High-profile National Assembly member asks for clearer rules for visits by foreign heads of state

By Bui Hong Nhung, Hoang ThuyMarch 29, 2016 | 06:48 pm PT
Delegate Duong Trung Quoc questioned the absence of clear guidelines for foreign heads of state to speak at Vietnam's National Assembly.

Delegate Duong Trung Quoc. Photo: Giang Huy

Quoc raised the question of why only Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki-Moon and Chinese leaders Hu Jintao and Xi Jinping were invited to address Vietnam's National Assembly in its last three terms.  

“To receive leaders of a major country with a substantial relationship with us is a respected endeavor. However, if we hold an exclusive forum [for those leaders], then our citizens are confused," Quoc said.

“Why don't we make it a common practice, with certain standards, to invite more [foreign leaders]?” he said.

Quoc said it needed to be clarified who had the authority to invite foreign leaders to the National Assembly, because the legislative body was a forum for debate, not a diplomatic exchange. 

"People ask me, when President Xi Jinping expressed his opinions, how did the Vietnamese delegates feel applauding? Was this a consensus on his opinion or just a courtesy? Any delegate attending that event was thinking about this,” he said. 

“Therefore, I suggest we set clear standards on receiving visitors, and make it a regular activity of the National Assembly. Our citizens will also be aware of important foreign policy issues through our forum,” Quoc said.

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