Author Archives: Viet Nam Right Now

China scare over investment zones

The government is struggling to finalise a law for the establishment of special economic zones following warnings that China could exploit them to expand its influence. Prominent economists, intellectuals, and some members of the National Assembly have added their voices…

Campaign for Nobel Peace Prize

The blogger, Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh, has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize a year after she was sentenced to ten years in prison for criticising the government. A history professor from Canada, Dr Marc Arnal, submitted her name…

Attempt to stop flight of corrupt officials

The Communist party has taken steps to prevent corrupt members from fleeing abroad, opening itself up to jibes that it’s bolting the stable door after the horse has bolted. The party has suffered severe embarrassment over the flight of wanted…

China asserts itself in SCS

China has openly confronted US Navy ships in the South China Sea, a sign of Beijing’s growing confidence over its position in the strategic waterway. The People’s Liberation Army announced that it had sent warships to challenge a US destroyer…

New challenge over gas fields

Vietnam’s latest challenge to China’s growing dominance in the South China Sea has so far been met with a muted reaction from Beijing. Vietnam gave the go-ahead this month for drilling in disputed waters off its southeastern coast to the…

Vietnam as model for North Korea ?

For a country with one of the most oppressive political systems in Asia, Vietnam is not often held up as a model for emulation by other countries. So it is with some enthusiasm that Vietnamese officials have embraced reports that…

Demand for transparency receives no response

Pressure is growing on Vietnam’s top leader to declare his own assets as he claims credit for cleaning up the Communist party and rooting out corrupt officials. An open letter, signed by some senior former officials and other citizens, called…

Trong lords it over party meeting

As a committed ideologue set on reviving the Communist party, Nguyen Phu Trong, appears to be reaching the apotheosis of his ambitions. Presiding over this week’s plenum of the party’s Central Committee, he looks set to consolidate his ever tightening…

Vietnam paying price for SCS climbdown

Vietnam may have to pay millions of dollars in compensation to a Spanish oil firm following its latest retreat in the face of threats from China. Repsol has confirmed that it is in talks with the Vietnamese government following the…

Vietnam outgunned by relentless Chinese build-up

Reports that China has installed advanced missile systems in the Spratly islands come as a further blow to Vietnam’s attempts to assert its territorial claims in the area. Intelligence reports quoted by US media indicate that China has set up…