US embassy cable - 00HANOI2557

AMBASSADOR'S MEETING WITH VICE MINISTER BIN ON PRESIDENT CLINTON'S VISIT TO VIETNAM

Identifier: 00HANOI2557
Wikileaks: View 00HANOI2557 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Hanoi
Created: 2000-11-22 08:53:00
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
Tags: 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.

220853Z Nov 00

2000HANOI02557 - UNCLASSIFIED
 
 
 
                           UNCLASSIFIED     PTQ2800

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ACTION EAP-00   

INFO  LOG-00   NP-00    AID-00   ACQ-00   CIAE-00  DODE-00  SRPP-00  
      DS-00    FBIE-00  UTED-00  VC-00    TEDE-00  INR-00   VCE-00   
      NSAE-00  IRM-00   SSO-00   SS-00    DSCC-00  NFAT-00  SAS-00   
        /000W
                  ------------------A27BEC  220907Z /38    
FM AMEMBASSY HANOI
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1367
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 HANOI 002557 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT FOR EAP/BCLTV 
 
SENSITIVE 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PREL, VM 
SUBJECT:  AMBASSADOR'S MEETING WITH VICE MINISTER BIN ON PRESIDENT CLINTON'S VISIT TO VIETNAM 
 
 
1.  (SBU) AMBASSADOR ON NOVEMBER 22 CALLED ON MFA 
SENIOR VICE MINISTER BIN TO REVIEW THE RESULTS OF THE 
RECENTLY CONCLUDED VISIT BY PRESIDENT CLINTON.  THE 
AMBASSADOR BEGAN BY THANKING THE VIETNAMESE SIDE FOR 
ITS COOPERATION AND EXPRESSED THE PRESIDENT'S AND THE 
FIRST LADY'S SATISFACTION WITH THE VISIT AND THE 
MEETINGS THEY HAD WITH VIETNAMESE OFFICIALS.  THE 
AMBASSADOR NOTED ONE OF THE MAJOR SUCCESSES OF THE 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
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VISIT WAS THE IMAGE OF VIETNAM WHICH WAS TRANSMITTED 
BACK TO THE U.S. AND AROUND THE WORLD.  NO LONGER, HE 
SAID, COULD PEOPLE PRETEND VIETNAM WAS STILL THE WAY 
THEY HAD SEEN IT IN THE SIXTIES AND SEVENTIES AND 
EXPECT OTHER PEOPLE TO BELIEVE THEM.  VIETNAM'S 
RELATIONS WITH ASEAN AND THE REST OF THE WORLD HAD BEEN 
ENHANCED BECAUSE PEOPLE AROUND THE WORLD ALSO WERE ABLE 
TO SEE VIETNAM AND THE U.S. HAD DEVELOPED A 
RELATIONSHIP WHICH MATCHED THEIR OWN AND THAT VIETNAM 
WAS NOW IN THE SAME BALLPARK WITH MOST OF ITS ASEAN 
NEIGHBORS. 
 
2. (SBU) THE AMBASSADOR SAID U.S. POLICY TOWARD VIETNAM 
HAD BEEN GIVEN A NEW DIRECTION BY THE VISIT AND 
PARTICULARLY NOTED THE PRESIDENT'S COMMITMENT OF THE 
U.S. TO WORK WITH VIETNAM ON ITS REFORM AND OPENING 
POLICY.  HE NOTED THE U.S. WOULD MAKE ITS SUGGESTIONS, 
BUT THE PACE AND DECISIONS WOULD ALL BE ONES MADE BY 
THE VIETNAMESE LEADERSHIP.  THE U.S., HE SAID, WOULD 
NOT BE "FORCING" ANY STEPS OR ACTIONS ON THE VIETNAMESE 
WHICH THEY WERE NOT PREPARED TO TAKE ON THEIR OWN. 
CONTRASTING HIS OWN READING OF U.S. HISTORY WITH THAT 
OF PARTY GENERAL SECRETARY PHIEU, THE AMBASSADOR 
DECLARED THE U.S. HAS NEVER HAD "IMPERIALIST" DESIGNS 
ON OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD. 
 
