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International relations

Australia to upgrade Vietnam ties, foreign minister says

Penny Wong touts shared interest in protecting nations 'regardless of size'

Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong tells Vietnamese college students in Ho Chi Minh City that both countries want to "not be encroached upon or be unable to [prosper] because of a greater power" on Aug. 23. (Photo by Lien Hoang)

HO CHI MINH CITY -- Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong said her country will elevate official ties with Vietnam out of shared interests in a global order that protects countries "regardless of size or power."

Wong said Hanoi and Canberra are moving closer as "the world is being reshaped" by challenges like geopolitics and climate change, which she also called a business opportunity. Both countries have been on the front line of strategic salvos from China, which spars with Vietnam over the South China Sea and barred exports from Australia after Canberra sought an inquiry into the COVID outbreak.

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