In support of the U.S. rebalance to the Asia-Pacific and the U.S.-Vietnam Comprehensive Partnership announced by President Obama and President Sang last year, and as a follow-up to Secretary Kerry’s visit in December 2013, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman met with senior officials from the Vietnamese government in Hanoi on March 4.
“Vietnam is an integral part of our rebalance to the Asia-Pacific, and I appreciated the opportunity to discuss important issues with a wide range of senior Vietnamese officials,” said Under Secretary Sherman. “We look forward to working together on important bilateral and multilateral issues, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations, human rights, ensuring peace and stability in the South China Sea, environmental protection, and constructive engagement in international organizations such as the UNHRC and the IAEA.” Under Secretary Sherman discussed the human rights situation and called on the government to release prisoners of conscience and allow all Vietnamese to peacefully express their political views.
Under Secretary Sherman also met with members of civil society, noting “Civil society and people-to-people relations are one of the most exciting areas of the U.S.-Vietnam relationship. As the two countries move toward the 20th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic relations, the people-to-people ties represent one of the best opportunities for engagement and cooperation.”
During her visit to Vietnam, Under Secretary Sherman met with Mr. Hoang Binh Quan, Chairman External Relations of the Communist Party of Vietnam, Mr. Vu Duc Dam, Deputy Prime Minister, Mr. To Lam, Vice-Minister, Ministry of Public Security, Lt. General Nguyen Chi Vinh, Vice-Minister National Defense, Mr. Pham Quang Vinh, Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Mr. Pham Quang Nghi, Hanoi Party Secretary.
As part of this trip, Under Secretary Sherman will also travel to Malaysia and Burma.