Facts about Vietnam trade and...

POW/MIA Accounting

"We believe that current U.S. trade policies have resulted in both gradual improvements in U.S.-Vietnamese relations in general and proportional improvements in the effort to account for missing Americans in particular." -- John E. Moon, Commander-In-Chief, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S., June 18, 1998

  • Of 196 persons associated with "last known alive" cases in Vietnam, fate has been determined for all but 41 as of February 2001.
  • The U.S. and Vietnam have conducted 41 Joint Field Activities on POW/MIA cases since 1993.
  • Vietnam has unilaterally undertaken investigations in 216 cases since 1996; 27 were in 2000.
  • Over 28,000 archival items have been reviewed and photographed since January 1993 by joint U.S.-Vietnam research teams. Since 1993, 288 remains have been repatriated with cooperation from Vietnamese authorities
  • "[DoD] has had over 21,000 live-sighting reports of American [prisoners alive in Southeast Asia]. We've investigated all of those. None of those have borne fruit. We have no evidence that any American is being held anywhere against their will at this time."
    -- Bob Jones, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for POW and Missing Personnel, November 17, 2000

Emigration

"[There is] one factor that should be evident from our experience in Vietnam -- engagement works… Vietnam's cooperation on emigration policy is exemplary." -- The Hon. Douglas "Pete" Peterson, U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam, former member of Congress, former POW, June 15, 2000

  • Since 1998, the number of Vietnamese awaiting Vietnamese government clearance for immigration interviews with U.S. authorities has declined from 3,463 to 201.
  • INS has interviewed over 18,000 returnees under the Resettlement Opportunities for Vietnamese Returnees (ROVR) program, and 15,886 have departed for the U.S. The ROVR program and the Orderly Departure Program are nearly complete.
  • The number of former re-education camp detainees not cleared for interview has fallen from 2,461 to 635. The number of Montagnards not yet cleared has dropped from 636 to 261.
  • Over half a million Vietnamese have resettled in the United States under the ODP program.
  • "If not perfect, these are still impressive numbers. And because it is likely that some of the 'un-cleared for interview' numbers include people who simply cannot be located, the actual situation may be slightly better than the numbers indicate. As is, the numbers reflect our assessment that Vietnam's cooperation on emigration issues has been good."
    -- Stanley Roth, Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian Affairs, September 19, 2000

Human Rights

"Opening the country economically will increase the people's power to make their own economic decisions. Integrating into the global economy and increasing contact with developed countries will increase the people's awareness of what it means to be modern. The sooner the trade agreement is ratified and put into effect, the better." -- Dr. Nguyen Dan Que, a prominent Vietnamese dissident.

  • The policy of engagement with Vietnam is producing results:
  • Last year, Vietnam liberalized its policy toward tolerating public dissent and citizen protests. Outside the National Assembly hall, ordinary citizens peacefully protested, calling for political and economic reforms and denouncing local corruption.
  • In 2000, Vietnam released nearly 20 religious or political prisoners, and thousands of others from jail. 12 Hmong Protestants and 3 Catholic priests were among those released. Participation in religious activities continued to grow, and an estimated 200,000 Roman Catholics attended the annual La Vang pilgrimage.
  • The International Labor Organization (ILO) has opened an office in Hanoi and is moving to assist Vietnam with implementing its new labor law, including offering seminars on ILO conventions regarding child labor. In 2000, the U.S. and Vietnam signed a Memorandum of Understanding on labor cooperation. The U.S. will provide $3 million in technical assistance (in collaboration with the ILO) in such areas as skills training, eliminating child labor, development of unemployment insurance and pension systems, and workplace education to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS.
  • In 1999, approximately 60 independently organized strikes occurred, protesting unfair wages and working conditions in both state-owned and foreign-controlled enterprises.

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