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

As US Strikes Syria, China Sees Parallels at Home

Beijing is debating how much support to give international coalition against IS militants and trying to figure out how many Chinese nationals may have joined group overseas More

CDC: Ebola Could Infect 1.4 M by 2015

US health officials say if efforts to curb the outbreak are not increased, cases will soar dramatically by early next year More

Video USAID Provides $231 Million for Girls Education in 5 Countries

US Agency for International Development partners with celebrities to call attention to importance of education for girls worldwide 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.
Washington to Pyongyang: 'Shut This Evil System Down'i
X
Scott Stearns
September 23, 2014 10:52 PM
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is calling on North Korea to shut down prison camps and other human rights abuses following a United Nations Commission of Inquiry into "widespread and systematic human rights violations." VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Washington to Pyongyang: 'Shut This Evil System Down'

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is calling on North Korea to shut down prison camps and other human rights abuses following a United Nations Commission of Inquiry into "widespread and systematic human rights violations." VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video US, Gulf Allies Strike Islamic State Militants in Syria

United States forces have carried out strikes against Islamic State or ISIL militant positions in Syria - the first time Western forces have taken action on Syrian soil. Five U.S. allies from the Gulf joined the military action. Local reports suggest dozens of militants were killed. The U.S. also carried out unilateral missile strikes against a Syria-based terror group which Washington says poses an imminent threat to the West. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video High Intensity Focused Ultrasound Used to Kill Cancer Tumor

There is a new way of killing certain cancer tumors that allows the patient to go home on the same day. Surgeons at the Keck Medical Center of the University of Southern California became the first doctors to use this procedure on a patient with the help of high intensity focused ultrasound, or HIFU, and new robotic technology. Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.
Video

Video USAID Provides $231 Million for Girls Education in Five Countries

Hollywood stars Alicia Keys, Jennifer Garner and 30 others have voiced their support for a U.S.-backed initiative called "Let Girls Learn." The $231 million program, funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development, is aimed at ensuring public and quality education for girls worldwide. As VOA's Mariama Diallo reports, this new program will focus on five countries in Africa, South Asia, Latin America and the Middle East.
Video

Video UN: Relocation of Bedouins in Israel Weakens Two-state Solution

Rural Bedouins living in disputed lands east of Jerusalem could soon find themselves forcibly relocated. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Jerusalem that while Israel defends the move as in the Bedouins’ best interests, the United Nations says the plan threatens the survival of the two-state solution with Palestinians.
Video

Video NASA’s MAVEN Probe Enters Mars Orbit

NASA’s newest Mars probe, called MAVEN, has successfully entered its designated orbit around the Red Planet. Scientists will use its sophisticated instruments to try to learn what happened to the atmosphere Mars had a few billion years ago. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Prolonged Drought Plagues SW Oklahoma Farmers

Parts of western Texas and southwestern Oklahoma have been in drought conditions for several years running and the deficit in rainfall has taken a heavy toll on cotton and grain production. Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin says the state has suffered $2 billion in agricultural losses since 2011. There has been rain in recent weeks, but, as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Altus, Oklahoma, for most farmers it has been too late.
Video

Video For West Ukraine City, Conflict Far Away Yet Near

The western Ukrainian city of Lviv prides itself on being both physically and culturally close to Western Europe. The Russian-backed separatists in the eastern part of the country are 1,200 kilometers away, and seemingly even farther away in their world view. Still, as VOA’s Al Pessin reports, the war is having an impact in Lviv.
Video

Video Saving Global Fish Stocks Starts in the Kitchen

With an estimated 90 percent of the world’s larger fish populations having already vanished, a growing number of people in the seafood industry are embracing the concept of sustainable fishing and farming practices. One American marine biologist turned restaurateur in Thailand is spreading the word among fellow chefs and customers. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Chinese Admiral Key in China’s Promotion of Sea Links

China’s President last week wrapped up landmark visits to India, Sri Lanka and Maldives, part of a broader campaign to promote a new “Maritime Silk Road” in Asia. The Chinese government’s promotion efforts rely heavily on the country’s best-known sailor, a 15th century eunuch named Zheng He. VOA's Bill Ide reports from the sailor’s hometown in Yunnan on the effort to promote China’s future by recalling its past.
Video

Video Experts Fear Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’

Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid