US embassy cable - 00HANOI1493

CENTRAL COMMITTEE BLESSES KEY POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC REPORTS AFTER DEBATE ON GLOBALIZATION

Identifier: 00HANOI1493
Wikileaks: View 00HANOI1493 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Hanoi
Created: 2000-07-10 11:12:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: PGOV ECON ETRD PREL VM
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

101112Z Jul 00

2000HANOI01493 - CONFIDENTIAL
 
 
 
                           CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ1459

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      CTME-00  DOEE-00  SRPP-00  DS-00    EB-00    EXIM-01  E-00     
      FBIE-00  VC-00    FRB-00   H-01     TEDE-00  INR-00   ITC-01   
      LAB-01   L-00     VCE-00   AC-01    NRRC-00  NSAE-00  OES-01   
      OMB-01   OPIC-01  PA-00    PM-00    PRS-00   ACE-00   P-00     
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      G-00     FDIC-01  NFAT-00  SAS-00     /012W
                  ------------------6C0EB9  101114Z /38    
FM AMEMBASSY HANOI
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0330
INFO NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
DEPTTREAS WASHDC PRIORITY
USDOC WASHDC PRIORITY
SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
JOINT STAFF WASHDC PRIORITY
USCINCPAC HONOLULU HI//J5/FPA// PRIORITY
DIA WASHDC PRIORITY
ASEAN COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
AMEMBASSY BEIJING PRIORITY 
AMCONSUL HONG KONG PRIORITY 
AMEMBASSY TOKYO PRIORITY 
AMEMBASSY SEOUL PRIORITY 
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 04 HANOI 001493 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE ALSO FOR EAP/BCLTV, E, EB, DRL, INR/EAP 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 02        HANOI  01493  01 OF 04  101114Z 
STATE PASS USTR AMB FISHER/DAUSTR DAMOND 
WHITE HOUSE FOR DEP/ASST TO POTUS LBRAINARD 
NSC FOR RAVIC HUSO 
SECDEF FOR ISA/EAP LEW STERN 
USDOC FOR 4431/MAC/AP/OKSA/HPPHO 
USDA FOR FAA/AO/SHUETE 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 7/10/2010 
TAGS: PGOV, ECON, ETRD, PREL, VM 
SUBJECT: CENTRAL COMMITTEE BLESSES KEY POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC REPORTS AFTER DEBATE ON GLOBALIZATION 
 
 
1. (U) CLASSIFIED BY DCM DENNIS HARTER; 
REASONS 1.5 (B) AND (D). 
 
2. (C) SUMMARY: THE TENTH COMMUNIST PARTY PLENUM, 
WHICH CONCLUDED JULY 4, FOCUSED PRIMARILY ON 
FINALIZING KEY POLICY DOCUMENTS FOR THE NINTH PARTY 
CONGRESS NEXT MARCH.  THE CENTRAL COMMITTEE MEMBERS 
AGREED ON DRAFT TEXTS OF THE POLITICAL REPORT, FIVE- 
YEAR ECONOMIC PLAN, 10-YEAR SOCIAL/ECONOMIC STRATEGY 
PLAN, AND PARTY STATUTE, ALL OF WHICH NOW GO TO LOCAL 
AND PROVINCIAL PARTY CONGRESSES FOR DISCUSSION 
BEGINNING IN AUGUST.  GENERAL SECRETARY PHIEU NOTED 
THE PARTY WILL CONTINUE TO ADHERE TO A MULTI-SECTOR 
ECONOMY IN WHICH THE STATE PLAYS A LEADERSHIP ROLE, 
AND HE CALLED FOR CONTINUING THE PARTY-BUILDING AND 
RECTIFICATION CAMPAIGNS, WHICH HE ADMITTED HAD MET 
WITH LIMITED SUCCESS.  THE PLENUM FEATURED BROAD 
DEBATE ABOUT THE POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE IMPACT OF 
GLOBALIZATION ON VIETNAM AND GAVE GENERAL ASSENT TO A 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 03        HANOI  01493  01 OF 04  101114Z 
GOVERNMENT INITIATIVE TO DEVELOP A "KNOWLEDGE-BASED 
ECONOMY" TO MAKE GREATER USE OF INFORMATION 
TECHNOLOGY.  ACCORDING TO PARTY OFFICIALS, THERE WAS 
NO SPECIFIC DISCUSSION OF THE BILATERAL TRADE 
AGREEMENT OR PERSONNEL ISSUES.  END SUMMARY. 
 
