Jailed Viet Dissident is Latest in Rising Crackdown

Jailed Viet Dissident is Latest in Rising CrackdownIn the latest sign of the increasing crackdown against dissidents by Vietnam’s government, Nguyen Van Oai, a citizen journalist and human rights defender, was sentenced earlier this week to five years in prison and four additional years of house arrest for “resisting persons in the performance of their official duties” and failing to execute judgments”…

Vietnam’s Conservatives Purge Former PM Dung’s Allies

Vietnam’s Conservatives Purge Former PM Dung’s AlliesGoing into the Vietnam Communist Party's 12th Congress in January last year, outsiders could perceive an epic contest between reformers and conservatives. The conservatives labeled the reformers as “opportunists” and often they were right. The reformers laughed when the conservatives argued that ideology (Leninist, not Marxist) would keep Vietnam safe in a turbulent and threatening…

Unending Punishment: Political Repression in Vietnam

Unending Punishment: Political Repression in VietnamOn July 30, 2012, the mother of political prisoner Ta Phong Tan burned herself to death at a government building in despair over her daughter’s imprisonment. This is the fifth anniversary of her death. This is what life is like as a prisoner of conscience in Vietnam: Isolation. Withholding of newspapers and letters from family,…

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…
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