Author Archives: Viet Nam Right Now

Concern grows for Montagnard refugees

A group of Christian Montagnards have made desperate appeals for help from the international community as the Cambodian government prepares to return them to Vietnam. They say they face physical abuse and lengthy prison terms for defying the Vietnamese authorities…

Government wrestles with Facebook dilemma

Vietnam’s leaders have sniped, cajoled and threatened for years, but they are increasingly accepting the reality that Facebook is here to stay. Vietnam still resorts to violence, intimidation and long prison terms to intimidate its online critics, but even state…

Human rights education for schools

Vietnam is to introduce human rights education into the school curriculum, a policy that seems at odds with evidence of growing repression in the one party state. The Prime Minister, Nguyen Xuan Phuc, has approved a pilot scheme that will…

Cyber attacks and naval drills underline China threat

China is reported to have stepped up cyber attacks on Vietnam and military exercises near disputed waters as it seeks to keep up pressure on its southern neighbour. The foreign ministry in Hanoi expressed “deep concern” about the naval drills,…

Green light for Blue Whale ?

Vietnam looks set to risk another confrontation with China by giving the go ahead for a big gas exploration project off its central coast. State media reported that the work led by the US energy giant, Exxon Mobil, could start…

Germany probes suspected “abduction plot”

Two suspects of Vietnamese origin, one a German federal employee, are being questioned by the German authorities over the abduction last month of the former Vietnamese official, Trinh Xuan Thang. A Vietnamese citizen, identified only as Long NH, was handed…

Police silent on lawyer’s “disappearance”

Concern is growing about the health and treatment of the human rights lawyer, Nguyen Bac Truyen, who state media said was arrested with three other pro-democracy campaigners at the end of last month. His wife says she has received no…

President re-emerges to demand tighter controls

The Vietnamese president, Tran Dai Quang, has called for tougher controls on the internet – an intervention that follows weeks of rumours about his own political future. The former internal security chief, who is well known for his intolerance of…

Anti-corruption campaign or political purge ?

China and Vietnam may be at loggerheads over territorial disputes, but the autocratic style of the Chinese leader, Xi Jinping, is inspiring some admiration south of the border. The Vietnamese Communist party leader, Nguyen Phu Trong, once dismissed as an…

Vietnam humbled by China

A drilling ship has left Vietnamese waters following Hanoi’s ignominious climbdown last month in its latest confrontation with China. The vessel, Deepsea Metro I, which was prospecting a lucrative gas field on the edge of Vietnam’s EEZ, is reported to…