Search

 

Cablegate: Visit of Fry Fm Jovanovich to Hanoi: More Symbolism Than Substance

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

300223Z Jun 00

2000HANOI01420 - UNCLASSIFIED

UNCLASSIFIED PTQ4349

PAGE 01 HANOI 01420 01 OF 02 300224Z
ACTION EAP-00

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 AID-00 ACQ-00 CEA-01 CIAE-00 SMEC-00
COME-00 CTME-00 ITCE-00 DOTE-00 SRPP-00 DS-00 EB-00
EXME-00 EUR-00 E-00 FAAE-00 FBIE-00 UTED-00 VC-00
FRB-00 H-01 TEDE-00 INR-00 ITC-01 VCE-00 AC-01
NSAE-00 NSCE-00 OMB-01 OPIC-01 ACE-00 SP-00 IRM-00
SSO-00 SS-00 STR-00 TRSE-00 USIE-00 DSCC-00 DRL-02
G-00 SSR-00 NFAT-00 SAS-00 SWCI-00 /008W
------------------68B50C 300224Z /38
FM AMEMBASSY HANOI
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 0263
INFO AMCONSUL HO CHI MINH CITY
ASEAN COLLECTIVE
EASTERN EUROPEAN POSTS COLLECTIVE
SECDEF WASHDC
JOINT STAFF WASHDC
DIA WASHDC
USCINCPAC HONOLULU HI//FPA/J5//

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 HANOI 001420

SIPDIS

STATE FOR EAP/BCLTV, INR/EAP/SEA, EB/TDC
SECDEF FOR ISA/EA/LSTERN

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL ECON VM SR
SUBJECT: VISIT OF FRY FM JOVANOVICH TO HANOI: MORE SYMBOLISM THAN SUBSTANCE

REF: 99 HANOI 1241

1. SUMMARY: FRY FOREIGN MINISTER JOVANOVIC'S JUNE 4-8
VISIT TO VIETNAM FOCUSED ON LITTLE OF REAL SUBSTANCE. THE
EMPHASIS ON ECONOMIC "INFORMATION-SHARING" PROMISES LITTLE
FOR TRULY STRENGTHENING ECONOMIC RELATIONS. HANOI'S
COVERAGE OF THE VISIT WAS MEASURED AND REHASHED CRITICAL
RHETORIC FROM LAST YEAR'S NATO KOSOVO INTERVENTION. THE
VISIT WAS HEAVIER ON SYMBOLISM THAN SUBSTANCE. THE SERBIANS
NO DOUBT FIND VIETNAM A RARE COUNTRY WHERE THE WELCOME MAT
IS OUT. END SUMMARY.

2. FRY FOREIGN MINISTER ZIVADIN JOVANOVIC VISITED VIETNAM
JUNE 4-8. IT WAS THE SECOND VISIT BY A HIGH-LEVEL SERBIAN
OFFICAL IN FOURTEEN MONTHS (WHEN DEPUTY FM NOVAKOVICH PAID A
VISIT JUST AS NATO BEGAN ITS KOSOVO INTERVENTION). HIS
DELEGATION VISITED HANOI AND THE NORTHERN SEASIDE RESORT OF
HA LONG BAY. IN HANOI, JOVANOVIC MET WITH CPV POLITBURO
STANDING BOARD MEMBER PHAM THE DUYET, PRESIDENT TRAN DUC
LUONG, MINISTER OF PLANNING AND INVESTMENT TRAN XUAN GIA,
MINISTER OF CONSTRUCTION NGUYEN MANH KIEM, VICE TRADE
MINISTER MAI VAN DAU, AND VIETNAM CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND
INDUSTRY CHAIRMAN DOAN DUY THANH, AS WELL AS HIS
COUNTERPART, FM NGUYEN DY NIEN. JOVANOVIC CAME WITH A LARGE
BUSINESS ENTOURAGE WHICH HELD AN "INFORMATION-SHARING"
SEMINAR WITH RELATED VIETNAMESE COMPANIES. THE VISIT
PRODUCED AN AGREEMENT ON VISA EXEMPTIONS FOR DIPLOMATIC AND
OFFICIAL PASSPORT-HOLDERS, AND A PROTOCOL ON COOPERATION
BETWEEN THE TWO FOREIGN MINISTRIES. NIEN AND LUONG ACCEPTED
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 03 HANOI 01420 01 OF 02 300224Z
INVITATIONS FOR VISITS FROM JOVANOVIC AND MILOSEVIC.

