Search

 

Cablegate: Prc-Vietnam Border: Gvn Countering

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


2002HANOI02309 - UNCLASSIFIED

UNCLASSIFIED PTQ2612

PAGE 01 HANOI 02309 01 OF 02 240942Z
ACTION EAP-00

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 AIT-03 CIAE-00 C-00 DINT-00 DOEE-00
DOTE-00 SRPP-00 DS-00 EB-00 FAAE-00 FBIE-00 UTED-00
VC-00 H-01 TEDE-00 INR-00 L-00 VCE-00 MOFM-05
MOF-01 AC-01 NSAE-00 OMB-01 PA-00 PER-00 PM-00
PRS-00 ACE-00 P-00 SP-00 IRM-00 SS-00 TEST-00
TRSE-00 T-00 USIE-00 R-00 PMB-00 DSCC-00 PRM-00
DRL-02 G-00 NFAT-00 SAS-00 /014W
------------------EBE2B6 240943Z /38
FM AMEMBASSY HANOI
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 7613
INFO AMCONSUL HO CHI MINH CITY
AMEMBASSY BEIJING
AMCONSUL CHENGDU
AMCONSUL GUANGZHOU
AMCONSUL SHANGHAI
AMCONSUL SHENYANG
AMCONSUL HONG KONG
AIT TAIPEI 0704
ASEAN COLLECTIVE
USCINCPAC HONOLULU HI
NSC WASHDC
SECDEF WASHDC//ISA/ACHAO//

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 HANOI 002309

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 02 HANOI 02309 01 OF 02 240942Z

STATE FOR EAP/BCLTV, EAP/CM, INR/EAP/SEA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PBTS PREL PINR CH VM CVR
SUBJECT: PRC-VIETNAM BORDER: GVN COUNTERING
-- PERSISTENT CRITICISM

REF: A. HANOI 2148 B. FBIS SEP200209000081

1. (SBU) SUMMARY. SINCE THE CONCLUSION OF THE NINTH ROUND
OF BILATERAL BOUNDARY TALKS WITH THE PRC ON AUGUST 23, THE
GVN HAS ENGAGED IN A PUBLIC RELATIONS BLITZ, INCLUDING THE
APPARENTLY UNPRECEDENTED PUBLICATION OF THE 1999 LAND BORDER
TREATY ON THE INTERNET, TO COUNTER PERSISTENT DOMESTIC
CRITICISM THAT IT MADE TOO MANY CONCESSIONS TO THE PRC IN
CONCLUDING THAT TREATY. THE TWO SIDES ALSO DISCUSSED THE
TONKIN GULF AND SOUTH CHINA SEA AT THE BOUNDARY TALKS. THE
2000 BILATERAL AGREEMENT ON THE TONKIN GULF HAS YET TO BE
RATIFIED BY EITHER SIDE. THE GVN'S AWKWARD HANDLING OF THIS
ISSUE IS UNLIKELY TO PLACATE THE TREATY'S CRITICS. END
SUMMARY.

---------------------------------------------
LAND BORDER - DID THE GVN GIVE AWAY TOO MUCH?
---------------------------------------------

2. (SBU) THE PRC AND VIETNAM SHARE A COMMON LAND BORDER OF
ABOUT 1,375 KILOMETERS. AMID CONSIDERABLE FANFARE, THE TWO
COUNTRIES SIGNED A LAND BORDER TREATY ON THE LAST DAY OF
1999. VIETNAM'S NATIONAL ASSEMBLY AND THE PRC'S NATIONAL
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 03 HANOI 02309 01 OF 02 240942Z
PEOPLE'S CONGRESS RATIFIED THE TREATY THE FOLLOWING YEAR.
DESPITE A STATED GOAL TO PLANT 1,500 BORDER MARKERS OVER THE
FOLLOWING THREE YEARS, ONLY FOUR HAVE YET BEEN PUT IN PLACE.

3. (SBU) THE GVN AND COMMUNIST PARTY OF VIETNAM (CPV)
(ESPECIALLY FORMER CPV GENERAL SECRETARY LE KHA PHIEU) HAVE
FACED CONSIDERABLE CRITICISM OVER THE TREATY, MAINLY FROM
OVERSEAS VIETNAMESE, BUT ALSO FROM SOME DEMOCRATIC ACTIVISTS
INSIDE VIETNAM. REF A PROVIDES TEXT OF A LETTER SENT ON
AUGUST 1 BY 20 PROMINENT DISSIDENTS, INCLUDING FORMER PARTY
MEMBERS AND MILITARY VETERANS, TO THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
CALLING FOR THE GVN TO PUBLISH THE TREATY, ALONG WITH CALLS
FOR MORE DEMOCRACY AND EFFORTS AGAINST CORRUPTION.

