Quantcast
Connect with us

John Kerry returns to Vietnam’s Mekong Delta as top U.S. diplomat

Published

on

US Secretary of State John Kerry returned Sunday to Vietnam’s Mekong Delta, whose waters he navigated as a wartime gunboat skipper, to investigate climate change in his role as Washington’s top diplomat.

Kerry, who arrived in Ho Chi Minh City Saturday on a trip aimed at shoring up ties with Southeast Asia, travelled by boat through Ca Mau, a once-dangerous Viet Cong stronghold, an official with the local US consulate told AFP.

The one-time presidential hopeful, whose political activism was inspired by his experiences patrolling the area’s waterways on US Swift Boats during the Vietnam War, was due to inspect agriculture projects and see first-hand the impact of climate change on the region’s delicate ecosystems.

Kerry served with the US Navy from 1966 to 1970 as a naval lieutenant. He was decorated with three Purple Hearts, awarded for combat injuries, as well as a Bronze Star and a Silver Star for valour.

The delta is “a place that really ties together the history and the future of the US-Vietnam relationship”, a senior State Department official said in a briefing.

“The history is well known… Secretary Kerry himself served in this area… But the future is in the cooperation between the US and Vietnam on environmental issues and climate change,” the official added.

ADVERTISEMENT

Kerry spoke to officials and students — many clad in white Ao Dai, Vietnam’s traditional dress — at the small delta port town of Kien Vang.

On Saturday he hailed ties between the two former foes the as “stronger than ever” as he started his first official visit to the nation as the top US diplomat.

“I can’t think of two countries that have worked harder, done more and done better to try and bring themselves together to change history, and change the future,” he said.

Washington is eager to underscore its commitment to Asia after its “pivot” policy was shaken earlier this year when the US government shutdown forced President Barack Obama to cancel a trip to the region, allowing China to occupy centre stage at key regional summits.

ADVERTISEMENT

The region is beset by political and territorial tensions, including bitter maritime disputes between an increasingly assertive China and a number of its neighbours including Vietnam.

Kerry will meet Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh in Hanoi Monday to discuss deepening trade and security ties as part of his three-day visit.

On Saturday he said he vividly remembered his time in war-torn South Vietnam, describing an evening drinking on the roof of the Rex Hotel in Saigon in 1969.

“I can’t tell you how totally bizarre it was to be sitting on top of a hotel, having a beer… while all around you, you would be seeing and hearing the sounds of a war,” he said.

ADVERTISEMENT

It was on his return after two tours of duty that he became a fierce campaigner against the war, which ended in 1975.

Kerry, who celebrated his 70th birthday on Wednesday, said he was excited to have returned to Vietnam, his first time back in the communist country since he joined President Bill Clinton on his landmark visit in 2000.

Kerry’s trip will also include a visit to the Philippines, a longstanding US ally.

Report typos and corrections to [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Facebook

GOP’s Jim Jordan gets shut down after raging at Trump appointee who called for Kellyanne Conway’s firing

Published

on

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) on Wednesday got absolutely shut down by Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) after he interrupted the testimony of Henry Kerner, whom President Donald Trump appointed to lead the Office of Special Counsel.

During his opening statement ahead of Kerner's testimony, Jordan bitterly complained about the way conservatives are purportedly "censored" on social media and he said Kerner's recommendation that Trump White House counselor Kellyanne Conway be removed from office for repeated Hatch Act violations was an effort to "silence" an effective surrogate for President Donald Trump.

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Trump lashes out at US women’s soccer player for refusing to visit the White House

Published

on

President Donald Trump lashed out at a U.S. women's national soccer team who has publicly criticized him.

Team co-captain Megan Rapinoe, who joined former NFL player Colin Kaepernick's kneeling protest during the National Anthem, strongly denied that she would accept the president's invitation to visit the White House if her squad wins the Women’s World Cup now underway.

“I’m not going to the f*cking White House,” Rapinoe told Eight by Eight Magazine, saying she doubted Trump would risk inviting them. “We’re not gonna be invited. I doubt it.”

Trump has canceled visits by other championship teams, such as this year’s Philadelphia Eagles, after most of the players vowed to decline the invitation.

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Damning new details emerge on letter Trump drafted that explicitly linked Comey’s firing to Russia probe

Published

on

The latest report from journalist Murray Waas in the New York Review of Books offers damning new details about a letter that President Donald Trump drafted that explicitly linked the firing of former FBI Director James Comey to the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Waas, who claims that he has personally examined the draft, reports that the original draft of Trump's letter justifying Comey's dismissal made it plain that he was displeased with the FBI for investigating whether the Trump campaign helped Russia interfere in the election.

Continue Reading
 
 

Copyright © 2019 Raw Story Media, Inc. PO Box 21050, Washington, D.C. 20009 | Masthead | Privacy Policy | For corrections or concerns, please email [email protected]

I need your help.

The 2020 election needs you. There are 18 months until the election, and the Supreme Court is on the line. I'm trying to add journalists to do more exclusive reports. Let me get rid of the ads for you, and put your support toward 100% progressive reporting. Want to ensure your voice is heard? Join me and restore the power of hard-hitting progressive journalism.

HELP TAKE BACK AMERICA
close-link