Archive for Trans Pacific Partnership

As Expected, Zero Progress Made From Nguyen Phu Trong’s “Historic” Visit to Washington

Posted in Politics with tags , , , , , , , on July 8, 2015 by Ian Pham

Washington MeetingImage via Yahoo News

I felt I should follow up from my last article about VCP General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong’s self-proclaimed “historic” visit to meet President Barack Obama in Washington. Like I forecasted just a day ago, the talks indeed yielded zero actual change from the status quo.

The talks were straightforward, relaxed, with little point whatsoever. Pleasantries were exchanged, Nguyen Phu Trong lauds the “progress” that has been made in U.S.-Vietnam relations, with President Obama courteously expressing optimism for the future. The usual topics were brought up, like Chinese aggression in the Pacific, the possibility of the formation of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and of course, the issue of human rights.

According to the Washington Times, Trong invited President Obama to visit Vietnam, in which the President has replied that he will do so “… some time in the future.”

There were some notable happenings that revolved around the meeting, but were not part of the meeting itself. A group of bipartisan lawmakers in the White House advised the President prior to the meeting to press Nguyen Phu Trong more strongly on the human rights issue.

From the same Washington Times source:

“This authoritarian one-party system is the root cause of the deplorable human rights situation in Vietnam,” wrote the lawmakers, led by Rep. Christopher H. Smith, New Jersey Republican. “As the list of detained Vietnamese bloggers and prisoners of conscience gets longer and longer, it is even more important than ever that the United States sends a clear message to the Hanoi authorities that respect for human rights is essential for a closer economic and security relationship.”

The other notable happening in relation with Nguyen Phu Trong’s visit was the hundreds-strong protest taking place outside of the White House during the meeting.

According to Jerome Cartillier:

A few hundred protesters rallied outside the White House, calling for expanded human rights in Vietnam — an issue that has sparked concern among some American lawmakers about deepening ties.

Demonstrators carried signs with slogans like “Freedom of speech in Vietnam now” and called on Hanoi to release all political prisoners.

Washington ProtestProtesters outside of the White House during Vietnamese Communist Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong’s meeting with President Obama. Photo via Yahoo News

Although the meeting between President Obama and the idiot General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong was exactly as unproductive and pointless as expected, I am still happy to hear that the issue of human rights is still on the minds of U.S. lawmakers. I am even more proud of the part played by the Vietnamese community.

Commendation to all who participated in the protests yesterday. You made a great impact, and your passion and dedication is undoubtedly being heard. As the actions of the U.S. lawmakers urging the President to be tougher on Trong has shown, your voice is making a difference.

We have to keep pushing, we have to keep making a difference. Persistence is everything.

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Predictions For Nguyen Phu Trong, Vietnam’s VCP General Secretary’s Visit to Washington Today

Posted in Politics with tags , , , , , , on July 7, 2015 by Ian Pham

Nguyen Phu Trong(AP Photo/Tran Van Minh)

Vietnam’s General Secretary, the leader of the VCP and the country’s man in charge, Nguyen Phu Trong arrives in Washington today to meet with President Barack Obama.

According to the White House:

On July 7, 2015, President Obama will welcome to the White House Nguyen Phu Trong, the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam.  The President looks forward to discussing with General Secretary Trong ways to strengthen further the U.S.-Vietnam Comprehensive Partnership, reflecting on the accomplishments of the past twenty years since the normalization of bilateral diplomatic relations.  The President also welcomes the opportunity to discuss other issues, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership, human rights, and bilateral defense cooperation.

I’m not exactly sure what will come out of this meeting. The Vietnamese government in Hanoi has demonstrated time and again that they are firmly under the thumb of Beijing. Moreover, members of the VCP, with party chief Trong being one of the biggest offenders, have all shown ineptitude in reaching any sort of solution to the woes of their country, economically, socially, and politically.

For these reasons, I believe that President Obama’s hopes of establishing closer ties with Vietnam will once again fall short of any substantial gains. Human rights remains an issue that has hindered the U.S. goal of establishing a meaningful partnership with Vietnam, and judging from the ongoing violations that the communist state continues to orchestrate, this issue shows little hope of being resolved anytime soon.

The U.S. has deep interests in strengthening relations with Vietnam, and is willing to offer the communist nation vast benefits to reach that end. However, judging from the VCP’s tendency to fashion their foreign policy in accordance with Beijing’s wishes, it is highly unlikely that Trong or the VCP will risk offending China by warming up to the United States, no matter how beneficial siding with America is to Vietnam’s growth.

