Vietnam and the United States in the Changing Asia Pacific: The Younger Generations' Perspective

November 28-30, 1999
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Hanoi, Vietnam

Sponsored by
The Institute for International Relations
Hanoi, Vietnam
The Stanley Foundation
Muscatine, Iowa, USA

Conference Description

This conference is the second in a series of meetings on Vietnam and US relations; the first meeting was held in December 1998 at Queenstown, Maryland. This conference will bring together a select group of younger-generation Americans with their Vietnamese counterparts who are specialists on Vietnam's foreign policy and its political, economic, cultural, military, and other relations with the United States.

This conference will focus upon Vietnam and the United States and their current and future interrelationship within the global and regional political and economic system. Vietnam, once a country wracked by violence and instability, has become a home to relative peace, vibrant economic growth, and tourists from all over the world. In particular, since the late 1980s and the fading of the Cold War, Vietnam has become much less politically and economically isolated and more internationally active. Similarly, US attention to Southeast Asia now focuses primarily upon economic trade and investment and less on military and security matters.

Further changes are afoot. Governments clamor to join the World Trade Organization and may craft a formal regional free trade zone. Further effects of the Asian financial crisis may await. The political status of Taiwan and the economic stability of Japan continue to pose troublesome questions for the region.

Against this backdrop of the dynamically changing character and condition of Southeast Asia, we propose to explore the roles and perspectives of Vietnam and the United States. The conference addresses the global and regional issues that affect Southeast Asia generally, the foreign policies of Vietnam and the United States, and prospects for Vietnamese-US political and economic relations in the coming decade. Our discussions will draw from the diverse interests and experiences of diplomats, members of "mass organizations" and "civil society," scholars, public officials, and journalists. Some participants will possess specific knowledge of Southeast Asia, Vietnam, and/or the United States. Others will bring different backgrounds and expertise to bear.