3.  (SBU) THE AMBASSADOR DETAILED A NUMBER OF EVENTS -- 
THE PRESIDENTIAL PALACE WELCOMING CEREMONY, THE 
OFFICIAL BANQUET AND ENTERTAINMENT, AND THE FAREWELL 
CALL, AS WELL AS THE MEETINGS -- WHICH THE PRESIDENT 
AND MRS. CLINTON HAD FOUND VALUABLE AND WELL-ORGANIZED. 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
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HE SAID THE PRESIDENT WAS PARTICULARLY IMPRESSED WITH 
PRESIDENT LUONG AND HIS DEPTH OF KNOWLEDGE OF THE 
ISSUES.  HE PRAISED THE MEETING WITH PM KHAI FOR ITS 
FOCUS ON WAYS IN WHICH TO BUILD THE BILATERAL 
RELATIONSHIP AND TO MOVE ECONOMIC ISSUES AND THE BTA 
INTO GREATER FUTURE FOCUS.  THE AMBASSADOR EXPRESSED 
CONCERN PARTY GENERAL SECRETARY PHIEU HAD MISSED AN 
OPPORTUNITY TO ADD TO THAT IMAGE OF PROGRESS BY 
FOCUSING ON AN IDEOLOGICAL INTERPRETATION OF RELATIONS 
WHICH SUGGESTED HE MIGHT BE PUSHING AWAY THE HAND OF 
FRIENDSHIP WHICH WAS BEING OFFERED BY PRESIDENT 
CLINTON.  THE AMBASSADOR SAID HE HAD HEARD LOCAL 
VIETNAMESE ALSO EXPRESSING SOME DISSATISFACTION WITH 
THIS IMAGE OF PHIEU BASED ON ITS PORTRAYAL IN THE LOCAL 
PRESS. 
 
4.  (SBU) THE AMBASSADOR ASKED THE VIETNAMESE TO 
PROVIDE US WITH MORE INFORMATION ON THE TWO INDIVIDUALS 
WHO HAD BEEN PICKED UP SWIMMING NEAR THE CONTAINER PORT 
WHICH RESULTED IN THE VIETNAMESE PUBLIC SECURITY FORCES 
DECISION TO MOVE THE APL CONTAINER VESSEL THERE.  HE 
ALSO NOTED HIS PERSONAL CONCERN ABOUT THE ROLE OF LY 
TONG IN DUMPING LEAFLETS OVER THE CITY AS THE 
PRESIDENT'S VISIT WAS BEGINNING.  HE SAID HE UNDERSTOOD 
THE THAI GOVERNMENT HAD ARRESTED HIM FOR HIJACKING AND 
THAT THERE HAD BEEN SOME DISCUSSION OF HIS BEING 
PROSECUTED IN THE U.S. AS WELL.  THE AMBASSADOR SAID 
THE U.S. HAD NO KNOWLEDGE OF THE MATTER AND CONDEMNED 
HIJACKING AS A "DANGEROUS ACT" WHICH SHOULD NOT GO 
UNPUNISHED. 
 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
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5.  (SBU) THE AMBASSADOR CONCLUDED BY COMMENDING VICE 
MINISTER BIN AND THROUGH HIM ALL OF THE MFA STAFF WHO 
HAD GONE OUT OF THEIR WAY TO MAKE THIS VISIT SO 
SUCCESSFUL.  HE PARTICULARLY COMMENDED PROTOCOL 
DIRECTOR LUU FOR HIS GOOD WORK.  HE SAID THE PRESIDENT 
DEPARTED VIETNAM WITH A VERY WARM AND COMFORTABLE 
FEELING ABOUT VIETNAM AND ITS PEOPLE.  THE PEOPLE HAD 
REACTED WITH A GENUINE SHOW OF ENTHUSIASM AND AFFECTION 
WHICH DEEPLY TOUCHED ALL OF THE MEMBERS OF THE U.S. 
TEAM.  HE THEN SUGGESTED BIN AND HIS STAFF MEET WITH 
HIM AND EMBASSY PERSONNEL IN THE COMING WEEKS TO TAKE A 
LOOK AT NEXT STEPS TO BUILD THE RELATIONSHIP AND TO 
BETTER DELINEATE VIETNAMESE PRIORITIES. 
 
6.  (SBU) VICE MINISTER BIN THANKED THE AMBASSADOR FOR 
HIS WORDS OF PRAISE AND FOR HIS FRANK ASSESSMENT OF THE 
VISIT, SAYING HE TOO SHARED MANY OF THESE CONCLUSIONS, 
ESPECIALLY THAT THE OVERALL VISIT WAS A BIG SUCCESS. 
IN STOCK FORMULATION, BIN SAID THE VISIT WAS GOOD 
BECAUSE IT ENHANCED MUTUAL UNDERSTANDING BETWEEN THE 
COUNTRIES AND PEOPLES AND THAT IT PROVIDED AN 
OPPORTUNITY FOR BOTH SIDES TO PLEDGE THEIR COOPERATION 
ON HEALING THE CONSEQUENCES OF THE WAR.  CHIDING THE 
U.S. SIDE BECAUSE OF ITS EFFORTS TO CUT OUT THE 
FAREWELL AT THE PRESIDENTIAL PALACE AND TO SIGN 
BILATERAL AGREEMENTS IN ADVANCE OF THE VISIT, BIN SAID 
"I TOLD YOU WE COULD PROVIDE GOOD CEREMONIES.  IT WAS 
IMPORTANT FOR THE TWO PRESIDENTS TO WITNESS THE 
SIGNINGS AND FOR PEOPLE TO SEE THE OFFICIAL FAREWELL." 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
PAGE 02        HANOI  02557  02 OF 02  220907Z 
 
