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The White House announced last week that President Obama will be hosting the president of Vietnam, Truong Tan Sang, on his first visit to Washington on July 25. The meeting appears to fall under the U.S. administration’s Asia-Pacific rebalancing strategy, or Asia Pivot, which is aimed in large part at addressing the rising regional tensions associated with China’s political and economic pressure on its smaller neighbors. While stepping up its dialogue with Beijing, the United States is strengthening ties with allies and other countries in East and Southeast Asia. But unlike most of these partners, Vietnam remains a repressive one-party state and has done little, by way of democratic reform, to earn a presidential invitation.

As Americans celebrate Independence Day and the world looks nervously toward uncertain political developments in Egypt, it's worth remembering the countries that have little to celebrate.  Click here to see a photo slideshow of the 'Worst of the Worst' countries.

As the fourth anniversary of the 2009 crackdown on peaceful Uighur demonstrators by Chinese security forces nears, Freedom House remains deeply concerned about the ongoing repression in the Xinjiang Autonomous Region in China. Freedom House calls on the Chinese government to allow an independent investigation of the July 2009 events and to immediately release or provide information about the hundreds of detainees who remain unaccounted for.

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Senior Research Analyst for China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan

Sarah Cook is a Senior Research Analyst for China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan at Freedom House.

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Director of Advocacy

Annie Wilcox Boyajian is Director of Advocacy at Freedom House and leads Freedom House’s engagement with the US government and collaboration with American human rights groups.

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