Cablegate: New Can Tho Party Secretary - a Rising Star?

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



E.O. 12958: N/A

1. (U) The Consul General met with the newly appointed Party
Secretary of Can Tho Province, Nguyen Tan Quyen, on December 6.

Can Tho, the unofficial capital of the Mekong Delta region, is
one of four independently administered cities in Vietnam.
Although Can Tho's 2004 growth rate of 14.6 percent was double
the national rate, the outgoing Party Secretary reportedly
criticized lax personnel management and the provincial
government's failure to lever its central position in the Mekong
Delta to become an economic and infrastructural hub for the

2. (SBU) Quyen expressed his desire to improve relations with
the United States, placing particular emphasis on the bilateral
economic relationship. Reiterating Can Tho's goal to raise per
capita GDP from $720 to $1,200 by 2010, the Secretary emphasized
the need for open and well-grounded economic policies,
infrastructure development, and increased foreign and domestic
investment. Mr. Quyen also expressed his determination to
increase the province's economic competitiveness and advocated
improving Can Tho's state-owned enterprises so "they can survive
in the market environment of the WTO." While polite and
responsive to all questions, Party Secretary Nguyen Tan Quyen
remained formal throughout his discussion with the Consul

3. (SBU) Bio Notes: Born in 1953 in Tra Vinh Province, Quyen
grew up in the former Hau Giang Province (Hau Giang was later
split into Can Tho Province and Soc Trang Province). He spent
several years working for the Youth Union before becoming
Chairman of the Labor Federation of Hau Giang. Additionally,
Quyen served as the Deputy Head of Personnel and Organizational
Affairs for both the Can Tho and Soc Trang Party Committees and
as the Deputy Party Secretary of Soc Trang Province. In 2000,
Quyen was appointed Party Secretary of Soc Trang, a position he
held until 2002. He holds an advanced degree in politics and is
married with two children.

4. (SBU) Continued Bio Notes: After only two years as Soc
Trang's Party Secretary, Quyen was sent to Hanoi to become the
Deputy Chief of the Central Committee for Internal Political
Protection. The Central Committee for Internal Political
Protection is responsible for maintaining the Vietnamese
political system and the continued primacy of the Vietnamese
Communist Party. The Committee supervises the Supreme People's
Court and Vietnam's internal security apparatus. Two
well-placed contacts in Can Tho portrayed Quyen as an open and
engaging interlocutor. They said he has a special interest in
rural poverty alleviation and is not considered to be
particularly politically conservative.

5. Comment: Quyen's early departure from Soc Trang, transfer to
Hanoi and promotion to Party Secretary in Can Tho indicates the
high degree of confidence that the Vietnamese Communist Party
places in him. Should he succeed in Can Tho, he will be a
potential candidate for future national office, having served
the Party at both the provincial and national level. End Comment.

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