--------------------------------------------- ---- 
PLENUM FINALIZES DRAFT REPORTS FOR PARTY CONGRESS 
--------------------------------------------- ---- 
 
3. (U) THE 165 CURRENT MEMBERS OF VIETNAM'S COMMUNIST 
PARTY (CPV) CENTRAL COMMITTEE MET FOR THEIR TENTH 
PLENUM SESSION FROM JUNE 26-JULY 4 IN HANOI.  THE 
PLENUM'S PRIMARY AGENDA WAS TO FINALIZE THE KEY 
DOCUMENTS FOR THE NINTH CPV CONGRESS, WHICH IS 
TENTATIVELY SCHEDULED TO BE AT THE END OF MARCH 2001. 
ACCORDING TO A BRIEFING BY CENTRAL COMMITTEE DEPUTY 
HEAD OF IDEOLOGY DAO DUY QUAT, THE PLENUM MEMBERS 
AGREED ON "MOST POINTS" OF THE DRAFT TEXTS OF THE FOUR 
KEY REPORTS -- THE POLITICAL REPORT, THE ECONOMIC PLAN 
FOR 2001-2005, 10-YEAR SOCIAL/ECONOMIC STRATEGY REPORT 
FOR 2001-2010, AND THE PARTY STATUTE. 
 
4. (SBU) COMMENT: THIS PLENUM FINALIZED THE WORK OF 
THE NINTH PLENUM IN APRIL, AT WHICH TIME THE CPV 
LEADERSHIP HAD EXPECTED TO FINISH THESE DOCUMENTS. 
THIS DELAY SUGGESTS THAT THE PARTY MAY HAVE TROUBLE 
STAYING "ON SCHEDULE" TO HOLD THE CPV CONGRESS BY THE 
END OF MARCH.  FIVE YEARS AGO, THE CPV EIGHTH CONGRESS 
WAS DELAYED SEVERAL MONTHS TO FINISH THE CONSULTATION 
PROCESS AND REACH AGREEMENT ON KEY DOCUMENTS.  ARGUING 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 04        HANOI  01493  01 OF 04  101114Z 
AGAINST A DELAY THIS TIME, HOWEVER, IS THE FACT THAT 
HANOI WILL BE HOSTING THE ASEAN MINISTERIAL, POST- 
MINISTERIAL, AND ASEAN REGIONAL FORUM MEETINGS NEXT 
SUMMER, PROBABLY IN JULY.  END COMMENT. 
 
5. (SBU) THOUGH THE DRAFT POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC 
DOCUMENTS WERE NOT RELEASED TO THE PUBLIC OR 
CIRCULATED OUTSIDE THE PARTY, THERE WERE NO SURPRISES 
REGARDING THE THEMES HIGHLIGHTED IN THE PLENUM 
COMMUNIQUE OR IN BRIEFINGS FOLLOWING THE PLENUM. 
PICKING UP THEMES CITED IN RECENT SPEECHES BY CPV 
GENERAL SECRETARY LE KHA PHIEU AND IN THE COMMUNIQUE 
FOLLOWING THE NINTH PLENUM IN APRIL, THE CENTRAL 
COMMITTEE ANNOUNCED IT WILL FURTHER OUTLINE HOW 
VIETNAM PLANS TO DEVELOP ITS "MULTI-SECTOR, MARKET- 
ORIENTED SOCIALIST ECONOMY."  OVERALL THE PLENUM 
CONTINUED THE PARTY'S EMPHASIS ON STABILITY AND 
INCREMENTAL ECONOMIC POLICY CHANGE. 
 
