Laos’s Threat to the Mekong River

Laos’s Threat to the Mekong RiverIn the Mekong River’s 4,800 km journey from the snow-capped mountains of Tibet to Vietnam delta, the Sipandon area in southern Laos stands out as a critical part of the river‘s ecosystem, blessed by raging waterfalls, picturesque islands and a small colony of endangered freshwater dolphins. Sipandon – meaning 4,000 Islands – is an area…

Vietnam Heads for Paris with Dirty Hands

Vietnam Heads for Paris with Dirty HandsVietnam belongs to the sad club of countries whose small carbon footprints offer no protection against bleak climate futures. Only the low-lying Netherlands—a country with a GDP five times Vietnam's—stands to lose as much land from a slight rise in sea levels. Given the stakes, Vietnam might be expected to walk into Paris with a…

Can Vietnam Get What it Wants Without Reform?

Can Vietnam Get What it Wants Without Reform?The visit by Nguyen Phu Trong, General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam, to the White House on July 7 might very well signal another new chapter in the US–Vietnam relations. It is certainly the first time a ranking party official has set foot on US soil. However, more than just establishing a first,…

Opinion: The US-Vietnam Relationship – 20 Years Later

Opinion: The US-Vietnam Relationship – 20 Years LaterUS President Barack Obama earlier this month met with Vietnam’s Communist Party general secretary, Nguyen Phu Trong, a rare occurrence for the president to meet with a mere party leader. But the encounter is emblematic of the slowly thawing relations between the two nations after 40 year of off-again, on-again contacts. Like an unruly teen-ager…

Viet Market Looking Good

Viet Market Looking GoodAmid all the angst about so-called emerging markets over static exports, falling commodity prices, a rising dollar and the threat of higher interest rates on dollar debt one Asian country has gone largely unnoticed: Vietnam. That may now change as the country takes a step closer to making its stock market more open to foreign…

Trans-Pacific Partnership: Crashed and Burnt?

Trans-Pacific Partnership: Crashed and Burnt?After seven years of bargaining, the landmark Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade pact was seemingly within reach, only to become the latest casualty of the American government's crippling dysfunction. This time it was President Obama's own Democratic Party that did a number on him.  Labor unions had threatened to cut off campaign funding to any members…

The Human Cost of the TPP in Vietnam

The Human Cost of the TPP in VietnamThe Trans-Pacific Partnership, the proposed omnibus trade pact that covers 12 nations on both sides of the Pacific Ocean, is not without critics, and, to be sure, there have been many. In the United States, the TPP has been subject to accusations of unnecessary secrecy and a danger to American jobs. No less a conservative…

Vietnam strikes out at labor disputes

Vietnam strikes out at labor disputesIn January, the Vietnamese government issued a decree on the implementation guidelines of its Labor Code, stipulating a long bureaucratic process for strike settlement. Though the numbers of strikes nationwide has declined, labor relations reform is still a government concern, with most workers’ strikes happening in foreign enterprises.  The decree specifies how to resolve strikes…

Argument: The Road to Improved US–Vietnam Relations is Economic Reform

Argument: The Road to Improved US–Vietnam Relations is Economic ReformLost amid the threat of ISIS and ISIL and the turmoil and devastation in the Middle East has been the United States’ strategic rebalance to Asia-Pacific. It was Hillary Clinton in 2011, during her stint as secretary of state, who detailed the importance of Asia-Pacific in an article for Foreign Policy. Titled “America’s Pacific Century,”…

Viets Gamble Vainly on Appeasement in South China Sea

Viets Gamble Vainly on Appeasement in South China SeaVietnam's Communist regime has hoped that deferential behavior might temper its giant northern neighbor's South China Sea ambitions. But by sending the deep sea drill ship Haiyang 981 to explore for oil just off Vietnam's central coast, Beijing has dashed that hope and posed a terrible dilemma for Hanoi. The Vietnamese were the fiercest critics…
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