Author Archives: Viet Nam Right Now

New push to constrain social media

The Vietnamese government is stepping up monitoring of social media as it seeks ways to stifle the voice of independent bloggers and other critics. It says it has already established a “national centre” with the capacity to read and evaluate…

Vietnam sees win win from TPP

Vietnam is pushing ahead with ratification of the slimmed down TPP, confident that it can reap economic rewards from enhanced trade without the need for radical reform. President Nguyen Phu Trong last week presented the trade pact to the National…

Draft law threatens draconian controls on social media

Vietnam is pushing ahead with plans to impose rigid regulation on global technology companies despite warnings the legislation could scare off investors. The government released a draft decree on the implementation of the law which activists fear will be used…

Party members unsettled by purge of intellectual

Some twenty people are reported to have left the Communist party in protest at the denunciation of a leading intellectual who advocated a less repressive political system. Chu Hao, a publisher and former deputy science minister, was accused by the…

Mother Mushroom released and sent to US

Vietnam has sent one of the country’s best known political prisoners into exile in the United States following an international campaign for her release. Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh, who blogged under the name of Me Nam (Mother Mushroom), was put…

Vietnam welcomes Pentagon boss for second time

The US Defence Secretary, Jim Mattis is making his second visit to Vietnam in a year – a sign of the country’s growing strategic importance as the contest between Washington and Beijing hots up. The United States is seeking to…

Party fears coordination by activists

Vietnam has jailed more than fifty activists and bloggers this year as its crackdown on dissent gathers pace. The harshest treatment has been reserved for educated urban bloggers who have taken up the cause of vulnerable rural communities. On Friday,…

Dissent punished as crackdown continues

Protesting against the evils of foreign capital was once the sine qua non of orthodox Marxist behaviour, and yet the Communist party of Vietnam continues to target such activities in its harshest crackdown for years. In a Ho Chi Minh…

Trong goes for broke as party falls in line

The nomination of the Communist party leader, Nguyen Phu Trong, to serve concurrently as state president drives a coach and horses through Vietnam’s long nurtured system of collective leadership. Not since the authoritarian rule of Le Duan at the height…

President’s death opens the door to potential consolidation of power

Speculation is growing that Vietnam’s most powerful leader, Nguyen Phu Trong, is planning to assume the role of president in addition to his current job as general-secretary of the Communist party. Reports say that the politburo has backed the idea…