6. (SBU) IN A PRESS CONFERENCE AFTER THE PLENUM, QUAT 
SAID THE CENTRAL COMMITTEE HELD EXTENSIVE DEBATE OVER 
FOUR MAIN SUBJECTS THAT THE POLITBURO AND PARTY 
CONGRESS DRAFTING COMMITTEE WERE LOOKING AT REGARDING 
THE PARTY CONGRESS DOCUMENTS: 
 
-- AN EVALUATION OF THE DOMESTIC AND INTERNATIONAL 
SITUATIONS, WITH ATTENTION TO THE OPPORTUNITIES AND 
CHALLENGES FACING VIETNAM IN THE 21ST CENTURY; 
 
-- THE FORMS OF OWNERSHIP ALLOWED IN VIETNAM AND THE 
VARIOUS ECONOMIC SECTORS IN THIS PERIOD OF "TRANSITION 
TO SOCIALISM"; 
 
-- BUILDING AN INDEPENDENT AND SELF-RELIANT ECONOMY; 
 
-- DIRECTIONS FOR THE CPV'S "PARTY BUILDING" IN THE 
COMING YEAR. 
 
(COMMENT: THE RUBRIC OF "TRANSITION TO SOCIALISM" IS 
HOW THE CPV DESCRIBES WHERE VIETNAM IS ON THE ROAD TO 
ITS GLORIOUS "SOCIALIST" FUTURE, DESPITE THE FACT THAT 
MARKETS ARE PLAYING AN INCREASINGLY IMPORTANT ROLE IN 
THE COUNTRY'S ECONOMY.  END COMMENT.) 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 03        HANOI  01493  02 OF 04  101114Z 
 
7. (U) SPEAKING AT THE CLOSE OF THE PLENUM, PHIEU 
AFFIRMED THE CPV WOULD CONTINUE TO ADHERE TO A MULTI- 
SECTOR ECONOMY IN WHICH THE STATE PLAYS A LEADERSHIP 
ROLE.  HE REVIEWED, IN DIALECTICAL FASHION, BOTH THE 
SOCIO-ECONOMIC ACHIEVEMENTS AND SHORTCOMINGS OF 
VIETNAM IN RECENT YEARS AND SUGGESTED THE KEY TASKS 
FOR FURTHER DEVELOPMENT, INDUSTRIALIZATION AND 
MODERNIZATION IN THE YEARS AHEAD. 
 
8. (C) AN OFFICER AT THE CHINESE MISSION IN HANOI 
INFORMED POLCOUNS THAT THIS YEAR'S POLITICAL REPORT IS 
MUCH MORE STREAMLINED THAN IN PAST YEARS: 63 PAGES, 
WITH 10 MAIN THEMES.  ACCORDING TO THE PRC MISSION, 
THIS CONTRASTS WITH THE 1996 POLITICAL REPORT AT THE 
EIGHTH CONGRESS, WHICH WAS UNWIELDY AT MORE THAN 100 
PAGES AND HAD LITTLE THEMATIC UNITY.  THE THEMES CITED 
BY QUAT (PARA 6 ABOVE) COMPRISE AT LEAST FOUR OF THESE 
10 THEMES, ACCORDING TO THE PRC EMBOFF, AND WE BELIEVE 
THAT, BROKEN OUT INTO SUB-THEMES, THEY MAY COMPRISE 
THE BULK OF THE POLITICAL REPORT. 
 
--------------------------------------------- -- 
PLENUM FOCUSES ON GLOBALIZATION, THOUGH NOT BTA 
--------------------------------------------- -- 
 
9. (U) IN RESPONSE TO QUESTIONS FROM THE MEDIA AND 
DIPLOMATS, QUAT SAID MUCH OF THE PLENUM DISCUSSION 
FOCUSED ON GLOBALIZATION, INCLUDING ITS POSITIVE AND 
NEGATIVE IMPACT.  THE CENTRAL COMMITTEE ALSO DISCUSSED 
AND GAVE GENERAL ASSENT TO A GOVERNMENT INITIATIVE TO 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 04        HANOI  01493  02 OF 04  101114Z 
DEVELOP A "KNOWLEDGE-BASED ECONOMY" TO MAKE GREATER 
USE OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY.  (WE WILL REPORT 
FURTHER ON THESE ISSUES IN FORTHCOMING SEPTEL.) 
 
