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.
TEXT SIZE - +
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

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 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.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid