Category: Opinions

Disappointment for pro-democracy advocates

The sight of a Vietnamese prime minister standing next to an American president, and asking for a bigger US role in the South China Sea, is still a startling one – for all the diplomatic contortions and adjustments of recent…

China and Vietnam build military capabilities in disputed waters

Tensions are rising again in the South China Sea with reports that China has deployed surface to air missiles on the disputed Paracel Islands, which are also claimed by Vietnam. Vietnam is also strengthening its posture in the region, taking…

No sign of Hanoi Spring as Vietnam feels the chill

The ruthless takedown of Vietnam’s most prominent and dynamic politician provided some rare political drama in recent days. But far from feeding hope of more representative government, the Communist Party congress was a difficult and dangerous time for Vietnam’s community…

Party Congress set for late January

The Communist Party has finally confirmed the dates for next month’s long awaited party congress amid signs of growing repression, and little indication that a more transparent political system is emerging. Members of the Central Committee are due to select…

“Brutal attacks becoming routine” – Amnesty International

Amnesty International has condemned what it called a wave of vicious attacks on human rights defenders following the latest assault on the pro democracy activist, Nguyen Van Dai, and three of his associates. Amnesty said such brutal attacks had become…

Suspicion still haunts US-Vietnam ties

Vietnamese leaders continue to harbour deep suspicions of US intentions despite recent improvements in relations, according to a new report published by the University of Sydney. It concludes that trading and investment ties will continue to improve, especially if the…

“Vietnam more tolerant and inclusive” – LGBT campaigners

Activists in Vietnam and abroad have warmly welcomed the decision by the National Assembly to grant some recognition to the estimated 270,000 transgender people in Vietnam. The Assembly last week approved a bill that would legalise sex reassignment surgery for…

Ba Sam trial to go ahead despite “serious violations”

The influential blogger, Nguyen Huu Vinh, who became famous using the pen name “Ba Sam”, is expected to stand trial before the end of the year – more than nineteen months after he was arrested on charges of challenging the…

Vietnamese activists welcome Myanmar Landslide

Pro-democracy activists in Vietnam have been celebrating the overwhelming opposition victory in the Myanmar election and have expressed hope it will inspire change in Vietnam. Many took to social media to express their delight at the sight of tens of…

Catholics harassed in Central Highlands

The authorities in Vietnam’s Central Highlands are interfering in the internal affairs of the Catholic Church there and obstructing the construction of chapels, according to an outspoken bishop. He accuses the local government of blocking an invited priest from addressing…