VRNs (17.01.2011) – Thepetitiongsite – January 14, 2011
President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20500
Dear Mr. President,
We are writing to ask you to halt or postpone the welcoming ceremony and the state dinner for the People’s Republic of China (“PRC”) president Hu Jintao on January 19, 2011 during his visit to the United States.
January 19 is the anniversary of the Chinese invasion of the Paracel Islands which had belonged to the Republic of Vietnam, an ally of the United States then. After the fall of Saigon, China established control over the Paracel Islands.
We believe that welcoming the Chinese leader on the day that the Vietnamese people commemorate the deaths of our fallen soldiers is an insult to the Vietnam and the Vietnamese community worldwide.
The Eastern Sea (South China Sea) issues arose due to the Chinese over ambitious claims of the entire waterway and its islands and their goal for total domination of the Eastern Sea.
In July 2010, while in Hanoi, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had urged the creation of a binding code of conduct for countries with claims on the disputed islands in the Eastern Sea, including China, and the creation of an institutional process for resolving those claims. ”The United States has a national interest in freedom of navigation, open access to Asia’s maritime commons and respect for international law in the South China Sea.” Mrs. Clinton said. With this statement, Mrs. Clinton has clearly articulated the United States’ position.
Therefore, we believe that the United States, by receiving the PRC head of state on the anniversary of China’s invasion of the Paracel Islands, will send a wrong message to China and other Asian Countries.
We believe that the relationship between the United States and Vietnam could deteriorate if the state dinner is held for Mr. Hu Jintao on January 19, 2011. We also believe that the Vietnamese people will be very disappointed if the dinner is held on the anniversary of the Chinese invasion. It may be misrepresented as yet another instance of the United States abandoning its commitment to Vietnam and the Southeast Asian region.
Please also do not forget that on January 19, 1974, Chinese forces had captured an American, Captain Gerald Emil Kosh, during the battle for the Paracel Islands.
Mr. President, for the aforementioned reasons, we respectfully request that you consider the postponing the visit of the PRC president to the White House and deferring the state dinner for Mr. Hu to another date.
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