KOMPAS.com - US Vice President Kamala Harris raised human rights issues with Vietnamese leaders during a visit aimed at bolstering strategic ties between both nations.
In Hanoi Harris said she specifically discussed the release of political dissidents but did not disclose the results, saying only at a news conference the US must “continue to speak up, when necessary, about human rights issues.”
Vietnam has been the target of global criticism for limiting free speech, a free press, and clamping down on those it considers political dissidents.
“We're not going to shy away from difficult conversations,” Harris said on Thursday, August 26.
Harris did not respond directly when a reporter asked why the US criticizes China for human rights abuses while aiming for a stronger relationship with Vietnam.
“Difficult conversations often must be had with the people that you otherwise may have a partnership with,” Harris said. “And we do have a partnership with Vietnam.”
Her visit to Vietnam ended a weeklong trip to Southeast Asia when she also met with senior officials in Singapore to counter China’s influence in the region.
Harris said the US reached a number of agreements with Singapore and Vietnam, including one involving cyber defense cooperation. She said the US also delivered a million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine to Vietnam on Thursday, on top of the five million that had previously been delivered.Dapatkan update berita pilihan dan breaking news setiap hari dari Kompas.com. Mari bergabung di Grup Telegram "Kompas.com News Update", caranya klik link https://t.me/kompascomupdate, kemudian join. Anda harus install aplikasi Telegram terlebih dulu di ponsel.