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Vietnamese Americans Protested Against Chinese and Vietnamese Communist Delegations at APEC Conference in San Francisco
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Nov 21, 2023, 9:46 AM ET
A coalition of ten Vietnamese American groups organized a protest against the Chinese Communist Party and the Vietnamese Communist Party at the APEC Conference.
SAN FRANCISCO, CA, UNITED STATES, November 21, 2023 /EINPresswire.com/ -- A coalition of ten Vietnamese American groups organized a protest against the Chinese Communist Party and the Vietnamese Communist Party at the APEC Conference in San Francisco on two days last week, November 15 and 16. The organizing committee, led by the group United Vietnamese American Community of Northern California, citing atrocities by communism, called for an end to these abuses of human rights.
The US, under two successive administrations, has determined that the PRC [People’s Republic of China] “under the direction and control of the CCP [Chinese Communist Party], has committed genocide against the predominantly Muslim Uyghurs and other ethnic and religious minority groups in Xinjiang.” The US State Department further called on "all appropriate multilateral and relevant juridical bodies, to join the United States in our effort to promote accountability for those responsible for these atrocities.”
Two years ago, the Uyghur Tribunal chaired by Sir Geoffrey Nice, QC passed a similar judgment that “the CCP has committed genocide, crimes against humanity and torture of Uyghurs and members of other minorities in the Xinjiang region.” It also stated that “Xi Jinping … and other very senior officials in the PRC and CCP bear primary responsibilities for acts that have occurred in Xinjiang.”
On April 2023, the Vietnam Tribunal, another independent juridical body, decided that Pham Van Dong, the former Prime Minister of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, and the Vietnamese Communist Party (VCP) “colluded with a foreign country to jeopardize the independence, sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of Vietnam.” The same tribunal determined the VCP committed treason on 63 counts. As Sir Geoffrey has opined, “powerless citizens have more power than they know. The scale of these crimes could allow individuals around the world to act together in pressuring governments so that governments and other international bodies cannot fail to act.”
The protest’s coordinator, Jimmy Phan of the group United Vietnamese American Community of Northern California and a member of Vietnamese Nationalist Party, asserted that “when governments failed to act, it’s our responsibility to hold the CCP and VCP to account for these serious crimes.” Waving flags of the US and the Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam), former allies in the war against communism, Dr. Vuong Pham, President of Assembly of Vietnamese Veterans, spoke when interviewed, “economic development in communist countries only benefits a few communist party elites, while most of the people suffer. Therefore, we believe in the firmness of our cause and the strength of our conviction. We will continue so that our fallen American and Vietnamese comrades-in-arms will know that we have not given up on our fight or forgotten their sacrifice.”
Other protest participants agreed. On the other side of Moscone Center where APEC was held, hundreds waved flags, shouted slogans, and hung banners such as “democracy for Vietnam,” “freedom for Vietnam,” “no to Xi Jinping,” and “no to Vo Van Thuong.” Another member of the organizing committee, Tho Le, Secretary General of the Former Vietnam Armed Forces Alliance, repeated the words of Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, “the opposite of good is not evil but indifference. Today, we showed that we didn’t stand idly by when evils are welcome with fancy dinners and standing ovations. We call on others to demand that US officials and businesses to uphold US and international laws and stop doing business with those regimes which violate these laws.”
Another participant, Chau Phan, a member of the Vietnamese Nationalist Party, was pushed down by pro-CCP demonstrators. Brushing it off, he said, “We are here because of the ideals that this country was built on. We will not back down and give in to the Chinese communists and the Vietnamese communists and their dark vision of humanity. We will not share our destiny with those who committed treason, crimes against humanity and genocide. Instead, we will continue our fight for our children and grandchildren so they will never have to live under the yoke of communism.”
At the same time of the protest, a petition was filed to Hong Kong’s High Court to order the arrest of five US lawmakers who authored the Hong Kong Sanctions Act. Introduced by Massachusetts Representative Jim McGovern, Alaska Senator Dan Sullivan, California Representative Young Kim, Utah Representative John Curtis and Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley on November 2, the legislation proposed to sanction Chinese national security officials for allegedly violating human rights.
The protest attracted thousands of people, with coordination between various anti-communism groups. With the belief that “Asia will be at its best when Asian peoples are free and able to determine their future,” the organizing committee asked APEC leaders to stand with them on values such as democracy and human rights, “because historically there has been no better engine of economic growth.” For those who attended, these values such as freedoms of expression and association were not just abstract ideals, but also in full display for the whole world to see during one week in November.
Jimmy Phan (Coordinator)
United Vietnamese American Community of Northern California
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