Congressman Lowenthal Statement On U.S. Visit of Vietnam Communist Party Leader
Congressman Alan Lowenthal (CA-47) today issued the following statement on the visit of Vietnam Communist Party leader Nguyen Phu Trong to the United Staets, including today's Oval Office meeting with President Barack Obama:
"Vietnam remains an undemocratic authoritarian regime ruled by a single party--headed by Mr. Trong--that denies its people basic human rights, represses any dissent, and persecutes every voice of opposition.
"Despite years of U.S. officials tying improved relations between our nations to concrete actions to improve human rights in Vietnam, officials in Hanoi continue to push for greater access to U.S. markets without any reciprocal commitment toward improving human rights conditions in their country.
"The Vietnamese government wants to be a trusted trading partner with the U.S., while at the same time remaining indifferent to our most fundamental values and our commitment to the human rights of all people.
"I urged the President to bring up these issues with Mr. Trong, as he has done in the past with other Vietnamese officials. I hope that Mr. Trong will listen, and that the government in Hanoi will finally take serious and immediate action so that it can become a member of the community of civilized nations."