Remarks by the President to Vietnam National University - History

Remarks by the President to Vietnam National University - History


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Remarks by the President to Vietnam National University (11/17/00)

THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary (Hanoi, Socialist Republic of Vietnam) ______________________________________________________________ For Immediate Release November 17, 2000

REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT TO VIETNAM NATIONAL UNIVERSITY

Vietnam National University Hanoi, Socialist Republic of Vietnam

3:50 P. M. (L)

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much, and good afternoon. I can think of no more fitting place to begin my visit at this hopeful moment in our common history than here at Hanoi National University. I was given a Vietnamese phrase; I am going to try to say it. If I mess it up, feel free to laugh at me. Xin chao cac ban.* (Applause.)

So much of the promise of this youthful nation is embodied with you.
I learned that you have exchanges here with students from nearly 100 universities, from Canada to France to Korea -- and that you are now hosting more than a dozen full-time students from your partner school in the United States, the University of California.

I salute your vigorous efforts to engage the world. Of course, like students everywhere, I know you have things to think about other than your studies. For example, in September, you had to study for your classes and watch the Olympic accomplishments of Tran Hieu Ngan in Sydney. And this week you have to study and cheer Le Huynh Duc and Nguyen Hong Son in Bangkok at the football matches. (Applause.)

I am honored to be the first American President to see Hanoi, and to visit this university. But I do so conscious that the histories of our two nations are deeply intertwined in ways that are both a source of pain for generations that came before, and a source of promise for generations yet to come.

* Hello, everybody.

Two centuries ago, during the early days of the United States, we reached across the seas for partners in trade and one of the first nations we encountered was Vietnam. In fact, one of our founding fathers, Thomas Jefferson, tried to obtain rice seed from Vietnam to grow on his farm in Virginia 200 years ago. By the time World War II arrived, the United States had become a significant consumer of export from Vietnam. In 1945, at the moment of your country's birth, the words of Thomas Jefferson were chosen to be echoed in your own Declaration of Independence: "All men are created equal. The Creator has given us certain inviolable rights -- the right to life, the right to be free, the right to achieve happiness."

Of course, all of this common history, 200 years of it, has been obscured in the last few decades by the conflict we call the Vietnam War and you call the American War. You may know that in Washington, D. C., on our National Mall, there is a stark black granite wall engraved with the name of every single American who died in Vietnam. At this solemn memorial, some American veterans also refer to the "other side of the wall," the staggering sacrifice of the Vietnamese people on both sides of that conflict -- more than three million brave soldiers and civilians.

This shared suffering has given our countries a relationship unlike any other. Because of the conflict, America is now home to one million Americans of Vietnamese ancestry. Because of the conflict, three million Americans veterans served in Vietnam, as did many journalists, embassy personnel, aid workers and others who are forever connected to your country.

Almost 20 years ago now, a group of American servicemen took the first step to reestablish contacts between the United States and Vietnam. They traveled back to Vietnam for the first time since the war, and as they walked through the streets of Hanoi, they were approached by Vietnamese citizens who had heard of their visit: Are you the American soldiers, they asked? Not sure what to expect, our veterans answered, yes, we are. And to their immense relief, their hosts simply said, welcome to Vietnam.

More veterans followed, including distinguished American veterans and heroes who serve now in the United States Congress: Senator John McCain, Senator Bob Kerrey, Senator Chuck Robb, and Senator John Kerry from Massachusetts, who is here with me today, along with a number of representatives from our Congress, some of whom are veterans of the Vietnam conflict.

When they came here, they were determined to honor those who fought without refighting the battles; to remember our history, but not to perpetuate it; to give young people like you in both our countries the chance to live in your tomorrows, not in our yesterdays. As Ambassador Pete Peterson has said so eloquently, "We cannot change the past. What we can change is the future."

Our new relationship gained strength as American veterans launched nonprofit organizations to work on behalf of the Vietnamese people, such as providing devices to people with war injuries to help them lead more normal lives. Vietnam's willingness to help us return the remains of our fallen servicemen to their families has been the biggest boost to improve ties.
And there are many Americans here who have worked in that endeavor for many years now, including our Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Hershel Gober.

The desire to be reunited with a lost family member is something we all understand. It touches the hearts of Americans to know that every Sunday in Vietnam one of your most-watched television shows features families seeking viewers' help in finding loved ones they lost in the war so long ago now. And we are grateful for the Vietnamese villagers who have helped us to find our missing and, therefore, to give their families the peace of mind that comes with knowing what actually happened to their loved ones.

No two nations have ever before done the things we are doing together to find the missing from the Vietnam conflict. Teams of Americans and Vietnamese work together, sometimes in tight and dangerous places. The Vietnamese government has offered us access to files and government information to assist our search. And, in turn, we have been able to give Vietnam almost 400, 000 pages of documents that could assist in your search.
On this trip, I have brought with me another 350, 000 pages of documents that I hope will help Vietnamese families find out what happened to their missing loved ones.

Today, I was honored to present these to your President, Tran Duc Luong. And I told him before the year is over, America will provide another million pages of documents. We will continue to offer our help and to ask for your help as we both honor our commitment to do whatever we can for as long as it takes to achieve the fullest possible accounting of our loved ones.

Your cooperation in that mission over these last eight years has made it possible for America to support international lending to Vietnam, to resume trade between our countries, to establish formal diplomatic relations and, this year, to sign a pivotal trade agreement.

Finally, America is coming to see Vietnam as your people have asked for years -- as a country, not a war. A country with the highest literacy rate in Southeast Asia; a country whose young people just won three Gold Medals at the International Math Olympiad in Seoul; a country of gifted, hardworking entrepreneurs emerging from years of conflict and uncertainty to shape a bright future.

Today, the United States and Vietnam open a new chapter in our relationship, at a time when people all across the world trade more, travel more, know more about and talk more with each other than ever before. Even as people take pride in their national independence, we know we are becoming more and more interdependent. The movement of people, money and ideas across borders, frankly, breeds suspicion among many good people in every country. They are worried about globalization because of its unsettling and unpredictable consequences.

Yet, globalization is not something we can hold off or turn off. It is the economic equivalent of a force of nature -- like wind or water. We can harness wind to fill a sail. We can use water to generate energy. We can work hard to protect people and property from storms and floods. But there is no point in denying the existence of wind or water, or trying to make them go away. The same is true for globalization. We can work to maximize its benefits and minimize its risks, but we cannot ignore it -- and it is not going away.

In the last decade, as the volume of world trade has doubled, investment flows from wealthy nations to developing ones have increased by six times, from $25 billion in 1990 to more than $150 billion in 1998.
Nations that have opened their economies to the international trading system have grown at least twice as fast as nations with closed economies.
Your next job may well depend on foreign trade and investment. Come to think of it, since I have to leave office in about eight weeks, my next job may depend on foreign trade and investment.

Over the last 15 years, Vietnam launched its policy of Doi Moi, joined APEC and ASEAN, normalized relations with the European Union and the United States, and disbanded collective farming, freeing farmers to grow what they want and earn the fruits of their own labor. The results were impressive proof of the power of your markets and the abilities of your people. You not only conquered malnutrition, you became the world's second largest exporter of rice and achieved stronger overall economic growth.

Of course, in recent years the rate of growth has slowed and foreign investment has declined here, showing that any attempt to remain isolated from the risks of a global economy also guarantees isolation from its rewards, as well.

General Secretary Le Kha Phieu said this summer, and I quote, "We have yet to achieve the level of development commensurate with the possibilities of our country. And there is only one way to further open up the economy." So this summer, in what I believe will be seen as a pivotal step toward your future prosperity, Vietnam joined the United States in signing an historic bilateral trade agreement, building a foundation for Vietnam's entry eventually into the World Trade Organization.

Under the agreement, Vietnam will grant to its citizens, and over time to citizens of other countries, rights to import, export and distribute goods, giving the Vietnamese people expanding rights to determine their own economic destiny. Vietnam has agreed it will subject important decisions to the rule of law and the international trading system, increase the flow of information to its people, and accelerate the rise of a free economy and the private sector.

Of course, this will be good for Vietnam's foreign partners, like the United States. But it will be even better for Vietnam's own entrepreneurs, who are working hard to build businesses of their own. Under this agreement, Vietnam could be earning, according to the World Bank, another $1.5 billion each and every year from exports alone.

