Category: Opinions

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…

Concern and frustration at government delay

With demonstrations banned, and the media firmly under state control, frustration at the government’s handling of the mass fish deaths in central provinces has increasingly been restricted to social media. Concerned citizens have been relying on the internet to share…

Fears of escalation as China prepares for ruling on sea dispute

Vietnam is braced for a further escalation from China as regional resistance stiffens to Beijing’s ambitions in the South China Sea. Fears are growing that China could declare an air defence identification zone over the South China Sea, or further…

China stung by US-Vietnam embrace

The exuberant reception afforded an American president in Vietnam will have been a galling sight for the communist leadership in neighbouring China. President Obama’s decision to sideline human rights concerns, and stress blossoming economic and strategic ties with Hanoi, sent…

Indignation as Obama rebuffed over dissidents

Vietnam’s brazen move to prevent key dissidents from meeting President Obama has struck a sour note in a visit that is otherwise being touted by both sides as a historic turning point. President Obama noted that several activists had been…

Obama faces dilemma on Vietnam visit

President Obama begins his three day visit to Vietnam amid a display of Communist party control that underlines the political distance that remains between the two countries despite their anxiety for warmer relations. Polls had  just closed in National Assembly…

US press urge action on Vietnamese human rights

President Obama is under growing pressure to insist on real improvements in human rights during his visit to Vietnam which begins on May 23. Top American newspapers have added their voices to those of influential congressmen who are demanding the…

US officials to discuss continued repression

The beating and arrest of peaceful demonstrators in broad daylight at the weekend; the recent sentencing of independent bloggers to long prison terms; the continued harassment and detention of civil society activists. Vietnam’s contention that it is improving its human…