10. (SBU) IN RESPONSE TO A REPORTER'S QUESTION, QUAT 
SAID THE BILATERAL TRADE AGREEMENT (BTA) WAS NOT 
DISCUSSED SPECIFICALLY, THOUGH THERE WAS MUCH GENERAL 
DISCUSSION ON GLOBALIZATION AND ECONOMIC INTEGRATION. 
CHOOSING HIS WORDS WITH OBVIOUS CARE, QUAT DESCRIBED 
THE THEN-UPCOMING TRIP OF TRADE MINISTER VU KHOAN TO 
WASHINGTON TO MEET WITH US TRADE REPRESENTATIVE 
BARSHEFSKY AND NOTED VIETNAM'S INTEREST IN CONCLUDING 
THE BTA SOON.  HE SAID "IT IS HOPED BOTH SIDES WILL 
REFLECT ON THE ALL THE FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES" AT 
STAKE CONCERNING THE BTA, AND THAT IF A TEXT CAN BE 
AGREED UPON THAT "CONFORMS TO THE PRINCIPLES OF 
EQUALITY AND MUTUAL BENEFIT," THEN THE BTA CAN BE 
SIGNED SOON.  (COMMENT: THOUGH A CENTRAL COMMITTEE 
REPRESENTATIVE, QUAT IS NOT A KEY PLAYER ON THE BTA, 
AND WE DO NOT READ INTO HIS RESPONSE ANY GREAT 
SIGNIFICANCE, AS IT IS CONSISTENT WITH OTHER RECENT 
GVN STATEMENTS ON THE BTA.  END COMMENT.) 
 
--------------------------------------------- ------ 
DOCUMENTS PASSED TO LOCAL CONGRESSES FOR DISCUSSION 
--------------------------------------------- ------ 
 
11. (C) ALL OF THE KEY PARTY CONGRESS DOCUMENTS WILL 
NOW BE TRANSMITTED TO THE LOCAL AND PROVINCIAL PARTY 
CONGRESSES FOR DISCUSSION BY LOCAL CPV MEMBERS AT 
"GRASSROOTS LEVELS."  ACCORDING TO THE CPV'S POLICY OF 
"DEMOCRATIC CENTRALISM," THE CPV MEMBERS WILL PROVIDE 
FEEDBACK AND INPUT TO THE DRAFTING COMMITTEE THAT IS 
FINALIZING THESE DOCUMENTS FOR PRESENTATION. 
 
12. (U) QUAT SAID CPV CONGRESSES AT ALL SUBORDINATE 
LEVELS -- FIRST LOCAL LEVELS AND LATER PROVINCIAL AND 
MUNICIPAL LEVELS (THE LATTER FOR LARGE CITIES SUCH AS 
HANOI, HO CHI MINH CITY AND DANANG) -- WOULD BEGIN 
MEETING IN AUGUST.  QUAT SAID THE PARTY'S NEXT PLENUM 
WOULD BE HELD AFTER ALL THE LOCAL CONGRESSES ARE 
CONDUCTED, LIKELY IN OCTOBER OR NOVEMBER.  ANOTHER CPV 
REPRESENTATIVE STATED THERE WOULD BE YET ANOTHER 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 03        HANOI  01493  03 OF 04  101114Z 
PLENUM (WHICH WOULD BE THE TWELFTH) PRIOR TO THE PARTY 
CONGRESS (PRESUMABLY AT THE BEGINNING OF 2001).  QUAT 
SAID THE POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC DOCUMENTS WOULD BE 
PUBLISHED OPENLY IN EARLY 2001 SO THAT THE VIETNAMESE 
PUBLIC AT LARGE COULD HAVE A CHANCE TO COMMENT ON THE 
DOCUMENTS PRIOR TO THE CONGRESS.  (SEPTEL WILL REPORT 
FURTHER ON THE ROAD TO THE PARTY CONGRESS AND THE 
MEETINGS LEADING UP TO IT.) 
 
