US Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs hearing to consider the nomination of Marc Evans Knapper to be Amsbassador to Vietnam

 UNITED STATES SENATE COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN RELATIONS

FULL COMMITTEE HEARING

Nominations


Full Committee

DATE:Tuesday, July 13, 2021
TIME: 10:00 AM
LOCATION: SD-G50 and Videoconference

PRESIDING: Senator Menendez

AGENDA


For this hearing, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee will follow guidelines developed in consultation with the Office of the Attending Physician (OAP), the Senate Sergeant at Arms, and the Senate Rules Committee to protect the health of members,witnesses, staff, and the public. This includes maintaining six-foot social distance spacing in the hearing room.

Accordingly, press seating is limited. All media must RSVP to your respective gallery to reserve a seat, and only Hill-credentialed media will be permitted to attend. 

Per CDC guidelines, press should wear a mask. Masks and other PPE, as well as sanitation supplies, will be available at the entrance to the hearing room.  

Pursuant to guidance from the CDC and OAP, Senate office buildings are currently not open to the public other than official business visitors and credentialed press at this time. Accordingly, other in-person visitors cannot be accommodated at this hearing.

JULY 13, 2021

CHAIRMAN MENENDEZ DELIVERS OPENING REMARKS AT NOMINATIONS HEARING

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today delivered the following opening remarks at this morning’s full Committee hearing to consider the nomination of Mr. Marc Evans Knapper to be Ambassador to Vietnam and the Assistant Secretary of State nominations of the Honorable Gentry O. Smith (Diplomatic Security), the Honorable Rena Bitter (Consular Affairs), and Ms. Monica P. Medina (Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs).

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Bài điều trần của Ứng cử viên Đại sứ Mỹ tại Việt Nam Marc E. Knapper

Nghiên cứu Việt Mỹ 14-7-2021

Dưới đây lài Bài phát biểu của ứng cử viên Đại sứ Mỹ tại Việt Nam Marc E. Knapper trong phiên điều trần tại Ủy ban Đối ngoại Thượng viện Hoa Kỳ, ngày 13.07.2021:

Marc Knapper - United States Department of StateỨng cử viên Đại sứ Mỹ tại Việt Nam Marc E. Knapper

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Cảm ơn Chủ tịch Ủy ban Đối ngoại Thượng viện Bob Menendez, thành viên cấp cao của ủy ban Jim Risch và các thành viên ưu tú của ủy ban này vì đã cho tôi cơ hội xuất hiện trước các vị ngày hôm nay. Tôi rất vinh dự vì niềm tin mà Tổng thống Joe Biden và Ngoại trưởng Blinken đã đặt vào tôi.

Tôi cũng muốn bày tỏ tình yêu và lòng biết ơn sâu sắc đến vợ tôi Suzuko và con trai của chúng tôi Alex, vì sự hỗ trợ và hy sinh của họ. Họ đã nhiều lần thay đổi nhà cửa, trường học, xa cách gia đình và bạn bè để chúng tôi có thể cống hiến cho nước Mỹ ở nước ngoài. Nếu không có họ, cũng như cha mẹ tôi, Jay và Yolanda Saltsman, tôi sẽ không có mặt ở đây ngày hôm nay. Tiếp tục đọc “Bài điều trần của Ứng cử viên Đại sứ Mỹ tại Việt Nam Marc E. Knapper”

Digital Growth and Financial Inclusion in Southeast Asia

Digital Growth and Financial Inclusion in Southeast Asia | Center for  Strategic and International Studies

May 13, 2021 CSIS

By Karen Lee and Diego Lingad

On April 12, 2021, Grab announced that it would list on the NASDAQ stock market after a landmark merger, catapulting the Singapore-based tech company into the global spotlight. For Southeast Asian citizens, however, Grab is a household name. Beginning as a ride-hailing app in 2012, Grab’s services have expanded beyond transportation to include food delivery and digital payments. Although “superapps” (apps that offer multiple digital services on a single platform) in Southeast Asia have been lauded for their efforts to promote greater financial inclusion, their ability to scale sustainably is less certain. Risks include underprepared national cybersecurity frameworks and a persistent digital divide that has improved slightly during the Covid-19 pandemic. These risks offer an area for the United States government and development finance institutions to encourage the secure and sustainable growth of fintech in the region. 

