News / Asia

Economic Issues Dominate Clinton's Asia Tour

Vietnam's Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh (R) looks at U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as they walk to the meeting room at the Government Guest House in Hanoi, July 10, 2012.
Vietnam's Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh (R) looks at U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as they walk to the meeting room at the Government Guest House in Hanoi, July 10, 2012.
VOA News
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is expected to focus more on economic than military concerns as she tours Southeast Asia this week.

Clinton, who arrived in Vietnam Tuesday, is scheduled to announce a series of proposals aimed at expanding U.S. investment and exports in a region that boasts some of the world's fastest growing economies.

But increased U.S. economic activity in Southeast Asia is likely to be viewed as a challenge by China, which has already voiced opposition to the Obama administration's new strategic focus on the Pacific.

Since Washington's "pivot" toward Asia was announced last year, the U.S. has renewed military ties with several countries - including the Philippines and Vietnam - which share U.S. concerns over China's rising economic power and military assertiveness.

Analysts expect Clinton to downplay U.S.-China friction when she attends a meeting of regional foreign ministers in Cambodia on Wednesday, saying she will emphasize Washington's desire for cooperation with Beijing.

Carl Thayer, a Southeast Asia securities expert at the University of New South Wales, tells VOA that Clinton will stress that the Obama administration is not only focused on the region for military purposes.

"The rebalancing we're going to hear is economic engagement with the region and America's interest in education, health promotion, environmental and water management along the Mekong [River], that there are a whole raft of other issues that the U.S. is going to be engaged with to rebalance, so that the view that the U.S. is only interested in military confrontation with China is a second component of the rebalancing," said Thayer.

Later this week, Clinton will host a large gathering of U.S. business executives in Cambodia to discuss ways of increasing U.S. exports to the region. She is also expected to roll out what officials describe as "very substantial new resources" for nations along the Mekong River.

But even as Clinton focuses on furthering economic ties, differences with China seem certain to surface. In Mongolia Monday, Clinton linked economic growth to democracy, in what was seen by many as a veiled criticism of China.

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

She said in the Mongolian capital of Ulaanbaatar that support for democracy and human rights is the "heart" of the United States' strategy in Asia.

For its part, China lashed out Tuesday against the increased U.S. presence in the region. An article in the Communist Party-controlled Global Times insisted that the goal of Washington's pivot toward Asia is to contain China - an allegation the U.S. has repeatedly denied.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

You May Like

Lebanese Media Unite to Support Palestinians in Gaza

Joint newscast billed as Arab world’s first unified news bulletin in support of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip More

Photogallery Australian PM Alleges ‘Coverup’ at MH17 Crash Site

Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to Malaysia denies plane's black boxes were opened before they were handed over to Malaysian officials More

Despite Advances in AIDS Treatment, Stigma Lingers

Leading immunologist tells VOA that stigma is often what prevents those infected with disease from seeking treatment More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: John from: United States
July 11, 2012 10:25 AM
The interest of the Obama administration and the State Department is purely economic. They posture human rights as a requirement for increased trade, but in reality they don't care. U.S corporations are spending big money, contributions to Obama's re-election to increase corporate profits on the backs of those suffering from human rights abuses and religious oppression. The greatest democracy in the world doesn't care whether other countries practice the same form of freedom, just improve our economy. So much for those great allies who gave all during the Vietnam conflict, the Montagnards, Hmong, Khmer Krom, and the Vietnamese heroes of human rights. On behalf of all Americans, I apologize for letting you down.


by: Reiner from: Berlin
July 11, 2012 8:47 AM
="goal of Washington's pivot toward Asia is to contain China, an allegation the U.S. has repeatedly denied"?
But its an allegation we all agree which is a number one task of US sinister geopolitical agenda.


by: Anonymous
July 10, 2012 6:47 PM
Hillary Clinton talked trades only,because Obama needs votes and Hillary can keep her job for another 4 years.


by: riano from: indonesia
July 10, 2012 7:05 AM
I think military issues and tension in this area must be change with economics issues and bring loans and grant for economic develop to ASEAN's countries for rise ours GNP.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
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.
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.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid