TPP and the fanciful tales

As the Vietnamese government is trying to conclude their negotiations, the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement (TPP) becomes one of the most popular topics in political discussions in the country. For democracy and human rights activists, it provokes debates on whether the international community, mainly the United States, should give way for Vietnam to enter the bloc. The below article is written by Lam Manh Di [Lâm Mạnh Di], a blogger based in Sai Gon, on his Facebook page on Monday. 


by Lam Manh Di

It seems the Vietnamese people are so kind-hearted that they easily forget things. Let us be reminded that for the past 85 years, the communists have never kept any promise they made.

Shortly after signing the 1954 Geneva Accord, Le Duan [Lê Duẩn, General Secretary of the Vietnamese Communist Party from 1960 to his death in 1986] and his high-rank communist officials did not move to the North but remained in the South of Vietnam instead to prepare for the war.

The new year of 1968 saw the communists break their promise of a cease-fire [by launching the Mau Than offensive], causing death and grief to a great many families of the fellow Southern Vietnamese even on the occasion of the sacred traditional new year celebration.

Immediately after the conclusion of the 1973 Paris Convention, the communists mobilized all their well-trained forces and resources to launch a massive attack, and they did that just after the last American soldier left Southern Vietnam.

In retrospect, before Vietnam’s entry into WTO [in 2007], the communists had created an atmosphere of false openness. They shifted totally after gaining WTO membership: even the most fundamental commitments were dumped into the rubbish bin.

Let us be reminded that during their negotiations with the United States over WTO membership, the communists promised that they would allow bilateral cultural and information exchange, which meant that publications made in Vietnam would be granted permission to be on sale in America, and US. publications would be given equal benefits.

However, after nearly ten years, Vietnamese publications in praise of the VCP and “Uncle Ho” remain on the shelf in the United States. Even if they were to be given free, no one would take them, let alone to buy them. And the communists have totally broken their promise: Never have publications made by Asia, the Nguoi Viet newspaper, etc. been allowed to be on sale in Vietnam.

Therefore, if someone believes in the communists’ commitment on human rights promotion, independent labor union, or whatever commitment just to get them join the TPP, he or she must be very kind-hearted, if not naive. The Vietnamese communists are masters in making promises.

But what can we do if they break their promise again, after joining the TPP, as they have done so many times before?

Some said they support Vietnam becoming a TPP member, arguing that by joining the TPP, Vietnam will no more be dependent on China and this will create a chance for Vietnam to escape from China! I burst into laughter on reading these arguments. A political party like the Vietnamese Communist Party will survive as long as it can rely on China, and those commentators want it to join the TPP to kill itself!

Just re-read the public address delivered by the former nurse – or our incumbent Prime Minister – on the occasion of April 30 [Liberation Day, to put it as the communists do], and you will see what he means. All China needs to do is just to give a hawk, then even the nurse that everybody thought to be “pro-America” will have to raise the “anti-America” flag so high in the air, even higher than the most “pro-China” guys do. He will do that despite the fact that his beloved daughter has just happily received her certificate of US. Empire citizenship!

After all, both WTO and TPP are creating opportunities for communist officials to make wealth while the Vietnamese people remain nobody – teeth above and sexual parts below [a colloquial idiom to mean someone of the low classes who does not have anything in life].

To support Vietnam becoming a TTP member is an acceptable thing, but to dream that such a membership can get Vietnam escape from China is unrealistic and delusory.