Cablegate: Politburo Member Seeks Anti-Corruption Training for Party

DE RUEHHI #0414/01 1010932
R 100932Z APR 08




E.O. 12958: N/A


REF: Hanoi 152

HANOI 00000414 001.2 OF 003


1. (SBU) In an April 9 meeting with Ambassador, Politburo member
Nguyen Van Chi asked for U.S. help in selecting American
institutions with expertise in anti-corruption work which could
cooperate with Vietnam to enhance its capacity in that regard. The
Ambassador and Chi discussed Hanoi's fight against corruption as
well as U.S.-Vietnam relations and reform of Vietnam's educational
system. Chi is Chairman of the Communist Party's powerful Central
Inspection Commission, responsible for supervising and disciplining
Party officials and, along with the Personnel Commission,
recommending leaders for promotion and demotion. He appealed for
the USG to deepen relations with Hanoi in the interests of
"comprehensive long-term stability" in Southeast Asia, and responded
positively to the Ambassador's call for greater interaction between
Party and USG officials to improve understanding about how the
countries' respective systems operate. Nguyen Van Chi's official
biography is in paragraph 11. End Summary.

2. (SBU) On April 9, the Ambassador met Communist Party of Vietnam
(CPV) Politburo member and Chairman of the CPV's Central Inspection
Commission Nguyen Van Chi. Seven officials from the Party's Central
Inspection and External Relations Commissions accompanied Chi to the
meeting in an ornate room at CPV headquarters.

3. (SBU) The Central Inspection Commission is one of the most
powerful of the CPV's six commissions; current Minister of Public
Security Le Hong Anh headed the Central Inspection Commission before
Chi took charge. The Commission receives and analyzes the asset
declarations of Politburo and Party Commission members (as the
Government Inspectorate does for GVN officials), supervises and
disciplines Party officials and works with the Party's Personnel
Commission in recommending leaders for promotion and demotion. The
Commission also reviews Government projects and policies for
Vietnam's senior-most leaders.

U.S.-Vietnam Relations

4. (SBU) Relations between the USG and GVN in the past were "not so
healthy," but now they are "much improved," Chi told the Ambassador.
Chi agreed that increased investment and trade have served as the
foundation for deeper U.S.-Vietnam relations. There are now many
U.S.-based corporations invested in Vietnam, he declared.

5. (SBU) Chi made special note of the increasing number of
high-level exchanges between the two sides. He said he supported
then-Defense Secretary William Cohen's 2000 visit to Vietnam,
visited the State and Defense Departments in early 2003 to lay the
groundwork for Defense Minister Pham Van Tra's visit to Washington
later that year, and helped the GVN prepare for then-Defense
Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's 2006 visit to Vietnam. Chi appealed for

the USG to enhance relations with the GVN in the interests of
"comprehensive long-term stability" in Southeast Asia.

Desire for CPV Officials To Study in United States
--------------------------------------------- -----

6. (SBU) Chi took note of the Ambassador's offer of USG technical
assistance for efforts to fight corruption. Education is the
"driving force for the economy" and the GVN appreciates USG help in
improving Vietnam's educational system, Chi said. The Party wants
to send, on an annual basis, 20-30 cadres who are under 50 years of
age to study the efforts of foreign governments in fighting
corruption. Corruption is a transnational issue, he declared.

7. (SBU) Chi inquired if there any U.S. educational institutions
that specialize in anti-corruption areas. The GVN has sent cadres
to Germany and Australia for anti-corruption training and would like
to send some officials to the United States to do the same. The
Ambassador responded that many American and foreign non-governmental
organizations provide training on anti-corruption. He promised to
have his staff get back to Chi on which U.S. educational
institutions offer this kind of training.

Human Rights

8. (SBU) Chi agreed with the Ambassador's assertion that the USG and
GVN have differences on human rights, but that it is important that
the two sides continue to talk about these differences. The
Chairman followed this up, however, by asserting that the Party and
GVN "fully respect all political and religious views." Chi saw few
churches, pagodas and religious followers during his time in the
South from 1954 to 1965. However, since 1975, their numbers have
grown significantly, he stated. This growth shows that there is "no

HANOI 00000414 002.2 OF 003

reason" to say the CPV and GVN do not respect human rights, he

Increasing Mutual Understanding

9. (SBU) The Ambassador appealed to Chi for greater interaction
between Party and USG officials to improve understanding about how
the countries' respective systems operate. The Ambassador
encouraged Party officials to participate in the U.S.
Embassy-sponsored seminars on the November American elections. The
Ambassador also said he would like to meet Chi again soon -- perhaps
after the Ambassador returns to Hanoi from an upcoming trip to the
United States sponsored by the U.S.-ASEAN Business Council. Future
discussions with Chi and other Party officials could focus on how
the U.S. system works, the Ambassador stated.

Comment: Opening to Greater Governance Cooperation
--------------------------------------------- -----

10. (SBU) Nguyen Van Chi is a Party stalwart who has headed the
CPV's Central Inspection Commission since 2002. Chi and several of
his colleagues visited Australia last November, studying how the
Australian Government prevents and fights corruption. The
Ambassador had also met earlier with Chi's government counterpart,
Tran Van Truyen, head of the Government Inspectorate, who also
requested technical assistance (Reftel). That Chi wants to send CPV
cadres for anti-corruption training in the United States is a
welcome sign, and we will follow up in the context of our efforts to
establish a regular dialogue with senior CPV leaders that will help
facilitate the expansion of our programs in support of good
governance in Vietnam.

11. (SBU) Begin biography:

Nguyen Van Chi

Date of birth July 28, 1945

Place of birth Hoa Tien Commune, Hoa
Vang District, Da Nang City

Joined Party June 14, 1965

Education Bachelor's Degree in

1954-1964 Primary and secondary school student and secret Party

1964 Officially joined "revolution"

1965-1969 Member, Deputy Head of
Hoa Vang District's Economic Committee, Deputy Secretary of the Hoa
Vang District Area No. Two

1971-1973 Member of Quang Nam/
Da Nang Party Committee, Chief of
Provincial Party Committee

1974-1976 Studied political
theory at Ho Chi Minh
National Political

1976-1979 Chairman and Party
Secretary of Hoa Vang

1979-1982 Vice Chairman, then Director of Planning Department of
Quang Nam-Da Nang Province

1983-1984 Quang Nam-Da Nang
Province's "Special Envoy"

1984-1986 Party Deputy Secretary, Da Nang City

Dec 1986 Joined CPV's Central Committee (6th Congress), Party
Secretary of Quang Nam-Da Nang Province


Jul 1991 Joined CPV's Central Committee (7th Congress), Party
Secretary of Quang Nam-Da Nang Province


1994-1995 Party and Government Special Envoy to Central provinces
and Central Highlands

May 1995 CPV Central Committee member (8th Congress), Deputy Head
of CPV's Internal Political Protection Commission (which Party
merged with Personnel Commission in 2007)

HANOI 00000414 003.2 OF 003

2000-2002 Central Committee member (9th Congress), Head of CPV's
Internal Political Protection Commission

April 2001 Joined Politburo (9th Congress)

2002-Present Chairman, Party's Central Inspection Commission,
Central Committee and Politburo member


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