Delay in US-Vietnam meeting a sign relationship is cooling as Hanoi cracks down on activists

The U.S. and Vietnam, former enemies who share concerns about China's rise, are finding that human rights concerns are keeping them from becoming closer friends.

Stress between the nations is clear from a delay in a meeting between Washington and Hanoi on the issue. Such consultations have been held every year since 2006, but last year's produced little. A senior State Department official says both sides are working to "set the parameters" of the next round so it will yield progress.

The official spoke last week on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to comment publicly.

The U.S. is frustrated over Vietnam's recent crackdown on bloggers, activists and religious groups, and over the detention of an American citizen on subversion charges.


Matthew Pennington reported from Washington.