Both our nations were born with a Declaration of Independence. This trade agreement is a form of declaration of interdependence, a clear, unequivocal statement that prosperity in the 21st century depends upon a nation's economic engagement in the rest of the world.

This new openness is a great opportunity for you. But it does not guarantee success. What else should be done? Vietnam is such a young country, with 60 percent of your population under the age of 30, and 1.4 million new people entering your work force every year. Your leaders realize that government and state-owned businesses cannot generate 1.4 million new jobs every year. They know that the industries driving the global economy today -- computers, telecommunications, biotechnology -- these are all based on knowledge. That is why economies all over the world grow faster when young people stay in school longer, when women have the same educational opportunities that men have, when young people like you have every opportunity to explore new ideas and then to turn those ideas into your own business opportunities.

You can be -- indeed, those of you in this hall today must be -- the engine of Vietnam's future prosperity. As President Tran Duc Luong has said, the internal strength of the country is the intellect and capacity of its people.

The United States has great respect for your intellect and capacity.
One of our government's largest educational exchange programs is with Vietnam. And we want to do more. Senator Kerry is right there, and I mentioned him earlier -- is leading an effort in our United States Congress, along with Senator John McCain and other veterans of the conflict here, to establish a new Vietnam Education Foundation. Once enacted, the foundation would support 100 fellowships every year, either here or in the United States, for people to study or teach science, math, technology and medicine.

We're ready to put more funding in our exchange programs now so this effort can get underway immediately. I hope some of you in this room will have a chance to take part. And I want to thank Senator Kerry for this great idea. Thank you, sir, for what you have done. (Applause.)

Let me say, as important as knowledge is, the benefits of knowledge are necessarily limited by undue restrictions on its use. We Americans believe the freedom to explore, to travel, to think, to speak, to shape decisions that affect our lives enrich the lives of individuals and nations in ways that go far beyond economics.

Now, America's record is not perfect in this area. After all, it took us almost a century to banish slavery. It took us even longer to give women the right to vote. And we are still seeking to live up to the more perfect union of our founders' dreams and the words of our Declaration of Independence and Constitution. But along the way over these 226 years -- 224 years -- we've learned some lessons. For example, we have seen that economies work better where newspapers are free to expose corruption, and independent courts can ensure that contracts are honored, that competition is robust and fair, that public officials honor the rule of law.

In our experience, guaranteeing the right to religious worship and the right to political dissent does not threaten the stability of a society.
Instead, it builds people's confidence in the fairness of our institutions, and enables us to take it when a decision goes in a way we don't agree with. All this makes our country stronger in good times and bad. In our experience, young people are much more likely to have confidence in their future if they have a say in shaping it, in choosing their governmental leaders and having a government that is accountable to those it serves.

Now, let me say emphatically, we do not seek to impose these ideals, nor could we. Vietnam is an ancient and enduring country. You have proved to the world that you will make your own decisions. Only you can decide, for example, if you will continue to share Vietnam's talents and ideas with the world; if you will continue to open Vietnam so that you can enrich it with the insights of others. Only you can decide if you will continue to open your markets, open your society and strengthen the rule of law. Only you can decide how to weave individual liberties and human rights into the rich and strong fabric of Vietnamese national identity.

Your future should be in your hands, the hands of the Vietnam people.
But your future is important to the rest of us, as well. For as Vietnam succeeds, it will benefit this region and your trading partners and your friends throughout the world.

We are eager to increase our cooperation with you across the board.
We want to continue our work to clear land mines and unexploded ordnance.
We want to strengthen our common efforts to protect the environment by phasing out leaded gasoline in Vietnam, maintaining a clean water supply, saving coral reefs and tropical forests. We want to bolster our efforts on disaster relief and prevention, including our efforts to help those suffering from the floods in the Mekong Delta. Yesterday, we presented to your government satellite imagery from our Global Disaster Information Network -- images that show in great detail the latest flood levels on the Delta that can help Vietnam to rebuild.

We want to accelerate our cooperation in science, cooperation focused this month on our meeting in Singapore to study together the health and ecological effects of dioxin on the people of Vietnam and the Americans who were in Vietnam; and cooperation that we are advancing further with the Science and Technology Agreement our two countries signed just today.

We want to be your ally in the fight against killer diseases like AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. I am glad to announce that we will nearly double our support of Vietnam's efforts to contain the AIDS crisis through education, prevention, care and treatment. We want to work with you to make Vietnam a safer place by giving you help to reduce preventable injuries -- on the streets, at home and in the workplace. We want to work with you to make the most of this trade agreement, by providing technical assistance to assure its full and smooth implementation, in finding ways to encourage greater United States investment in your country.

We are, in short, eager to build our partnership with Vietnam. We believe it's good for both our nations. We believe the Vietnamese people have the talent to succeed in this new global age as they have in the past.

We know it because we've seen the progress you have made in this last decade. We have seen the talent and ingenuity of the Vietnamese who have come to settle in America. Vietnamese-Americans have become elected officials, judges, leaders in science and in our high-tech industry. Last year, a Vietnamese-American achieved a mathematical breakthrough that will make it easier to conduct high-quality video-conferencing. And all America took notice when Hoang Nhu Tran graduated number one in his class at the United States Air Force Academy.

Vietnamese-Americans have flourished not just because of their unique abilities and their good values, but also because they have had the opportunity to make the most of their abilities and their values. As your opportunities grow to live, to learn, to express your creativity, there will be no stopping the people of Vietnam. And you will find, I am certain, that the American people will be by your side. For in this interdependent world, we truly do have a stake in your success.


Remarks by President Obama in Address to the People of Vietnam

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Xin chào! (Applause.) Xin chào Vietnam! (Applause.) Thank you. Thank you so much. To the government and the people of Vietnam, thank you for this very warm welcome and the hospitality that you have shown to me on this visit. And thank all of you for being here today. (Applause.) We have Vietnamese from across this great country, including so many young people who represent the dynamism, and the talent and the hope of Vietnam.

On this visit, my heart has been touched by the kindness for which the Vietnamese people are known. In the many people who have been lining the streets, smiling and waving, I feel the friendship between our peoples. Last night, I visited the Old Quarter here in Hanoi and enjoyed some outstanding Vietnamese food. I tried some Bún Chả. (Applause.) Drank some bia Ha Noi. But I have to say, the busy streets of this city, I’ve never seen so many motorbikes in my life. (Laughter.) So I haven’t had to try to cross the street so far, but maybe when I come back and visit you can tell me how.

I am not the first American President to come to Vietnam in recent times. But I am the first, like so many of you, who came of age after the war between our countries. When the last U.S. forces left Vietnam, I was just 13 years old. So my first exposure to Vietnam and the Vietnamese people came when I was growing up in Hawaii, with its proud Vietnamese American community there.

At the same time, many people in this country are much younger than me. Like my two daughters, many of you have lived your whole lives knowing only one thing -- and that is peace and normalized relations between Vietnam and the United States. So I come here mindful of the past, mindful of our difficult history, but focused on the future -- the prosperity, security and human dignity that we can advance together.

I also come here with a deep respect for Vietnam’s ancient heritage. For millennia, farmers have tended these lands -- a history revealed in the Dong Son drums. At this bend in the river, Hanoi has endured for more than a thousand years. The world came to treasure Vietnamese silks and paintings, and a great Temple of Literature stands as a testament to your pursuit of knowledge. And yet, over the centuries, your fate was too often dictated by others. Your beloved land was not always your own. But like bamboo, the unbroken spirit of the Vietnamese people was captured by Ly Thuong Kiet -- “the Southern emperor rules the Southern land. Our destiny is writ in Heaven’s Book.”

Today, we also remember the longer history between Vietnamese and Americans that is too often overlooked. More than 200 years ago, when our Founding Father, Thomas Jefferson, sought rice for his farm, he looked to the rice of Vietnam, which he said had “the reputation of being whitest to the eye, best flavored to the taste, and most productive.” Soon after, American trade ships arrived in your ports seeking commerce.

During the Second World War, Americans came here to support your struggle against occupation. When American pilots were shot down, the Vietnamese people helped rescue them. And on the day that Vietnam declared its independence, crowds took to the streets of this city, and Ho Chi Minh evoked the American Declaration of Independence. He said, “All people are created equal. The Creator has endowed them with inviolable rights. Among these rights are the right to life, the right to liberty, and the right to the pursuit of happiness.”

