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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
01HANOI2175 2001-09-05 09:57:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Hanoi
Cable title:  

QFOREIGN MINISTRY OBJECTS TO VIETNAM HUMAN RIGHTS ACT AND US POSTAL SERVICE ACTION

Tags:   PINS US VM HUMANR PREL 
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050957Z Sep 01

2001HANOI02175 - CONFIDENTIAL
 
 
 
                           CONFIDENTIAL     PTO4547

PAGE 01        HANOI  02175  051102Z 
ACTION EAP-00   

INFO  LOG-00   AMAD-00  ACQ-00   CIAE-00  DINT-00  DODE-00  DS-00    
      FBIE-00  TEDE-00  INR-00   IO-00    LAB-01   MOFM-05  MOF-03   
      NSAE-00  OIC-02   DSCC-00  DRL-02   SAS-00     /013W
                  ------------------1ADD2A  051102Z /38    
FM AMEMBASSY HANOI
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3853
INFO USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 
AMEMBASSY PHNOM PENH
					  C O N F I D E N T I A L HANOI 002175 

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/05/11
TAGS: PINS US VM QPREL HUMANR
SUBJECT: QFOREIGN MINISTRY OBJECTS TO VIETNAM HUMAN RIGHTS ACT AND US POSTAL SERVICE ACTION




1. (U) CLASSIFIED BY CHARGE DQAFFAIRES ROBERT C.
PORTER, JR. REASON: 1.5(D).



2. (C) THE DIRECTOR OF THE AMERICAS DEPARTMENT AT THE
FOREIGN MINISTRY, MR. NGUYEN XUAN PHONG, CALLED IN THE
CHARGE ON SEPTEMBER 5 TO REAFFIRM THE GVN'S POSITION
ON "CERTAIN ISSUES WHICH RECENTLY HAVE NEGATIVELY
AFFECTED" BILATERAL RELATIONS: HR 2368 (THE VIETNAM
HUMAN RIGHTS ACT) AND THE RECENT ACTION OF THE U.S.
POSTAL SERVICE TO WITHDRAW FROM CIRCULATION A BROCHURE
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 HANOI 02175 051102Z
WHICH INCLUDED THE CURRENT VIETNAMESE FLAG (AMONG THE
FLAGS OF MANY OTHER NATIONS).



--------------------------


VIETNAM HUMAN RIGHTS ACT (HR 2368)


--------------------------





3. (C) PHONG STATED THAT THE GVN BELIEVES THAT HR
2368 REPRESENTS THE ATTEMPT OF A "SMALL GROUP WHICH
LACKS GOOD WILL" TO INTERFERE IN VIETNAM'S INTERNAL
AFFAIRS -- AN ATTEMPT WHICH RUNS COUNTER TO THE TREND
TO IMPROVE BILATERAL RELATIONS, SUCH AS NEGOTIATION
AND PASSAGE OF THE BTA. HE FURTHER STATED THAT SOME
ALSO PERCEIVE THE RESOLUTION AS AN ATTEMPT BY CERTAIN
GROUPS IN THE U.S. TO OVERTURN OR DESTROY THE CURRENT
SYSTEM IN VIETNAM, AN APPROACH HE LABELED "PEACEFUL
DESTRUCTION" RATHER THAN PEACEFUL EVOLUTION. HE
OBSERVED THAT THE USG ONCE USED PROGRESS ON THE
POW/MIA ISSUE AS A WAY TO REGULATE THE PACE OF
IMPROVEMENTS IN THE BILATERAL RELATIONSHIP AND THAT
SOME IN VIETNAM BELIEVE THAT THE USG IS NOW USING
"OTHER ISSUES" FOR THE SAME PURPOSE. HE CALLED ON THE
USG TO URGE CONGRESS TO DEFEAT THE RESOLUTION.



--------------------------


POSTAL SERVICE BROCHURE


--------------------------





4. (C) PHONG THEN RAISED THE NOW OUT-OF-CIRCULATION
US POSTAL SERVICE BROCHURE TO WHICH SOME VIETNAMESE
AMERICANS OBJECTED BECAUSE IT CONTAINED AN IMAGE OF
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 03 HANOI 02175 051102Z
THE FLAG OF THE SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM.
ACCORDING TO PHONG, THE GVN RAISED THE ISSUE DIRECTLY
WITH THE US POSTAL SERVICE, WHICH INDICATED THAT IT
HAD WITHDRAWN THE BROCHURE FROM CIRCULATION AND WHICH
ALSO REPORTEDLY APOLOGIZED TO VIETNAM FOR DOING SO.
PHONG TOLD THE CHARGE THAT THE WITHDRAWAL WAS AN
INSULT TO VIETNAM AND ITS FLAG, AND OBSERVED THAT IF A
US AGENCY GAVE IN TO PRESSURE FROM SUCH A "SMALL
GROUP" IN THIS CASE, IT WOULD INEVITABLY DO SO AGAIN
IN THE FUTURE. HE URGED THE DEPARTMENT TO WORK WITH
THE US POSTAL SERVICE TO SHOW PROPER RESPECT FOR THE
VIETNAMESE FLAG JUST AS IT WOULD SHOW RESPECT FOR THE
FLAG OF ANY OTHER SOVEREIGN NATION, ESPECIALLY ONE
WITH WHICH THE U.S. HAS FRIENDLY RELATIONS.



5. (U) PHONG HANDED CHARGE A NON-PAPER ON THE ABOVE
TWO ISSUES. (COPY FAXED TO EAP/BCLTV.)



6. (C) AT THE CONCLUSION OF HIS PRESENTATION, PHONG
ALSO RENEWED EARLIER GVN REQUESTS FOR THE USG TO
ARREST THOSE IN THE U.S. WHO ARE WORKING FOR THE
VIOLENT OVERTHROW OF THE GVN OR WHO ARE PLANNING AND
CARRYING OUT TERRORIST OPERATIONS AGAINST VIETNAMESE
EMBASSIES ABROAD. HE ASKED THAT THE USG, IN THE
SPIRIT OF COOPERATION, PROVIDE THE GVN WITH ANY
INFORMATION IT MAY HAVE ON PLANS TO CONDUCT TERRORIST
OPERATIONS AGAINST GVN EMBASSIES AND FACILITIES.



7. (C) IN RESPONSE, CHARGE PROMISED TO PASS ON GVN
CONCERNS TO THE DEPARTMENT. HE BRIEFED PHONG ON THE
STATUS OF THE BTA, AND REMINDED PHONG, WHO RECENTLY
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PAGE 04 HANOI 02175 051102Z
RETURNED FROM SAN FRANCISCO AS CONSUL-GENERAL, THAT
CONGRESS WAS AN INDEPENDENT BRANCH NOT UNDER THE
CONTROL OF THE STATE DEPARTMENT OR THE EXECUTIVE
BRANCH. HE EMPHASIZED TO PHONG THAT MEMBERS OF
CONGRESS REPRESENTED THE INTERESTS OF THEIR
CONSTITUENTS AND THAT BOTH THE CONGRESS AND USG
BELIEVED THAT VIETNAM NEEDED TO DO MORE TO RESPECT
HUMAN RIGHTS. PORTER

CONFIDENTIAL

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