Vietnam, a country rich in historical heritage, vibrant culture, and unwavering perseverance, has not only established itself as one of the leading forces in its region but has also become a significant presence on the global platform. A significant aspect of Vietnam's foreign policy is the establishment of comprehensive strategic partnerships with various countries. These partnerships signify Vietnam's commitment to fostering deeper relations, expanding economic cooperation, and addressing global challenges. In this article, we will explore Vietnam's comprehensive strategic partnerships, the countries involved, and the diverse types of partnership relations that Vietnam has meticulously forged. 

Types of Partnership Relations in Vietnam

1. Special Relationships

Vietnam has established a unique and significant diplomatic status known as the "Special Relationship." This designation is reserved for nations that share a profound strategic alignment and conscious will in their international affairs. In essence, Vietnam's Special Relationship signifies not only a strategic ally but also a comprehensive strategic partner across all domains of cooperation.

This distinctive status underscores the depth and breadth of Vietnam's commitment to its international partners. It goes beyond the traditional boundaries of diplomatic engagement, as it encompasses a holistic collaboration that spans political, economic, security, and cultural dimensions. The term "Special Relationship" encapsulates the exceptional level of trust, mutual support, and shared objectives that exist between Vietnam and its strategic allies. To date, Vietnam has established special relationships with countries such as Laos, Cambodia, and Cuba.

2. Strategic Partnership Relationships

Vietnam's foreign policy is characterized by a network of strategic partnerships with countries across the globe. These partnerships come in various forms, each serving specific purposes and objectives. Currently, Vietnam maintains strategic partnership relations with 18 countries, encompassing three distinct types:

Comprehensive Strategic Partners - are the highest level of partnership Vietnam establishes with other nations. These partnerships are marked by extensive collaboration across numerous significant areas, including politics, economics, security, and culture. They are founded on a commitment to long-term mutual interests, support, and the promotion of deep and comprehensive cooperation. Building strategic trust is a central aspect of these partnerships. As of now, Vietnam has Comprehensive Strategic Partnerships with several key countries.

Strategic Partnership Relations - These partnerships, while strategic, do not carry the term "comprehensive." They may focus on specific aspects of cooperation, such as economic, political, or cultural collaboration. Strategic Partnership Relations are still vital and involve goals set for the long term. They allow for flexible cooperation in various fields without limiting the scope of engagement. 

Strategic Partners in Specific Fields - Vietnam also engages in strategic partnerships with other countries in particular sectors of interest. These partnerships may concentrate on specific areas like trade, defense, education, technology, or culture. They offer opportunities for in-depth cooperation and mutually beneficial collaboration in specialized fields.

As of the present date, Vietnam has strategically partnered with 18 countries, illustrating its commitment to fostering international relations and cooperation across various fronts. These partnerships contribute significantly to Vietnam's global presence and its diplomatic endeavors on the international stage. Each type of partnership serves to strengthen ties, create opportunities, and promote mutually beneficial initiatives, further enhancing Vietnam's role in the global community.

3. Comprehensive Partnership Relationships 

Vietnam has solidified comprehensive strategic partnerships with several key nations, signifying the highest level of cooperation. These partnerships encompass a wide array of collaborations, including political, economic, security, and cultural aspects. A comprehensive strategic partnership, also known as a comprehensive cooperative strategic partnership, signifies a commitment between two or more parties to foster long-term interests, mutual support, and promote deep and comprehensive cooperation across all areas that are mutually beneficial. Simultaneously, it involves building strategic trust among the parties.

Currently, a comprehensive strategic partnership stands at the highest level within Vietnam's diplomatic partnership hierarchy. In the context of a comprehensive strategic partnership, the parties establish enduring ties, provide mutual support, and drive extensive and comprehensive cooperation across all fields that are mutually advantageous, aiming to build strategic trust among them.

The hierarchy of Vietnam's foreign partners

As of the current date, Vietnam has established strategic partnerships, comprehensive strategic partnerships with 18 countries; and comprehensive partnerships with 12 countries. Among these, Vietnam recently signed a comprehensive strategic partnership with the United States in September 2023, bringing the total number of comprehensive strategic partnership relations to 5 countries. These include China (2008), Russia (2012), India (2016), South Korea (2022), and the United States (2023). Here is the hierarchy of all of Vietnam's partnership relations, including strategic partners, comprehensive partners, and comprehensive strategic partners.

The hierarchy of Vietnam's foreign partners

The hierarchy of Vietnam's foreign partners


Kông Anh, & Trà Khánh (2023, September 12). 5 Đối tác chiến lược toàn diện của Việt Nam. VTC News.


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