In another time, the profession of these shared ideals and our common story of throwing off colonialism might have brought us closer together sooner. But instead, Cold War rivalries and fears of communism pulled us into conflict. Like other conflicts throughout human history, we learned once more a bitter truth -- that war, no matter what our intentions may be, brings suffering and tragedy.

At your war memorial not far from here, and with family altars across this country, you remember some 3 million Vietnamese, soldiers and civilians, on both sides, who lost their lives. At our memorial wall in Washington, we can touch the names of 58,315 Americans who gave their lives in the conflict. In both our countries, our veterans and families of the fallen still ache for the friends and loved ones that they lost. Just as we learned in America that, even if we disagree about a war, we must always honor those who serve and welcome them home with the respect they deserve, we can join together today, Vietnamese and Americans, and acknowledge the pain and the sacrifices on both sides.

More recently, over the past two decades, Vietnam has achieved enormous progress, and today the world can see the strides that you have made. With economic reforms and trade agreements, including with the United States, you have entered the global economy, selling your goods around the world. More foreign investment is coming in. And with one of the fastest-growing economies in Asia, Vietnam has moved up to become a middle-income nation.

We see Vietnam’s progress in the skyscrapers and high-rises of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, and new shopping malls and urban centers. We see it in the satellites Vietnam puts into space and a new generation that is online, launching startups and running new ventures. We see it in the tens of millions of Vietnamese connected on Facebook and Instagram. And you’re not just posting selfies -- although I hear you do that a lot -- (laughter) -- and so far, there have been a number of people who have already asked me for selfies. You’re also raising your voices for causes that you care about, like saving the old trees of Hanoi.

So all this dynamism has delivered real progress in people’s lives. Here in Vietnam, you’ve dramatically reduced extreme poverty, you've boosted family incomes and lifted millions into a fast-growing middle class. Hunger, disease, child and maternal mortality are all down. The number of people with clean drinking water and electricity, the number of boys and girls in school, and your literacy rate -- these are all up. This is extraordinary progress. This is what you have been able to achieve in a very short time.

And as Vietnam has transformed, so has the relationship between our two nations. We learned a lesson taught by the venerable Thich Nhat Hanh, who said, “In true dialogue, both sides are willing to change.” In this way, the very war that had divided us became a source for healing. It allowed us to account for the missing and finally bring them home. It allowed us to help remove landmines and unexploded bombs, because no child should ever lose a leg just playing outside. Even as we continue to assist Vietnamese with disabilities, including children, we are also continuing to help remove Agent Orange -- dioxin -- so that Vietnam can reclaim more of your land. We're proud of our work together in Danang, and we look forward to supporting your efforts in Bien Hoa.

Let’s also not forget that the reconciliation between our countries was led by our veterans who once faced each other in battle. Think of Senator John McCain, who was held for years here as a prisoner of war, meeting General Giap, who said our countries should not be enemies but friends. Think of all the veterans, Vietnamese and American, who have helped us heal and build new ties. Few have done more in this regard over the years than former Navy lieutenant, and now Secretary of State of the United States, John Kerry, who is here today. And on behalf of all of us, John, we thank you for your extraordinary effort. (Applause.)

Because our veterans showed us the way, because warriors had the courage to pursue peace, our peoples are now closer than ever before. Our trade has surged. Our students and scholars learn together. We welcome more Vietnamese students to America than from any other country in Southeast Asia. And every year, you welcome more and more American tourists, including young Americans with their backpacks, to Hanoi’s 36 Streets and the shops of Hoi An, and the imperial city of Hue. As Vietnamese and Americans, we can all relate to those words written by Van Cao -- “From now, we know each other’s homeland from now, we learn to feel for each other.”

As President, I’ve built on this progress. With our new Comprehensive Partnership, our governments are working more closely together than ever before. And with this visit, we’ve put our relationship on a firmer footing for decades to come. In a sense, the long story between our two nations that began with Thomas Jefferson more than two centuries ago has now come full circle. It has taken many years and required great effort. But now we can say something that was once unimaginable: Today, Vietnam and the United States are partners.

And I believe our experience holds lessons for the world. At a time when many conflicts seem intractable, seem as if they will never end, we have shown that hearts can change and that a different future is possible when we refuse to be prisoners of the past. We've shown how peace can be better than war. We've shown that progress and human dignity is best advanced by cooperation and not conflict. That’s what Vietnam and America can show the world.

Now, America’s new partnership with Vietnam is rooted in some basic truths. Vietnam is an independent, sovereign nation, and no other nation can impose its will on you or decide your destiny. (Applause.) Now, the United States has an interest here. We have an interest in Vietnam’s success. But our Comprehensive Partnership is still in its early stages. And with the time I have left, I want to share with you the vision that I believe can guide us in the decades ahead.

First, let’s work together to create real opportunity and prosperity for all of our people. We know the ingredients for economic success in the 21st century. In our global economy, investment and trade flows to wherever there is rule of law, because no one wants to pay a bribe to start a business. Nobody wants to sell their goods or go to school if they don’t know how they're going to be treated. In knowledge-based economies, jobs go to where people have the freedom to think for themselves and exchange ideas and to innovate. And real economic partnerships are not just about one country extracting resources from another. They’re about investing in our greatest resource, which is our people and their skills and their talents, whether you live in a big city or a rural village. And that’s the kind of partnership that America offers.

As I announced yesterday, the Peace Corps will come to Vietnam for the first time, with a focus on teaching English. A generation after young Americans came here to fight, a new generation of Americans are going to come here to teach and build and deepen the friendship between us. (Applause.) Some of America’s leading technology companies and academic institutions are joining Vietnamese universities to strengthen training in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine. Because even as we keep welcoming more Vietnamese students to America, we also believe that young people deserve a world-class education right here in Vietnam.

It's one of the reasons why we're very excited that this fall, the new Fulbright University Vietnam will open in Ho Chi Minh City -- this nation’s first independent, non-profit university -- where there will be full academic freedom and scholarships for those in need. (Applause.) Students, scholars, researchers will focus on public policy and management and business on engineering and computer science and liberal arts -- everything from the poetry of Nguyen Du, to the philosophy of Phan Chu Trinh, to the mathematics of Ngo Bao Chau.

And we're going to keep partnering with young people and entrepreneurs, because we believe that if you can just access the skills and technology and capital you need, then nothing can stand in your way -- and that includes, by the way, the talented women of Vietnam. (Applause.) We think gender equality is an important principle. From the Trung Sisters to today, strong, confident women have always helped move Vietnam forward. The evidence is clear -- I say this wherever I go around the world -- families, communities and countries are more prosperous when girls and women have an equal opportunity to succeed in school and at work and in government. That's true everywhere, and it's true here in Vietnam. (Applause.)

We’ll keep working to unleash the full potential of your economy with the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Here in Vietnam, TPP will let you sell more of your products to the world and it will attract new investment. TPP will require reforms to protect workers and rule of law and intellectual property. And the United States is ready to assist Vietnam as it works to fully implement its commitments. I want you to know that, as President of the United States, I strongly support TPP because you'll also be able to buy more of our goods, “Made in America.”

Moreover, I support TPP because of its important strategic benefits. Vietnam will be less dependent on any one trading partner and enjoy broader ties with more partners, including the United States. (Applause.) And TPP will reinforce regional cooperation. It will help address economic inequality and will advance human rights, with higher wages and safer working conditions. For the first time here in Vietnam, the right to form independent labor unions and prohibitions against forced labor and child labor. And it has the strongest environmental protections and the strongest anti-corruption standards of any trade agreement in history. That’s the future TPP offers for all of us, because all of us -- the United States, Vietnam, and the other signatories -- will have to abide by these rules that we have shaped together. That's the future that is available to all of us. So we now have to get it done -- for the sake of our economic prosperity and our national security.

This brings me to the second area where we can work together, and that is ensuring our mutual security. With this visit, we have agreed to elevate our security cooperation and build more trust between our men and women in uniform. We’ll continue to offer training and equipment to your Coast Guard to enhance Vietnam’s maritime capabilities. We will partner to deliver humanitarian aid in times of disaster. With the announcement I made yesterday to fully lift the ban on defense sales, Vietnam will have greater access to the military equipment you need to ensure your security. And the United States is demonstrating our commitment to fully normalize our relationship with Vietnam. (Applause.)

