Vietnam Uses Thugs as Surrogates to Keep Citizens in Line, Report Says

Vietnam Uses Thugs as Surrogates to Keep Citizens in Line, Report SaysAll over Vietnam, young toughs are being employed as a sort of police auxiliary who administer beatings to citizens that the national police aren't yet ready to arrest, or perhaps would rather not arrest, according to a new report issued on June 19 by the New York-based Human Rights Watch NGO. The report, titled "No…

Viet Premier Finds “Unexpectedly Good Dynamics” at White House

Viet Premier Finds “Unexpectedly Good Dynamics” at White HouseThere were lots of smiles as US President Donald Trump and Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc ended their White House meeting on May 31. An Asia Sentinel source who polled aides to both leaders said "the dynamics were unexpectedly good...There were no thorny issues and Trump made a positive impression on the Vietnamese." The…

Vietnam’s Premier Phuc Enters the US Cobra Den

Vietnam’s Premier Phuc Enters the US Cobra DenFor Vietnam, Donald Trump's election as US President ushered in nervous times. Though the Hanoi regime still insists that Vietnam aims to be friends with all and to forge alliances with none, in fact it has come to regard the United States as its best bet against an expansionist China. During the Obama years, Washington…

Vietnam: Steady as She Goes

Vietnam: Steady as She GoesNormally, the eviction of a member from the Politburo of a ruling Communist Party would be a sign of internal friction and potential political instability. In the case of Vietnam, with its unparalleled history of collective leadership such an event was barely thinkable, especially just a year after the reshuffle of top posts at the…

Beyond Vietnam’s ‘Great Fish Kill’

Beyond Vietnam’s ‘Great Fish Kill’"If the problem of human rights isn't properly solved," said my friend C.V., "Vietnam is going to be isolated from the international community, and that will make it really hard to develop our country." We spoke just after blogger Mẹ Nấm was taken into custody on October 10, charged with "distorting the truth, opposing the…

Viet Steel Mill Owners Acknowledge Huge Fish Kill

Viet Steel Mill Owners Acknowledge Huge Fish KillA sampling of public reaction suggests that the Vietnamese are impressed but hardly exuberant over an apology and a promise by the Taiwanese owners of a huge new steel plant in central Vietnam to pay half a billion US dollars for losses to fisher family livelihoods and for damage by toxic discharges from the plant…

With Obama Coming, Viet Leaders in a Dilemma

With Obama Coming, Viet Leaders in a DilemmaVietnam’s fish kill saga has been the government’s first test since the national congress of January. With an American president arriving soon, protests couldn’t have come at a worse time and as yet nothing looks to be resolved. It is unusual for a US president to be visiting just when his host nation’s newspapers are…

Viet Fish Kill Spawns Political Crisis

Viet Fish Kill Spawns Political CrisisVietnam's new government, installed after the 12th Congress of its ruling Communist Party early this year, seems to have made up its mind how it will manage its first political crisis, nationwide revulsion over the still unexplained death of 100 tonnes or so of fish along the coasts of four north central provinces.  On May…

Huge Fish Kill Tests Vietnam’s New Regime

Huge Fish Kill Tests Vietnam’s New RegimeThe story broke in Vietnam's national press on April 20: shoals of dead fish were washing up on the beaches all along a 200 kilometer stretch of the central Vietnamese coast, as far south as Hue. Coastal fishermen and local staff of Vietnam's Fisheries Agency blamed a discharge of chemicals in the vicinity of the…

Vietnam: Old Guard, New Tack

Vietnam: Old Guard, New TackA bitter and unprecedentedly public contest for leadership of Vietnam's all-powerful Communist party ended in late January with two-term Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung's forced retirement. The party's 12th Congress awarded the man Dung aimed to unseat, Nguyen Phu Trong, another five years as the party's general secretary. As the Congress adjourned, Trong was asked…
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