Wed, July 11, 2012
World > Asia-Pacific

Clinton’s Asia trip, detouring China but with it in mind

2012-07-11 03:02:56 GMT2012-07-11 11:02:56(Beijing Time)  SINA.com

By Wang Qi, Sina English

Vietnam is undergoing extraordinary changes, said the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Tuesday in Hanoi. Such remarks sound quite familiar as Vietnam has become the second country which Clinton had complimented with no reserve on her latest Asia trip detouring China.

The remarks come following her high-profile praise of Mongolia on Monday, which described Mongolia as the model of democracy in Asia.

In her speech in Mongolia, Clinton said the democratic reforms in Asian countries such as Mongolia, Myanmar and East Timor “stand in stark contrast to those governments that…work around the clock to restrict people’s access to ideas and information, to imprison them from expressing their views, to usurp the rights of citizens to choose their leaders…” as British newspaper Financial Times reported on Monday.

Another media, US-based news magazine Foreign Policy said on the same day that Clinton’s remarks were no subtle a sarcasm at all, a comment rather representative among voices in the West.

According to Financial Times, “Mrs. Clinton’s comments were part of the growing geopolitical debate pitting the US against China over the future of Asia.”

While the world was still mulling over her insinuation on Tuesday, Clinton arrived in another country in China’s backyard --Vietnam.

She said she was in favor of Vietnam’s efforts in resolving the South China Sea dispute, and reached agreement with Vietnam on the significance of establishing a legally binding code of conduct in the area.

Vietnam has been eager to build closer ties with the US so as to balance China’s increasing influence in the region.

After her visit in Vietnam, Clinton will go to Laos, which will mark the first time for a US secretary of state in 57 years.

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