Peace Corps Coming to Vietnam for First Time

I’m very happy to see this development.  It’s yet another indication that Viet Nam is coming of age as a full-fledged member of the global community of nations because it reflects the government’s confidence in itself and its country.

In the past, the Peace Corps was viewed with official suspicion.  (This is not without cause, based on past experience.  In 2008, for example, it was revealed that in Bolivia, Peace Corps volunteers and a Fulbright scholar were asked by a U.S. Embassy official to provide details on Cubans and Venezuelans in that country.)

Obama-announces-Peace-Corps-mission-for-Vietnam
The announcement came during a press conference with President Tran Dai Quang in Hanoi.  Photo courtesy of of the government of Viet Nam via UPI.

While the Peace Corps is very much a part of US soft power strategy, it represents another step forward in the bilateral relationship.  The English teachers supplied by the program will help improve the English proficiency of many Vietnamese, both teachers and students.  Note that the program is initially limited to English teachers, which makes sense, given past concerns.

MAA

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