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 Turns to Coal

Vietnam Turns to CoalPAGE 1 of 3 Shaken by news that Vietnam had confirmed plans to build another 40 gigawatts worth of coal-fired power plants by 2030, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim ad-libbed a few lines into a May 2016 speech to an audience of government and business leaders. “If Vietnam goes forward with 40GW of coal, if the entire region…

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…

Nha Trang and its Tourist Lure

Nha Trang and its Tourist LureIs the Vietnamese city of Nha Trang on the way to becoming another Pattaya, the vast and notorious resort two hours south of Bangkok where sun, sex, sleaze, sports and second homes are all in abundance? Or even just another Patong, Pattaya’s younger sister on Phuket? Or could it be the center point for focusing,…

Is the TPP Dead or Merely Comatose?

Is the TPP Dead or Merely Comatose?Two weeks after his victory, US President-elect Donald Trump posted a video on YouTube in which he declared that on his first day in office, "I am going to issue a notification of intent to withdraw from the TPP, a potential disaster for our country. Instead, we will negotiate fair bilateral trade deals that bring…

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 Protests Flare Again Against Taiwanese Polluter

Viet Protests Flare Again Against Taiwanese PolluterThe Formosa Plastic fish kill protests after millions of fish were poisoned in coastal Vietnam were never going to end so easily as a tail-off in May when the public was distracted by the spectacle of a visit by US President Barack Obama and police finally contained the street protests.  Protests flared again against Formosa…

Economics Claims an Important Vietnam Media Voice

Economics Claims an Important Vietnam Media VoiceOne of Vietnam’s best and most respected English language newspapers, Thanh Nien News, closed last week after being online since 2004. It wasn’t because the paper was too outspoken by Vietnamese standards or shuttered by the powers that be. The news industry in Vietnam is struggling and the first casualties are non-earners like English language…
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