About the Author: Beau Miller serves in the Public Affairs Section of U.S. Embassy Hanoi."Breathtaking" was how Secretary Clinton recently described the progress that has been made in the 15-year-old relationship between the United States and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.
On the ground, the excitement of representing the United States overseas is coupled with the pleasure of doing so in an environment where both sides are so firmly committed to building bridges of trust and cooperation. Since I arrived in Hanoi on the heels of Secretary Clinton's visit in July, there has been a flurry of activity, including programs and projects to commemorate 15 years of bilateral relations, as well as visits by members of Congress and Secretary of Defense Gates. For the last several weeks, the bustle has been multiplied as the embassy entered "countdown" mode in anticipation of Secretary Clinton's return.
The Secretary is here to attend the East Asia Summit -- an historic first for the United States, leading up to President Obama's full participation at next year's EAS in Indonesia. Secretary Clinton's trip also includes a Lower Mekong Initiative working breakfast, as well as other meetings with leaders from throughout the region. You can read more about the Secretary's visit to Vietnam here.
In order to facilitate broad media coverage of both the visit and our Asia-Pacific foreign policy objectives laid out in the Secretary's recent Hawaii speech, the Embassy Hanoi public affairs team has been in constant coordination within the entire embassy and with Washington, traveling staffers, the government of Vietnam, and dozens of reporters hungry for a story. The stage is set.
The Secretary's plane touched down, and all of our planning will soon be put to the test.