--------------------------------------------- ----- 
PARTY-BUILDING, SELF-CRITICISM, AND STANDING BOARD 
--------------------------------------------- ----- 
 
13. (U) AT THE PLENUM, GENERAL SECRETARY PHIEU ALSO 
CALLED FOR CONTINUING THE PARTY-BUILDING AND 
RECTIFICATION CAMPAIGN, WHICH HE ADMITTED HAD MET WITH 
LIMITED SUCCESS.  (NOTE: FOR THE PAST YEAR THE CPV HAS 
BEEN ENGAGED IN A CRITICISM/SELF-CRITICISM CAMPAIGN, 
WHICH HAS LED TO THE CENSURING OF SEVERAL SENIOR PARTY 
AND GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS, INCLUDING FORMER DEPUTY 
PRIME MINISTER LOC, MINISTER OF PLANNING AND 
INVESTMENT GIA, AND FORMER CUSTOMS CHIEF DINH.)  PHIEU 
URGED THAT THE PARTY CONTINUE ITS EFFORTS TO BUILD A 
STRONGER ORGANIZATION AND MAINTAIN PRINCIPLES AND 
INTEGRITY.  HE RECOMMENDED THAT THE PARTY CONGRESS 
MEMBERS CONTINUE THIS CAMPAIGN AFTER THE CONGRESS. 
UNLIKE THE NINTH PLENUM THAT ENDED APRIL 19, PARTY 
PERSONNEL ISSUES WERE NOT DISCUSSED SPECIFICALLY, 
ACCORDING TO QUAT. 
 
14. (U) IN RESPONSE TO A REPORTER'S QUESTION, QUAT 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 04        HANOI  01493  03 OF 04  101114Z 
SAID THE CENTRAL COMMITTEE VOTED TO RETAIN THE PRESENT 
STRUCTURE OF THE POLITBURO STANDING BOARD, COMPRISED 
OF THE CPV'S FIVE MOST SENIOR MEMBERS.  AT THE LAST 
PLENUM, THE CPV HAD CONSIDERED RETURNING TO A 
POLITBURO SECRETARIAT, COMPOSED OF STAFF PRESUMABLY TO 
HELP THE SENIOR POLITBURO MEMBERS DEAL WITH THE PRESS 
OF BUSINESS ON THEIR SCHEDULES.  HOWEVER, QUAT SAID 
THE PLENUM WOULD NOW RECOMMEND TO THE PARTY CONGRESS 
TO MAINTAIN THE PRESENT STRUCTURE. 
 
15. (C) IN RESPONSE TO ANOTHER QUESTION, QUAT SAID 
THERE WAS NO DISCUSSION OF WHETHER TO COMBINE THE 
ROLES OF PARTY GENERAL SECRETARY AND STATE PRESIDENT. 
(COMMENT: WE UNDERSTAND THIS ISSUE, WHICH WOULD ALLOW 
PHIEU TO ATTAIN THE DUAL STATUS SIMILAR TO THAT HELD 
BY PRC PRESIDENT JIANG, CONTINUES TO BE DISCUSSED 
WITHIN THE PARTY LEADERSHIP AND MAY YET BE ADOPTED AT 
THE PARTY CONGRESS, THOUGH THE OUTCOME IS UNCERTAIN. 
END COMMENT.) 
 
16. (C) COMMENT: THIS PLENUM CONTAINED LITTLE OF 
SURPRISE.  THE CENTRAL COMMITTEE FINALIZED DRAFTS OF 
THE KEY PARTY REPORTS, AND WE SEE LITTLE VISION AMIDST 
THE THEMES HIGHLIGHTED.  THE BROAD DEBATE ON 
GLOBALIZATION AND A "KNOWLEDGE-BASED ECONOMY" IS 
INTRIGUING TO US; OUR DISCUSSIONS WITH GOVERNMENT AND 
THINK TANK SOURCES SUGGEST THERE IS A GROWING 
REALIZATION AT MID-LEVELS OF THE CPV AND GOVERNMENT OF 
THE IMPORTANCE OF VIETNAM'S MOVING FORWARD WITH 
ECONOMIC REFORMS IN ORDER TO BE ABLE TO PARTICIPATE IN 
THE BENEFITS OF GREATER TRADE AND THE POSSIBILITIES OF 
INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY.  HOWEVER, AS ALWAYS IN THIS 
HIGHLY PATERNALISTIC POLITICAL CULTURE, WHAT DECIDES 
THE DAY IS WHAT THE SENIOR-MOST LEADERS OF THE 
POLITBURO THINK ON THESE QUESTIONS.  EXPERIENCE SHOWS 
THEY PREFER A CAUTIOUS, INCREMENTAL APPROACH.  END 
COMMENT. 
PETERSON 
 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
 


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