Interview With With Tran Thi Huong Thuy of VTV

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Hanoi, Vietnam
October 30, 2010

QUESTION: Madam Secretary, thanks for fitting the interview into your busy schedule, and welcome back to Vietnam.


QUESTION: This is the third time you visit our country.


QUESTION: What is your overall impression?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I am so impressed. I loved coming here with my husband back in 2000, when we were able to go both to Hanoi and to Ho Chi Minh City and go shopping and go out and visit people and go out to eat. And we came away with such warm memories. We bought some art, which hangs in our house today. We bought some plates which we use all the time. We just have a wonderful reservoir of good feelings about Vietnam.

And then, when I came back in July, and now again for this trip, I am very impressed by all of the positive changes that I see.

QUESTION: You have participated in many major ASEAN events this year. So, in your opinion, how has Vietnam played its role as the chairman of ASEAN in the year 2010?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I think Vietnam has done an excellent job as chairman. The leadership that Vietnam has provided to focus on some challenging issues, their invitation to us and to Russia to come as guests of the Chair, and to enable us to become members of the East Asia Summit, the work that we are doing with Vietnam in the Lower Mekong Initiative to try to prevent the climate change effects that are going to hurt people in Vietnam and Cambodia and Thailand and Laos, I have been very impressed with the leadership role that Vietnam has played.

QUESTION: And how would you comment on the relationship between our two countries?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I think the relationship is getting stronger and stronger. Our commercial relationship is growing, our people-to-people relationship -- I am personally committed to assisting more students from Vietnam to go and study in the United States and more students to come from the United States to Vietnam. We are working on all kinds of security issues, disaster preparedness issues, health issues. We are working to try to remediate the effects of dioxin left over from our painful past.

So, I think in so many areas our relationship is getting deeper and broader and I want to keep building it even better.

QUESTION: What is the significance of U.S. participation in the 2010 East Asia Summit, and the welcomed U.S. membership into this regional forum in the future?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I think the United States, under President Obama and myself, has made it clear we are committed to East Asia, we are committed to the Asia-Pacific region, and we want to be involved. We want a seat at the table, because we can bring a lot of resources and a lot of experience and support.

So, when I became Secretary of State, my first trip was to Asia. I went to Jakarta, visited the ASEAN headquarters, said that we wanted to be more active in ASEAN. We have become more active. And then we wanted to join the East Asia Summit. Thanks to Vietnam's leadership we are now a member of the East Asia Summit.

So, there are many reasons why joining the East Asia Summit to discuss political and security matters is important for the United States. And we look forward to being a very active member.

QUESTION: Yes. And one last question. What is your opinion about the prospect of economic cooperation between the United States and Vietnam?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I think the opportunities for economic cooperation are unlimited. I just witnessed the signing of two commercial agreements between Vietnam and Boeing Corporation to buy new jet liners for the Vietnamese airlines, and between Vietnam and Microsoft to obtain up to date computer systems. And I think there are so many businesses from the United States investing in Vietnam.

We see Vietnam as a real growth opportunity. So I will do everything I can to promote trade and commerce and foreign direct investment that is mutually beneficial to the people of Vietnam and the people of the United States.

QUESTION: Thank you very much, Madam Secretary. And this might be late, but congratulations on your daughter's wedding, and all the best.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you. Thank you so much. We had such a wonderful time. I was just so happy for her.

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PRN: 2010/T35-5