Archive for Haiyang 981

On U.S. Visit, Party Secretary of Hanoi City Makes Disrespectful Gesture to Senator John McCain

Posted in Politics with tags , , , , , , on August 8, 2014 by Ian Pham

McCainLast week, Politburo member and Party Secretary of the City of Hanoi, Pham Quang Nghi visited Washington D.C., following up on an invitation by the U.S. State Department. While in Washington, the Communist Party member met with a number of U.S. officials including Undersecretary of State Wendy Sherman, Deputy National Security Adviser Tony Blinken, Counselor to the Secretary of State Thomas Shannon, and Senator John McCain. Topics covered during the meetings included encouragement of American investment in the Vietnamese economy, the importance of the development of the TPP (Transpacific Partnership), and postwar economic assistance for Vietnam. None of this is important. Nothing here was accomplished.

The first substantial thing to know about this particular trip is that Hanoi Secretary Pham Quang Nghi was not even supposed to be at the meetings in Washington in the first place. The invitation by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was initially extended to a different VCP member, Pham Binh Minh, a known pro-Western voice within the party in Vietnam. At the last minute, Minh was sidelined by the VCP leadership. In his place, a pro-China drone in the form of Nghi was sent to represent the Communist State instead.

With the understanding that Minh was more open to talks with the West, Secretary of State John Kerry invited him for a meeting in Washington. However, with an overwhelming presence of the pro-China faction in Vietnam’s Communist Party, Minh’s trip was stifled by the head members of the Vietnam government, including the party leader Trong. In response to news that Minh was no longer coming, John Kerry appointed other members of the U.S. government to attend the meetings with Vietnam’s new delegates. Among the U.S. representatives was Senator McCain.

Aside from the topics discussed with U.S. representatives, which were fruitless overall, delegate Nghi went out of his way to present Senator McCain with a pair of ‘gifts.’ The first is a painting of the site where McCain was captured during his service days, and the second is a painting of that memorial inscribed with a personal message directly mentioning the Senator. One need not look very closely to find out that these gifts presented to McCain carry some deeply disrespectful messages behind them, aimed directly at the Senator from Arizona.

McCain PhotoThe picture above shows Senator McCain taking a photo with Communist member Pham Quang Nghi with the first gift in hand. Besides the fact that the painting depicts the site of McCain’s capture in 1967, the memorial plaque painting will clarify the Vietnamese official’s intention to humiliate the U.S. Senator.

This second gift, the memorial plaque painting, displays the following message:

“NGÀY 26-10-1967 TẠI HỒ TRÚC BẠCH QUÂN VÀ DÂN THỦ ĐÔ HÀ NỘI BẮT SỐNG TÊN JOHN SNEY MA CAN THIẾU TÁ KHÔNG QUÂN MỸ LÁI CHIẾC MÁY BAY A4 BỊ BẮN RƠI TẠI NHÀ MÁY ĐIỆN YÊN PHỦ  ĐÂY LÀ MỘT TRONG 10 CHIẾC MÁY BAY BỊ BẮN RƠI CÙNG NGÀY.”

Which translates to:

“ON 26-10-1967, AT TRÚC BẠCH LAKE, OUR FORCES AND THE PEOPLE OF THE CAPITAL OF HANOI CAPTURED ALIVE ONE MAJOR JOHN SNEY MA CAN [John Sidney McCain]. AMERICAN PILOT, FLYING A4, WAS SHOT DOWN AT YÊN PHỦ POWER PLANT. THIS IS ONE OF 10 AIRCRAFTS SHOT DOWN THAT DAY.”

MemorialFor a gift that is allegedly meant to commemorate, the message here only outlines the capture of McCain, reminding him that he was their captive, and all the painful implications of that event. Moreover, the message boasts that McCain’s was only one of ten other American planes shot down that day, a further insult to what they claim to be a gift for the Senator. Lastly, the term “TÊN” as used in the original plaque before naming Senator McCain, carries a negative connotation in Vietnamese, comparable to “Guy,” or “That guy,” in English. The term is opposite to a formal address such as “Mister,” and is used deliberately to show how little the Reds in Hanoi are trying to regard Mr. McCain.