3. PRESS ACCOUNTS ON BOTH SIDES CONTAINED PREDICTABLE
EXPRESSIONS OF FRATERNAL SOLIDARITY AND TRADITIONAL
FRIENDSHIP. SPARSE AND RELATIVELY LACKLUSTER VIETNAMESE
COVERAGE INCLUDED DE RIGEUR LANGUAGE CONDEMNING NATO
INTERVENTION IN KOSOVO IN 1999, AND SUPPORTING THE FRY'S
FULL RE-INTEGRATION INTO INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS. THERE
WAS LITTLE TO NO DETAIL ON JOVANOVIC'S DISCUSSIONS WITH
NIEN, OTHER THAN NOTING THAT THE TWO COUNTRIES DISCUSSED
BILATERAL AND INTERNATIONAL ISSUES OF MUTUAL CONCERN AND
AGREED ON UNSPECIFIED MEASURES TO BOOST TIES. FRY (BUT NOT
VIETNAMESE) ACCOUNTS NOTED THAT THESE TALKS WERE "HIGHLY
CORDIAL, WARM, AND FRIENDLY." FRY MEDIA WERE ALSO FORWARD-
LEANING ON BILATERAL ECONOMIC POTENTIAL, OF WHICH MORE MUTED
MENTION WAS MADE IN THE VIETNAMESE PRESS.

4. ON JUNE 22, AFTER PERSISTENT REQUESTS, POLOFF MET WITH
MFA EUROPE 1 DEPARTMENT DEPUTY DIRECTOR TRAN HUU TUNG FOR A
READ-OUT OF THE VISIT. TUNG STRESSED THAT THE VISIT WAS
WITHIN THE FRAMEWORK OF NORMAL EXCHANGES BETWEEN THE TWO
COUNTRIES IN THE CONTEXT OF THEIR "OLD TRADITIONAL
FRIENDSHIP," AND WAS IN ACCORDANCE WITH VIETNAM'S POLICY OF
MULTILATERALIZATION OF ITS FOREIGN RELATIONS.

5. TUNG SAID THE MAJOR FOCUS OF THE VISIT WAS EXPLORING
OPTIONS FOR INCREASING BILATERAL ECONOMIC TIES, WHICH
"SUFFERED DURING THE 1990S." JOVANOVIC WAS ACCOMPANIED BY
A BUSINESS GROUP REPRESENTING NINE LARGE FRY CORPORATIONS
SPECIALIZING IN FIELDS SUCH AS ELECTRONICS, MACHINERY,
CONSTRUCTION, OIL, MEDICAL EQUIPMENT, FOOD PROCESSING, AND
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 04 HANOI 01420 01 OF 02 300224Z
TOBACCO MANUFACTURING. THIS GROUP MET WITH VIETNAMESE
BUSINESSPEOPLE AND ATTENDED A BUSINESS CONFERENCE, THE
PURPOSE OF WHICH WAS TO LEARN ABOUT POTENTIAL FOR BILATERAL
COOPERATION IN VARIOUS FIELDS. TUNG COMMENTED THAT PAST
INFORMATION ON POTENTIAL PARTNERS HAS BEEN VERY LIMITED, AND
THIS VISIT PRESENTED A VALUABLE OPPORTUNITY IN THAT IT WAS
THE FIRST CHANCE FOR MANY OF THE FRY COMPANIES TO GET TO
KNOW THEIR VIETNAMESE COUNTERPARTS. ASKED TO COMMENT ON
JOVANOVIC'S REMARK AT A HANOI PRESS BRIEFING THAT THE TWO
COUNTRIES HAD EXPLORED CONCRETE OPPORTUNITIES FOR TECHNOLOGY
TRANSFERS, HOWEVER, TUNG SQUIRMED BUT DID NOT OFFER ANY
DETAIL, SAYING THAT THE TWO COUNTRIES ARE JUST AT THE
INFORMATION-EXCHANGING STAGE. BUSINESSES FROM THE TWO SIDES
NEED MORE CONTACTS TO LEARN ABOUT EACH OTHER'S CAPABILITIES,
AND TO WORK OUT SPECIFIC DETAILS OF ANY VENTURES. (COMMENT:
TUNG CLEARLY APPEARED TO BE BACK-PEDALLING FROM JOVANIC'S
STATEMENT. END COMMENT.)

6. POLOFF ASKED TUNG FOR HIS VIEWS ON THE PROSPECTS FOR
BOOSTING OVERALL ECONOMIC TIES; TUNG REPLIED ONLY THAT
VIETNAM WISHES TO NORMALIZE ITS ECONOMIC RELATIONS WITH ALL
COUNTRIES, INCLUDING YUGOSLAVIA. HE DID COMMENT THAT
"EFFECTIVENESS," MEANING COMPATIBILITY, IS THE KEY IN ALL
BILATERAL RELATIONSHIPS. COOPERATION IS ONLY POSSIBLE IF IT
MEETS THE WISHES AND INTERESTS OF BOTH SIDES. VIETNAM'S
WISH, OF COURSE, IS TO IMPROVE ECONOMIC TIES, BUT MANY
FACTORS HAVE TO BE TAKEN INTO ACCOUNT, AND THE OUTCOME OF
BILATERAL EFFORTS REMAINS TO BE SEEN.

