U.S. human rights diplomacy is usually code for economic policy, says The Economist’s Babbage blog. So why can’t the State Department openly talk about development as a worthwhile goal? Secretary Clinton emphasized Internet freedom as a human right during her recent trip to Vietnam, but The Economist says Internet negotiations focused on business: “Mr Hong,” of Vietnam’s reform party, “pointed out that, for America, human rights has been generally only a rhetorical priority. He had a hard time thinking of any real international state action aimed solely at human rights; when diplomats close the doors behind them, he said, they talk about trade. He saw no reason to think the right to unhindered access to the internet would be any different.”
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