19 APRIL 2017
Fighting corruption in Vietnam requires institutional reform
The first half of 2016 saw Vietnam’s fight against corruption gain new momentum. Having consolidated his power after being re-elected as Secretary-General of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV), Nguyen Phu Trong issued resolutions and directives aimed at tightening party members’ ethical conduct
29 DECEMBER 2016
Vietnam economy propelled by manufacturing and building boom
Vietnam’s economy is estimated to grow 6.2 percent in 2016, propelled by a manufacturing and building boom
2 DECEMBER 2016
Is Vietnam’s new religion law a smokescreen for political repression?
A controversial law on religion passed in Vietnam has triggered renewed fears of state repression in the name of national unity
29 NOVEMBER 2016
Vietnam vows full speed ahead with economic reforms, with or without the TPP
As Donald Trump prepares to kill the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the 12-nation trade pact is helping to spur the biggest overhaul of Vietnam’s economy in décades
15 NOVEMBER 2016
Alert: No wives for 4 million Vietnamese men
Some four million men in Vietnam will have no opportunity of getting married by 2050 if the current imbalance in the nation’s sex ratio persists, said experts
4 OCTOBER 2016
Vietnam War propaganda broadcaster ‘Hanoi Hannah’ dies
Silky-voiced communist propaganda broadcaster “Hanoi Hannah”, famous for urging American GIs to leave her country during the Vietnam War, has died at age 87, friends said Tuesday
23 AUGUST 2016
Vietnam’s New Prime Minister Quietly Turns the Wheels of Economic Reform
Phuc took office in the shadow of a highly charismatic predecessor — former prime minister Nguyen Tan Dung. With a focus on straightforward, practical economic measures, the new government has quietly embarked on a series of promising reforms
25 JULY 2016
Tran Dai Quang re-elected as President
The swearing-in ceremony took place soon after the voting result came in, of which 485 out of 487 members of the newly-elected National Assembly voted for Trần Đại Quang to become the next President
17 JULY 2016
Vietnamese authorities stop anti-China protest in Hanoi
Dozen of Vietnamese who gathered for an anti-China protest in central Hanoi were taken away by police as they tried to rally support for an international tribunal’s ruling rejecting Beijing’s claims in the South China Sea
27 JUNE 2016
Top Chinese envoy visits Vietnam as South China Sea tension rises
China`s top diplomat met Vietnam`s leadership on Monday during a scheduled visit aimed at strengthening historically close relations at a time when ties are strained by squabbles over the South China Sea
22 MAY 2016
Vietnam launches parliamentary election
More than 69.2 million Vietnamese are set to cast votes to elect members of the national and local legislative bodies in the country’s biggest-ever general election on Sunday
20 MAY 2016
Vietnam Releases Prominent Dissident Ahead of Obama Visit
Family members of dissident Catholic priest Nguyen Van Ly, who has spent much of the last two decades either in jail or under house arrest for advocating democratic reforms in the Southeast Asian country, confirmed his release, which occurred around 8 a.m. local time.
7 APRIL 2016
Nguyen Xuan Phuc elected Vietnam’s PM
Vietnam elected Thursday a new Prime Minister, Nguyen Xuan Phuc, to lead the emerging economy as it comes under increasing pressure to reform a scandal hit state-owned sector and banking system
6 APRIL 2016
Vietnam’s assembly ‘dismisses’ prime minister Nguyen Tan Dung
Vietnam’s prime minister has stepped down after 10 years in office, leaving behind a mixed legacy of promoting failed state enterprises, but at the same time attracting foreign investment and daring to challenge China
2 APRIL 2016
Vietnam parliament swears in top policeman Tran Dai Quang as president
Vietnam’s parliament swore in Tran Dai Quang as president on Saturday (April 2), elevating the head of a controversial internal security agency to one of the communist nation’s most powerful political posts
31 MARCH 2016
Vietnam names first chairwoman of National Assembly
Veteran lawmaker and senior Communist Party official Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan was elected with 95.5 percent of votes after a poll in the country’s 500-strong legislative body early Thursday, state-run VTV said.
