Vietnamese residents look to set their own identity as nation expands US relations

In this Feb. 26, 2023, file photo, people eat at various street restaurants in the Hoan Kiem neighborhood in Hanoi., remnants of its centuries of colonialism and war are scattered among the city’s more modern structures.

In this Feb. 26, 2023, file photo, people eat at various street restaurants in the Hoan Kiem neighborhood in Hanoi.But Vietnam’s most recent history is its bloodiest. Less than 50 years ago, more than a million people died in the Vietnam War, both soldiers and civilians. Almost 60,000 Americans also lost their lives as they fought forces allied with the Communist government in the country’s south.

Welcomed amidst national fanfare, observers see the president’s interest in Asia as an attempt to counter China’s looming influence over the region. Still, many Vietnamese people have mixed feelings about building closer ties with their former foe. Entrepreneur Nguyen Thanh Nam, who narrowly survived the brutality of the Vietnam War, said he doesn’t necessarily view America as a reliable partner.Vietnamese entrepreneur Nguyen Thanh Nam speaks with ABC News.Nam co-founded the online education platform Funix, which helps Vietnamese students learn tech-related skills.

A grandfather told Wang that his grandchildren have a better future than he did because of the new alliance.MORE: 5 things to watch as Biden travels to India for G20, Vietnam to announce partnership Vietnamese entrepreneur Nguyen Thanh Nam and ABC News’ Selina Wang enter a rubber shoe store in Hanoi.”There are more opportunities for me, so I can make money and travel the world,” she told Wang.

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