More broadly, the 20th century has taught all of us -- including the United States and Vietnam -- that the international order upon which our mutual security depends is rooted in certain rules and norms. Nations are sovereign, and no matter how large or small a nation may be, its sovereignty should be respected, and it territory should not be violated. Big nations should not bully smaller ones. Disputes should be resolved peacefully. (Applause.) And regional institutions, like ASEAN and the East Asia Summit, should continue to be strengthened. That’s what I believe. That's what the United States believes. That’s the kind of partnership America offers this region. I look forward to advancing this spirit of respect and reconciliation later this year when I become the first U.S. President to visit Laos.

In the South China Sea, the United States is not a claimant in current disputes. But we will stand with partners in upholding core principles, like freedom of navigation and overflight, and lawful commerce that is not impeded, and the peaceful resolution of disputes, through legal means, in accordance with international law. As we go forward, the United States will continue to fly, sail and operate wherever international law allows, and we will support the right of all countries to do the same. (Applause.)

Even as we cooperate more closely in the areas I’ve described, our partnership includes a third element -- addressing areas where our governments disagree, including on human rights. I say this not to single out Vietnam. No nation is perfect. Two centuries on, the United States is still striving to live up to our founding ideals. We still deal with our shortcomings -- too much money in our politics, and rising economic inequality, racial bias in our criminal justice system, women still not being paid as much as men doing the same job. We still have problems. And we're not immune from criticism, I promise you. I hear it every day. But that scrutiny, that open debate, confronting our imperfections, and allowing everybody to have their say has helped us grow stronger and more prosperous and more just.

I’ve said this before -- the United States does not seek to impose our form of government on Vietnam. The rights I speak of I believe are not American values I think they're universal values written into the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. They're written into the Vietnamese constitution, which states that “citizens have the right to freedom of speech and freedom of the press, and have the right of access to information, the right to assembly, the right to association, and the right to demonstrate.” That’s in the Vietnamese constitution. (Applause.) So really, this is an issue about all of us, each country, trying to consistently apply these principles, making sure that we -- those of us in government -- are being true to these ideals.

In recent years, Vietnam has made some progress. Vietnam has committed to bringing its laws in line with its new constitution and with international norms. Under recently passed laws, the government will disclose more of its budget and the public will have the right to access more information. And, as I said, Vietnam has committed to economic and labor reforms under the TPP. So these are all positive steps. And ultimately, the future of Vietnam will be decided by the people of Vietnam. Every country will chart its own path, and our two nations have different traditions and different political systems and different cultures. But as a friend of Vietnam, allow me to share my view -- why I believe nations are more successful when universal rights are upheld.

When there is freedom of expression and freedom of speech, and when people can share ideas and access the Internet and social media without restriction, that fuels the innovation economies need to thrive. That's where new ideas happen. That's how a Facebook starts. That's how some of our greatest companies began -- because somebody had a new idea. It was different. And they were able to share it. When there’s freedom of the press -- when journalists and bloggers are able to shine a light on injustice or abuse -- that holds officials accountable and builds public confidence that the system works. When candidates can run for office and campaign freely, and voters can choose their own leaders in free and fair elections, it makes the countries more stable, because citizens know that their voices count and that peaceful change is possible. And it brings new people into the system.

When there is freedom of religion, it not only allows people to fully express the love and compassion that are at the heart of all great religions, but it allows faith groups to serve their communities through schools and hospitals, and care for the poor and the vulnerable. And when there is freedom of assembly -- when citizens are free to organize in civil society -- then countries can better address challenges that government sometimes cannot solve by itself. So it is my view that upholding these rights is not a threat to stability, but actually reinforces stability and is the foundation of progress.

After all, it was a yearning for these rights that inspired people around the world, including Vietnam, to throw off colonialism. And I believe that upholding these rights is the fullest expression of the independence that so many cherish, including here, in a nation that proclaims itself to be “of the People, by the People and for the People.”

Vietnam will do it differently than the United States does. And each of us will do it differently from many other countries around the world. But there are these basic principles that I think we all have to try to work on and improve. And I said this as somebody who's about to leave office, so I have the benefit of almost eight years now of reflecting on how our system has worked and interacting with countries around the world who are constantly trying to improve their systems, as well.

Finally, our partnership I think can meet global challenges that no nation can solve by itself. If we’re going to ensure the health of our people and the beauty of our planet, then development has to be sustainable. Natural wonders like Ha Long Bay and Son Doong Cave have to be preserved for our children and our grandchildren. Rising seas threaten the coasts and waterways on which so many Vietnamese depend. And so as partners in the fight against climate change, we need to fulfill the commitments we made in Paris, we need to help farmers and villages and people who depend on fishing to adapt and to bring more clean energy to places like the Mekong Delta -- a rice bowl of the world that we need to feed future generations.

And we can save lives beyond our borders. By helping other countries strengthen, for example, their health systems, we can prevent outbreaks of disease from becoming epidemics that threaten all of us. And as Vietnam deepens its commitment to U.N. peacekeeping, the United States is proud to help train your peacekeepers. And what a truly remarkable thing that is -- our two nations that once fought each other now standing together and helping others achieve peace, as well. So in addition to our bilateral relationship, our partnership also allows us to help shape the international environment in ways that are positive.

Now, fully realizing the vision that I’ve described today is not going to happen overnight, and it is not inevitable. There may be stumbles and setbacks along the way. There are going to be times where there are misunderstandings. It will take sustained effort and true dialogue where both sides continue to change. But considering all the history and hurdles that we've already overcome, I stand before you today very optimistic about our future together. (Applause.) And my confidence is rooted, as always, in the friendship and shared aspirations of our peoples.

I think of all the Americans and Vietnamese who have crossed a wide ocean -- some reuniting with families for the first time in decades -- and who, like Trinh Cong Son said in his song, have joined hands, and opening their hearts and seeing our common humanity in each other. (Applause.)

I think of all the Vietnamese Americans who have succeeded in every walk of life -- doctors, journalists, judges, public servants. One of them, who was born here, wrote me a letter and said, by “God’s grace, I have been able to live the American Dream…I'm very proud to be an American but also very proud to be Vietnamese.” (Applause.) And today he’s here, back in the country of his birth, because, he said, his “personal passion” is “improving the life of every Vietnamese person.”

I think of a new generation of Vietnamese -- so many of you, so many of the young people who are here -- who are ready to make your mark on the world. And I want to say to all the young people listening: Your talent, your drive, your dreams -- in those things, Vietnam has everything it needs to thrive. Your destiny is in your hands. This is your moment. And as you pursue the future that you want, I want you to know that the United States of America will be right there with you as your partner and as your friend. (Applause.)

And many years from now, when even more Vietnamese and Americans are studying with each other innovating and doing business with each other standing up for our security, and promoting human rights and protecting our planet with each other -- I hope you think back to this moment and draw hope from the vision that I’ve offered today. Or, if I can say it another way -- in words that you know well from the Tale of Kieu -- “Please take from me this token of trust, so we can embark upon our 100-year journey together.” (Applause.)

Cam on cac ban. Thank you very much. Thank you, Vietnam. Thank you. (Applause.)


Remarks by the President to Vietnam National University - History

LBJ on Immigration

President Lyndon B. Johnson's Remarks at the Signing of the Immigration Bill
Liberty Island, New York
October 3, 1965

Mr. Vice President, Mr. Speaker, Mr. Ambassador Goldberg, distinguished Members of the leadership of the Congress, distinguished Governors and mayors, my fellow countrymen:

We have called the Congress here this afternoon not only to mark a very historic occasion, but to settle a very old issue that is in dispute. That issue is, to what congressional district does Liberty Island really belong--Congressman Farbstein or Congressman Gallagher? It will be settled by whoever of the two can walk first to the top of the Statue of Liberty.

This bill that we will sign today is not a revolutionary bill. It does not affect the lives of millions. It will not reshape the structure of our daily lives, or really add importantly to either our wealth or our power.

Yet it is still one of the most important acts of this Congress and of this administration.

For it does repair a very deep and painful flaw in the fabric of American justice. It corrects a cruel and enduring wrong in the conduct of the American Nation.

