consular windows for quick visa and passport issuance.

It will reflect “a fusion of our cultures and our nations” as it was designed by an American company, inspired by a mix of Vietnam’s topography and Hanoi’s urban architecture. The base of the building will be made from basalt – a rock found both in both Vietnam and the US.

Blinken said: “The embassy’s construction will embody our countries’ shared commitment to environmental sustainability and resilience. We’re building much of the embassy using recycled materials, and the design will both conserve energy and mitigate the risk of flooding from severe storms.”

Construction is expected to take six years and provide good jobs for as many as 1,800 local workers while adding $350 million to the Vietnamese economy, he said.

According to Blinken, the US Embassy in Vietnam now has more than 600 American and local staff up from more than 30 American employees when the embassy opened in 1995 when the two countries normalized diplomatic relations.

“With this new campus, we will be able to foster still more of those connections and all the relationships, the innovations, the opportunities that come with them,” he emphasized.