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Cablegate: Communist Party Leadership Changes in the Southern Provinces (Part 2)

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

230451Z Apr 01

2001HOCHI00460 - UNCLASSIFIED

UNCLASSIFIED PTQ6917

PAGE 01 HO CHI 00460 01 OF 03 230459Z
ACTION EAP-00

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 ACQ-00 CIAE-00 DINT-00 DOTE-00 SRPP-00
DS-00 EB-00 FAAE-00 FBIE-00 UTED-00 VC-00 H-01
TEDE-00 INR-00 LAB-01 L-00 VCE-00 AC-01 NSAE-00
OMB-01 OPIC-01 PA-00 PM-00 PRS-00 ACE-00 P-00
SP-00 TEST-00 USIE-00 IIP-00 PMB-00 DSCC-00 DRL-02
G-00 NFAT-00 SAS-00 /007W
------------------E28A5C 230500Z /38
FM AMCONSUL HO CHI MINH CITY
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 4929
INFO AMEMBASSY HANOI
AMCONSUL HONG KONG
ASEAN COLLECTIVE
USCINCPAC HONOLULU HI
JICPAC HONOLULU HI
SECDEF WASHDC
DIA WASHDC
NSC WASHDC
DEPTTREAS WASHDC
USDOC WASHDC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 HO CHI MINH CITY 000460

SIPDIS

STATE FOR EAP/BCLTV AND EAP/PD/JMARTIN
STATE ALSO FOR INR/EAP/SEA AND INR/IL/B
CINCPAC FOR FPA
SECDEF FOR ISA/EA/LSTERN
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 02 HO CHI 00460 01 OF 03 230459Z
NSC FOR GENE CHRISTY
DEPTTREAS FOR AJEWELL
USDOC FOR 4431/MAC/AP/OKSA/HPPHO

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PINR VM DPOL
SUBJECT: COMMUNIST PARTY LEADERSHIP CHANGES IN THE SOUTHERN PROVINCES (PART 2)

REF: A. 00 HCMC 0231 B. 00 HCMC 0230

1. SUMMARY: AS THE DE FACTO POLICY-SETTERS IN THE PROVINCES,
PROVINCIAL COMMUNIST PARTY COMMITTEE LEADERS DETERMINE TO A
LARGE DEGREE WHETHER THEIR RESPECTIVE PROVINCES ARE
PROGRESSIVE OR BACKWARD LOOKING. COMMUNIST PARTY CONGRESSES
HELD IN THE 29 SOUTHERN AND CENTRAL PROVINCES AND CITIES
(HCMC AND DANANG) IN DECEMBER AND JANUARY WERE THE FIRST
PARTY CONGRESSES TO TAKE PLACE SINCE CONGEN OPENED,
PROVIDING POST'S FIRST OPPORTUNITY TO EXAMINE NEW PROVINCIAL
PARTY LEADERSHIP TEAMS. WOMEN AND MINORITIES REMAIN
SUBSTANTIALLY UNDER-REPRESENTED AT THESE HIGHEST POLICY-
SETTING POSITIONS. INDIVIDUALS HOLDING TOP POSITIONS AMONG
PROVINCIAL PARTY COMMITTEES, PEOPLE'S COMMITTEES, AND
PEOPLE'S COUNCIL DEMONSTRATE THE INTERLOCKING RELATIONSHIP
BETWEEN THESE AGENCIES (DISCUSSED IN PARA THREE). END
SUMMARY.

2. SEPTEL LISTS THE NEW PROVINCIAL PARTY LEADERS PROVINCE BY
PROVINCE. THIS REPORT EXAMINES THE CHANGES IN PROVINCIAL
PARTY LEADERSHIP IN TERMS OF DEMOGRAPHIC CHARACTERISTICS AND
CAREER PROGRESSION FOR INDIVIDUALS. POST PROVIDED A SIMILAR
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 03 HO CHI 00460 01 OF 03 230459Z
SUMMARY OF PROVINCIAL PEOPLE'S COMMITTEE LEADERSHIP CHANGES
AND ANALYSIS IN JANUARY 2000 (REFTELS).