Speaker McCormack and Congressman Celler almost 40 years ago first pointed that out in their maiden speeches in the Congress. And this measure that we will sign today will really make us truer to ourselves both as a country and as a people. It will strengthen us in a hundred unseen ways.

I have come here to thank personally each Member of the Congress who labored so long and so valiantly to make this occasion come true today, and to make this bill a reality. I cannot mention all their names, for it would take much too long, but my gratitude--and that of this Nation--belongs to the 89th Congress.

We are indebted, too, to the vision of the late beloved President John Fitzgerald Kennedy, and to the support given to this measure by the then Attorney General and now Senator, Robert F. Kennedy.

In the final days of consideration, this bill had no more able champion than the present Attorney General, Nicholas Katzenbach, who, with New York's own "Manny" Celler, and Senator Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts, and Congressman Feighan of Ohio, and Senator Mansfield and Senator Dirksen constituting the leadership of the Senate, and Senator Javits, helped to guide this bill to passage, along with the help of the Members sitting in front of me today.

This bill says simply that from this day forth those wishing to immigrate to America shall be admitted on the basis of their skills and their close relationship to those already here.

This is a simple test, and it is a fair test. Those who can contribute most to this country--to its growth, to its strength, to its spirit--will be the first that are admitted to this land.

The fairness of this standard is so self-evident that we may well wonder that it has not always been applied. Yet the fact is that for over four decades the immigration policy of the United States has been twisted and has been distorted by the harsh injustice of the national origins quota system.

Under that system the ability of new immigrants to come to America depended upon the country of their birth. Only 3 countries were allowed to supply 70 percent of all the immigrants.

Families were kept apart because a husband or a wife or a child had been born in the wrong place.

Men of needed skill and talent were denied entrance because they came from southern or eastern Europe or from one of the developing continents.

This system violated the basic principle of American democracy--the principle that values and rewards each man on the basis of his merit as a man.

It has been un-American in the highest sense, because it has been untrue to the faith that brought thousands to these shores even before we were a country.

Today, with my signature, this system is abolished.

We can now believe that it will never again shadow the gate to the American Nation with the twin barriers of prejudice and privilege.

Our beautiful America was built by a nation of strangers. From a hundred different places or more they have poured forth into an empty land, joining and blending in one mighty and irresistible tide.

The land flourished because it was fed from so many sources--because it was nourished by so many cultures and traditions and peoples.

And from this experience, almost unique in the history of nations, has come America's attitude toward the rest of the world. We, because of what we are, feel safer and stronger in a world as varied as the people who make it up--a world where no country rules another and all countries can deal with the basic problems of human dignity and deal with those problems in their own way.

Now, under the monument which has welcomed so many to our shores, the American Nation returns to the finest of its traditions today.

The days of unlimited immigration are past.

But those who do come will come because of what they are, and not because of the land from which they sprung.

When the earliest settlers poured into a wild continent there was no one to ask them where they came from. The only question was: Were they sturdy enough to make the journey, were they strong enough to clear the land, were they enduring enough to make a home for freedom, and were they brave enough to die for liberty if it became necessary to do so?

And so it has been through all the great and testing moments of American history. Our history this year we see in Viet-Nam. Men there are dying--men named Fernandez and Zajac and Zelinko and Mariano and McCormick.

Neither the enemy who killed them nor the people whose independence they have fought to save ever asked them where they or their parents came from. They were all Americans. It was for free men and for America that they gave their all, they gave their lives and selves.

By eliminating that same question as a test for immigration the Congress proves ourselves worthy of those men and worthy of our own traditions as a Nation.

ASYLUM FOR CUBAN REFUGEES

So it is in that spirit that I declare this afternoon to the people of Cuba that those who seek refuge here in America will find it. The dedication of America to our traditions as an asylum for the oppressed is going to be upheld.

I have directed the Departments of State and Justice and Health, Education, and Welfare to immediately make all the necessary arrangements to permit those in Cuba who seek freedom to make an orderly entry into the United States of America.

Our first concern will be with those Cubans who have been separated from their children and their parents and their husbands and their wives and that are now in this country. Our next concern is with those who are imprisoned for political reasons.

And I will send to the Congress tomorrow a request for supplementary funds of $12,600,000 to carry forth the commitment that I am making today.

I am asking the Department of State to seek through the Swiss Government immediately the agreement of the Cuban Government in a request to the President of the International Red Cross Committee. The request is for the assistance of the Committee in processing the movement of refugees from Cuba to Miami. Miami will serve as a port of entry and a temporary stopping place for refugees as they settle in other parts of this country.

And to all the voluntary agencies in the United States, I appeal for their continuation and expansion of their magnificent work. Their help is needed in the reception and the settlement of those who choose to leave Cuba. The Federal Government will work closely with these agencies in their tasks of charity and brotherhood.

I want all the people of this great land of ours to know of the really enormous contribution which the compassionate citizens of Florida have made to humanity and to decency. And all States in this Union can join with Florida now in extending the hand of helpfulness and humanity to our Cuban brothers.

The lesson of our times is sharp and clear in this movement of people from one land to another. Once again, it stamps the mark of failure on a regime when many of its citizens voluntarily choose to leave the land of their birth for a more hopeful home in America. The future holds little hope for any government where the present holds no hope for the people.

And so we Americans will welcome these Cuban people. For the tides of history run strong, and in another day they can return to their homeland to find it cleansed of terror and free from fear.

Over my shoulders here you can see Ellis Island, whose vacant corridors echo today the joyous sound of long ago voices.

And today we can all believe that the lamp of this grand old lady is brighter today-- and the golden door that she guards gleams more brilliantly in the light of an increased liberty for the people from all the countries of the globe.

NOTE: The President spoke at 3:08 p.m. on Liberty Island in New York Harbor before a group of several hundred guests who had crossed to the island by boat for the ceremony. In his opening words he referred to Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey, Representative John W. McCormack of Massachusetts, Speaker of the House of Representatives, and Arthur J. Goldberg, U.S. Representative to the United Nations.

During his remarks the President referred to Representative Leonard Farbstein of New York, Representative Cornelius E. Gallagher of New Jersey, Representative Emanuel Celler of New York, Senator Robert F. Kennedy of New York, Attorney General Nicholas deB. Katzenbach, Senator Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts, Representative Michael A. Feighan of Ohio, Senator Mike Mansfield of Montana, majority leader of the Senate, Senator Everett M. Dirksen of Illinois, minority leader of the Senate, and Senator Jacob K. Javits of New York.

As enacted, the immigration bill (H.R. 2580) is Public Law 89-236 (79 Stat. 911).

In late September Cuban Premier Fidel Castro had announced that Cubans with families in the United States would be permitted to emigrate. The first of these refugees began arriving in Florida by small boat on October 7, and by October 18 the number had exceeded 700.

On October 31, 1965, the President approved the Supplemental Appropriation Act, 1966, which included an additional sum of $12,600,000 for the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare for assistance to refugees in the United States (Public Law 89-309, 79 Stat. 1133).

On February 15, 1966, the White House made public a report to the President from Attorney General Katzenbach which stated in part, "Although the Act has been in effect only two months, it has already reunited hundreds of families through its preferential admissions policy for aliens with close relatives in the United States . Another 9,268 refugees from Cuba arrived in the United States during 1965. Of these, 3,349 came in December via the airlift arranged by the United States and the Cuban governments. Some 104,430 resident aliens were naturalized as American citizens during the year." The text of the report is printed in the Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents (vol. 2, p. 220).

[Source: Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Lyndon B. Johnson, 1965. Volume II, entry 546, pp. 1037-1040. Washington, D. C.: Government Printing Office, 1966.]


Vietnam National Assembly selects prime minister, president

HANOI, Vietnam (AP) - Vietnam’s legislature voted Monday to make Pham Minh Chinh, a member of the Communist party with a history as a security official, the country’s next prime minister. Outgoing Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc was appointed the new president.

The votes of the nearly 500 members of the National Assembly rubber stamped the leadership picks the Communist party made during its national congress in January.

Chinh, 62, most recently was a member of the Communist party’s central committee for personnel and organization. Chinh has had a mixed career in the party apparatus and in the security sector.

