Sunday, June 29, 2008

US-Vietnam relations almost normal

President Bush met last week with Vietnamese prime minister Nguyen Tan Dung (no, I didn't make that name up). A bunch of protesters beggd to differ with the Bushlet's assessment that the Vietnamese are making progress on human rights, especially when it comes to religious freedom. The protesters were right, but it's still the wisest policy to have as open a relationship with Vietnam as possible -- tariffs and other trade barriers down to zero, etc. Here's the Register's editorial to that effect. After a long period of trying to abide by communist orthodoxy, Vietnam has grudgingly moved toward a market-type economy and is starting to see economic improvement and some foreign investment. Can't give you a timetable, but free trade is the best way to create pressure in a politically rigid society toward more effective freedom.

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