Author Archives: Viet Nam Right Now

Vietnam risks German backlash

Vietnam is risking an economic and diplomatic backlash from Germany by refusing Berlin’s demand to return the former oil executive, Trinh Xuan Thanh. It continues to insist that he returned home voluntarily to face charges of economic mismanagement, dismissing Germany’s…

China turns the screw

Vietnam is struggling to revive its China policy following a series of snubs and threats that have left it looking isolated and vulnerable. China’s last-minute cancellation of a meeting between the two foreign ministers – on the sidelines of the…

Fugitive’s testimony in Hanoi condemned as “Orwellian”

If Vietnamese agents planned a discreet operation to spirit the fugitive former oil executive, Trinh Xuan Thanh, back to Hanoi, the enterprise backfired spectacularly. They are alleged to have made their move in broad daylight at 10.40 on the morning…

Kidnap in Berlin – Vietnam infuriates Germany

Germany has accused Vietnam of kidnapping a former oil executive in Berlin and spiriting him back to Hanoi to face trial for corruption. It described the abduction as “an unprecedented and flagrant violation of German and international law” and said…

Police swoop on dissidents in series of raids

Police in Vietnam have arrested more political activists in coordinated raids across the country. A statement from the Ministry of Public Security said that four detainees were being held under Article 79 of the penal code on charges of attempting…

Nine years jail for criticising government

Vietnam is continuing its campaign to crush freedom of expression on the internet, sentencing the government critic, Tran Thi Nga, to nine years in prison and five years on probation. The verdict of the court in the northern province of…

Vietnam shaken by China threat

Vietnam appears to have backed down following a threat of military action by China, in a dramatic escalation of their dispute over energy resources in the South China Sea. Vietnam ordered an abrupt halt to drilling off its south-east coast,…

Activist could face long jail term

Rights campaigners are concerned that the authorities are preparing to impose another heavy sentence on a prominent activist this week. Tran Thi Nga goes on trial in a court near Hanoi charged with conducting propaganda against the state under Article…

Battle against motorbikes doomed to failure ?

Vietnam’s Communist party is stepping up an undeclared war on the motorcycle – with Ho Chi Minh City the latest conurbation to plan radical curbs on its swarming scooter traffic. The authorities in Hanoi were first to take the offensive…

Sailors killed in Spratly massacre honoured

Vietnam has unveiled a large memorial to 64 sailors who were killed defending a contested reef in the Spratly Islands from Chinese forces in 1988. The official commemoration of the clash – nearly three decades after the event – underlines…