He held various posts in the Ministry of Public Security before being selected by the party to be the head of Quang Ninh, a province bordering with China. He is credited with helping with economic development in the province through administrative reform.

Nguyen Khac Giang, a scholar of Vietnam affairs at New Zealand’s Victoria University, said the selection of Chinh as prime minister could be seen a bet on his being able to keep the economy growing.

Chinh is also a member of the central steering board on corruption prevention, an office established by the Communist chief Nguyen Phu Trong to fight corruption as one of its top priorities.

During his time as prime minister, Phuc led Vietnam as it further integrated to the global economy and sustained the economic growth of 7% up until last year when COVID-19 hit the world.

With strict measures including a nationwide lockdown, Vietnam has managed to contain the spread of the virus and quickly resume its business and manufacturing. It was among a handful of countries in 2020 that recorded positive economic growth.

Phuc, 66, passed the age limit for serving as prime minister. As president Phuc will have a largely ceremonial post.

Carl Thayer, an emeritus professor at the University of New South Wales, said that Phuc has left a legacy of successfully managing Vietnam’s economic growth.

“Phuc demonstrated leadership of the highest order in decisively responding to the coronavirus pandemic. His successor will face daunting challenges but will be aided by Phuc’s legacy of transparency that earned him popular support,” Thayer said.

The country’s lawmakers last week approved Vuong Dinh Hue, an experienced economist, to become chairman of the National Assembly, rounding out the country’s top four leadership posts.


CLINTON IN VIETNAM: THE OVERVIEW Huge Crowd in Hanoi for Clinton, Who Speaks of 'Shared Suffering'

Tens of thousands of Vietnamese, many of them former soldiers who once battled the United States, poured into the streets of Hanoi today to welcome President Clinton, waving to his motorcade and watching on television as he told the nation that ''shared suffering has given our countries a relationship unlike any other.''

Speaking at the Vietnam National University, a bust of Ho Chi Minh just behind him, Mr. Clinton repeatedly went out of his way to honor soldiers on both sides of ''the conflict we call the Vietnam War and you call the American War,'' equating their sacrifices, but never delving into the causes they represented.

Instead, he gave his Vietnamese audience -- no one knows how many of the country's 78 million people were watching -- a description of the Vietnam memorial on the Mall in Washington, where the names of the American dead are etched in black stone. ''Some American veterans also refer to the 'other side of the wall,' the staggering sacrifice of the Vietnamese people on both sides of that conflict -- more than three million brave soldiers and civilians,'' Mr. Clinton said.

The president and his huge entourage of officials, members of Congress and business executives were clearly taken by surprise at the warmth of the reception he got on this city's chaotic streets. The size and enthusiasm of the crowds was particularly striking because Vietnam's leaders treated the president with polite but distant formality, as if they were still unsure about how far they wanted to take this new opening with a former enemy.

One senior administration official here said tonight that he sensed that the Vietnamese leaders ''were a little bit nervous about what they were seeing on the streets.''

But if Vietnam's president and prime minister were cautious about their visitor, Mr. Clinton was equally careful about how he spoke of the war's legacy and Vietnam's record of repressing dissidents. His comments equating the struggles of American and Vietnamese forces made for the kind of speech that it would be hard to imagine any president giving if he had to face re-election -- especially a president who opposed the war and actively maneuvered to avoid the draft. But he seemed ebullient about his reception today, and liberated by the fact that he is leaving office in eight weeks and three days.

Asked why the president had made no moral judgments about America's failed effort to save South Vietnam or about the North's ultimately successful drive to unify the country under Communist leadership, Mr. Clinton's national security adviser, Samuel R. Berger, said the president wanted to focus on the future.

''The national interest now is not served by re-arguing the debates surrounding the war,'' he said.

At a toast at a state dinner tonight, Mr. Clinton said: ''The history we leave behind is painful and hard. We must not forget it but we must not be controlled by it.''

The president similarly stepped extremely carefully when he raised Vietnam's suppression of dissent and its limits on emigration. While clearly calling for more openness, Mr. Clinton said in his speech that ''we do not seek to impose these ideals, nor could we.'' That was a far cry from his challenge to Jiang Zemin, China's president, that Beijing was ''on the wrong side of history,'' or his repeated harsh critiques of Fidel Castro.

Even though Mr. Clinton scaled back his human rights message, President Tran Duc Luong and the government's chief economic reformer, Prime Minister Phan Van Khai, stiffened today when he brought up the subject in private meetings. Both men, according to American officials, said ''we may have different definitions of human rights,'' and said they had to worry about the rights of Vietnamese to eat and get an education before they moved toward America's agenda.

But the diplomatic wordplay was overwhelmed by the surreal images, starting with the sight of the Presidential limousine winding through Hanoi's streets with a Vietnamese flag on one fender, the Stars and Stripes on the other.

For a few moments today there was concern when the crowds grew overenthusiastic. Mr. Clinton plunged into a crowd on a busy shopping street and to the brief alarm of the Secret Service was mobbed by a crowd eager to touch any piece of his clothing. After a few minutes, security agents pulled Mr. Clinton out of the crowd and into his car.

But within minutes he was out of his car again, along a street of small shops selling everything from dishwashers to pirated music on cassette tapes and CD's. He popped into a cooperative that sells fabrics and purses and other goods made in the countryside, buying Christmas presents for his family.

Then he took his staff to lunch at a small cafe called Know One, Teach One that is well known in the city for giving jobs to the capital's young homeless. A bit shocked, the young waiters fumbled with soups and sandwiches as they ran up and down a narrow stairway to serve the meal.

The whole city seemed equally surprised. Mr. Clinton's visit was not a secret, of course, but the government had done nothing to promote a large turnout to greet him. The articles that ran in Vietnam's obedient newspapers about the president's imminent arrival were small and understated. A hard-fought soccer match pitting Vietnam against Indonesia won far larger billing on television, along with details of government plans to build new roads.

There was only one banner celebrating the arrival of ''President William Jefferson Clinton and Spouse'' visible to those entering the city. Today was an ordinary workday.

But people came anyway. The crowds lined Mr. Clinton's route, never cheering but constantly waving, children and grandchildren held aloft to catch a glimpse of the largest motorcade this city has ever seen.

Just before 4 p.m., people gathered in front of television sets in storefronts to catch Mr. Clinton's half-hour speech, an oddity in a country where the leadership feels no need to explain itself. The White House had provided the government with a translation of the speech into Vietnamese because, as one administration official put it, ''we've learned the hard way what happens when you let your host do its own translation.''

It was unclear if any of Mr. Clinton's phrases were altered to fit the Communist Party's liking when the translation was read by a Vietnamese as the president spoke.

Mr. Clinton said he arrived here 'ɼonscious that the histories of our two nations are deeply intertwined in ways that are both a source of pain for generations that came before, and a source of promise for generations yet to come.'' He cited phrases about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness that Ho Chi Minh had lifted from Jefferson in writing Vietnam's own version of a declaration of independence.

But he quickly moved to his now-familiar arguments about the new age of mutual dependence, telling his audience that globalization ''is the economic equivalent of a force of nature'' and that it ''is not going away.'' Vietnam, he said, must learn to harness it ''like wind or water.'' And he told the student elite of the country that ''your next job may well depend on foreign trade and investment.''

'ɼome to think of it,'' he said, ''since I have to leave office in about eight weeks, my next job may depend on foreign trade and investment.''

He delicately argued that Vietnam's people should support the reformers in the government who are pressing for a loosening of the state controls that have choked the economy here and sent foreign investors fleeing.

''Only you can decide if you will continue to open your markets, open your society and strengthen the rule of law,'' he said. ''Only you can decide how to weave individual liberties and human rights into the rich and strong fabric of Vietnamese national identity.''

It is not clear how the argument will play out in the behind-the-scenes power struggle that appears under way here in Hanoi between conservatives who fear that economic opening will undermine their power and economic reformers who say that the only other choice is an economic spiral downward. Right now, the conservatives appear to have the upper hand.

''That's for the moment,'' a senior administration official said tonight. ''You look at all those young people'' who came out to greet the president today, he said. ''It's going to be hard to tell them what to think.''


