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Cablegate: Army Daily Seeks to Promote Good Relations with U.S.

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


2002HANOI01189 - UNCLASSIFIED

UNCLASSIFIED PTO2378

PAGE 01 HANOI 01189 131058Z
ACTION IO-00

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 A-00 ACQ-00 CIAE-00 DODE-00 DS-00
EAP-00 FBIE-00 UTED-00 VC-00 H-01 TEDE-00 INR-00
LAB-01 VCE-00 NSAE-00 OIC-02 PER-00 TEST-00 USIE-00
IIP-00 DSCC-00 DRL-02 NFAT-00 SAS-00 /006W
------------------AD8FB4 131100Z /38
FM AMEMBASSY HANOI
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 6432
INFO AMCONSUL HO CHI MINH CITY
USCINCPAC HONOLULU HI

UNCLAS HANOI 001189

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV KPAO OIIP VM HUMANR
SUBJECT: ARMY DAILY SEEKS TO PROMOTE GOOD RELATIONS WITH U.S.

1. (U) SUMMARY. THE PEOPLE'S ARMY DAILY IS DETERMINED TO
HELP STRENGTHEN BILATERAL RELATIONS WITH THE U.S. AND MIGHT
BE WILLING TO USE PAS-PRODUCED MATERIALS, ITS EDITOR TOLD
AMBASSADOR ON MAY 9. THE EDITOR EXPRESSED CONCERN ABOUT
ANTI-SRV VIETNAMESE IN THE U.S. AND THE IMPACT OF THE
VIETNAM HUMAN RIGHTS ACT. END SUMMARY.

2. (U) MAJOR GENERAL NGUYEN QUANG THONG, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
OF THE PEOPLE'S ARMY NEWSPAPER (QUAN DOI NHAN DAN), TOLD
AMBASSADOR, PAO, AND POL/C ON MAY 9 THAT HIS NEWSPAPER'S
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 02 HANOI 01189 131058Z
EDITORIAL STANCE WAS AIMED AT STRENGTHENING MUTUAL
UNDERSTANDING AND FRIENDSHIP, INCLUDING WITH THE U.S.,
CONSISTENT WITH THE MUTUAL INTERESTS OF BOTH COUNTRIES. HE
SAID THAT THAT THE PAPER HAD REPORTED ON POSITIVE
DEVELOPMENTS IN THE BILATERAL RELATIONSHIP, ESPECIALLY ON
DIPLOMATIC AND COMMERCIAL TIES AS WELL AS US HUMANITARIAN
ASSISTANCE. HE CLAIMED THAT THE PAPER FOLLOWED AN
"INDEPENDENT" EDITORIAL POLICY NOT DIRECTLY GUIDED BY THE
MINISTRY OF DEFENSE OR THE COMMUNIST PARTY OF VIETNAM'S
(CPV) PROPAGANDA ORGAN. HE ADMITTED THAT "IN REALITY" HIS
EDITORIAL LINE "REFLECTED" OVERALL DIRECTIONS AND TRENDS SET
BY THE CPV, HOWEVER.

3. (U) WHEN GENERAL THONG ADMITTED THAT SOME OF THE
PAPER'S SIGNED COMMENTARIES WERE FROM "GUEST WRITERS"
INCLUDING FOREIGNERS, THE AMBASSADOR ASKED ABOUT THE
POSSIBILITY OF USING ARTICLES PROVIDED BY THE EMBASSY.
THONG SAID THAT THIS WOULD BE POSSIBLE, IF THEY WERE
CONSISTENT WITH THE ABOVE-MENTIONED EDITORIAL POLICY. THE
AMBASSADOR NOTED THE VALUE IN EXPANDING UNDERSTANDING IN
VIETNAM OF THE US VIEW OF THE RELATIONSHIP, AND THE
IMPORTANCE OF DISPELLING SOME OF THE "DISTRUST" OF THE U.S.
STILL SOMETIMES REFLECTED IN THE PAPER'S SIGNED
COMMENTARIES.

