.............................................. ...............................................

Vietnamese anti-communists, "dissidents", "Buddhists" behind anti-Chinese protests

Ottawa December 22
by Michael Karadjis

A week or so ago, in one of my posts about the two Sundays of student demonstrations in Hanoi and HCM City against the Chinese claims to the Paracel and Spratley Islands (also claimed by Vietnam and other countries), I disputed the implication in articles in the bourgeois media, as well as Chinese govt accusations, that the Vietnamese government was secretly behind these demonstrations in order to push its claims against China. The Vietnamese govt certainly is concerned about some recent Chinese moves in these islands, but my feeling was that it has been very reticent about increasing tensions with its northern neighbour, with whom it shares vast political, economic and strategic relations. The implications were based on the false claim that Vietnam "rarely" has demonstrations, and that anytime people try to have them, they are allegedly immediately broken up by the police. Both claims are completely and utterly false. In fact I pointed out that since these particular demonstrations were ended by the police after only an hour, and that they were never allowed to approach the Chinese embassy anyway, that they were actually therefore less tolerated than a lot of other demonstrations I've seen (eg, very regular peasant demonstrations, mass strikes, and a week of anti-US demos outside the US embassy).

I also just in passing suggested that among the students at these independent demonstrations, there were likely to be "right-wing students", though "not necessarily." The articles attached below suggest I was more correct than I expected to be. The first is a declaration by the prominent anti-communist dissident movement 'Bloc 8406' (including some foreign based anti-communists in its statement), which "protests Chinese invasion of Vietnam and Communist VN government sellout" and "longtime Communist VN government collusion with China's takeover", and claims to be behind these demos.

The second is from something called the "INTERNATIONAL BUDDHIST INFORMATION BUREAU" citing Vietnamese dissident Buddhist Thich Quang Do, who warns that the VCP must give up power and establish "democracy" because "three million Communist Party members and a 500,000-strong army have neither the authority nor the power to defend the homeland by military means, nor sufficient prestige and courage to expand political and diplomatic efforts to mobilize international support in our defence"| they need the full participation of the 85 million Vietnamese population and the support of the Vietnamese Diaspora worldwide" so it is necessary to "enable all sectors of the Vietnamese population, including all religious and political families, to freely and fully participate in the process of national salvation".

Moreover, the role of "Buddhism" in this projected national-patriotic mobilization over a few rocks is put by Do thus:

"With our responsibility as Vietnamese citizens, and as representatives of a religion that has contributed to the foundation and development of our nation over the past 2,000 years, the Council of the Bi-Cameral Institute of the Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam cannot stand by silently whilst our country is in danger. We therefore solemnly appeal to the Vietnamese intelligentsia, inside and outside Vietnam, to stand together and rally forces to save our nation."

Blah blah blah ...

Frankly, a more complete statement of the role that alleged "religion" can play in mobilising nationalist hysteria when the forces of capitalist restoration reach the point that elements of them, particularly those most connected with the Vietnamese bourgeois diaspora, seek to replace the ruling communist ideology with their own, and seek a way of bullshitting the masses with right-wing populism in the process, would be hard to find. Together with the fact that the 'Bloc 8406', which had supposedly only been interested in democratic rights', now comes out clearly with outright chauvinist statements that the Communist government is "colluding" with a "Chinese invasion" because it is allegedly not doing enough to confront China over the rocks. Not that China's role has been good on this - not at all, IMO - but China is already further down the bourgeois path and I think we can expect narrow nationalism to continue to raise its head there. But Vietnam's position that the problem can only have a peaceful solution and that tensions should not be raised too much over the rocks is entirely correct - the bourgeois and anti-communist and "Buddhist" forces accusing the "communist regime" of "betraying" VN to China can
only be advocating a war strategy, or at least a reactionary national homogenization drive which points to war. I'm glad it is the opposition rather than the government or CP playing that game.

The "Buddhist" hysterical chauvinists also assert that in the "land border treaty signed on 30.12.1999 and the Tonkin Gulf Treaty (sea border) signed on 25.12.2000, Vietnam conceded thousands of square kilometers of lands and seas that our forefathers painstakingly founded and sacrificed their lives to defend."

This refers to a painstaking process whereby China and Vietnam mapped out border regions (where nobody lived) and the end result "ceded" a half-kilometre here or there to China where old maps showed this to be the case, and in any case, who cares, the attitude (correct) of the Vietnamese CP leader who signed these treaties (Le Kha Phieu) was that we "cede" a bit of nothing-land here and there where nobody lived and if that was to keep the gigantic northern neighbour happy and off our backs, and be able to have peaceful relations, then that is a good thing, but it was very notable that this alleged "betrayal" became an issue for a large part of the "dissident" movement, which in my opinion was revealing of its character more than anything else could have been.

0 Com:

Post a Comment