Author Archives: Viet Nam Right Now

Europeans condemn – but is Hanoi listening ?

The European Parliament has condemned growing repression in Vietnam and appealed for the release of independent bloggers jailed under national security provisions. The resolution, expressing grave concern about abuses in Vietnam, comes at a time when many Western governments are…

Vietnam on back foot as China tightens grip in SCS

China has greatly increased its military potential in the South China Sea during 2017 according to a report released by an independent research group. Hangers, bunkers and radar facilities have been completed on sprawling sites across the Spratly and Paracel…

Nguyen Phu Trong calls the shots

Barely two years ago, Vietnam’s Communist party boss, Nguyen Phu Trong, was being written off as an ideological stick-in-the mud on the brink of retirement. In the intervening months, he has reinvented himself as the central force in Vietnamese politics;…

China style campaign targets senior officials

China’s President, Xi Jinping, described his anti-corruption campaign as a hunt for “tigers and flies”. The Vietnamese police have now bagged a “tiger” of their own, in a drive that increasingly parallels developments north of the border. The police announced…

Vietnam shrugs off foreign appeals for blogger

The confirmation on Thursday of a ten-year jail term for the blogger known as Mother Mushroom has highlighted the Communist government’s utter disregard for foreign criticism of its human rights record. The 38-year-old blogger and single mother of two young…

Crushing Formosa movement

The two prongs of Vietnam’s response to the Formosa chemical spill were shown in stark relief on Monday: harsh repression of environmental campaigners – and, at the same time, an attempt to reassure the public that lessons have been learned….

Trong ignores German appeal

The Communist party boss, Nguyen Phu Trong, has brushed aside complaints from Germany and ordered the trial of a fugitive allegedly abducted from Berlin. Germany has been demanding the return of the former state oil company executive, Trinh Xuan Thanh,…

Vietnam blinks again as China tightens grip

Vietnam is increasingly opting for discretion over valour as it confronts the reality of China’s growing power in the South China Sea. President Trump’s lack of focus on the maritime disputes during his visit to the region gave little reassurance…

Police detain activists after EU meeting

Three human rights activists were detained after attending a meeting with European Union diplomats in Hanoi. Two were released after questioning, but one, the journalist, Pham Doan Trang, was held late into the night on Thursday. Trang and fellow activist,…

Rights and freedoms ignored as Trump schmoozes in Hanoi

President Trump’s 12-day tour of Asia confirmed, if nothing else, his special affinity with authoritarian leaders. He had back-slapping encounters with the leaders of China, Cambodia and the Philippines, and managed a series of congenial meetings with the masters of…