Category: Politics

Trong goes for broke as party falls in line

The nomination of the Communist party leader, Nguyen Phu Trong, to serve concurrently as state president drives a coach and horses through Vietnam’s long nurtured system of collective leadership. Not since the authoritarian rule of Le Duan at the height…

President’s death opens the door to potential consolidation of power

Speculation is growing that Vietnam’s most powerful leader, Nguyen Phu Trong, is planning to assume the role of president in addition to his current job as general-secretary of the Communist party. Reports say that the politburo has backed the idea…

Closed trial of intelligence and security officials

A Communist party purge directed at senior public security and intelligence officials appears to be reaching its climax, with a secret trial of former agents in Hanoi and the dismissal and demotion of their alleged collaborators. The police threw a…

Censorship and defiance as government reels from protests

The Vietnamese government is censoring its own media and putting an American citizen on trial as it struggles to respond to the aftermath of last month’s nationwide demonstrations. The decision on Tuesday to suspend the online edition of the state…

Protests expose government weakness on China

Large scale protests over the weekend have forced the government into retreat, obliging it to postpone plans for the establishment of new economic zones. Government leaders appealed for calm, appearing shocked by the extent of public anger and the scale…

Demand for transparency receives no response

Pressure is growing on Vietnam’s top leader to declare his own assets as he claims credit for cleaning up the Communist party and rooting out corrupt officials. An open letter, signed by some senior former officials and other citizens, called…

Trong lords it over party meeting

As a committed ideologue set on reviving the Communist party, Nguyen Phu Trong, appears to be reaching the apotheosis of his ambitions. Presiding over this week’s plenum of the party’s Central Committee, he looks set to consolidate his ever tightening…

Party shuffle leaves Vietnamese in the dark

In a country where any attempt at meaningful political reporting can land you in jail, Vietnamese citizens are reduced to educated guesswork if they want to know what their representatives are up to. So when a key figure in the…

Trong uses anti-corruption campaign to assert control

As the de facto leader of a populous, booming nation with a storied history in the heart of Southeast Asia, Nguyen Phu Trong can, nonetheless, count on virtually no name recognition outside Vietnam’s borders. Rodrigo Duterte, Aung San Suu Kyi,…

“Hostile forces” out to destroy Communist party: police

Vietnam’s top security official has warned that “hostile forces” are out to topple the government, as four activists were sentenced to lengthy jail terms in one week. A doctor and influential blogger, Ho Van Hai, received a four year term…