Category: Politics

Vietnam in firing line on trade

Vietnam is facing the threat of possible trade retaliation from the United States following President Trump’s order of a thorough review of the giant US trade deficit. Vietnam last year ran a $32 billion trade surplus with the United States,…

Religious groups vulnerable amid growing repression

The Vietnamese government’s sustained crackdown on dissent is triggering fears amongst religious communities about their own vulnerability to persecution. Some believe that a controversial new religious law passed late last year could leave them exposed to renewed harassment and intimidation…

Violent assaults designed to intimidate young activists

It started as a class for young would-be activists eager to learn about their political rights. It ended a few weeks later with a police raid and vicious assaults on the streets of Ho Chi Minh City. The violent attacks…

Fidel Castro’s death exposes divisions in Vietnam

Vietnam’s call for a day of national mourning for Fidel Castro has exposed ideological divisions in a country that still clings, in name at least, to Marxist-Leninist teaching. For the Communist party, Fidel Castro was a comrade in arms in…

Civil Society in limbo as draft bill shelved

New legislation to regulate civil society organisations in Vietnam has again been postponed, amid warnings of anti-state subversion. The National Assembly had been expected to vote on the latest draft of the bill on associations in the middle of this…

Government spooked by environmental protests

A campaign to demand accountability for one of Vietnam’s worst environmental disasters has triggered a fresh wave of repression from a government already acutely sensitive to criticism. Activists have suffered severe harassment, death threats and arrest for daring to demand…

Former vice-minister warns of political violence

A former senior government official has called for dialogue between the Communist leadership and dissidents, warning that failure to talk could lead to political violence. Chu Hao, a former vice-minister for technology and the environment, said the recent shooting of…

Government gets serious on corruption ?

The Vietnam communist party’s intermittent campaign to tackle corruption in state companies has spluttered into life with the issuance of an international arrest warrant for a former top executive. The public security ministry said the former chairman of PetroVietnam Construction…