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Obama: Upholding Human Rights Does Not Threaten Vietnamese Society


24 May Obama: Upholding Human Rights Does Not Threaten Vietnamese Society

SIIA Chairman Simon Tay and Dr. Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Director of the Institute of Security and International Studies (ISIS), an affiliate of the SIIA in the ASEAN-ISIS network of think tanks, were quoted in a Voice of America feature on  US President Barack Obama’s visit to Vietnam.

Whether the relationship involving the former enemies solidifies, as Obama desires, could depend on who succeeds him in the White House next January.

“After all, when she was secretary of state, Hillary Clinton did play a major role in helping the pivot to Asia. But if it’s a [Donald] Trump presidency, then all bets are off vis-à-vis ASEAN [the Association of Southeast Asian Nations], Vietnam and quite a few other issues, including trade,” said Simon Tay, chairman of the Singapore Institute of International Affairs.

Thai political scientist Thitinan Pongsudhirak at Chulalongkorn University described the lifting of the arms embargo as “a significant milestone” in U.S.-Vietnam relations.

“Vietnam really needs the United States to counter China’s weight, and at the same time the U.S. wants to build and consolidate a legacy that Obama laid out under the rebalancing strategy,” he told VOA. “So now the United States is, I think, really stepping up its game around the regions, especially in the maritime front.”

The full article is available at

Photo Credit:
Pete Souza / White House