Author Archives: Viet Nam Right Now

Dissent punished as crackdown continues

Protesting against the evils of foreign capital was once the sine qua non of orthodox Marxist behaviour, and yet the Communist party of Vietnam continues to target such activities in its harshest crackdown for years. In a Ho Chi Minh…

Trong goes for broke as party falls in line

The nomination of the Communist party leader, Nguyen Phu Trong, to serve concurrently as state president drives a coach and horses through Vietnam’s long nurtured system of collective leadership. Not since the authoritarian rule of Le Duan at the height…

President’s death opens the door to potential consolidation of power

Speculation is growing that Vietnam’s most powerful leader, Nguyen Phu Trong, is planning to assume the role of president in addition to his current job as general-secretary of the Communist party. Reports say that the politburo has backed the idea…

Vietnam buoyed by Russian power play

Vietnam is building on its close strategic ties with Russia at a time when Moscow is asserting its power in Asia on a scale not matched since the height of the Cold War. Vietnam placed orders for $1 billion dollars…

Vietnam blocks entry of rights advocates

Vietnam has detained and deported a leading human rights official who tried to enter the country to attend a gathering of the World Economic Forum. It also denied a visa to a senior representative of Amnesty International. The moves underline…

Vietnam seeks help in South China Sea

A meeting with President Putin and the visit of a British warship have come as a boost to Vietnam as it struggles to counterbalance the growing power of China in the South China Sea. President Putin told the visiting General-Secretary…

Clashes over environment hit central coast

Police and protesters have clashed around Highway 1 on the central coastline as a simmering environmental dispute turned violent. Demonstrators are reported to have thrown rocks and taken three officials hostage. Witnesses said the police used batons to beat back…

Muscle flexing increases in South China Sea

Shadow boxing in the South China Sea between China and the US and its allies is reaching a new level as Japanese naval vessels join a US task force in the region. Japan’s largest ship, the helicopter carrier Kaga, and…

Vietnam on alert for National Day protests

Security forces have been mobilised in major cities to try to prevent anti-government demonstrations on National Day on Sunday. The government has become increasingly jittery about public manifestations of dissent since large protests swept through Vietnam in June. The Hanoi…

Foes united in tributes to John McCain

Senator John McCain embodied the roller coaster ride of US-Vietnamese relations like no other figure. His death elicited heartfelt tributes from bitter foes on all sides of the conflict – from Vietnamese communist leaders as well as anti-communist refugees and…