Vietnam is an integral part of the US’ 'rebalancing' of power in the Asia-Pacific, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman said in Hanoi Tuesday.
Sherman was leading a US Department of State delegation on a visit that aims to support US power in the Asia-Pacific and the US-Vietnam Comprehensive Partnership announced by President Obama and President Sang last year.
The visit came as a follow-up to former anti-war campaigner Secretary Kerry’s visit in December 2013, according to the Embassy of the United States in Hanoi.
Sherman said the US delegation looked forward to working with the Vietnamese side on important bilateral and multilateral issues, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations, human rights, ensuring peace and stability in the East Sea, environmental protection, and constructive engagement in international organizations such as the UNHRC and the IAEA.
Sherman also met with members of civil society.
“Civil society and people-to-people relations are one of the most exciting areas of the US-Vietnam relationship,” she said.
“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, Sherman met with Hoang Binh Quan, chief of the Commission for External Relations of the Party Central Committee, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam, Deputy Minister of National Defense Nguyen Chi Vinh, Deputy Minister of Public Security To Lam, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Quang Vinh, and Hanoi’s Party chief Pham Quang Nghi.
As part of this trip, Sherman will also travel to Malaysia and Myanmar.
Human rights activists around the world have criticized the US for its record on the issue, citing violations ranging from its drone killing program to mass-incarceration.