WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Joe Biden’s nominee to be the next U.S. ambassador to Vietnam vowed at his Senate nomination hearing on Tuesday to boost security ties with Hanoi while seeking equitable market access and pressing Hanoi to respect human rights.
Marc Knapper, a career diplomat currently serving as deputy assistant secretary for Japan and Korea, told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee the relationship between Washington and its former Vietnam War foe had undergone a “profound transformation” since normalization of ties in 1995.
“Our two countries have moved from a history of conflict to a comprehensive partnership that spans political, security, economic, and people-to-people ties,” he said, while adding that the relationship was not without its challenges.
“We have serious, serious concerns,” Knapper said. “Only when we see significant progress on human rights can our partnership reach its fullest potential.”