News / Asia

Clinton Promotes US Investment, Human Rights in Vietnam

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (L) poses for a photo with Vietnam's Communist Party's General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong at the Party's Head Office in Hanoi, July 10, 2012.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (L) poses for a photo with Vietnam's Communist Party's General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong at the Party's Head Office in Hanoi, July 10, 2012.
HANOI — U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is in Vietnam where she is promoting U.S. investment and raising human rights concerns.

Secretary Clinton says the Obama administration is looking for ways to expand trade and investment with Vietnam, which was up 17 percent between 2010 and 2011 to nearly $22 billion.

General Electric has two new deals: a $36 million steam turbine project and a $50 million capacitor project to increase efficiency and allow Vietnam to better regulate its national energy grid.

Clinton says a new regional trade agreement called the Trans-Pacific Partnership will lower trade barriers between Brunei, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, New Zealand, Australia, Peru, Chile, and the United States.

Economists say Vietnam would be one of the countries to benefit most from the deal, which partners hope to conclude by the end of the year.

Vietnamese Foreign Minister Phan Binh Minh says the agreement will further accelerate trade with the United States.

The foreign minister says trade between the United States and Vietnam is increasing every day - important investments that include some of the world's largest companies such as Microsoft, Cargill, and ExxonMobil. This is the potential to develop a better economic future for both countries, he says, and open opportunities for everyone in Vietnam.

Speaking to reporters in Hanoi after her meeting with Foreign Minister Minh, Clinton said the Trans-Pacific Partnership will also raise standards for labor conditions, environmental protections, and intellectual property.

"Higher standards are important because if Vietnam is going to continue developing and transition to an innovative, entrepreneurial economy for the 21st century, there will have to be more space created for the free exchange of ideas to strengthen the rule of law and respect the universal rights of all workers, including the right to unionize," said Clinton.

The latest State Department human rights report says Vietnamese political rights are severely restricted, that national assembly elections are neither free nor fair, and that the justice system is strongly distorted by political influence and endemic corruption.

"So I also raised concerns about human rights, including the continued detention of activists, lawyers and bloggers for the peaceful expression of opinions and ideas," said Clinton. "In particular, we are concerned about restrictions on free expression online and the upcoming trial of the founders of the so-called Free Journalist Club."

Those bloggers are charged with conducting propaganda against the state through the Club for Free Journalists, which was established in 2007 to promote independent journalism and freedom of expression.

Vietnam says the State Department human rights report makes regrettable conclusions and "partial remarks based on inaccurate information."

Clinton says single-party states kill innovation and discourage entrepreneurship, which are vital for sustainable growth.

"I know there are some who argue that developing economies need to put economic growth first and worry about political reform and democracy later," she said. "But that is a short-sighted bargain. Democracy and prosperity go hand-in-hand. Political reform and economic growth are linked."

During her talks with Vietnamese leaders, Secretary Clinton pledged continued help in cleaning up the dioxin defoliant Agent Orange used by the U.S. military during the Vietnam War.

The two countries are also working to identify the remains of missing U.S. and Vietnamese soldiers from the conflict. The bodies of nearly 700 Americans have been identified and repatriated since 1995. Nearly 1,300 military personnel remain missing in action.

Secretary Clinton is using this trip to reinforce Washington's so-called "Asia pivot" after more than a decade of focusing on Iraq and Afghanistan.

You May Like

Cambodia Seeks Official UN Maps for Vietnam Border

Notice of request comes as 2 countries open border talks Tuesday after a clash last month More

From South Africa to Vietnam, Cyclists Deliver Message Against Rhino Horns

Appalled by poaching they saw firsthand, sisters embark on tour to raise awareness in countries where rhino horn products are in demand More

Uber Wants Johannesburg Police Protection

Request follows recent protests outside ride-hailing service's Johannesburg office More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: John from: North Carolina
July 11, 2012 9:53 AM
If we hold to tradition, U.S. business interests will be served at the expense of human rights and religious freedom. The Obama administration, much like the Bush regime, makes a weak show of asserting the importance of human rights, but significant contributions by U.S. corporations politically will negate any change in human rights. We should be ashamed that our greatest allies during the war, the Montagnards and Khmer Krom, are thrown on the alter of capitalism as a sacrifice. Shame on Obama, Clinton and the State Department. This country no longer stands for the priceless values of freedom.

by: Jacques de Goldfiem from: France
July 10, 2012 3:30 PM
What is most important for Hilary Clinton ? Business or Human rights ?
In Response

by: Peter from: Texas
July 11, 2012 3:59 PM
It's not important for her, in fact there no longer any difference between who is "officially" in power in the USA. Correct answer: Human rights of exploited people is always of a great interest for the rulers of the USA (in terms of increasing the number). Since Reagan, freedom and democracy has steadily decline in the USA and all is left the only fading glimpse of what it use to be.

by: Raymond Murdock from: Washington DC
July 10, 2012 10:28 AM
This note could be called "a smiling woman in the world of the men and the politics" is not you forgive nothing. With this firmness subtle with that Mrs. Clinton works. Lack chivalry, kindness in the protocols. DON'T they?

by: Adam Bray from: Phnom Penh
July 10, 2012 8:56 AM
But what about Vietnam's American prisoner, Nguyen Quoc Quan? A peaceful, pro-democracy activist and American citizen, he is being held indefinitely in Vietnam and threatened with the possibility of execution. How can Mrs. Clinton offer Vietnam further US Aid yet leave him a prisoner at the mercy of Communist Vietnam?
In Response

by: Cả Thộn from: Hà Nội
July 10, 2012 6:44 PM
Hillary gave lectures to the deaf Communist ears, what a joke !

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
New Implant Could Help Restore Movement to Paralyzed Limbsi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
Maia Pujara
July 07, 2015 10:01 PM
A half-million people suffer spinal cord injuries each year because of car accidents, serious falls and diseases, according to the World Health Organization. Researchers are now working on a soft but strong spinal cord implant that could one day restore movement in paralyzed individuals. VOA’s Maia Pujara reports.
Video

Video New Implant Could Help Restore Movement to Paralyzed Limbs

A half-million people suffer spinal cord injuries each year because of car accidents, serious falls and diseases, according to the World Health Organization. Researchers are now working on a soft but strong spinal cord implant that could one day restore movement in paralyzed individuals. VOA’s Maia Pujara reports.
Video

Video Getting it Done Beyond a Nuclear Deal

If a nuclear deal is reached between Iran and world powers in Vienna, it will be a highly technical road map to be used to monitor nuclear activity in Iran for years to come to ensure Tehran does not make nuclear weapons. Equally as complicated will be dismantling international sanctions that were originally intended to be ironclad. VOA’s Heather Murdock talks to experts about the key challenges any deal will present.
Video

Video Rice Farmers Frustrated As Drought Grips Thailand

A severe drought in Thailand is limiting the growing season of the country’s important rice crop. Farmers are blaming the government for not doing more to protect a key export. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Video

Video Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugees

In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video 'From This Day Forward' Reveals Difficult Journey of Transgender Parent

In her documentary, "From This Day Forward", filmmaker Sharon Shattuck reveals the personal journey of her transgender father, as he told his family that he always felt he was a woman inside and decided to live as one. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Floodwaters Threaten Iconic American Home

The Farnsworth House in the Midwest State of Illinois is one of the most iconic homes in America. Thousands of tourists visit the site every year. Its location near a river inspired the design of the house, but, as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, that very location is now threatening the existence of this National Historic Landmark.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.

VOA Blogs