News / Asia

Clinton: Democracy Key to Economic Growth

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, right, and Mongolian President Elbegdorj Tsakhia arrive at the International Women's Leadership Forum held inside Parliament in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, July 9, 2012.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, right, and Mongolian President Elbegdorj Tsakhia arrive at the International Women's Leadership Forum held inside Parliament in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, July 9, 2012.
ULAANBAATAR — U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is in Mongolia where she is championing the economic benefits of democracy on a trip meant to reinforce the Obama administration's pivot toward Asia.

Secretary Clinton says her trip reflects a strategic priority of U.S. foreign policy: after ten years in which the United States had to focus on conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, Washington is now boosting diplomatic, economic and strategic investments in Asia.

"We want to help build an open, stable and just regional order in the Asia-Pacific based on norms and institutions that benefit all nations and all peoples," she said.

Washington's so-called Asia pivot has been seen warily by China, especially the realignment of U.S. military forces and calls for greater civil liberties.

In a speech to the International Women's Leadership Forum in the Mongolian capital, Secretary Clinton did not mention China by name. Instead, she compared authoritarian rule with political progress in Taiwan, Burma, Thailand, the Philippines and East Timor.

"These and other achievements across the region show what is possible," she said. "And, they stand in stark contrast to those governments that continue to resist reforms, that work around the clock to restrict people's access to ideas and information, to imprison them for expressing their views, to usurp the rights of citizens to choose their leaders, to govern without accountability, to corrupt the economic progress of the country and take the riches unto themselves."

Although Clinton says there are some countries in Asia that have made economic progress without political liberalism, she calls those short-term gains.

"Countries that want to be open for business but closed to free expression will find the approach comes with a cost. It kills innovation and discourages entrepreneurship, which are vital for sustainable growth," she said.

Clinton says together, security, economic progress and common values undergird Washington's vision of a region that is peaceful and prosperous.

"We need to make the 21st Century a time in which people across Asia don't only become wealthy. They must also become more free," she said.

Here in Mongolia there is some concern about the April arrest of the former president Nambaryn Enkhbayar on corruption charges. Secretary Clinton met privately with the current president, Tsakhia Elbegdorj, at the downtown Government House.

A senior State Department official says Washington celebrates a series of successful elections in Mongolia while stressing that the international community is watching how the rule of law is applied.

In her public comments, Secretary Clinton praised President Elbegdorj as an example for the region, saying, "If you want to see democracy in action, if you want to see progress being shaped by leaders more concerned about lifting up their people than fattening up their bank accounts, come to Mongolia."

From Mongolia, the secretary of state travels to Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia where she will join regional foreign ministers at a meeting of the Association of South East Asian Nations. Those talks are expected to include political reforms in Burma and the Chinese/Vietnamese/Filipino standoff over the South China Sea.

You May Like

Tired of Waiting, South Africans Demand Change ‘Now’

With chronic poverty and lack of basic services largely fueling recent xenophobic attacks, many in Rainbow Nation say it’s time for government to act More

Challenges Ahead for China's Development Plans in Pakistan

Planned $46 billion in energy and infrastructure investments in Pakistan are aimed at transforming the country into a regional hub for trade and investment More

'Forbidden City' Revisits Little Known Era of Asian-American Entertainment

Little-known chapter of entertainment history captured in 80s documentary is revisited in new digitally remastered format and book More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Raymond Murdock from: Washington DC
July 09, 2012 7:04 PM
Mrs. Clinton with her smile the tension and is more comfortable

by: rgw1946 from: usa
July 09, 2012 12:31 PM
Johnathon ... career politicians will say and do anything to keep the lime light..same with the appointeeeeees... these CLOWNS have no clue on Economics..nor a working persons point of view..nor the Biz. side..just the GIVE ME of government mind set...>> pass around<<

by: Jonathon Galt from: here
July 09, 2012 11:20 AM
Hillary seems to be somewhat confused. Economic growth is not a function of government, but of the people, who when are most free to pursue their self interests and compete with one another do so in ways that benefit all. True economic growth is a result of those who create wealth, not simply a function of recycling what exists a greater number of times.
In Response

by: Vaméri from: US
July 09, 2012 4:02 PM
Your explanation seems good because you live in a democratic country. You may not know exactly how business people do in China, Vietnam where democracy does not exist. Their economy maybe having some growth now but can they sustain that growth? Do general public there enjoy wealth or just a few elite groups?

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festivali
X
April 24, 2015 4:09 AM
Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video TIME Magazine Honors Activists, Pioneers Seen as Influential

TIME Magazine has released its list of celebrities, leaders and activists, whom it deems the world’s “most influential” in 2015. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports from New York.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Keeping Washington Airspace Safe Is Tall Order

Being the home of all three branches of the U.S. federal government makes Washington, D.C. the prime target for those who want to make their messages and ideas heard. Unfortunately, many of them choose to deliver them in unorthodox ways, including from the air, as a recent incident clearly showed involving a gyrocopter landing on the Capitol’s West Lawn. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.
Video

Video Hope, Prayer Enter Fight Against S. Africa Xenophobia

South Africa has been swept by disturbing attacks on foreign nationals. Some blame the attacks on a legacy of colonialism, while others say the economy is to blame. Whatever the cause, ordinary South Africans - and South African residents from around the world - say they're praying for the siege of violence to end. Anita Powell reports from Johannesburg.

VOA Blogs