4. (U) GENERAL THONG NOTED THAT HE UNDERSTOOD THERE WAS
LITTLE COVERAGE OF VIETNAM BY THE US PRESS. THE AMBASSADOR
AGREED THAT THIS WAS TRUE, AND STRESSED THAT VIETNAM'S
PROBLEM WAS NOT THAT PEOPLE IN THE U.S. WERE UNDERTAKING
"SINISTER PLOTS" AGAINST VIETNAM SUCH AS "PEACEFUL
EVOLUTION," BUT RATHER THAT SO FEW PEOPLE IN THE U.S. WERE
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 03 HANOI 01189 131058Z
INTERESTED IN VIETNAM AT ALL. HE NOTED THAT ONE BY-PRODUCT
OF EXPANDED TRADE RELATIONS WOULD BE THAT MORE COMPANIES AND
INDIVIDUALS IN THE U.S. WOULD HAVE A STAKE IN THE BILATERAL
RELATIONSHIP, ARGUE VIETNAM'S CASE TO CONGRESS, AND INCREASE
AND BROADEN THE BILATERAL FRIENDSHIP.

5. (U) GENERAL THONG POINTED TO SOME VIETNAMESE IN THE
U.S. WHO WERE ANTI-SRV, AND POINTED TO THE VIETNAM HUMAN
RIGHTS ACT AS AN EXAMPLE OF THEIR NEGATIVE EFFORTS. THE
AMBASSADOR NOTED THAT VOCAL INTEREST GROUPS IN THE U.S. CAN
OFTEN HAVE AN IMPACT DISPROPORTIONATE TO THEIR NUMBERS IN
SECURING PASSAGE OF LEGISLATION THAT EXPRESSES CONGRESSIONAL
OPINION WITH LIMITED PRACTICAL EFFECT, ESPECIALLY IN THE
ABSENCE OF LOCAL CONSTITUENTS WHO OPPOSE IT. GENERAL THONG
EXPRESSED CONCERN THAT THE LONGER-TERM EFFECT OF SUCH
RESOLUTIONS AND LAWS WOULD BE TO SHAPE USG POLICY, NOT JUST
EXPRESS CONGRESSIONAL OPINIONS. THE AMBASSADOR NOTED THAT,
IN THE 21ST CENTURY, ALL COUNTRIES MUST GET USED TO
INCREASED ATTENTION FROM ONE ANOTHER. GENERAL THONG WENT ON
TO CRITICIZE US REPORTS ON HUMAN RIGHTS AND INTERNATIONAL
RELIGIOUS FREEDOM AS SOMETIMES SLANDEROUS AND NOT REFLECTING
THE REAL SITUATION IN VIETNAM.

6. (U) COMMENT: THE MAY 10 EDITION OF QUAN DOI NHAN DAN
REPORTED FAVORABLY ON THE AMBASSADOR'S VISIT ON ITS BACK
PAGE (INTERNATIONAL), HIGHLIGHTING THAT GENERAL THONG HAD
TOLD HIM THE NEWSPAPER WAS RESOLVED TO FIGHT AGAINST
WRONGFUL VIEWPOINTS THAT GO AGAINST THE NORMALIZATION
PROCESS OF VIETNAM-US RELATIONS. ON THE FRONT PAGE,
HOWEVER, WAS ANOTHER SIGNED COMMENTARY LAMBASTING US
ORGANIZATIONS AND AGENCIES FOR DISTORTING THE HUMAN RIGHTS
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 04 HANOI 01189 131058Z
SITUATION VIETNAM, IMPOSING "IRRATIONAL CONDITIONS" ON THE
RELATIONSHIP, AND REVIEWING ALLEGED ACTIVITIES OF THE US
MILITARY DURING THE WAR THAT HAD VIOLATED VIETNAMESE HUMAN
RIGHTS. OUR ONGOING DIALOGUE WITH QUAN DOI NHAN DAN STILL
HAS A LONG WAY TO GO, BUT WE WILL LOOK FORWARD TO TESTING
GENERAL THONG'S APPARENT OFFER TO USE MORE PAS-PRODUCED
MATERIALS.
BURGHARDT

UNCLASSIFIED

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