Author Archives: Viet Nam Right Now

Cyber attacks and naval drills underline China threat

China is reported to have stepped up cyber attacks on Vietnam and military exercises near disputed waters as it seeks to keep up pressure on its southern neighbour. The foreign ministry in Hanoi expressed “deep concern” about the naval drills,…

Green light for Blue Whale ?

Vietnam looks set to risk another confrontation with China by giving the go ahead for a big gas exploration project off its central coast. State media reported that the work led by the US energy giant, Exxon Mobil, could start…

Germany probes suspected “abduction plot”

Two suspects of Vietnamese origin, one a German federal employee, are being questioned by the German authorities over the abduction last month of the former Vietnamese official, Trinh Xuan Thang. A Vietnamese citizen, identified only as Long NH, was handed…

Police silent on lawyer’s “disappearance”

Concern is growing about the health and treatment of the human rights lawyer, Nguyen Bac Truyen, who state media said was arrested with three other pro-democracy campaigners at the end of last month. His wife says she has received no…

President re-emerges to demand tighter controls

The Vietnamese president, Tran Dai Quang, has called for tougher controls on the internet – an intervention that follows weeks of rumours about his own political future. The former internal security chief, who is well known for his intolerance of…

Anti-corruption campaign or political purge ?

China and Vietnam may be at loggerheads over territorial disputes, but the autocratic style of the Chinese leader, Xi Jinping, is inspiring some admiration south of the border. The Vietnamese Communist party leader, Nguyen Phu Trong, once dismissed as an…

Vietnam humbled by China

A drilling ship has left Vietnamese waters following Hanoi’s ignominious climbdown last month in its latest confrontation with China. The vessel, Deepsea Metro I, which was prospecting a lucrative gas field on the edge of Vietnam’s EEZ, is reported to…

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…