CHRIS BRUMMITT AND MATTHEW PENNINGTON | December 11, 2012 02:13 AM EST |
HANOI, Vietnam — The U.S. and Vietnam, former enemies who share concerns about China’s rise, are finding that one issue – human rights – is keeping them from becoming closer friends.
Stress between the nations is clear from a delay in an annual meeting between Washington and Hanoi on human-rights concerns. Such consultations have been held every year since 2006, but the last ones in November 2011 produced little, and a senior State Department official said the two sides were still working to “set the parameters” of the next round so it would yield progress.
The U.S. is frustrated over Vietnam’s recent crackdown on bloggers, activists and religious groups it deems a threat to its grip on power, and over the detention of an American citizen on subversion charges that carry the death penalty.
“We have not seen the improvements that we would like,” the State Department official said last week on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to comment publicly. “We would very much like to see concrete actions.” Continue reading