Category: Politics

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…

China visit raises questions

Vietnam’s precarious diplomatic balancing act continues this week with a six day visit to China by the prime minister, Nguyen Xuan Phuc, his first since taking office earlier this year. He will stress trade and investment during his visit, but…

Call for more foreign pressure on political freedoms

Australia holds its annual human rights dialogue with Vietnam this week amid concern that western countries are easing pressure on Vietnam over its continuing crackdown on government critics. Human Rights Watch called on the Australian delegation to call for significant…

Government attempts to reassure public over Formosa disaster

The government has said that 200,000 people were adversely affected by the toxic leak off the central coast which killed millions of fish earlier this year. It says that it has learned lessons from the disaster and attempted to reassure…

Electoral challenge swept aside

The Communist authorities have approved only two of the one hundred self-nominated candidates that had hoped to stand for seats in the National Assembly election in May. The other 98 independents that sought to challenge the party’s monopoly on power…