Author Archives: Viet Nam Right Now

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…

Trump and Xi test Vietnam’s diplomatic skills

Playing host to President Trump and Xi Jinping at the same time – both attending the APEC summit in Danang and then travelling to Hanoi – presents a delicate challenge for Vietnam whose future depends on treading a wary path…

APEC warned – Vietnam’s credibility in doubt

APEC countries have been warned that Vietnam’s credibility as an international partner is in doubt, as the forum’s leaders prepare to gather in Danang for their annual summit at the weekend. 17 international and Vietnamese human rights groups wrote to…

Vietnam, Trump and political repression

The visit of an American president is normally a moment of high sensitivity for the Vietnamese government – an opportunity for rights activists to exert pressure for political reform and fewer arrests. With President Trump due in Vietnam late next…

Lull in tensions as Hanoi ponders next move

China and Vietnam are making another attempt to smooth over their confrontation in the South China Sea, as Vietnam prepares to host President Xi Jinping and other world leaders for the APEC summit next week. China’s foreign ministry says the…

Vietnam, China and the “democratic recession”

Xi Jinping’s consolidation of strong-man rule in China this week signals that the global clash of political cultures is entering a new phase. Autocratic rulers, including Vietnam’s own Communist party bosses, will take heart from Xi’s domestic triumphs, while campaigners…