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

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years 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.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs