Kerry in Vietnam: Focus on trade, security

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Kerry VienamUS Secretary of State John Kerry, in his first visit to Vietnam in this role, will seek closer trade and security ties between the US and Vietnam, US media reported.

Kerry is on a four-day trip that started on December 14 and will visit Ho Chi Minh City, the Mekong Delta and the capital Hanoi

Kerry’s visit comes as the US strives to reach a trade deal with 11 countries in the Asia-Pacific region, including Vietnam. A Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal is the centerpiece of US efforts to refocus attention on the fast-growing Asia-Pacific region.

US lawmakers pressed Kerry before his departure for Vietnam to link progress on the TPP to Vietnam’s human rights record. A letter by 47 members of the House of Representatives to Kerry last week expressed concern over growing arrests of bloggers and other activists in Vietnam.

While Vietnam President Truong Tan Sang is out of the country attending a Japan-ASEAN summit, Kerry will meet Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh.

“The US is prepared to assist Vietnam in its economic development and growth but at the same time believes that progress on human rights and rule of law is essential prerequisites for the kind of growth and kind of long-term stability, well as the kind of bilateral relationship, that the Vietnamese want,” the official told reporters en route to Vietnam.

Kerry will also discuss ways the US can help increase Vietnam’s security in case of escalating conflict with China over the disputed South China Sea.

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Reading Time: 1 minute

US Secretary of State John Kerry, in his first visit to Vietnam in this role, will seek closer trade and security ties between the US and Vietnam, US media reported.

Reading Time: 1 minute

Kerry VienamUS Secretary of State John Kerry, in his first visit to Vietnam in this role, will seek closer trade and security ties between the US and Vietnam, US media reported.

Kerry is on a four-day trip that started on December 14 and will visit Ho Chi Minh City, the Mekong Delta and the capital Hanoi

Kerry’s visit comes as the US strives to reach a trade deal with 11 countries in the Asia-Pacific region, including Vietnam. A Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal is the centerpiece of US efforts to refocus attention on the fast-growing Asia-Pacific region.

US lawmakers pressed Kerry before his departure for Vietnam to link progress on the TPP to Vietnam’s human rights record. A letter by 47 members of the House of Representatives to Kerry last week expressed concern over growing arrests of bloggers and other activists in Vietnam.

While Vietnam President Truong Tan Sang is out of the country attending a Japan-ASEAN summit, Kerry will meet Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh.

“The US is prepared to assist Vietnam in its economic development and growth but at the same time believes that progress on human rights and rule of law is essential prerequisites for the kind of growth and kind of long-term stability, well as the kind of bilateral relationship, that the Vietnamese want,” the official told reporters en route to Vietnam.

Kerry will also discuss ways the US can help increase Vietnam’s security in case of escalating conflict with China over the disputed South China Sea.

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