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    Monday, October 24, 2005

    Vietnam will not join the WTO

    Last Saturday the Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper in Vietnam quoted Vietnam's ambassador to the WTO, Ngo Quang Xuan, saying Vietnam will not enter the World Trade Organization this December because of the United States. He blames this on America's absurdly "high standards."

    He says:
    Theo tôi, phía Mỹ hiểu rõ khả năng của VN và cũng hiểu rằng VN không thể đáp ứng các yêu cầu mà Mỹ mới đưa ra.
    Ambassador Xuan also says,
    Qua quá trình đàm phán, chúng tôi chia sẻ với ý kiến của nhiều người cho rằng đàm phán thương mại nói chung và WTO nói riêng không chỉ thuần túy các vấn đề thương mại mà còn bao gồm sự tổng hợp các mối quan hệ chính trị - xã hội.

    Một số ý kiến cho rằng Mỹ chưa muốn kết thúc đàm phán với VN vì nhiều lý do khác. Họ cho rằng trong bối cảnh EU, Nhật Bản… đã kết thúc đàm phán với VN, việc Mỹ tiếp tục làm khó trên bàn đàm phán là thái độ thiếu thiện chí.
    And he may be right. But so what? Is America's position on this such a surprise? Yes, America welcomed Phan Van Khai earlier this year, and certain politicians have argued for the permanent normalizing of trade relations with Vietnam, but getting into the WTO is more than just economics.

    America holds a great edge in this poker game. Currently, Vietnam realizes that it must finish bilateral talks in order to join the WTO in December. America realizes that Vietnam is still on it's human rights watch list, and has a long list of problems that need addressing. Lately, Vietnam has increased it's censorship of blogs and the internet, and done little to change religious reforms. As long as America continues to hold Vietnam to high demands, good things will come. A free and unhindered populace will help Vietnam progress far faster than is happening currently. Instead of pouting that Vietnam's problems stem from a "lack of goodwill," Vietnam must achieve American demands. The freedom of thought allowed to the industrious Vietnamese people will help Vietnam's economy more. For all the times I have heard a Vietnamese official tell me America should understand and respect Vietnam's culture, Vietnam must also understand and respect an American culture that puts individual liberties and rights paramount. Only then will it gain the full support of the United States in it's efforts to join the WTO.

    1 comment:

    Minh-Duc said...

    The WTO is an exclusive club with very high standard. If Vietnam wants to enter, it must meet the standard. It is useless to complain.

    One cannnot expect to play in the major league with the minor league qualification.