PARTY, PEOPLE'S COMMITTEE, AND PEOPLE'S COUNCIL NEXUS
--------------------------------------------- --------
3. AT THE PROVINCIAL LEVEL OF GOVERNANCE, THE PARTY
COMMITTEE IS THE POLICY SETTING ORGAN, THE PEOPLE'S
COMMITTEE IS THE ADMINISTRATIVE ORGAN, AND THE PEOPLE'S
COUNCIL IS THE LEGISLATIVE ORGAN. (NOTE: PEOPLE'S COUNCILS
USUALLY MEET ONLY TWICE A YEAR, AND THEIR SESSIONS GENERALLY
LAST ONLY A FEW DAYS.) POST HAD NOTICED ON PROVINCIAL TRIPS
THAT ONE INDIVIDUAL WOULD OFTEN HOLD TWO POSITIONS AMONG
THESE THREE ORGANS. EXAMINATION OF THE DATA IN SEPTEL
CLEARLY DEMONSTRATES THIS NEXUS: THE SECRETARY OF THE
PROVINCIAL PARTY COMMITTEE IS THE HIGHEST-RANKING OF THE
THREE, AND USUALLY HOLDS NO CONCURRENT POSITIONS. THE
STANDING (I.E., SENIOR MOST) DEPUTY SECRETARY OF THE
PROVINCIAL PARTY COMMITTEE IS USUALLY THE CONCURRENT
CHAIRMAN OF THE PROVINCIAL PEOPLE'S COUNCIL. THE DEPUTY
SECRETARY OF THE PROVINCIAL PARTY COMMITTEE IS USUALLY THE

SIPDIS
CONCURRENT CHAIRMAN OF THE PROVINCIAL PEOPLE'S COMMITTEE.
ALTHOUGH, THE STANDING DEPUTY SECRETARY OUTRANKS THE DEPUTY
SECRETARY OF THE PARTY COMMITTEE IN TERMS OF THE PARTY'S

SIPDIS
HIERARCHY, THE DEPUTY SECRETARY BY MEANS OF HIS CONCURRENT
POSITION AS PEOPLE'S COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN, MAY ACTUALLY BE
MORE INFLUENTIAL. MORE DEPUTY SECRETARIES THAN STANDING
DEPUTY SECRETARIES ARE PROMOTED TO THE POSITION OF SECRETARY
OF PROVINCIAL COMMUNIST PARTY COMMITTEES. THE CONCURRENT
POSITIONING OF THE SECOND- AND THIRD-RANKING PARTY OFFICIALS
TO HEAD THE PEOPLE'S COUNCIL (LEGISLATIVE ORGAN) AND THE
PEOPLE'S COMMITTEE (EXECUTIVE ORGAN) RESPECTIVELY, APPEARS
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 04 HO CHI 00460 01 OF 03 230459Z
TO BE A MECHANISM TO ENSURE INTERAGENCY COORDINATION AS WELL
AS PARTY SUPREMACY.

PROVINCIAL PARTY SECRETARIES
----------------------------

4. IN THE 29 PROVINCES AND TWO CITIES IN VIETNAM'S SOUTH AND
CENTER, 11 PARTY COMMITTEE SECRETARIES ARE INCUMBENT IN
THEIR POSITION, AND 18 ARE NEWLY SELECTED (TWO PROVINCES DID
NOT PROVIDE THAT INFORMATION). ALL 31 SECRETARIES ARE MEN
AND THE AVERAGE AGE IS 54 YEARS OLD, WITH THE OLDEST 60 AND
THE YOUNGEST 47 YEARS OLD. THERE IS NO SIGNIFICANT
DIFFERENCE IN AGE BETWEEN INCUMBENTS AND NEW SECRETARIES.
THREE ARE MEMBERS OF ETHNIC MINORITY GROUPS. ONE HOLDS A
PH.D. NINE HAVE B.A. DEGREES (TWO HAVE TWO B.A.S).
INFORMATION ON EDUCATIONAL LEVELS WAS UNAVAILABLE FOR THE
OTHER 21 PROVINCIAL PARTY SECRETARIES. (NOTE: FROM
UNOFFICIAL SOURCES, POST HEARD THAT ONE OF THE SECRETARIES
HAS ONLY AN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL EDUCATION. IT WOULD BE NO
SURPRISE TO LEARN THAT MOST PROVINCIAL PARTY SECRETARIES
HAVE LOW FORMAL EDUCATION LEVELS, SINCE MOST MEMBERS OF
THEIR GENERATION SPENT THEIR YOUTH IN THE MILITARY RATHER
THAN IN SCHOOL. PROVINCIAL LEADERS ALSO OFTEN ATTEND
POLITICAL INSTITUTES PART-TIME FROM WHICH THEY ARE AWARDED
"DEGREES." THIS ANALYSIS DID NOT INCLUDE THESE ACADEMIC
CREDENTIALS. END NOTE.)