The interpretation here is that Hanoi wanted to send a message to John McCain and the United States, signalling that the pro-China faction was dominant within the Communist Party, and that the U.S. should not get involved in Vietnam’s relationship with China. It didn’t work out the way they thought it would, though (it never does). There is so much stupidity in what Pham Quang Nghi did during this trip that one must wonder if these guys know what they’re doing most of the time (they don’t). There is a certain way for a statesman to behave when engaging in diplomacy, and this rude and vulgar conduct is no way to carry oneself when representing an entire nation. It’s not surprising, though. Everything the VCP does at this point is so painfully stupid that it shouldn’t even come as a shock anymore.

In sending a premeditated insult to the U.S. through Pham Quang Nghi, the leaders in the VCP were intending to humilate John McCain and the United States. However, in committing such a crude diplomatic act, the Communists have publicly humiliated themselves instead. The internet is exploding with criticism and ridicule from this episode, wondering how the VCP was capable of such stupidity. Well, anyone following this blog and Vietnamese politics will know that idiocy such as this is nothing new to the VCP. They are wrong for the country, and, to put it simply, they need to go.

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China Removes Intrusive Oil Rig From Vietnam’s Nautical Territory, Its Reasons and Implications

Posted in IV. Columns, Politics with tags , , , on July 22, 2014 by Ian Pham

COSL Oil RigBack in May of this year, the People’s Republic of China and the nation’s Chinese Communist Party moved a drilling rig into waters that were considered to be within Vietnam’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). The move is further example of China’s ongoing aspiration to gain control of Vietnamese territory, causing outrage among Vietnamese communities both inside and outside of Vietnam. The situation was particularly tense within Vietnam, as protests and riots broke out in response to China’s intrusive maneuver. China’s actions also drew heavy criticism from the United States and the international community, who deemed the PRC’s moves as provocative.

Last Tuesday, after months of international criticism and steady pressure brought about by the Vietnamese population, the PRC decided to withdraw its oil rig from the Triton Islands. The islands are part of the larger Paracel Island chain, which China claims to be ‘disputed’ territory. However, the Paracel as a whole has been under Vietnam’s administration since the Nguyen Dynasty, only falling into Chinese control in 1974 by naval invasion. In regards to their removal of the oil rig, the Chinese government claims that they have completed their drilling objectives and no longer need to station the rig at the location, which again, happened to fall into another nation’s EEZ.

ProtestIn moving the rig into Vietnam’s nautical zone, the PRC was trying to gauge the power balance in Southeast Asia. With an Obama Administration riddled with problems both inside and outside of the United States, the PRC was hoping to get their own piece of the international pie (as Putin had done in Crimea). Unfortunately for China, they never expected their actions to draw such strong criticism from the U.S. and the international community, most notably from Shinzo Abe and the Japanese. Thus, due to the unexpected backlash, the PRC had to ‘complete’ their objectives much sooner than they intended, and move their intrusive oil rig out of Vietnam’s territory.

In the midst of all this, and even now that this particular situation appears to be over, it is very interesting to note that Vietnam’s leadership (with very few exceptions, and even they are inadequate), the Vietnamese Communist Party, has been deafeningly silent on the matter. While the people in Vietnam protested, while America condemned these aggressive Chinese acts, and even in Japan, where Prime Minister Abe has been outspoken about Chinese aggression in the Pacific, those ‘comrades’ in the VCP said nothing, as the Chinese inched closer and closer to Vietnam’s doorstep. Actually, the Communist Vietnamese did say something during this time, although it is the complete opposite of what one would call a respectable response.

Phung Quang ThanhAt this year’s Shangri-La Dialogue 2014, held in Singapore this past June, the Vietnamese Minister of National Defense, Phung Quang Thanh, made a paltry statement claiming that relations between Vietnam and China are still friendly, and dismissed the Chinese invasive act as nothing but a “small disagreement among brothers.” Phung made this statement in the midst of social unrest in Vietnam (which the VCP was brutally suppressing), just mere weeks after China had moved its Haiyang 981 oil rig into Vietnam’s nautical territory. I wanted to give you all an entire article focused on Vietnam’s pathetic display at this conference, but unfortunately, I just didn’t have the time. What needs to be known from Shangri-La is that once again, the VCP failed miserably to represent the nation and people that they are supposed to be governing, and seem more content to be the lapdogs of the PRC.

