Ted came to appreciate how important food is in Vietnamese culture. The great care in bringing together fresh ingredients and subtle spices makes every Vietnamese meal special, whether it is a quick bánh mì or phở, or a several-course meal.
I discussed three aspects of the U.S.-Vietnam economic partnership: (1) Why has Vietnam vaulted into the shortlist of countries of the greatest interest to American investors? (2) Why does the smart handling of the COVID-19 pandemic mean prospects continue to be good? and (3) a few thoughts about the tech industry and digital transformation.
The press had begun referring to Đỗ Nguyễn Mai Khôi as “Vietnam’s Lady Gaga.” A talented singer and songwriter, and a strong supporter of LGBT+ rights, Mai Khôi seemed to enjoy provoking the authorities. Commenting on her star power, ABC News said, “She’s been called the Lady Gaga of Vietnam, but Mai Khôi arguably has less in common with Gaga than the Russian activist group, Pussy Riot.”
In 2016, when Hollywood director Jordan Vogt-Roberts asked to film Kong: Skull Island in three locations in Vietnam, the government in Hanoi encouraged him and offered support. Officials in Hạ Long Bay, Quảng Bình and Ninh Bình provinces made the filmmakers, cast and crew feel welcome.
I liked and respected Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc. On May 30, 2017, Prime Minister Phúc arrived in the United States, the first stop of a trip whose centerpiece would be a meeting with President Donald Trump at the White House.