Remarks by the President to Vietnam National University - History

Attending the opening session were AUN Deputy Executive Director   Choltis Dhirathiti, AUN Secretariat representative   Korn Ratanagosoom   and 3 teams of accreditation experts from AUN leading universities including: Kunyada Anuwong (leader) and colleague Heliani Leni Sofia Satria Bijaksana (leader) and colleague Alvin B Clulaba Evangeline P. Bautista (leader) and colleague Yahaya Md. Sam.

For VNU side were VNU Vice President Nguyễn Kim Sơn,   Chairman of VNU   Council   for   Quality Assurance   Prof. Dr. Mai Trọng Nhuận, leaders of VNU functional departments, member universities, affiliated faculties and units, VNU University of Science Board of Rectors, staff members, lecturers and representatives of the faculties having the programs under accreditation.

VNU has registered its University of Science for the AUN quality accreditation   in 2015 this institution is the first in the network to be accredited at institutional level.

Three VNU University of Science academic programs currently under accreditation (from September 16 to September 18, 2015) are: Bachelor Program in Physics, Bachelor Program in Environmental Sciences, and Bachelor Program in Geology.

According to VNU Vice President Nguyễn Kim Sơn, to date, 11 VNU academic programs have got the AUN-QA standard certification. The quality accreditation not only brings positive effects to the accredited academic programs but is also helpful for the other VNU academic programs. Therefore, VNU keeps enhancing the quality of its academic programs so that by the year 2020, 100% of its academic programs will meet the AUN quality standards 35% of those will meet the regional and international standards.

"Hopefully, after this round of assessment, AUN experts will help VNU University of Science in particular and VNU in general better understand their strengths for further promoting them while minimizing their shortcomings to enhance the quality of the accredited programs’’, VNU Vice President affirmed.

At the opening session, AUN Deputy Executive Director   Choltis Dhirathiti appreciated VNU’s active participation in the AUN-QA assessment activities.

According to Mr Choltis Dhirathiti, by the end of this year, 161 programs under 27 universities in 8 Southeast Asia countries will have been accredited. "We hope that our leading experts’ concluding remarks will contribute to the sustainable development of the AUN universities, including VNU”, Mr Choltis Dhirathiti said.

Believing that the AUN quality assessment activities would create more opportunities for the development of the University’s academic programs, VNU University of Science Rector Nguyễn Văn Nội wished that in the future, the university would be further supported, helped and assisted by AUN and its QA experts to promote its sustainable development.


Presidential Proclamation Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War

Today, I lead our Nation in somber reflection as we continue the 13-year Commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War that began in 2012. We salute our brave Vietnam veterans who, in service to our Nation and in defense of liberty, fought gallantly against the spread of communism and defended the freedom of the Vietnamese people.

Fifty years ago, in 1967, nearly 500,000 American troops served in South Vietnam, along with approximately 850,000 troops of our allies. Today, during Veterans and Military Families Month and as the Federal Government observes Veterans Day, I am in Vietnam alongside business and political leaders to advance the interests of America, and to promote peace and stability in this region and around the world. I cherish this opportunity to recall, with humility, the sacrifices our veterans made for our freedom and our Nation’s strength.

During this Commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War, we embrace our responsibility to help our Vietnam veterans and their families heal from the heavy toll of war. We remember the more than 58,000 whose names are memorialized on a black granite wall in our Nation’s capital for having borne the heaviest cost of war. We also pay tribute to the brave patriots who suffered as prisoners of war, and we stand steadfast in our commitment not to rest until we account for the 1,253 heroes who have not yet returned to American soil.

To ensure the sacrifices of the 9 million heroes who served during this difficult chapter of our country’s history are remembered for generations to come, I signed into law the Vietnam War Veterans Recognition Act of 2017, designating March 29 of each year as National Vietnam War Veterans Day. Throughout this Commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War, and every March 29 thereafter, we will honor all those who answered our Nation’s call to duty. We vow to never again confuse personal disapproval of war with prejudice against those who honorably wear the uniform of our Armed Forces. With conviction, our Nation pledges our enduring respect, our continuing care, and our everlasting commitment to all Vietnam veterans.

We applaud the thousands of local, State, and national organizations, businesses, and governmental entities that have already partnered with the Federal Government in the Commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War. Because of their remarkable leadership and dedication, countless Vietnam veterans and their families have been personally and publicly thanked and honored in ceremonies in towns and cities throughout our country. During my Administration, I promise to continue coordinated efforts to recognize all veterans of the Vietnam War for their service and sacrifice, and to provide them with the heartfelt acknowledgement and gratitude that they and their families so richly deserve.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby confirm the commitment of this Nation to the Commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War, which began on Memorial Day, 2012 and will continue through Veterans Day, 2025. I call upon all Americans to offer each of our Vietnam veterans and their families a thank you on behalf of the Nation, both privately and during public ceremonies and programs across our country.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this tenth day of November, in the year of our Lord two thousand seventeen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-second.


Remarks by the President to Vietnam National University - History

 

VNU President Nguyen Kim Son

VIETNAM NATIONAL UNIVERSITY, HANOI (VNU) is one of two leading multidisciplinary and multi-sectoral national universities, tasked with producing highly qualified human resources for the development of the country. VNU is a pioneer in innovation and is considered the symbol of intellectual life and education in Vietnam. The VNU new management model ensures the principles of interdisciplinarity and multi-disciplinarity are promoted through the VNU members cooperating as a unified entity. At the same time, each member unit has its own unique strengths, which they employ to the advantage of Vietnam National University, Hanoi. The operating mechanism of the system will adhere to world-class university governance practices with a modern and uniform IT infrastructure.

VIETNAM NATIONAL UNIVERSITY, HANOI encourages innovation in training and research to keep pace with other top universities around the world. VNU will continue to expand its training to include new disciplines in line with development trends and human resource requirements of national and multinational corporations and enterprises. VNU seeks to combine training and applied research, natural sciences and social sciences, and science and technology. In doing so, it produces high quality human resources, fosters talent, performs key research tasks in the fundamental sciences and technology, and leads Vietnam’s social-economy.

At VNU, you will live and study in the international community of students and lecturers in Hanoi. VNU was one of the first universities in Vietnam to offer many training programs taught in English. We hope that you will enjoy your working and studying at VNU to build a better global community.


The Atlanta shootings that killed eight people, six of them Asian women, took place amid an upsurge in anti-Asian violence during the pandemic. Authorities say the suspect, a 21-year-old white man, has confessed to the attacks and blames a sex addiction for his actions. They have not yet charged him with hate crimes, and legal experts say such a case may be difficult to establish.

But for Courtney Sato, a postdoctoral fellow in The Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History, the general rise in hostility that serves as the tragedy’s backdrop is part of the nation’s long history of brutal bigotry against Asian Americans.

“The important thing to remember is that this is really not an exceptional moment by any means,” said Sato. “But it’s really part of a much longer genealogy of anti-Asian violence that reaches as far back as the 19th century.”

Sato pointed to the Chinese massacre of 1871, when a mob in Los Angeles’ Chinatown attacked and murdered 19 Chinese residents, including a 15-year-old boy, a reflection of the growing anti-Asian sentiment that came to its climax with the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882. The act banned the immigration of Chinese laborers, much as the Page Exclusion Act of 1875, the nation’s first restrictive immigration law, had prohibited the entry of Chinese women.

Sato said the Page Exclusion Act is a precursor to the dehumanizing narratives and tropes that render Asian woman as objects of sexual fetishization and unworthy of being part of the national consciousness.

“In the 1875 Act, we see the ways in which race and gender are beginning to be entangled and codified in the law, and how Asian women were deemed to be bringing in sexual deviancy,” said Sato. “That far back, we can see how racism and sexism were being conflated.”

Japanese American detainees in front of poster with internment orders in 1942.

Photo by Dorthea Lange/Records of War Relocation Authority, Record Group 210 National Archives at College Park, College Park, MD

In modern American history, Asian Americans have been regularly scapegoated during periods of national duress. World War II saw the forced internment of about 120,000 Japanese Americans on the West Coast — an estimated 62 percent of whom were U.S. citizens — in the wake of the attack on Pearl Harbor. After the Vietnam War, refugees from Southeast Asia faced routine discrimination and hate, including attacks by Ku Klux Klan members on shrimpers in Texas. And in 1982, Vincent Chin, a Chinese American, was beaten to death by two Detroit autoworkers who thought he was Japanese. The killing took place during a recession that was partly blamed on the rise of the Japanese auto industry.