The Chinese keep taking, the VCP keeps giving, and lastly, in trying to defend their nation, the Vietnamese people keep suffering. However, it is this suffering that will one day win for Vietnam freedom and independence. The situation in Vietnam is still hot, the party keeps getting weaker, and the people keep getting stronger. I’ve said this before, but it is important, and I know I’ll say it again: To the Vietnamese people inside, you are not alone. It is a long and arduous journey, but believe me when I say that we’re all in this together. Stay strong, never lose hope, and keep those protests coming.

Video: Last Week’s Protest in Saigon

Posted in Politics, Society, Videos with tags , , , , on May 17, 2014 by Ian Pham

This is a video of the anti-China protest in Saigon last Sunday, May 11, 2014. It may seem like old news at this point, as this week bore witness to some truly groundbreaking developments across the country. The movement is only gaining steam, and within hours from now, further protests are set to take place inside Vietnam.

I still feel inclined to post this video though, because certain parts of it are just too great not to share.

What makes this video so share-worthy? This, right here.

Flag Pull Down

For anyone unsure of what is happening in this picture, I’ll break it down for you:

That red flag is Vietnam’s communist flag. According to news circulating around the web, some communist party jerks were instructed to attend the protest and insert that flag into the crowd in an attempt to simulate public support for the VCP (Vietnamese Communist Party). This young lady, clearly offended by this idiotic ploy, took it upon herself to rip down the flag and show the communists what the real deal was.

Take that, communism.

Good luck to everyone out there in Vietnam. We’re all with you. Give ’em hell.

Major Developments In Vietnam Right Now

Posted in Politics, Society with tags , , , , , , , , on May 14, 2014 by Ian Pham

May 11 ProtestThere is a storm brewing in Vietnam right now, people. China has been steadily escalating its encroachment on Vietnamese territory, and at this point in time, it seems that the Vietnamese people have finally had enough. This past Sunday, spontaneous demonstrations broke out in Saigon, Hanoi, Danang, and Vinh, spreading like wildfire and growing into full-on political protests with a total of over 3,000 attendees across the four cities.

China has recently transported its large oil rig into Vietnam’s EEZ (Exclusive Economic Zone), sparking outrage among the Vietnamese populations, both domestically and abroad. Last week, moreover, the Chinese navy is condemned internationally for harassing Vietnamese boats, spraying personnel with heavy duty water hoses, and injuring 8 people.

These incidents are fairly recent, taking place within the last 14 days. Indeed, the events fit perfectly with China’s long pattern of aggressive and illegal behavior on the world stage. The list of belligerent actions that the PRC commits against its neighbors in the Pacific is fairly hefty, and worse, shows no sign of diminishing.

China’s heinous actions against Vietnam include state-sponsored piracy against Vietnamese fishermen in the Southeast Asia Sea, unsubstantiated claims to vast amounts of territory in the Pacific, increased military presence in the Paracel and Spratly Islands, and an overall aggressive tone towards its weaker neighbors. The list is by no means limited to these well documented events, as the PRC is understood to also have disputes with Japan and the Philippines over similar issues regarding sovereignty and security.

For the longest time, with heavy suppression from the Communist government in Hanoi, the people of Vietnam have been prevented from protesting China’s belligerency. Though demonstrations and gatherings are still planned and orchestrated at various times, they are always crushed by government forces, with heavy penalties for those involved.

Binh Duong ProtestsLately however, with this past Sunday being a prime example, it seems that the government is no longer able to prevent the people of Vietnam from defending their own country. Just today, in the industrial area in Binh Duong province, one protest exploded to a scale unprecedented in Vietnam’s recent memory, with over 10,000 people in attendance. The momentum seems to be growing, as further protests are planned for this Sunday throughout Vietnam.

It’s still too soon to tell what will happen, but from the looks of things, the situation is beginning to really heat up in the Communist-controlled state. I’ll do my best to keep you all updated on the situation. It’s going to be an interesting summer in Vietnam this year.