In terms of strengthening relations with Vietnam, the U.S. is willing to offer Vietnam a seat in the new Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), as well as the easing of restrictions on the sales of lethal weaponry, and the increasing of economic ties. The U.S. wants to provide Vietnam with these major benefits, and has been very patient with the communist state’s continued intransigence, most notably with Vietnam diplomatically siding with China and blatantly abusing human rights domestically.

Besides the complicated situation with China, human rights is the only major impediment to Vietnam gaining the extensive economic, military, and geopolitical benefits that comes from partnership with the United States. However, as a communist government who is struggling to maintain stranglehold on power, as a cowardly government in constant fear of offending China, and as dullards who can’t hit water if they fell out of a boat, the Vietnamese Communist Party and its leader Nguyen Phu Trong will not be smart enough to take the many benefits that the U.S. is wanting to give to them.

In my predictions, no substantial agreements will be met between Vietnam and the United States. Unless President Obama is willing to overlook the human rights issue completely, something I really hope he does not do, it is doubtful that the establishment of the Trans-Pacific Partnership will become a reality.

Nguyen Phu Trong, nicknamed “Trọng Lú,” or “Trọng the Stupid,” or “Trọng the Confused,” or “Trọng the Dazed,” or “Trọng the Dullard,” (depending on your choice of translation) by the international Vietnamese community, will not make the obvious choice of simply improving human rights to vastly benefit his country. It’s so simple, but he will not get it. He’s called Trọng Lú for a reason.

The only thing I hope to see today are the major democracy, human rights, and anti-communist protests upon Trong’s arrival. Any organization that is staging demonstrations, all the more power to you. Come out in droves, make him hear you.

“Trọng Lú.”

This Blogger’s Take on Le Hieu Dang’s “Multiparty” Ploy

Posted in Modern History, Opinions, Politics with tags , , , , , , on September 7, 2013 by Ian Pham

Vietnam StreetsI was going to title this article as “Le Hieu Dang’s Load of Crock,” but ultimately ruled in favor of the headline above, you know, for the sake of informativeness. To be fair, though, whatever Le Hieu Dang is doing in Vietnam is, in fact, a load of crock. If you’re just tuning in right now, you will soon be enlightened on who exactly this Le Hieu Dang is, and why his “multiparty” ploy is, for all intents and purposes, a load of crock. I used that phrase for decorum, I am sure you all know what I actually call it in my head.

The Story So Far

Le Hieu DangLast week, a Communist Party member, Le Hieu Dang, published an article announcing that he wants to start a new political party. Furthermore, he was encouraging current and former members of the Communist Party to join him. Apparently, he had some “grievances” with the contemporary Communist Party, and felt that the time was ripe to form his own political party and set the country back on the path of righteousness.

Now you’re probably thinking: “Gee, Ian. That’s great! Someone from the Communist Party is finally stepping up and doing what they should have been doing all along! Good for him!” — Were you thinking that? No, no you weren’t. None of us were. Le Hieu Dang can go hang himself, along with the rest of those Communist idiots. I will give you numerous reasons as to why Le Hieu Dang is full of crap, and provide further proof that the Communists Party of Vietnam is, in fact, mentally handicapped.

They thought this was going to work, they thought they were clever! Seriously, you guys, I actually die a little bit more inside whenever I think about those goofs in the Politburo, sitting around a big table and congratulating each other on coming up with depressingly stupid schemes such as this one. It physically hurts to think about.

Before we go any further, though, I must first clarify that this is my own personal view on the matter. There is an ongoing debate right now on whether he is full of it or not, and what I have here are just a few key reasons on why I believe Le Hieu Dang is in cahoots with the Communist Party.

1. Le Hieu Dang Is Still A Communist Party Member and Shows No Sign of Leaving

Through all of his boasting, Le Hieu Dang is still an active member of the Vietnamese Communist Party. He claims that he wants to start his own political party, but has yet to denounce his ties to the VCP thus far. He has not taken any personal responsibility as a member of the party, nor has he repudiated any of the party’s countless crimes against humanity.

If he was genuinely disenchanted with the VCP and wanted to create a new party, the elementary (not to mention obvious) step of achieving this goal is to sever relations with his current political party. Le Hieu Dang has not done this, nor does he show any sign or intention of doing so. There’s the first major flaw in his plan, and that enough should make clear how bogus these multiparty claims are.

2. There Has Yet to Be Any Backlash or Crackdowns Against Dang’s “New Party”

All this talk from Dang about creating his own party, and all the Communists do is “express disappointment” about it in their state-run media. For a country that has no toleration for political opposition, the government is doing very little to deal with what is apparently a separate organization that is trying to establish itself.