4. (SBU) PUBLIC CRITICISM HAS FOCUSED ON THE AMOUNT OF
LAND CEDED TO THE PRC. IN A MEETING WITH POLOFF ON
SEPTEMBER 19, MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS (MFA) CHINA DESK
DIRECTOR TRAN DUY HAI DISAGREED WITH THIS CLAIM, STRESSING
THAT "BOTH SIDES AGREED TO SPLIT THE DISPUTED AREAS ABOUT
EVENLY." HE CLAIMED THAT THE CRITICISM OF THE TREATY WAS
COMING FROM "HOSTILE ELEMENTS TRYING TO SUBVERT THE
AGREEMENT."

5. (SBU) THE INSTITUTE OF CHINA STUDIES' DR. NGUYEN HUY
QUY SAID SEPARATELY THAT THE CRITICISM IS MOTIVATED BY A
COMBINATION OF CONCERN FOR THE NATIONAL INTEREST AND FROM
OTHERS, "MOSTLY FROM ABROAD," WHO GENERALLY OPPOSE THE SRV.
DR. QUY ADMITTED THAT HE HAD BEEN "SURPRISED" BY THE EXTENT
OF INTERNAL CRITICISM, BECAUSE "IT CAN BE DIFFICULT TO
EXPRESS THIS TYPE OF DISSENT INSIDE THE COUNTRY." HE OPINED
THAT THE TREATY NONETHELESS REPRESENTED A "REASONABLE
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 04 HANOI 02309 01 OF 02 240942Z
COMPROMISE" AND SHOULD SERVE TO FACILITATE BUSINESS AND
POLITICAL CONTACTS IN THE FUTURE.

------------------
READ IT ON THE WEB
------------------

6. (U) STARTING AROUND THE BEGINNING OF SEPTEMBER, THE
STATE-CONTROLLED MEDIA BEGAN A VIGOROUS CAMPAIGN TO DEFEND
THE LAND BORDER TREATY. VIETNAM TELEVISION FEATURED A LONG
INTERVIEW WITH VICE FOREIGN MINISTER LE CONG PHUNG, THE
OFFICIAL IN CHARGE OF THESE BORDER ISSUES AND SOUTHEAST
ASIA. IN ADDITION, AN INTERVIEW WITH PHUNG APPEARED IN THE
PRINT MEDIA (REF B), ALONG WITH NUMEROUS OTHER ARTICLES
DESCRIBING THE "POSITIVE" ASPECTS OF THE TREATY. IN AN
APPARENTLY UNPRECEDENTED MOVE, THE GVN ALSO ALLOWED THE
CPV'S FLAGSTAFF NEWSPAPER "NHAN DAN" (PEOPLE'S DAILY) TO
PUBLISH THE TEXT OF THE TREATY ON ITS VIETNAMESE LANGUAGE
WEBSITE. (FBIS PLANS TO TRANSLATE THIS TEXT IN THE NEAR
FUTURE.) THE MFA'S HAI SAID THE REASON FOR DOING THIS WAS
TO COUNTER "DISINFORMATION COMING FROM OVERSEAS" AND TO SHOW
THE VIETNAMESE PEOPLE THAT "THE GOVERNMENT HAS NOTHING TO
HIDE."

UNCLASSIFIED

UNCLASSIFIED PTQ2613

PAGE 01 HANOI 02309 02 OF 02 240942Z
ACTION EAP-00

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 AIT-03 CIAE-00 C-00 DINT-00 DOEE-00
DOTE-00 SRPP-00 DS-00 EB-00 FAAE-00 FBIE-00 UTED-00
VC-00 H-01 TEDE-00 INR-00 L-00 VCE-00 MOFM-05
MOF-01 AC-01 NSAE-00 OMB-01 PA-00 PM-00 PRS-00
ACE-00 P-00 SP-00 SS-00 TEST-00 TRSE-00 T-00
USIE-00 EPAE-00 PMB-00 DSCC-00 PRM-00 DRL-02 G-00
NFAT-00 SAS-00 /014W
------------------EBE2BE 240943Z /38
R 240929Z SEP 02
FM AMEMBASSY HANOI
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 7614
INFO AMCONSUL HO CHI MINH CITY
AMEMBASSY BEIJING
AMCONSUL CHENGDU
AMCONSUL GUANGZHOU
AMCONSUL SHANGHAI
AMCONSUL SHENYANG
AMCONSUL HONG KONG
AIT TAIPEI 0705
ASEAN COLLECTIVE
USCINCPAC HONOLULU HI
NSC WASHDC
SECDEF WASHDC//ISA/ACHAO//

