Across the country, teachers are teaming up with USIP to integrate peacebuilding into their curriculum. One of these peace teachers, Erin Sullivan, and her student Michelle Mao discuss how their school in Wilmington, Delaware, recently worked with The 2 Sides Project on its “peace homes” rehabilitation program in Vietnam, which connects donors with Vietnamese families in need of major renovations or a completely new home. Together, they raised the money needed to help renovate the flood-prone home of the Cong family in Ho Chi Minh City — and even donated extra funds to buy two desks for the family’s school-aged children.

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Vietnam’s leaders have engaged with the presidents of the United States and China over the past few months. While some might see this effort as a “balancing act” in response to U.S.-China competition, it is, in fact, an indication of a long-standing but still highly relevant Vietnamese foreign policy tradition: the diversification of international relations.

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The comprehensive strategic partnership announced during President Biden’s trip to Vietnam marks 50 years of progress between the two countries and an “upgrade of the U.S.-Vietnam relationship to the highest level,” says USIP’s Andrew Wells-Dang, while adding a caveat that “it doesn’t mean Vietnam is becoming a U.S. ally.”

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