The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

WASHINGTON (AFP) – President Barack Obama will welcome his Vietnamese counterpart for a rare visit this month, seeking progress on trade and security issues despite concerns over the communist state’s human rights record.

President Truong Tan Sang’s visit, first reported by AFP on Wednesday, will be only the second by a Vietnamese head of state to Washington since the former adversaries normalized relations and comes as both governments see growing common interests.

“The president welcomes this opportunity to discuss with President Sang how to further strengthen our partnership on regional strategic issues and enhance our cooperation with ASEAN,” a White House statement said.

The statement added: “The president also looks forward to discussing human rights, emerging challenges such as climate change, and the importance of completing a high standard Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement.”

The visit will take place on July 25.

Vietnam has been eager to expand military cooperation with the United States as Southeast Asian nations accuse a rising China of increasingly aggressive tactics to exert territorial disputes.

While tensions remain high between China and the Philippines, friction has appeared to ease between Beijing and Hanoi in the run-up to Obama’s decision to invite Sang.

The Vietnamese president visited Beijing last month to discuss disputes. Chinese state media said that the historic rivals agreed to establish a hotline to resolve incidents involving fishing boats in the hotly contested South China Sea.

But the growing U.S. relationship with Vietnam has faced sustained criticism on Capitol Hill, where critics accuse the administration of paying only lip service to calls on Vietnam to improve human rights.

Administration officials who testified before Congress last month said that Vietnam’s human rights record was deteriorating, with the country holding more than 120 political prisoners and stepping up curbs on the Internet.

Obama has made Southeast Asia a priority, seeing an opportunity to build relations with a region that has posted high economic growth rates and is mostly friendly to the United States.

Since the start of his second term, Obama has met at the White House with the leaders of Singapore, Brunei and — in a visit that would have been unthinkable before recent democratic reforms — Myanmar.

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Former President Bill Clinton leaves UCI Medical Center with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

CNBC screen shot

(Reuters) - Former U.S. President Bill Clinton walked out of a Southern California hospital early Sunday morning accompanied by his wife, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, after being admitted last week for a urological infection, live video showed.

Clinton, 75, had been in California for an event for the Clinton Foundation and was treated at the University of California Irvine Medical Center's intensive care unit after suffering from fatigue and being admitted on Tuesday.

Keep reading... Show less

Trumpist rioters rampaging in the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021

Reprinted with permission from DailyKos

The federal judge overseeing the Oath Keepers conspiracy case in the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection ordered their trial delayed this week, primarily because of the overwhelming amount of evidence still being produced in their cases. Though the delay was expected, its reasons are stark reminders that January 6 will be one of the most complex prosecutions in history and that the investigation remains very active as more evidence piles up. There are likely some very big shoes still to drop.

Keep reading... Show less
x
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}