Trump-Kim summit: Comparing the two hosts, Singapore and Vietnam
Hanoi, Feb 27: When Singapore was announced to be the host of the first summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, not many were surprised for the South-east Asian city-state always had the reputation of holding key international meetings efficiently.
It had hosted a high-profile meeting between the top leaderships of China and Taiwan in 2015. It also hosts the Shangri La Dialogue ever year which is attended by scores of world leaders and representatives.
The summit between Trump and Kim on June 12 last year was another feather that the city-state added to its crown. Singapore's reputation as an efficient and neutral host and its close relation with both North Korea and the US made it a right candidate to organise the stage for the maiden summit between a sitting American president and the leader of the hermit kingdom.
Vietnam has also come up fast as a host
Vietnam, the host to the second summit, though lacks the reputation that Singapore has for efficient management and also trails the latter in terms of economy (in 2017, Vietnam's GDP was almost 223.7 million USD while that of Singapore was 324 million USD), it still has made a name of its own.
In 2017, the Southeast Asian nation hosted events of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation where top leaders like Trump and his Russian and Chinese counterparts, namely, Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping, were present. Vietnam also hosted the regional World Economic Forum in 2018 which suggests that it is no novice as a host.
Vietnam's hosting a top-profile meeting between Trump and Kim also tells a remarkable tale of its journey from being a divided Cold War foe into one of the planet's fastest growing economies.
The country was once a blue-eyed boy of communists, thanks to the resilience it had shown against American aggression between 1955-75, but today it has become one of the dream destinations for capitalists across the world for its economic potential.
The transformation of the country is among the most exciting the planet has seen although it is still ruled by the communist party. According to one section, the second summit is being held in Vietnam to convince Kim that modelling Vietnam's post-war path could make it a similarly prosperous nation.