Preface: On September 18, 2007, the U. S. House of Representatives passed by a vote of 414 to 3 the “Vietnam Human Rights Act.” The act, if also passed by the Senate and enacted into law, requires future increases in U.S. nonhumanitarian aid to Vietnam to be tied to improvements in the Hanoi government’s human rights record. The president would be required to certify that Vietnam made significant progress in its human rights record — before any increase in nonhumanitarian aid is released.
September 20, 2007
Xinhua News, China
Vietnam strongly protests the United States’ Vietnam Human Rights Act 2007, which contains fabricated information on the situation in the country, local newspaper Vietnam News reported Thursday.
The bill would negatively impact on the positive development of the Vietnam-United States relations, the paper quoted spokesman of the Vietnamese Foreign Ministry Le Dung as saying.
The U.S. House of Representatives passed the bill on Tuesday.
“Over the past many decades, the Vietnamese people have pursued their struggles to gain independence, freedom and democratic rights. The Vietnam Constitution clearly stipulates that the state respects and ensures its citizens’ economic, political, cultural, social and civil rights, including the rights to freedom of religion, speech, the press, information, meetings and forming of associations,” he said.
“After 20 years of renewal, Vietnam has recorded huge achievements in economic development, executed social justice, brought into play democracy, improved the living standards and ensured the rights and freedom of its citizens. This progress has been recognized by the international community,” Dung said.
“Vietnam has been and will be ready for dialogue with the United States on a number of issues, including democracy, human rights and religious issues,” he said. “We ask the United States to view democracy and human rights issues in Vietnam objectively and within our historical context while respecting Vietnam’s economic, cultural and social particulars in the spirit of cooperation and mutual understanding, without letting these issues hinder the fine development of the two countries’ relationship,” he said.