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Obama to make historic visit to Vietnam

US President Barack Obama left Washington on Sunday for his first visit to Vietnam, a trip aimed at sealing the transformation of an old enemy into a new partner to help counter China's growing assertiveness. Four decades after the Vietnam War, Obama was expected to use the visit to deepen defence and economic ties with the country's communist government. "What we want to demonstrate with this visit is a significant upgrade in the relationship between the United States and Vietnam ... even as we have areas of difference," Ben Rhodes, Obama's deputy national security adviser, told the Reuters news agency. 

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