Category: Opinions

Pagoda demolition condemned

Religious and civil society groups have appealed for foreign support following the destruction by local authorities of a popular Buddhist pagoda in Ho Chi Minh City. Representatives from more than twenty organisations and religious sects said that foreign pressure was…

Vietnam’s diplomatic drive pays dividends

Vietnam’s energetic pursuit of diverse foreign relationships to offset the threat from China has received a further boost with the visit of the Indian prime minister, Narendra Modi. India’s offer of a $500 million loan for defence purchases consolidates Delhi’s…

Lutheran activist remains defiant

She has been detained, systematically harassed and savagely beaten by the police, but Tran Thi Hong continues to defy the authorities by resuming her work amongst ethnic minority Christian communities in the Central Highlands. Mrs Hong is the wife of…

US wobble on TPP unsettles Vietnam

Vietnam is widely seen as the country with most to gain from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which was signed by twelve countries in February this year, but faces an ever steeper uphill struggle for ratification in the United States. Vietnam is…

Australia hits nerve with battle anniversary plan

For Australia, it was a heroic moment in the country’s martial history – an isolated company of regulars and conscripts holding out against overwhelming odds. For Vietnam, it was a case of “mercenaries” acting at the behest of American invaders,…

Value of human rights dialogue questioned

The sincerity of Vietnam’s commitment to human rights dialogue with the international community is being called into question after it again prevented a government critic from meeting a visiting delegation. The prominent activist, Dr Nguyen Quang A, seen as a…

Vietnam frustrated by ASEAN deadlock

ASEAN foreign ministers appear to be heading for deadlock at their meeting in Vientiane amid reports of heavy pressure from China over the recent South China Sea ruling. Vietnam, the Philippines and others are pushing for a unified ASEAN response…

Vietnam faces dilemma after stunning setback for China

Vietnam is confronted by dangers and opportunities following a stunning rebuke to China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea. An international tribunal in The Hague rejected China’s claim to historic rights over 90 % of the South China Sea,…

Full transparency demanded in Formosa disaster

The government’s belated admission that Formosa Ha Tinh Steel was behind one of Vietnam’s worst environmental disasters took some activists and observers by surprise. There had been fears that government officials would attempt to cover up the liability of such…

China turns up volume on South China Sea arbitration

China’s most senior diplomat met Vietnam’s top leaders in a two day visit that underlined Beijing’s jitters ahead of a ruling by an international tribunal on the South China Sea dispute. China is making clear to neighbouring countries that it…