Harris says she urged Vietnam to free political dissidents

By ALEXANDRA JAFFE Associated Press

HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris says she raised issues of human rights abuses and restrictions on political activism in her conversations with Vietnamese leaders this week, but offered no indication those talks bore fruit.

Harris says she spoke with Vietnamese leaders in particular about the release of political dissidents.

Vietnam has faced criticism for restrictions on freedom of expression and the press and a crackdown on people it deems political dissidents.

Harris' comments capped a weeklong trip to Southeast Asia during which she met with top officials in Singapore and Vietnam in a bid to strengthen U.S. engagement in the region to counter Chinese influence there.

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