June 15, 2006
Written by C.N.
Viet Nam is set to enter the World Trade Organization after signing a new trade agreement with the U.S. that will open up virtually all of Viet Nam’s economic sectors to the world:
Vietnamese and American trade officials signed the pact, which will open the Southeast Asian country’s markets in virtually every sector, in the Reunification Palace in Ho Chi Minh City, formerly Saigon. It paves the way for one-party Vietnam to enter the
World Trade Organization this year, 11 years after it began applying. . . .
For the deal with the United States to come into effect, the U.S. Congress must grant what is called Permanent Normal Trade Relations Status. Any bill passed by Congress will be opposed by some critics of Vietnam’s human rights and religious rights record.
Despite the inevitable protests by many Americans and many Vietnamese Americans that this new agreement only rewards Viet Nam’s communist government and legitimizes their oppressive policies, I see this as a positive development. I believe that since a revolution restoring democracy in Viet Nam is highly unlikely any time soon, real change will only happen gradually.
In other words, as Viet Nam is increasingly integrated into the mainstream community of nations, its policies are likely to moderate over time. I may be naive and wrong, but my hope is that engagement and an increased international presence will hopefully bring about better human rights practices and an easing of government control over every aspect of life for most Vietnamese.
As Sun Tsu said, “Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer.”
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Suggested reference: Le, C.N. . "Viet Nam Set to Enter the WTO" Asian-Nation: The Landscape of Asian America. <http://www.asian-nation.org/headlines/2006/06/viet-nam-set-to-enter-the-wto/> ().
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