Vietnam’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 announcing terrorist plots. Even more so when that nation is a one party-state and their papers state-supervised. However, the days and weeks preceding the first US Presidential visit to Vietnam since George W. Bush’s ASEAN turn in 2006 have been odd times for the nation and the party is trying hard to stay in control of it.

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