Le Hieu Dang VCPIf this was real, that is, if there were actually those who had genuine grievances against the party, and was openly trying to rival the VCP, rest assured that a few dozen plain-clothed and uniformed policemen would be knocking on their door already. These said individuals would be put on show trials, their loved ones would all be beaten and harassed, and all of their belongings and livelihood would have been seized by the state and added to Nguyen Tan Dung’s retirement fund.

Brutal suppression is the protocol for any form of opposition against the VCP. Yet here, the government plays the nice guy routine, pulling the ole’ “I’m disappointed with you, but I respect your decision” crap towards Dang’s BREAKING OFF AND STARTING HIS OWN PARTY. It’s so obviously bull, it’s embarrassing that they thought it would work. Seriously, guys, I think this is where the aforementioned round table discussion comes into play: All the Communist idiots sit around and congratulate each other for coming up with such a brilliant scheme; Nguyen Tan Dung claps his hands together, pats himself on the back, and hands out cookies to everyone for a job well done; Everyone forgets to swallow their saliva. To be serious though, this is not a very subtle or clever plan, and it is damn sure not original.

3. This Has Happened Before

MaoThis is not the first time that a totalitarian ruler, or in this case, rulers, pretended to show tolerance for political pluralism in a single party state. One of the most infamous cases for such a ploy can be traced back to 1956, with a political movement called the Hundred Flowers Campaign in Mao Zedong’s China. What he did then, and what I suspect the VCP is trying to do now, was provide a false sense of freedom within his Communist state. Mao encouraged anyone who had grievances with his Communist Party to express their opinions and thoughts openly. This resulted in a flood of open opposition to Mao, with many important intellectuals coming out of hiding. Once it became clear who his enemies were, Mao ruthlessly liquidated all of his targets, both inside and outside of the party, thus preserving his rule and silencing the people once and for all.

Ho Chi MinhSuch tactics were also utilized in Vietnam by Ho Chi Minh himself, as well as his successors. Throughout the Civil War era in Vietnam, the Communist Party, despite being a one party state, established two puppet parties, the Democratic Party and the Socialist Party to simulate multiparty democracy in Vietnam. Both parties operated under the orders of the Communist Party however, and were eventually disbanded in 1988, with dissidents leaders and believers all jailed and persecuted.

The Benefit of the Doubt: A Slim Chance for Truth

It is my suspicion that this new splintering of the Communist Party, “championed” by Le Hieu Dang, is just another trap orchestrated by the higher-uppers of Vietnam’s government. I do admit that though I strongly believe what Le Hieu Dang is doing is a dirty trick, there is no way we can know for sure at this point in time. Only hindsight will show us whether he is truthful or not. I can throw him a benefit of the doubt and say that maybe there is a chance he is being sincere.

If he what he is doing is real, then great, Vietnam will be better off, and he will win my commendation. However, as someone who has witnessed nothing but lies and betrayal from the VCP, and Communists in general, I can say that the chance of Le Hieu Dang not being full of crap is extremely thin. Given their history of deception and brutality, it is no exaggeration to believe that the Communists are once again trying to flush out all of their political opponents and eliminate them, all in a pathetic attempt to prolong the party’s worthless existence.

The Aims of This Ploy

Patriotic YouthWith the increasing unrest in Vietnam, concurrent with the ever-growing influence and momentum of the Patriotic Youth, aka Tuoi Tre Yeu Nuoc, the VCP is trying everything in its power to alleviate the tensions. It is my prediction that this new Le Hieu Dang situation is just another Communist trick to lure out dissidents within Vietnam, so that the party can try to hunt them down and cling to their evermore feeble grip on power.

Barack ObamaFurthermore, with President Obama’s establishment of the new Trans Pacific Partnership, which Vietnam is extremely eager to join, the leaders in the Communist Party are doing everything they can to appear civil and respectable in front of the United States. With this alleged establishment of multiparty democracy in Vietnam, the Communists are hoping to improve their image, just enough to win acceptance into the TPP.

Of course however, just like in the past (i.e. like after finally getting Vietnam removed from the list of Countries of Particular Concern), the Communists will shamelessly backpedal and abuse all the human rights they so desire. They will wait until it is safe to do, such as when America turns its back on Vietnam to focus on other pressing matters. Paying lip service to the West, then when the coast is clear, rear their ugly dictatorial head all over again. It’s textbook Communism. My people in Vietnam, don’t fall for this dirty trick.