- Posted July 12, 2012 by
Hillary Clinton concerned about " human rights, continued detention of activists, restrictions on online free expression" in Vietnam
From official source
SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you very much, Foreign Minister Minh, for your warm welcome today. It's wonderful being back in Vietnam, and I appreciate this opportunity to reaffirm the growing and mutually beneficial partnership between our two nations...
... 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.
I want to underscore something I said in Mongolia yesterday. I know there are some who argue that developing economies need to put economic growth first and worry about political reform and democracy later, but that is a short-sided bargain. Democracy and prosperity go hand in hand, political reform and economic growth are linked, and the United States wants to support progress in both areas.
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. In particular, we are concerned about restrictions on free expression online and the upcoming trial of the founders of the so-called Free Journalists Club. The Foreign Minister and I agreed to keep talking candidly and to keep expanding our partnership.
So again, Minister Minh, let me thank you for your hospitality and thank you for coming back from Cambodia to meet with me. I greatly appreciate that effort that you made, and we look forward to continuing both our bilateral and regional cooperation.