Category: Opinions

Authorities break promise on land dispute

The police are being accused of deliberate deception as they move to punish those who took part in a violent confrontation over land rights in April. At the time, the authorities were praised for their conciliatory approach as they defused…

Vietnam accused of denying health care to prisoners

Concern is growing for the health of some political prisoners in Vietnam amid reports that the government sometimes withholds adequate medical care to try to force confessions. Most at risk are prisoners with pre-existing conditions, who are held for months…

US navy sends message to Beijing

The US navy’s latest challenge to Chinese expansion in the South China Sea will be seen as a welcome boost by Vietnam as it mulls a forceful move of its own in the same area. The destroyer, USS Chafee, sailed…

Government wrestles with Facebook dilemma

Vietnam’s leaders have sniped, cajoled and threatened for years, but they are increasingly accepting the reality that Facebook is here to stay. Vietnam still resorts to violence, intimidation and long prison terms to intimidate its online critics, but even state…

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…

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…

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…

Vietnam stands up to China in disputed waters

Vietnam is increasingly seizing the initiative in the South China Sea in a calculated challenge to China’s dominant position. In recent days Vietnam openly defied China by drilling for oil in contested waters near the Spratly Islands. It has also…

Vietnam defiant despite international outrage

The imposition of a ten-year prison sentence on one of Vietnam’s most acclaimed bloggers signals a growing mood of defiance in the Communist party leadership. The harshness of the prison sentence announced on Thursday for Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh, who…

China vexed by Vietnamese diplomacy

Vietnam’s drive for international support in the South China Sea is showing signs of riling the Chinese leadership, which is set on asserting Beijing’s dominance. Recent visits by the Vietnamese Prime Minister, Nguyen Xuan Phuc, to Washington and Tokyo have…