5. ONLY SEVEN OF 26 PROVINCIAL PARTY SECRETARIES WHO
PROVIDED THE INFORMATION HAD SERVED PREVIOUSLY AS SECOND
RANKING STANDING DEPUTY SECRETARIES. TWELVE HAD SERVED
PREVIOUSLY AS THIRD RANKING DEPUTY SECRETARIES AND/OR
PROVINCIAL PEOPLE'S COMMITTEE CHAIRMEN. FOUR HAD SERVED
PREVIOUSLY IN CENTRAL PARTY POSITIONS IN HANOI AND WERE
APPOINTED PROVINCIAL PARTY SECRETARY BY THE POLITBURO.
THREE SERVED IN OTHER POSITIONS BEFORE BECOMING PARTY
SECRETARY. FIFTEEN OF 28 PROVINCIAL PARTY SECRETARIES WHO

SIPDIS
PROVIDED THE INFORMATION DO NOT HOLD ANY CONCURRENT
POSITION. THIRTEEN CONCURRENTLY HOLD THE POSITION OF
CHAIRMAN OF THE PROVINCIAL PEOPLE'S COUNCIL, BUT EIGHT OF
THESE PLAN TO RELINQUISH THAT POSITION IN THE NEAR FUTURE TO
THE STANDING DEPUTY PARTY SECRETARY. (POST BELIEVES THE
REMAINING FIVE WILL ALSO LIKELY RELINQUISH THE CONCURRENT
POSITION.)

6. SINCE 18 PROVINCIAL PARTY SECRETARIES ARE NEW TO THE JOB,
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 03 HO CHI 00460 02 OF 03 230500Z
POST ASKED WHAT HAPPENED TO THE PREVIOUS SECRETARIES. ONLY
TWO PROVINCES RESPONDED TO THAT QUESTION, AND SAID ONLY THAT
THE PREVIOUS SECRETARY HAD RETIRED. POST BELIEVES THAT
OUTSIDE OF MAJOR CITIES AND PROVINCES, SERVING AS PROVINCIAL
PARTY SECRETARY IS THE END OF THE CAREER LINE FOR MOST.

STANDING DEPUTY SECRETARIES
---------------------------

7. OF 18 STANDING DEPUTY SECRETARIES WHO PROVIDED THE
INFORMATION, SIX HAD SERVED PREVIOUSLY AS HEAD OF THE
PROVINCIAL PARTY COMMISSION FOR PROPAGANDA AND EDUCATION.
FIVE HAD SERVED PREVIOUSLY AS THE HEAD OF THE PROVINCIAL
PARTY COMMISSION ON PERSONNEL AND ORGANIZATION. THREE HAD
SERVED PREVIOUSLY AS CITY OR TOWN PARTY COMMITTEE
SECRETARIES, AND TWO HAD SERVED IN OTHER PARTY POSITIONS.

SIPDIS

8. OF 22 STANDING DEPUTY SECRETARIES WHO PROVIDED THE
INFORMATION, THREE ARE CONCURRENTLY CHAIRMEN OF THEIR
RESPECTIVE PROVINCIAL PEOPLE'S COMMITTEES AND EIGHT ARE
CONCURRENTLY CHAIRMEN OF THEIR RESPECTIVE PROVINCIAL
PEOPLE'S COUNCILS. ELEVEN HELD NO CONCURRENT POSITIONS, BUT
EIGHT OF THESE EXPECT TO ASSUME THE POSITION OF CHAIRMAN OF
PROVINCIAL PEOPLE'S COUNCIL IN THE NEAR FUTURE. SIXTEEN OF
22 EITHER SERVING OR EXPECTING TO SERVE CONCURRENTLY AS
CHAIRMAN OF THE PROVINCIAL PEOPLE'S COUNCIL CONFIRMS THAT IT
IS GENERAL PRACTICE FOR THE STANDING DEPUTY SECRETARY OF THE
PROVINCIAL PARTY COMMITTEE TO SERVE CONCURRENTLY AS CHAIRMAN
OF THE PROVINCIAL PEOPLE'S COUNCIL.