In a letter to the Harvard community, President Larry Bacow condemned the Atlanta shootings and stressed that the University stands against anti-Asian racism and all kinds of hate and bigotry.

“For the past year, Asians, Asian Americans, and Pacific Islanders have been blamed for the pandemic — slander born of xenophobia and ignorance,” wrote Bacow. “Harvard must stand as a bulwark against hatred and bigotry. We welcome and embrace individuals from every background because it makes us a better community, a stronger community. An attack on any group of us is an attack on all of us — and on everything we represent as an institution.

“To Asians, Asian Americans, and Pacific Islanders in our community: We stand together with you today and every day going forward,” Bacow wrote.

President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, whose mother is a South Asian immigrant, also condemned the attacks. “Racism is real in America, and it has always been,” said Harris before meeting with community leaders and the families of the victims in Atlanta. “Xenophobia is real in America and always has been. Sexism, too.”

Between March 2020 and February 2021, Stop AAPI Hate, an initiative supporting Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander communities led by several Asian American advocacy groups and the Asian American Studies Department of San Francisco State University, reported nearly 3,800 anti-Asian hate incidents in the U.S.

Asian Americans have been physically attacked, verbally harassed, spat upon, and subjected to racial slurs. In February, an 84-yeard old Thai man died after he was shoved to the ground in Oakland, California’s Chinatown. Since the start of the pandemic, Asian Americans have become the target of xenophobic attacks, much like Muslims were blamed and scapegoated after the 9/11 attacks.

In a survey from the Pew Research Center, three in 10 Asian Americans reported having been subjected to racist slurs or jokes since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. A recent study found that former President Donald Trump’s description of COVID-19 as the “Chinese virus” led to a rise in anti-Asian hate online. Trump also used the racist term “Kung Flu” at a youth rally in Arizona.

Last spring, Jason Beckfield (pictured) and Vivian Shaw launched a project to study the pandemic’s impact on AAPI communities.

Rose Lincoln/Harvard file photo

Last March, Vivian Shaw, a College Fellow in the Department of Sociology, and Jason Beckfield, professor of sociology, launched the AAPI COVID-19 Project to examine the pandemic’s impact on the AAPI communities. UNESCO is now a partner in the research project. The project’s latest report, based on interviews conducted between June and October of 2020, found that Asian Americans are dealing with multiple forms of risk, including the threat of anti-Asian violence, in their daily lives. Some Asian American grocery-store owners reported being conflicted about forcing customers to wear face masks because they were afraid of violent reactions, despite their fear of exposure to the virus. The pandemic has also exacerbated social inequities as some Asian Americans — many of them immigrants — work in the underground economy, can’t access unemployment benefits, lack health insurance, and may be subjected to police harassment.

“This pandemic has affected the most vulnerable of the vulnerable,” said Shaw, the lead researcher for the project. “When we talk about anti-Asian racism, it’s not within a vacuum. It’s within the context of these broader structures: race, gender, immigration status, socio-economic condition. All of that impacts people.”

Beckfield said that while the project’s goal is to study the pandemic’s effects on the Asian American community at large, it also looks to elevate their voices and find recommendations to fight anti-Asian racism and all xenophobia.

“We have to recognize that anti-racism is not just the burden or the project of the people who are being targeted by those in power,” said Beckfield. “It ought to be the project of people who are in power too.”

On March 18, after the Atlanta killings, the Harvard-Radcliffe Asian American Association, along with other Harvard affinity groups, conducted a vigil and started a fundraiser to support Asian American advocacy groups in Boston and Atlanta, and two nationwide organizations.

Sun-Jung Yum ’23 and Racheal Lama ’23, co-presidents of the Harvard-Radcliffe Asian American Association, said the Atlanta killings have shaken the community, but that they have found strength in joining forces and working together.

“It’s taking a toll on our Asian and Asian American peers in a way that people don’t realize,” said Lama. “But it’s amazing seeing how this younger generation is coming together and standing up for their parents and their older family members.”

Yum hopes that the Harvard community seizes the opportunity to continue the conversation about anti-Asian racism and not let it slip away. “It’s really important that not only do we donate now, but that we also keep on talking about this,” said Yum. “This is a great opportunity for us to not let it slide this time. I really hope that the Harvard community really continues to push advocacy and activism in this area.”

For Sato, the expert in Asian American Studies who is a postdoctoral fellow in the Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History, it’s a critical moment for Americans to learn about the history of anti-Asian violence in the country and realize how it’s connected to the mistreatment of other ethnic minorities.

“Once again, this is really not an exceptional case,” said Sato, “but it’s deeply linked to the broader conversation we have been having in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement. This is a very much connected history, and we need to really think about how this violence is not only impacting the Asian American community, but also Blacks, Indigenous, Latinx and other vulnerable communities.”


President Truong Tan Sang: Vietnam National University must be a symbol and pride of Vietnamese education

President Truong Tan Sang: Vietnam National University must be a symbol and pride of Vietnamese education

Also participating at the meeting were Minister of Science and Technology Nguyen Quan, representatives of the Office of the President, Office of the Government, Ministry of Planning and Investment, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Construction, etc.

On the part of VNU there were Mr Phung Xuan Nha – Member of the Central Executive Committee of CPV and Director of VNU members of VNU’s Executive Committee of the Communist Party and leaders and staff of other offices and departments.

VNU Director Phung Xuan Nha speaks at the meeting with President Truong Tan Sang

At the meeting, the VNU’s leader reported to the President on VNU’s recent achievements. In particular, the legal position and high autonomous status of a national university provides VNU with ample opportunities to become an advanced research university VNU also scores great achievements in the training of high-quality human resources, creating advanced technologies and transferring knowledge. VNU is a leading and foremost institution in reforming the Vietnamese higher education system. In 2015, Quacquarelli Symonds listed VNU among 191-200 leading Asian universities and the best among Vietnamese higher education institutions. This was the first that VNU ranked 1 st in Vietnam in the tables created by QS, Scimago, URAP, Webometric, 4ICU.

On the upcoming establishment of the Vietnam-Japan University, VNU’s the 7 th member university whose aim is to become an internationally recognized university and a good symbol of the Vietnam-Japan friendly relations. Until now, VNU has coordinated with relevant Vietnamese and Japanese organizations and agencies to prepare for the establishment of the university.

Speaking highly of the important efforts and contributions made by VNU to national development and expressing his appreciation of its recent achievements, President Truong Tan Sang said that VNU has made necessary steps to become a new, advanced and integrated university in the world and proved its entrepreneurship in educational reforms. The President highly praised VNU’s management system in recent years, as its staff and students have closely collaborated to maintain its position as a pioneer. VNU has made unprecedented achievements by becoming one of the 191-200 leading Asian universities and its Vietnam-Japan University project has made preliminary successes in consolidating the Vietnam-Japan relations. These are highly commendable efforts. However, the President noted that more rigorous steps are required to grow VNU into an advanced university in the region, effectively contributing to national development.

The President emphasized, in the context of globalization, the quality of human resources plays an increasingly important role. Therefore, as a central and leading Vietnamese educational institution, VNU has to continue reforming its training and researching capacity, applying advanced teaching models in the world and creating groundbreaking efficiency in education.

Responding to the questions regarding the improvement of infrastructures, especially the construction of VNU in Hoa Lac aimed at providing the best opportunities for lecturers and students in their professional endeavors, President Truong Tan Sang said that VNU should effectively combine available resources and synchronize them. The immediate task is to mobilize all existing resources to finish building the University of Sciences in Hoa Lac so that it will have been available by 2018.

President Truong Tan Sang visited the Management Board of Vietnam-Japan University (VNU)

On the development of the Vietnam-Japan University, a new member of VNU, the President emphasized that, this university is a symbol of Vietnam-Japan friendly relations and receives much attention from the Party and State. Despite remaining difficulties in preparing for this project, VNU should continue to simultaneously develop the university’s infrastructures and training curricula. The President said it is necessary to complete its Feasibility Study. Vietnam-Japan University is tasked with training internationally-recognized human resources, which will help it to acquire advanced and modern technological models to manage and govern higher education and expand these models to other universities in Vietnam to serve the cause of national industrialization and modernization.


Watch the video: President of Iceland talks to Vietnam National University students