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

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies More

Judge Declares Washington DC Ban on Public Handguns Unconstitutional

Ruling overturns capital city's prohibition on carrying guns in pubic More

Pricey Hepatitis C Drug Draws Criticism

Activists are using the International AIDS Conference to criticize drug companies for charging high prices for life-saving therapies 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.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid