President Bush is meeting with Vietnamese Prime Minister Phan Van Khai today. The main agendas will be strengthening ties between the U.S. and Vietnam, Vietnam's desire to enter the World Trade Organization and the U.S.'s desire for greater religious freedom and human rights in Vietnam.
Though Vietnam is still a communist country (with a stereotypically repressive leadership), in the past five years, it has been taking steps toward capitalism and a free market economy. As it makes this transition, Vietnam is trying to create a society that captures the best of both communism (e.g., free education and health care) and capitalism (e.g., higher wages and standards of living). For a very interesting snapshot of the interaction between communism and capitalism in Vietnam, read this week's article from David Batstone in SojoMail, Sojourner's weekly e-newsletter (seriously, read it, you won't regret it).
Vietnam is still in the early stages of its free market experiment. Over the next few years and decades, it will be interesting to see how well it balances the yin and yang of capitalism as well as whether pressure from global markets will have a positive or negative impact on human rights in Vietnam.