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Fifth Anniversary of the Arbitral Tribunal Ruling on the South China Sea – Statement by US Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken


Philippines, others mark 5th anniversary of historic South China Sea ruling  while PRC continues to ignore it | Indo-Pacific Defense Forum

PRESS STATEMENT

ANTONY J. BLINKEN, SECRETARY OF STATE

JULY 11, 2021

Freedom of the seas is an enduring interest of all nations and is vital to global peace and prosperity.  The international community has long benefited from the rules-based maritime order, where international law, as reflected in the UN Law of the Sea Convention, sets out the legal framework for all activities in the oceans and seas.  This body of international law forms the basis for national, regional, and global action and cooperation in the maritime sector and is vital to ensuring the free flow of global commerce.

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2021 Trafficking in Persons Report

OFFICE TO MONITOR AND COMBAT TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS

To request a hard copy of the 2021 Trafficking in Persons Report, please email TIPOutreach@state.gov and provide your mailing address.

DOWNLOAD Full report [19 MB] 

Message From the Secretary of State

Dear Reader:

Antony J. Blinken

This year’s Trafficking in Persons Report sends a strong message to the world that global crises, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, and enduring discriminatory policies and practices, have a disproportionate effect on individuals already oppressed by other injustices.  These challenges further compound existing vulnerabilities to exploitation, including human trafficking.  We must break this inhumane cycle of discrimination and injustices if we hope to one day eliminate human trafficking.

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Ethiopia’s Tigray crisis: Rebel resurgence raises questions for Abiy Ahmed


By Vivienne Nunis
BBC Africa correspondent, Nairobi Published 3 July, 2021

IMAGE COPYRIGHTAFPimage captionRebel fighters celebrated capturing Mekelle last week

The rebel capture of Tigray’s capital city Mekelle is a significant milestone in the eight-month conflict in northern Ethiopia, which has killed thousands of people and left millions in desperate need of food and other assistance. Will it be a turning point in the war?

The Ethiopian government pulled out its troops after months of fighting, sparking celebrations on the streets.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed initially said the withdrawal was a strategic move because the city was no longer “the centre of gravity for conflicts”, but he later confirmed it was to avoid further casualties.

“We’ve seen a very significant shift in the war,” says Will Davison, senior analyst for Ethiopia at the International Crisis Group.

“It signals that either the federal government was unable to hold onto Mekelle, or it realised it is in its best interest to withdraw from Tigray. That was in light of significant battlefield gains” by rebel forces loyal to the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).

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The Unlikely, Indispensable U.S.-Vietnam Partnership

July 6, 2021 CSIS

DOWNLOAD THE REPORT

The U.S.-Vietnam relationship has been on an upward trajectory defined by common interests since diplomatic relations between the two countries normalized a quarter-century ago. Vietnam was one of two Southeast Asian countries specifically referenced in the Biden administration’s Interim National Security Strategic Guidance, demonstrating the extent to which it has become an increasingly critical part of U.S. defense planning for the region. Bilateral trade has grown over 200-fold since normalization. People-to-people ties have also grown as Vietnam’s tourism industry has developed. Since normalization, Vietnam has welcomed U.S. tourists, former Vietnam War veterans, and even former refugees and their families. U.S. schools and companies in turn have attracted Vietnamese students and recent graduates, who are among the best educated in the world despite the country’s lower level of economic development.

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CPI rises slowly as people run out of money

Chia sẻ | FaceBookTwitter Email Copy LinkInterested006/07/2021    10:00 GMT+7

The reported CPI only reflects 60-70 percent of the real situation, according to the former Chair of the Hanoi Supermarket Association Vu Vinh Phu.

CPI rises slowly as people run out of money

The General Statistics Office (GSO) has reported that the CPI increased by 1.47 percent in the first half of the year compared with the same period last year, the lowest increase since 2016.

The figure has surprised many people, because local media have reported sharp price increases of many products recently.