UNCLAS SECTION 02 OF 02 HANOI 002309

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 02 HANOI 02309 02 OF 02 240942Z

STATE FOR EAP/BCLTV, EAP/CM, INR/EAP/SEA


7. (U) ACCORDING TO A SEPTEMBER 16 MFA PRESS RELEASE AND
OTHER PRESS REPORTS, OVER THE COURSE OF THE TREATY
NEGOTIATIONS THE TWO SIDES COMPARED THEIR RESPECTIVE MAPS
AND FOUND THAT THERE WERE ABOUT 227 SQUARE KILOMETERS IN
DISPUTE. VIETNAM AND THE PRC AGREED TO SPLIT THE DIFFERENCE
ABOUT EVENLY - 113 SQUARE KILOMETERS TO VIETNAM AND 114
SQUARE KILOMETERS TO THE PRC. THIS PROCEDURE WAS DESCRIBED
IN A SEPARATE MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING THAT BECAME PART
OF THE 1999 TREATY.

----------------------
SEA ISSUES REMAIN OPEN
----------------------

8. (SBU) DURING THE AUGUST 2002 BORDER TALKS, THE TWO
SIDES CONTINUED DISCUSSION OF SEA BORDER ISSUES. WHILE THE
TWO SIDES SIGNED AN ACCORD IN DECEMBER 2000 SETTING OUT
TONKIN GULF SEA BORDERS, THIS TREATY HAS NOT YET BEEN
RATIFIED BY EITHER SIDE. THE MFA'S HAI SAID "TECHNICAL
ISSUES" REMAIN CONCERNING BOTH THE GULF OF TONKIN AND THE
FISHERIES AGREEMENTS. THESE CENTER AROUND MARITIME
DEMARCATION AS WELL AS THE NUMBER AND SIZE OF FISHING
VESSELS ALLOWED IN THE COMMON FISHING GROUND. ACCORDING TO
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 03 HANOI 02309 02 OF 02 240942Z
HAI, THE TWO SIDES HAVE AGREED TO WORK ON THE TECHNICAL
ISSUES IN ORDER TO "SPEED UP IMPLEMENTATION." HAI
EMPHASIZED THAT BOTH SIDES HAVE AGREED TO "RESPECT THE
SOVEREIGNTY OF THE OTHER" IN BOTH THE TONKIN GULF AND WHAT
THE VIETNAMESE CALL THE EAST SEA (AKA SOUTH CHINA SEA).

-------
COMMENT
-------

9. (SBU) VIETNAM'S OBSESSION WITH CHINA STEMS BOTH FROM
HISTORICAL AND CONTEMPORARY FACTORS. THE GVN'S AWKWARD
HANDLING OF THE BORDER AGREEMENT -- FIRST, ITS APPARENT
RELUCTANCE TO SHARE INFORMATION AT THE TIME OF THE SIGNING
AND THE RATIFICATION, AND LATER THIS BELATED EFFORT TO
DEMONSTRATE HOW "NORMAL" AND BENEFICIAL THE AGREEMENT IS --
IS AN INDICATION BOTH OF THE SECRETIVE NATURE OF MOST
DECISION-MAKING IN VIETNAM AND THE SENSITIVITY ABOUT PUBLIC
PERCEPTIONS OF CAVING IN TO ITS LARGE NORTHERN NEIGHBOR.
EMBASSY DOUBTS THAT THIS LATEST PUBLIC RELATIONS CAMPAIGN
WILL SATISFY CRITICS OF THE TREATY, AND EXPECTS ACTIVISTS
INSIDE AND OUTSIDE VIETNAM TO CONTINUE TO NEEDLE THE GVN ON
THIS ISSUE.
BURGHARDT

UNCLASSIFIED

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Syria: Economic Decline, Rising Hunger And Surging Humanitarian Needs

Syria’s fragile economy has “suffered multiple shocks” over the past 18 months, with its currency plummeting and joblessness swelling as people struggle to cover their basic needs, the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator told the Security Council ... More>>

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>>

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>>