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History's Shadow

Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang has held talks with Barack Obama at the White House in only the second such meeting since the restoration of US-Vietnamese ties in 1995. Whilst Mr Obama acknowledged the “extraordinarily complex” history between the two states, there is genuine belief that bilateral relations are entering a new era.

Nobody will forget the Vietnam War. Those that fought in it experienced some of the harshest battle conditions known to man. Even those born some time after the American withdrawal will be imbued with a sense of its importance thanks to modern education curriculums and Hollywood movies. It is a war that cannot and should not be forgotten.

That said, historical enmity should not be a barrier to future development. America has been particularly impressive in following this mantra. It is hard to imagine today what bitter enemies the US and Japan were during WWII, such are…

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