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Blinken in Vietnam

U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken, center, during a visit to Vietnam National University in Hanoi, Vietnam, April, 21, 2016.

The United States and Vietnam are deepening and broadening their ties in many areas.

The United States and Vietnam are deepening and broadening their ties in many areas. In a speech to university students in Vietnam, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke about the culture required for entrepreneurship to flourish and how all nations and citizens share a stake in cultivating and upholding such a culture.

In order for Vietnam to become a leader in technology and innovation, it must encourage an educational system that promotes critical thinking, creativity, and experimentation.

Moreover, entrepreneurship and innovation thrive in a policy environment that promotes growth through transparency, the rule of law, the protection of intellectual property and predictable regulations that enable all companies to compete on a level playing field. The task at hand is for Vietnam to consolidate its two decades of tremendous economic gains. An important means of doing that is through the Trans-Pacific Partnership, of which Vietnam is an original signatory. The TPP is a trade agreement that will bring 40 percent of the global economy together behind the highest labor, environment, and intellectual property protections in the world.

Another central ingredient to Vietnam's economic success is respect for human rights. A vibrant culture of entrepreneurship, said Deputy Secretary Blinken, is almost unimaginable without a foundation of rights and freedoms upon which citizens feel able to pursue their ambitions, express their opinions, and bring their ideas to life.

The U.S urges the government of Vietnam to release all political prisoners and cease harassment, arrests and prosecutions of journalists, bloggers, civil society activists or students for exercising their fundamental rights.

And finally, Vietnam, as part of the global economy, has a growing responsibility to participate along with the U.S. and others in efforts to tackle issues from international peacekeeping to wildlife trafficking to maritime security, from climate change to civil nuclear energy to global health.

The United States looks forward to continuing to expand its partnership with Vietnam.