Author Archives: Viet Nam Right Now

Demand for transparency receives no response

Pressure is growing on Vietnam’s top leader to declare his own assets as he claims credit for cleaning up the Communist party and rooting out corrupt officials. An open letter, signed by some senior former officials and other citizens, called…

Trong lords it over party meeting

As a committed ideologue set on reviving the Communist party, Nguyen Phu Trong, appears to be reaching the apotheosis of his ambitions. Presiding over this week’s plenum of the party’s Central Committee, he looks set to consolidate his ever tightening…

Vietnam paying price for SCS climbdown

Vietnam may have to pay millions of dollars in compensation to a Spanish oil firm following its latest retreat in the face of threats from China. Repsol has confirmed that it is in talks with the Vietnamese government following the…

Vietnam outgunned by relentless Chinese build-up

Reports that China has installed advanced missile systems in the Spratly islands come as a further blow to Vietnam’s attempts to assert its territorial claims in the area. Intelligence reports quoted by US media indicate that China has set up…

Slovakian role in Berlin abduction ?

Vietnam’s relations with Europe look set to deteriorate still further following allegations about the involvement of Slovakia in the abduction of a Vietnamese official last year. The Slovakian foreign ministry has denied knowingly assisting in the kidnap but warned that…

Harsh repression despite lack of opposition

The Vietnamese Communist party faces no organised opposition and endures no restraint on its use of a formidable internal security apparatus, yet it continues to crack down on dissent as if its survival was at stake. This week an appeals…

Vietnam in the dock in Berlin Kidnap trial

The trial has begun in Berlin of a member of the kidnap gang allegedly sent by the Vietnamese government to Germany last summer to seize a fugitive official. Prosecutors are presenting evidence of a Cold War style intelligence operation to…

“State secrets” charge underpins latest Danang purge

A former top police officer and the former head of Vietnam’s third largest city have been arrested, in the latest sign of political infighting amongst the country’s leadership. After rooting out allegedly corrupt officials in the banking sector and the…

Is Facebook letting down Vietnamese activisits ?

What is the difference between “toxic” content designed to cause chaos, and free and open discussion of current events ? Portraying legitimate criticism and comment as subversion is the oldest trick in the book for authoritarian governments attempting to silence…

Heavy sentences after trial cut short

A crushing sentence of 15 years in prison for a leading pro-democracy advocate cements Vietnam’s growing reputation as Southeast Asia’s most repressive country. Nguyen Van Dai, a debarred human rights lawyer and campaigner for political freedoms, was sentenced alongside five…