Vietnam’s human rights achievements have boosted Vietnam - US relationship

The upcoming visit of US President Barack Obama to Vietnam is set to promote multifaced links between the two nations. According to officials from the White House, during his first ever visit to Vietnam, President Obama will hold official meetings with Vietnam's leaders to discuss ways for the US-Vietnam Comprehensive Partnership to advance the bilateral cooperation across a wide range of fields, including economics, people-to-people, education, security, human rights as well as regional and international issues of common concern. 
Vietnam-US relations recorded extraordinary developments over the last two decades. Vietnam News Agency correspondents in the US quoted Admund Malesky, an associate professor of political economy at the US’s Duke University, saying that this will be a historical visit, which will be likely to strengthen cooperation in many fields from trade, education to energy. 
The Vietnam-US relationship has experienced bilateral and multilateral cooperation mechanisms after the two sides normalized relations 21 years ago.  Links in security-defense, education, science-technology, and climate change prevention between the two countries made significant progresses with the signing of the Joint Vision Statement in 2015. 
Obama will be the third US consecutive president visiting Vietnam after Bill Clinton in 2000 became the first to visit since the end of the Vietnam War and George W. Bush visited in 2006. The Obama administration has sought to improve relations with Hanoi at a time when Vietnam has signaled a shift to the West as a hedge against China's increasingly aggressive strategy in the South China Sea. Maritime security and the freedom of navigation in that crucial shipping corridor are among the main topics of the summit here. Vietnam is also a member of the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership, an expansive trade and regulatory pact that includes the United States, Japan, Mexico and Australia.
The full removal of the embargo – something Vietnam has long sought – would sweep away one of the last major vestiges of the Vietnam War era and advance the normalization of relations begun 21 years ago. It would also likely anger Beijing, which condemned Obama’s partial lifting of the arms ban in 2014 as an interference in the region’s balance of power.
On one side of the internal debate, some White House and State Department aides say it would be premature to completely end restrictions on lethal military assistance before Vietnam’s communist government has made more progress on human rights.
Yes, once again, human rights are still a contentious issue that stands in the way of a deeper reconciliation between the former foes. The U.S. caused many pains and losses for the country and people of Vietnam in the wars. Now, after 21 years of relationship normalization, Two-way trade increased 90 times from 1994’s figure to 45 billion USD last year, and the figure is expected to be greater after the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement is officially approved. President Obama will witness Vietnam’s strong development and increasing expansion of bilateral ties, he noted. And, there is also many positive signs and achievements in human rights.
 It can be seen that there are many self-nominees who are not members of the Communist Party of Vietnam in the 14th National Assembly’s election which is also held at the same time of the trip. That’s obviously an vivid evidence all can see.
But, it’s such a pity that many U.S. officials still cling on misunderstandings and prejudices about Vietnam’s human rights situation. They are at odds with other officials, including many at the Pentagon, who argue bolstering Vietnam’s ability to counter a rising China should take priority, according to people with knowledge of the discussions.
While a number of U.S. lawmakers favor closer military ties with Vietnam because of shared concerns about China, others have deep misgivings.
Democratic U.S. Representative Loretta Sanchez, a member of the Congressional Caucus on Vietnam who also has a large Vietnamese-American voting bloc in her California district, said lifting the embargo would be “giving a free pass to a government that continually harasses, detains and imprisons its citizens.”
Loretta Sanchez should come to Vietnam herself and witness Vietnam’s progresses not just human rights but many sectors. Other famous senior who even a former prisoner in wars, Mr. McCain, said the U.S. has learned that lesson, and service members and veterans are routinely celebrated at sporting events and public occasions nowadays. But for some veterans, Mr. Obama’s visit is likely to stir bitter memories of their rejection, he said.
Mr. McCain, a Republican of Arizona, said his efforts to help normalize relations between Vietnam and the United States were among the proudest accomplishments of his life, and he said he had been to Vietnam so often since the war’s end that “I’m recognized more in the streets of Hanoi than I am in Phoenix.”
According to Daniel Russel, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, President Obama will discuss five essential matters during his trip to Vietnam. In those, the two nations will continue working with each other to improve Vietnamese law and respect human rights, which is an important aspect of the U.S.-Vietnam partnership.               
        The two sides will discuss and work together to expand their collaboration in human rights and legal reforms in Viet Nam in accordance with the country’s 2013 Constitution as well as universal standards./.
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All comments [ 11 ]

Gentle Moon 22/5/16 08:59

In a historic move, the United States may consider lifting an arms embargo on Vietnam in line with U.S. President Barack Obama’s visit.

LawrenceSamuels 22/5/16 09:04

The move would be historic in the context of U.S.-Vietnam defense ties and the comprehensive partnership more generally, an end to the embargo would be a clear indication that relations have been fully normalized.

Deck Hero14 22/5/16 09:10

Vietnam granted early release from prison to a Catholic priest who is one of its most prominent dissidents. The move is widely viewed as a goodwill gesture before the president arrives in Hanoi.

Pack Cassiopian 22/5/16 09:11

Obama’s trip also comes as Vietnamese leaders seek to improve U.S. relations as a hedge against China’s more assertive foreign policy.

Jane smartnic 22/5/16 09:13

Vietnam, meanwhile, has enjoyed steady economic growth in recent years thanks to a vast expansion in manufacturing and construction, rising domestic demand and a surge in foreign direct investment.

Love Peace 22/5/16 09:15

A historic trip, hope for more positive results.

Only Solidar 22/5/16 09:16

The timing of President Obama's visit to Hanoi is symbolic: The U.S. war in Vietnam ended 41 years ago in late May. The nations normalized relations 20 years later in 1995 under former President Bill Clinton, who became the first U.S. leader to visit Vietnam since the war ended.

yobro yobro 22/5/16 09:18

To say that today’s Vietnam bears little resemblance to the one the U.S. fought a war with decades ago does not go far enough.

LawrenceSamuels 22/5/16 09:19

The United States and Vietnam now cooperate on a broad array of economic, political, security, and educational issues, and are working together to promote regional economic integration and stability.

John Smith 22/5/16 09:20

U.S. policy toward Vietnam since the normalization of relations, especially under the Obama administration, has sought to integrate both strategic elements and firmly held U.S. values, leading to a steady and significant improvement in bilateral ties in recent years.

MaskOf Zero 22/5/16 09:22

I do expect the Obama visit to have some positive impact on the region, especially in respect to the South China Sea.

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