7. TURNING TO OTHER AREAS OF THE VISIT, TUNG SAID THAT
VIETNAM AND YUGOSLAVIA HAD CONSULTATIONS ON "BILATERAL
ISSUES AND TOPICS OF MUTUAL INTEREST," BUT DECLINED TO GO
INTO DETAIL. HE SAID THAT THE MFA COOPERATION PROTOCOL
RESEMBLED THOSE REACHED WITH OTHER COUNTRIES, PROVIDING FOR
NORMAL ACTIVITIES, SUCH AS VISITS AND DIALOGUES, WHICH
VIETNAM CARRIES OUT WITH MANY NATIONS. ASKED ABOUT
JOVANOVIC'S ACTIVITIES IN QUANG NINH, TUNG SAID IT WAS
SIMPLY AN OPPORTUNITY FOR THE FOREIGN MINISTER, AS A FRIEND
FROM AFAR, TO SEE SOME OF VIETNAM'S SCENIC BEAUTY. (NOTE:
FRY PRESS ACCOUNTS STATED JOVANOVIC ALSO HAD A MEETING WITH
QUANG NINH PROVINCIAL PEOPLE'S COMMITTEE DEPUTY CHAIR NGUYEN
VAN MIEN.)

8. COMMENT: AS FAR AS WE CAN SEE, THERE HAS BEEN LITTLE
SUBSTANTIVE PROGRESS IN VIETNAM-FRY RELATIONS SINCE DEP FM
NOVAKOVICH'S VISIT TO HANOI IN MARCH 1999 (REFTEL). MFA
OFFICIAL TUNG WAS GUARDED AND VAGUE IN HIS REMARKS AND HAD
LITTLE DETAIL TO OFFER ON THE VISIT. HE SEEMED AT SOME
PAINS TO EMPHASIZE THE ROUTINE AND NON-NOTEWORTHY NATURE OF
THE VISIT AND ITS CONTENTS. ALTHOUGH THE STATED FOCUS WAS
ON DEVELOPING ECONOMIC TIES, TUNG WAS ABLE TO OFFER LITTLE
OF A CONCRETE NATURE ON ACTUAL PROSPECTS OR MUTUAL BENEFIT.
THIS, ALONG WITH SPARSE COVERAGE IN VIETNAM'S STATE-
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 03 HANOI 01420 02 OF 02 300224Z
CONTROLLED MEDIA, UNDERSCORES HOW LITTLE EACH COUNTRY HAS TO
OFFER THE OTHER IN REAL ECONOMIC TERMS.

9. COMMENT CONT'D: A WESTERN DIPLOMAT WHO WATCHES FRY
ACTIVITIES HERE REMARKED THAT VIETNAM AND YUGOSLAVIA APPEAR
TO HAVE FEW CONCRETE MUTUAL INTERESTS OTHER THAN A STAUNCH
OPPOSITION TO THE NATO INTERVENTION IN KOSOVO. SEEN IN THIS
LIGHT, THE VISIT WAS HEAVIER ON SYMBOLISM THAN SUBSTANCE.
IT REMAINS TO BE SEEN WHETHER "INFORMATION-SHARING" ON TRADE
AND INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES WILL LEAD TO REAL FORWARD
MOVEMENT ON BILATERAL ECONOMIC TIES. THE FRY EVIDENTLY
FINDS IN VIETNAM A RARE COUNTRY WHERE THE WELCOME MAT IS OUT
FOR ITS OFFICIALS. END COMMENT.
PETERSON

UNCLASSIFIED

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

OECD: Final Quarter Of 2020 Shows Continued Recovery In G20 International Merchandise Trade

G20 international merchandise trade continued to rebound in the fourth quarter of 2020 ( exports up 7.2% and imports up 6.8%), following the sharp falls seen in the first half of 2020, as lockdown measures affected trade globally. Although growth ... More>>

UN Report: Civilian Casualties Surged After Peace Talks Began In Afghanistan

Monitoring by the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, UNAMA, and the UN Human Rights Office has revealed that despite a drop in civilians killed and injured overall in 2020 there was a rise in civilian casualties following the start of peace negotiations ... More>>

Climate: UN Chief Lauds ‘day Of Hope’ As US Officially Rejoins Paris Climate Accord

The official return of the United States to the Paris Agreement on Climate Change represents good news for the country and the world, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said on Friday during a virtual event to mark the occasion. The US, under ... More>>

Focus On: UN SDGs


2021: Critical Year To ‘reset Our Relationship With Nature’ – UN Chief

During this time of “crisis and fragility”, the UN chief told the United Nations Environment Assembly on Monday that human well-being and prosperity can be vastly improved by prioritizing nature-based solutions. Painting a picture of the turmoil ... More>>


Paris Agreement: UN Secretary-General António Guterres To Mark U.S. Reentry With Envoy For Climate John Kerry

Watch live at webtv.un.org UN Secretary-General António Guterres will join U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John F. Kerry at an event marking the United States’ reentry into the Paris Agreement this Friday. The discussion with the Secretary-General ... More>>

WeBeliev: Scoop In Conversation With Abhishek Sinha, Founder Of WeBeliev, An NZ Crowdfunding Platform

WeBeliev supports 17 SDGs, launching sector specific campaigns every month Q. What is WeBeliev and why did you start it? A. WeBeliev is a Singapore-registered crowdfunding platform aimed at fundraising for all the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) ... More>>