7.  (SBU) HE URGED THE U.S. SIDE TO PUSH FORWARD WITH 
RATIFICATION OF THE BTA AND TO PROVIDE VIETNAM WITH 
TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE TO HELP VIETNAM MEET ITS 
OBLIGATIONS UNDER THE AGREEMENT.  HE WELCOMED THE U.S. 
INITIATIVE ON THE ECONOMIC DIALOGUE BUT URGED THE U.S. 
NOW TO "PROVIDE INSIGHT" INTO THE PROCESS SO VIETNAM 
MIGHT DESIGNATE THE APPROPRIATE AGENCY CONTACT PERSONS 
TO WORK ON THIS ISSUE.  HE SAID HE HOPED THE NEW S&T 
AGREEMENT WOULD PROVIDE THE BASIS FOR FURTHER DEEPENING 
OF SPECIFIC COOPERATION AND SAID HE HOPED THE DIALOGUE 
ON DIOXINS IN SINGAPORE NEXT WEEK WOULD HAVE GOOD 
RESULTS.  HE REINFORCED VIETNAMESE COMMITMENT TO 
HEALING THE WOUNDS OF WAR THROUGH MIA ASSISTANCE TO THE 
U.S. AND THANKED THE U.S. FOR ADDRESSING THESE ISSUES 
IN ITS PRESENTATIONS DURING THE VISIT.  BIN PRAISED THE 
U.S. CONTRIBUTIONS TO DEMINING ACTIVITIES AND TO 
PLEDGES REGARDING DETOXIFICATION OF SITES.  HE URGED 
THE U.S. TO CONSIDER PROVIDING SOME "APPROPRIATE FORMS 
OF ASSISTANCE" FOR VIETNAM, "WHILE WE ARE DOING THE 
SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH ON AGENT ORANGE."  ACCORDING TO 
BIN, PRESIDENT LUONG WAS VERY TOUCHED BY THE AMOUNT OF 
ASSISTANCE THE U.S. HAD PROVIDED TO HELP VIETNAM TO 
COPE WITH NATURAL DISASTERS AND WAS PLEASED BY THE 
ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE WARNING SYSTEM ASSISTANCE.  HE 
REVEALED THAT THE PRIME MINISTER HAD DECIDED TO 
COOPERATE WITH THE U.S. AND THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY 
ON A MEETING IN 2001 ON SAFETY FOR CHILDREN.  (NOTE: 
THIS IS THE FIRST FORMAL INDICATION THE VIETNAMESE 
PRIME MINISTER HAS TAKEN THIS ISSUE TO HEART AND HAS 
MADE IT A NATIONAL COMMITMENT. END NOTE) 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
PAGE 03        HANOI  02557  02 OF 02  220907Z 
 
8.  (SBU) DISCUSSING THE SECRETARY GENERAL'S MEETING 
WITH THE PRESIDENT, BIN SAID PHIEU WAS EXPRESSING THE 
VIEWS AND POSITIONS OF VIETNAM AS AN "INDEPENDENT" 
COUNTRY.  HE NOTED EACH PERSON HAD HIS OWN "STYLE AND 
MANNER" AND NOTED THAT PHIEU SPOKE VERY FRANKLY TO THE 
PRESIDENT IN THEIR MEETING.  TRYING TO GIVE THE MEETING 
CONTENT A MORE POSITIVE SPIN, BIN REMARKED THAT PHIEU 
HAD INVITED THE PRESIDENT AND HIS FAMILY TO RETURN TO 
VIETNAM ONCE HE WAS NO LONGER IN OFFICE.  HE AGAIN 
THANKED THE AMBASSADOR FOR HIS ASSESSMENT AND FOR HIS 
PRAISE OF THE MFA TEAM AND THOSE OF OTHER COLLEAGUES. 
HE EXTENDED SIMILAR PRAISE TO THE EMBASSY, CONGEN, AND 
WASHINGTON PERSONNEL WHO HAD HELPED TO MAKE THE VISIT 
AN IMPORTANT HISTORICAL EVENT FOR BOTH SIDES. 
 
9.  (SBU) SEPTELS PROVIDE DETAILS ON BIN'S PRESENTATION 
REGARDING LY TONG AND THE TEXT OF A DIPLOMATIC NOTE ON 
THAT SUBJECT. 
 
PETERSON 
 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 


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