Archive for the ‘Department of State’ Category

Human Rights, Vietnam: Senate Hearing

March 15, 2008

March 15, 2008

At a hearing this past week of the U.S. Senate Sub-Committee on East Asian & Pacific Affairs, Dr. Ngai Nguyen, Vice Secretary of the Democratic Party of Vietnam, in a prepared Statement, praised Chairwoman Barbara Boxer, Senator Lisa Murkowski and Senator James Webb for holding this important hearing to examine U.S. – Vietnam Relations.

Dr. Ngai Nguyen, the Vice Secretary of the Democratic Party of Vietnam, pointed out that Vietnam had shown some improvement in their behavior toward human rights in 2006 when it was eager to receive favorable trade relations agreements with the United States, and membership in the World Trade Organization.

The U.S. Capitol building is seen in Washington January 28, ... 

But once these benefits were granted, the government of Vietnam in 2007 reverted to an increase in arrests of dissidents, incarceration of religious leaders and restrictions on both political and religious freedoms.

One recent example surrounded the death on February 7, 2008, of Mr. Hoang Minh Chinh, the founder of the Democratic Party of Vietnam.

Dr. Nhan Nguyen, a prominent cardiac surgeon at Stanford University, and a member of the DPV, traveled to Hanoi to attend the funeral. However, one day prior to the funeral, she was kidnapped and deported from the country.

Another recent example was the fact that Trung Tien Nguyen, at age 24 and a half, more than six years older than most recruits, was drafted into the Vietnamese army last month. He had a job and was still going to graduate school, but was singled out because he was a young and active member of the DPV in Vietnam.

At the hearing, Christopher Hill, Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs at the Department of State, in response to a question from the Committee, stated “there is still only one authorized political party in Vietnam, the Communist Party.”

Dr. Nguyen also praised the release on March 11, 2008 of the Department of State’s Country Report on Human Rights Practices, 2007, which said, “The Vietnamese Government’s human rights record remains unsatisfactory.”

The primary mission of the Democratic Party of Vietnam is to persuade the Communist Party, through peaceful means, to recognize the freedoms of the UN Charter and to allow multi-political parties, freedom of press and religion and the right to produce private publications, and the opportunity to live in a free enterprise economy with free entry, exit and travel.

China, Vietnam: Global Issues

January 11, 2008

To U.S. Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte;

Dear Sir;

The Public Affairs section of your U.S. State Department announced yesterday that you would travel to China and Vietnam January 16-20, 2008.

John Negroponte
John Negroponte

We know you are well aware of the many issues of interest to the United States and the greater global community with regard to China and Vietnam but we fear that sometimes the niceties of diplomatic discourse mutes the message to China and Vietnam.

Here are the top issues we urge you to consider raising in Beijing and Hanoi:

Human Rights: Both China and Vietnam are on the list of nations who routinely violate human rights. The U.S. Department of state and the United Nations have documented many abuses yet the consequences for the communist governments of China and Vietnam have been inconsequential. China agreed to alleviate human rights abuses during its selection to host the Summer Olympic games later this year. Vietnam said it would address human rights more directly as it was seeking acceptance to the World Trade Organization (WTO). Most human rights organizations say those promises from China and Vietnam turned out to be lies – and the world community has largely stood by idly.

Darfur: China is Sudan’s number one trading partner; yet China continues to largely look the other way at the abuses and possibly even genocide in Darfur. In the last few days, two news items highlighted this problem. First, U.N. peacekeeping chief Jean-Marie Guéhenno told the Security Council on Wednesday that U.N. peacekeeping forces lack the troops and equipment necessary to improve the situation in violence-wracked Darfur and will continue to be ineffective until mid-2008. And, Second, China’s senior diplomat for Sudan and Darfur denied any linkage between the human rights abuses in Darfur and China’s Olympic Games. Liu Guijin, special envoy for Darfur, said China cannot be held responsible for the actions of the government of Sudan. But we wonder if China has exerted its influence in Sudan commensurate with its vast business interests there including oil drilling, infrastructure projects and weapons sales.

Pollution: China and Vietnam are now among the world’s leaders in pollution and global warming. Both nations have extremely high degrees of polluted ground water, much of it caused by over-use of pesticides and fertilizers. We urge the United States to offer ways to ameliorate this problem though training, scientific applications and the use of better methods and chemicals. China’s air pollution is now so severe that Olympic teams are expressing concern for the health of their athletes and nations such as Japan have protested that the air pollution produced in China is now impacting nations around the globe. We urge the United states to continue to raise this issue with Beijing.

Beijing is rushing to make its air clean for the 2008 Olympics, but experts say it will be impossible for the site to be totally safe for athletes at the global sporting event.

Above: A beautiful, sunny morning near Beijing.

Territorial and Resources dispute: China and Vietnam are embroiled in a long-standing dispute over islands and resources in the South China Sea. We urge you to pledge that the United states will participate in resolution of this dispute if asked and certinly the united nations might be able to assist in this matter. The disagreement came to a boil in November and December after China reasserted its claim to the islands. The people of Vietnam reacted so vocally in protests and blogging that China asked the communist government in Vietnam to quell the dissent. This ugly dispute, without resolution, has many possible outcomes: all of which would be harmful to regional peace and stability.
A Vietnamese protestor demonstrates against a Chinese move to exert control over two disputed archipelagos 
China’s actions in the South
China Sea sparked protests
in Vietnam

Dear Sir; we appreciate your efforts dealing with China and Vietnam and offer these suggestions for the future benefit of all mankind.

Peace and Freedom

Related:

Rice’s deputy to visit China, Vietnam

Chinese Envoy Denounces Efforts to Link Darfur Concerns, Beijing Olympics

Darfur peacekeeping set back by 6 months

China blogger beaten to death

Secretary Negroponte: Secure The Release of At Least One Jailed In Vietnam
Photo

Rice’s deputy to visit China, Vietnam

January 10, 2008

WASHINGTON (AFP) – Deputy US Secretary of State John Negroponte is to visit China and Vietnam from January 16 to 20 for talks on a range of issues, the State Department said Thursday.

The US State Department announced that Deputy US Secretary of ...
John Negroponte


In China, the deputy to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will lead an inter agency delegation for the fifth round of bilateral semi-annual talks focused on strategic and political issues.

n Vietnam, Negroponte “will have bilateral discussions with his counterparts in the Vietnamese Government,” the statement said.

Washington has expressed concerns over human rights issues in communist-ruled Vietnam, which agreed to step up reforms when it joined the World Trade Organization a year ago.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20080110/pl_afp/uschinavietnamdiplomacy_
080110180303

Related:
China, Vietnam: Global Issues

A Diplomacy of neighborhoods

November 2, 2007

Austin Bay
The Washington Times
November 2, 2007

Diplomats, pack your duffel bags.

And I mean duffel bags, not garment bags. While you’re at it, get a pair of boots. I also recommend several pairs of work gloves and work pants with lots of pockets for cameras, extra batteries, sunglasses and your global cell phone.

Twenty-first century diplomacy isn’t an office job. It is a demanding and, at times, a dangerous trade, one that requires accepting deprivation, running physical risks and hanging out in bad neighborhoods. If this echoes a field soldier’s job description, it’s not a coincidence.

Like it or not, the United States is engaged in a long war over the terms of modernity — will modernity be defined by tyrants, terrorists and religious extremists, or will democratic liberalism defeat them? In this war for wealth creation (economic development) and political maturation, diplomats and skilled civilian agency specialists are soldiers of a type, and to win it means “being out there” in the difficulties.

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtontimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071102/COMMENTARY/111020112/1012