Category: Opinions

Vietnam eyes Trump moves with trepidation

President Trump’s first days in office will have confirmed many of Vietnam’s fears about his intentions for the region, and the waves of instability that can be expected during his administration. Vietnam’s communist leaders have long anticipated the demise of…

China and Vietnam move to ease tensions

When the leaders of two of the world’s least transparent ruling parties sit down for talks, it’s not realistic to expect a candid assessment from either side about the outcome. Pious statements, two-faced smiles and jealously guarded secrecy have long…

Haiphong installation sparks ridicule

Secrecy and lack of accountability are two ingrained hallmarks of Communist party governance in Vietnam. The lack of trust in public officials, and simmering resentment at widespread corruption, means that even the seemingly innocuous task of installing festive decorations can…

Another blogger arrested as repression intensifies

The Vietnamese government is continuing its campaign to silence independent voices, with the arrest of a 29-year-old blogger in Thanh Hoa province south of the capital. State media said that Nguyen Danh Dung had posted some 700 video clips defaming…

Cao Dai parishioners targeted

The destruction of their temple last year was the culmination of years of discrimination and harassment for the Caodaists of Tuy An. The parishioners say they are being punished for rejecting state control of their religion. Some four million Vietnamese…

Vietnam amongst worst for internet freedom

Vietnam has been rated one of the world’s worst violators of Internet freedom, achieving a worse score than Saudi Arabia, Russia and Sudan, in an annual survey by Freedom House. The survey said Vietnam was the country with least Internet…

Hydropower plant blamed for “murderous” flood

Hydropower plants must be held to account for the loss of lives and the flooding of tens of thousands of homes, say environmental activists. The sudden release of huge volumes of water from plants in north-central provinces in mid-October was…

Trump victory alarms Vietnam

The shock waves from Donald Trump’s victory are only just beginning to reverberate around the world: for Vietnam, the surprise win of the maverick property developer and reality tv star is deeply unsettling and threatens severe strategic consequences. Mr Trump’s…

Workers fight on despite lack of free unions

Hopes that Vietnam would soon get its first independent labour unions appear to be fading along with the prospect for an early ratification of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The United States had insisted on Vietnam’s commitment to free unions as a…

Religious leaders fear increased persecution

Independent religious leaders in Vietnam have stepped up their attack on proposed new government regulations that they say will consolidate state control over religion. A draft law on belief and religion, currently before the National Assembly, would make it even…