Worried by China’s growing power and influence in Asia, the US has decided to focus on the region, making deals with countries, as it looks to strategically rebalance its assets and attention, to nullify China.
Looking to take advantage of Vietnam’s booming economy, which is growing at around 5% a year, and the subsequent increasing demand for energy, the US has signed a deal to share knowledge, expertise, and technology of nuclear power, allowing the potential for future investments into the growing industry. The deal strictly mentions that Vietnam must not enrich or reprocess any nuclear materials supplied by the US.
John Kerry Talks to VieMinister Nguyen Tan Dung. tnamese Prime (The Guardian)
John Kerry, the US secretary of state, explained that the deal, known as the US-Vietnam Civil Cooperation Agreement, would give the US a strong presence in the future of Vietnam’s growing nuclear power market.
Barack Obama will first browse the agreement before it is sent on to Congress for approval; a process which is expected to be complete by the end of the year.
US labour and human rights groups have been asking President Obama to suspend the free trade agreement with Vietnam in protest of the country’s poor human rights record pertaining to the treatment of government workers and critics of the government.
Analysts have suggested that the large increase of arrests made against government critics, especially bloggers, over the past few years could well persuade Congress to vote against the deal, as they claim that the must be convinced that Vietnam is changing its ways.
A model of the nuclear power plant to be built with Russia. (RT)
Vietnam is working in conjunction with Russia to build its first ever nuclear power plant, with construction expected to begin in 2014, and finish in 2020; and has also signed an agreement with a consortium of Japanese businesses to develop another nuclear power plant within the same province.
By. Joao Peixe of Oilprice.com
Joao is a writer for Oilprice.com