Author Archives: Viet Nam Right Now

Cameron stresses trade not rights in Hanoi

The British prime minister, David Cameron, is reported to have urged Vietnamese leaders to embrace political change during his two day visit to the country ending on Thursday. But the focus of his talks with the country’s three most senior…

Taboo on politics fuels conspiracy theories

And so it seems, rumours of the general’s death were much exaggerated. After weeks of frantic speculation and outlandish theories on social media, the Defence Minister Phung Quang Thanh, has appeared in public. In full uniform and flanked by other…

Blogger “beaten and arrested” at Nha Trang vigil

The prominent blogger Me Nam, or “Mother Mushroom”, has accused the police of using violence to break up an attempt by activists to campaign for the freedom of political prisoners. She said police attacked her and other activists as they…

Joyous return for defiant farmer

A woman sentenced to fifteen months in prison in one of Vietnam’s most bitterly contested land disputes has been released to a tumultuous welcome after completing her sentence. Relatives, neighbours and other farmers came out in force to greet Can…

Tree campaigners in “partial victory”

Activists campaigning to save Hanoi’s famous old trees from the government axe are claiming victory – up to a point – following an admission of mistakes by the city government. A statement on July 21 from the Hanoi People’s Committee…

Dissident optimistic on amnesty

Dissidents are hopeful that political detainees will be included in a mass amnesty for prisoners announced by the government for later this year. The Public Security Ministry said up to 17,000 prisoners would be released to mark National Day on…

Chinese leaders woo Hanoi

Vietnam’s complex relationship with China has been back in the spotlight just a week after the Vietnamese Communist Party boss held unprecedented talks with the United States President in the White House. In a visit announced at short notice, the…

Hun Sen seeks western help on Vietnam border

The Cambodian Prime Minister, Hun Sen, has written to the leaders of France, Britain and the United States in an effort to resolve a border dispute with Vietnam. He has been severely criticised by opposition leaders in Cambodia for allegedly…

China eyes “geopolitical gimmickry” in Washington

China has been watching the visit by the Vietnamese Communist Party boss to Washington closely, with many commentators seeing it as part of US strategy to contain China. Some see signs that  the United States is making mischief by trying…

Warm reception for party boss in Washington

Warm welcome for Mr Trong in the Oval Office In a historic encounter in the White House, President Obama welcomed the leader of the Vietnamese Communist party, Nguyen Phu Trong. Both leaders spoke of the growing friendship between the two…