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 <h5>June 29, 1996</h5><br>
 <h2>Vietnam's Communist Party Plans No Big Changes</h2>
 <h5>By SETH MYDANS</h5>
 <p>   <img src=3D"/images/h.gif" align=3Dleft alt=3DH>ANOI, Vietnam  --  Af=
 ter weeks of backstage wrangling, Vietnam's
 Communist Party has decided to keep its aged troika of top leaders
 in place but to lighten their responsibilities and shorten their
 terms, a senior Central Committee member said Friday.
 <p>   The pivotal Communist Party Congress opened Friday with no
 indications of large-scale political changes as it gropes toward a
 formula for a more open, market-oriented economy.
 <p>   "We don't have aspirations to be an economic tiger," the
 committee member, Do Phuong, said in an interview. "We want to
 have stable, steady targets that we can fulfill. We are not
 extremists. We will see the reality in the future, and on the way
 forward if we see measures that are better, we will try to take
 <p>   Phuong, who is director general of the Vietnam News Agency, said
 there would be no reversal of the country's policy of economic
 liberalization, or "doi moi," which has brought dramatic economic
 growth rates of more than 8 percent for the last five years.
 <p>   But in the continuing tug of war between firm party control and
 the rough and tumble of a free market, he said, Vietnam would
 continue to exercise caution and pragmatism.
 <p>   This approach has left some international political analysts
 frustrated by the country's ambivalence, its maddening multilevel
 bureaucracy, its corruption and its lack of a reliable legal
 <p>   "Vietnam's reforms, begun with a bang, are turning into
 whimpers," says a book to be published by the Harvard Institute
 for International Development titled "Transition Under Threat."
 <p>   The three men who Phuong said would remain at the top "for the
 time being" have been largely responsible for the pace of reform
 so far  --  the Communist Party general secretary, Do Muoi, 79;
 President Le Duc Anh, 75, and Prime Minister Vo Van Kiet, 73.
 <p>   "But they will not remain with their full formal
 responsibilities for their full terms of five years," Phuong said.
 "After several discussions we came to a final result: They will
 transfer their work regularly so there will be no instability."
 <p>   He said that they might retain their posts for a year or two
 more and that the election of a new National Assembly next year

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