Author Archives: Viet Nam Right Now

China vigilant but unworried by carrier visit

There was a time when China would have been alarmed at the sight of a US aircraft carrier docking in a Vietnamese port. The Communists, after all, had triumphed in Vietnam, and for many years the return of the US…

Party shuffle leaves Vietnamese in the dark

In a country where any attempt at meaningful political reporting can land you in jail, Vietnamese citizens are reduced to educated guesswork if they want to know what their representatives are up to. So when a key figure in the…

US carrier in Danang – but will it deter China ?

For the first time since the Vietnam War a US aircraft carrier is visiting Vietnam, a physical manifestation of new strategic realities buffeting the region. The arrival of the USS Carl Vinson in Danang is heavy with symbolism, and it…

Famous blogger targeted

The blogger and author, Pham Doan Trang, has been tracked and harassed by the police for years – forced into an exhausting cat and mouse game for speaking out openly on subjects considered sensitive by the Communist party. Now the…

Is Vietnam becoming less corrupt ?

According to the latest index published by Transparency International, Vietnam is more corrupt than 106 other countries – at first sight hardly a cause for celebration. And yet, the annual survey has picked up a slow but steady improvement by…

Trong uses anti-corruption campaign to assert control

As the de facto leader of a populous, booming nation with a storied history in the heart of Southeast Asia, Nguyen Phu Trong can, nonetheless, count on virtually no name recognition outside Vietnam’s borders. Rodrigo Duterte, Aung San Suu Kyi,…

China consolidates grip

China’s military build-up in the South China Sea means it will soon be able to challenge the United States at all levels, according to the US military. The latest warning highlights the extraordinary scale of China’s construction of military bases…

Drive to break the spirit of environmental campaigners

The Vietnamese authorities have moved the blogger, Mother Mushroom, to a new prison hundreds of kilometres from her home. Her mother arrived at the jail near her home in Nha Trang to give gifts and supplies for the Tet holiday,…

Official thuggery exposed as Buddhists jailed

The jailing last week of six Buddhists on public disorder charges has highlighted the underhand tactics and thuggery used by the authorities to harass independent religious groups, according to human rights campaigners. Four family members and two others received prison…

Harsh response to report on environmental protest

A court in Vietnam has sentenced a blogger and environmental campaigner to 14 years in prison – one of the heaviest sentences for an activist in recent years. The punishment reveals the Communist party leadership’s sense of alarm over organised…