According to GSO, there were some factors that inhibited the CPI growth in H1. The prices of food products decreased by 39 percent compared with H1 2020, which caused the general CPI to decrease by 0.08 percentage point.

The government launched support packages to help people and businesses hit by Covid-19, including an electricity bill support package, which caused the average household-consumed electricity price to decrease by 3.06 percent, and made the general CPI decrease by 0.1 percentage point.

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Most businesses seek human resources upgrade: survey

By Phuong Dong   July 5, 2021 | 09:00 pm GMT+7 vnexpressMost businesses seek human resources upgrade: surveyA woman does office work using a laptop and calculator. Illustration photo by Shutterstock. Seventy percent of businesses would focus on re-educating and training their workforce in new skills needed on the job, said a human resources survey.

According to the survey conducted in 605 businesses by recruitment company Talentnet and its global counterpart Mercer last year, 20 percent of respondents were looking to recruit more workers this year.

These were firms in fields like finance, banking, insurance and construction, Tieu Yen Trinh, general director of Talentnet, said at a recent human resource management conference.

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Asia’s new coal plant plans jeopardize climate targets, report says

China, India, Indonesia, Japan and Vietnam plan to build more than 600 new coal-fired power projects, with a combined capacity of more than 300 gigawatts. Most would prove uneconomical and the new plants would put international climate goals out of reach.

By Reuters   June 30, 2021 | 08:37 am GMT+7 VNExpressAsia's new coal plant plans jeopardize climate targets, report saysA coal power plant in Vietnam’s northern province of Thai Binh in 2019. photo by VnExpress/Gia Chinh.

Five Asian countries including Vietnam are responsible for 80 percent of new coal power plants planned around the world, the Carbon Tracker group said on Wednesday.

China, India, Indonesia, Japan and Vietnam plan to build more than 600 new coal-fired power projects, with a combined capacity of more than 300 gigawatts, the group said, adding most would prove uneconomical and the new plants would put international climate goals out of reach.

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The Global South China Sea Issues

China’s actions in the South China Sea are no longer just a regional issue.

By SAKAMOTO Shigeki July 04, 2021 The Diplomat   

The Global South China Sea Issue
Credit: Official U.S. Navy page

The South China Sea Arbitration case decided on July 12, 2016 was an arbitration case brought against China for its effective control of maritime features in the South China Sea that are part of a territorial dispute. The case was decided in favor of the plaintiff, the Philippines, with the arbitral tribunal rejecting China’s claim of the “Nine-Dash Line,” in which China claimed historical rights over most of the South China Sea.

On the day the ruling was released, China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs declared that “Its [the arbitration’s] existence is illegal, and whatever ruling it makes is null and void, with no binding force.” In reality, China has succeeded in turning seven artificial islands built from reefs and other features into military bases. After a U.S.-China summit in September 2015, Chinese President Xi Jinping stated that “China does not intend to pursue militarization in the South China Sea,” but in fact China has done just that. In February 2016, the Chinese Foreign Ministry explained that “China’s deployment of limited defense facilities on its own territory (the Spratly Islands) is its exercise of self-defense right to which a sovereign state is entitled under international law. It has nothing to do with militarization.” What is clear from these facts is that China is neglecting its obligation to respect the binding arbitration award. China continues its activities that go against international law.

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Not to put too fine a point on it, fine dust kills

By Nguyen Dang Anh Thi   January 21, 2021 | 07:00 am GMT+7 vnexpress

The full stop at the end of this sentence is 1,000 times bigger, which only makes fine dust a silent, deadly assassin.

Nguyen Dang Anh Thi
Nguyen Dang Anh Thi

So when we talk about fine dust, let us not forget that coal-fired power plants are a major producer of this killer.

On learning that China had spent $17.3 billion to clear the air in its capital Beijing for the 2008 Summer Olympics, I decided to visit the city two years later.

Beijing, where the Great Wall of China stands, had been on my go-to list for years. But I kept putting it off because The Lancet, a peer-reviewed general medical journal that’s among the world’s oldest and best-known publications, once called the city “the air pollution capital of the world” with 400,000 deaths a year from dirty air.

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