On Thursday, Oct. 27, Ambassador to Vietnam Michael Marine spoke at UC Irvine’s Cross-Cultural Center about current issues concerning Vietnam.
Marine attended Loyola Marymount University, became captain in the U.S. Marine Corps and graduated from UC Santa Barbara, where he majored in Chinese history and earned summa cum laude. Marine speaks French, Mandarin and German, and has served in the Foreign Services for over 30 years in various countries.
This month was Marine’s first visit to Orange County and UCI as ambassador, and was awed by the apparent Asian culture on our campus.
‘I am impressed with the tremendous Southeast Asia archives and obvious connection between UCI and Southeast Asia and Asia in general,’ Marine said. ‘The ‘Asianness’ of the campus population is obvious to even a casual visitor like myself.’
In regard to the relationship between the United States and Vietnam, Marine expressed that both countries have significantly progressed.
‘Without question we have made significant progress in recent years [between the United States and Vietnam],’ Marine said. ‘President Bush received Prime Minister Phan Van Khai at the White house in June, the first visit to the United States by a sitting Vietnamese prime minister to the United States. This year has presented numerous opportunities to strengthen our relationship. Very few countries have fought against each other and been able to establish the relationship that we have so quickly.’
According to Marine, the most significant cornerstone in the relationship between the United States and Vietnam is the growth in economics and business.
‘Since 2001, bilateral two-way trade has tripled