DEPUTY SECRETARIES
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 04 HO CHI 00460 02 OF 03 230500Z
------------------

9. OF 14 DEPUTY SECRETARIES WHO PROVIDED THE INFORMATION,
NINE HAD SERVED PREVIOUSLY AS VICE-CHAIRMEN OF THEIR
RESPECTIVE PROVINCIAL PEOPLE'S COMMITTEES. THE OTHER FIVE
HAD WORKED PREVIOUSLY IN A VARIETY OF GOVERNMENT AND/OR
PARTY POSITIONS. OF 25 WHO PROVIDED THE INFORMATION, 21
DEPUTY SECRETARIES ARE SERVING CONCURRENTLY AS CHAIRMEN OF
THEIR RESPECTIVE PROVINCIAL PEOPLE'S COMMITTEE (A 22ND
EXPECT TO ASSUME THAT POSITION IN THE NEAR FUTURE). TWO ARE
SERVING CONCURRENTLY AS CHAIRMEN OF THEIR RESPECTIVE
PROVINCIAL PEOPLE'S COUNCILS, AND ONE IS THE HEAD OF THE
MANAGEMENT BOARD OF A PROVINCIAL OPEN ECONOMIC ZONE. THIS
CONFIRMS THAT IT IS GENERAL PRACTICE FOR THE DEPUTY
SECRETARY OF THE PROVINCIAL PARTY COMMITTEE TO SERVE

SIPDIS
CONCURRENTLY AS CHAIRMAN OF THE PROVINCIAL PEOPLE'S
COMMITTEE.

DEPUTY AND STANDING DEPUTY SECRETARY DEMOGRAPHICS
--------------------------------------------- ----

10. SINCE THERE WAS NO SIGNIFICANT VARIATION IN THE
DEMOGRAPHICS BETWEEN DEPUTY AND STANDING DEPUTY SECRETARIES,
THIS ANALYSIS LUMPS THEM TOGETHER. OF 43 WHO PROVIDED THE
INFORMATION, ONLY 11 ARE INCUMBENTS, WHILE 32 ARE NEW TO THE
JOB. THE AVERAGE AGE IS 52 YEARS OLD, WITH THE OLDEST 59
AND THE YOUNGEST 46 YEARS OLD. OF THE TOTAL OF 55, 52 ARE
MEN AND ONLY 3 ARE WOMEN. ONLY TWO ARE MEMBERS OF ETHNIC
MINORITY GROUPS. TWO HOLD M.A. DEGREES. FIFTEEN HOLD
B.A./B.S. DEGREES (SEVEN OF THESE HOLD MORE THAN ONE
DEGREE). ONE SAID HE WAS A HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATE. MORE MAY
HAVE UNIVERSITY DEGREES, BUT DIDN'T PROVIDE THE INFORMATION.
AS IS THE CASE WITH THE PROVINCIAL PARTY SECRETARIES, FOR
HISTORICAL REASONS IT IS LIKELY THAT MOST OF THE DEPUTY AND
STANDING DEPUTY SECRETARIES HAVE LOW FORMAL EDUCATION
LEVELS.

COMMENT
-------

11. IT IS CLEAR FROM THE ABOVE, THAT WOMEN AND MINORITIES
REMAIN UNDER-REPRESENTED AT THE HIGHEST PROVINCIAL POLICY-
SETTING LEVELS. OF 85 PROVINCIAL PARTY SECRETARIES, DEPUTY
AND STANDING DEPUTY SECRETARIES, ONLY THREE ARE WOMEN AND
FIVE ARE MEMBERS OF ETHNIC MINORITY GROUPS (ONE WOMAN IS
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 03 HO CHI 00460 03 OF 03 230500Z
ALSO AN ETHNIC MINORITY). NOT A SINGLE INDIVIDUAL OF 54 WHO
PROVIDED AGE INFORMATION WAS LESS THAN 46 YEARS OLD. IT
APPEARS THAT AT THE HIGHEST LEVELS OF PROVINCIAL GOVERNANCE,
MIDDLE-AGE MALE TRADITIONALISTS STILL CALL THE SHOTS.

RAY

UNCLASSIFIED

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