25 MARCH 2016
The Truth About ‘Democracy’ in Vietnam Today
Contrary to some accounts, democracy exists in name only in the country ahead of upcoming legislative polls
23 MARCH 2016
Protests in Vietnam as prominent blogger goes on trial
A prominent Vietnamese blogger was handed a five-year jail term on Wednesday (Mar 23) on anti-state charges, a heavy sentence that was roundly condemned by lawyers and media watchdogs as a « travesty of justice »
17 MARCH 2016
Vietnam’s ‘Lady Gaga’ joins groups of dissidents and activists running for parliament
Vietnamese pop star Mai Khoi, dubbed « Vietnam’s Lady Gaga » for her risqué outfits, is running for parliament along with a group of dissidents and activists
11 FEBRUARY 2016
Vietnam’s uphill battle against corruption
Since 1994, the party has consistently identified corruption as a major threat to the survival of the regime. Although the CPV adopted anti-corruption laws 10 years ago, the party still combats corruption among its members through so-called self-criticism campaign to ‘alert, warn and deter’ corrupt officials
28 JANUARY 2016
Vietnam’s Communist Party unveils new leadership at 12th National Congress
Re-elected General-Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong pledged to maintain a pro-growth status quo that balances foreign ties and cements a consensus leadership that analysts say was strained by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung’s assertiveness in the latter years of his administration
27 JANUARY 2016
Vietnam Communist Party boss Nguyen Phu Trong re-elected
Mr Trong, who is 71 and effectively the most powerful man in Vietnam, was the only candidate nominated. He is seen as a conservative and closer to China.
25 JANUARY 2016
Vietnam PM Nguyen Tan Dung pulls out of party boss race
Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has withdrawn from the contest to lead the ruling Communist Party.
24 JANUARY 2016
Vietnam’s Communist Party boss ‘to run unopposed’
The General Secretary of Vietnam’s Communist Party, Nguyen Phu Trong, will be the only candidate for the post at a party congress, state media report.
21 JANUARY 2016
Vietnam’s Communist Party meets to pick new leaders
The 12th national congress of Vietnam’s Communist Party opened on Thursday morning, which will see the election of a new Central Committee and outline the country’s next socio-economic plan.
19 JANUARY 2016
Viet congress will see fight for top post
Vietnam’s five-yearly Communist Party Congress opens tomorrow with a fierce contest expected as Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung challenges current party chief Nguyen Phu Trong for the top post
14 JANUARY 2016
Vietnam’s Leadership Succession Struggle
While Vietnamese vary in their political perspectives, there is a broad desire among them for the country’s politics to be liberated from unaccountable politics dominated by entrenched elites. Whether the 12th party congress brings that outcome closer remains to be seen.
11 JANUARY 2016
Party Central Committee’s 14th meeting opens
The 14th meeting of the 11th Party Central Committee opened in Hanoi on January 11, scheduled to discuss the signing of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement and finalise personnel preparations for the next tenure
6 JANUARY 2016
Fast-growing Vietnamese economy going blue
Being one of the fastest-growing economies in the world and having the potential to be one of the great success stories in development, Vietnam should pursue high growth through sustainable development, especially through blue economy, foreign experts say
29 DECEMBER 2015
US Ambassador to Vietnam Dismayed About Detentions of Dissidents
The U.S. ambassador to Vietnam on Tuesday expressed concern about recent reports of harassment and detentions of human rights advocates, including the recent arrest of a prominent rights advocate in the repressive Southeast Asian country
13 NOVEMBER 2015
How Will Vietnam’s New Communist Princelings Shape the Country’s Future?
The Vietnamese Communist Party (VCP) is preparing a new slate of leaders to replace the old guard who are retiring at the 12th National Congress in 2016. Public attention has been drawn to the rise of young ‘princelings’ — the children of current or former leaders in communist authoritarian regimes like Vietnam and China — to local executive positions and bodies
2 SEPTEMBER 2015
Vietnam marks 70 years since declaring independence from France
Vietnam’s president on Wednesday urged further modernisation of the armed forces in the face of growing maritime territorial disputes as the nation celebrated 70 years since it declared independence from France.
29 JULY 2015
David Cameron becomes first British PM to visit Vietnam
Cameron’s trip will take in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, the former Saigon, almost 40 years after the US ignominiously pulled out in April 1975 and left the country to a form of Communist rule
27 JUNE 2015
Vietnam frees high-profile dissident lawyer Le Quoc Quan
Le Quoc Quan, one of Vietnam’s most prominent dissidents vowed to continue his anti-China activism after being released from prison on Saturday, after spending two and a half years in jail on tax evasion charges http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/asia/605692/vietnam-frees-high-profile-dissident-lawyer
24 JUNE 2015
Vietnam’s legendary musicologist Tran Van Khe dies at 94
Professor Tran Van Khe, known as the master of traditional Vietnamese music, died at the age of 94 on Wednesday, after nearly a month of fighting for his life at a Ho Chi Minh City hospital
15 MAY 2015
Vietnam’s democratisation movement
Since the mid 1990s, public criticism of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) government has expanded to involve thousands of citizens across the country
30 APRIL 2015
Vietnam marks 40 years since end of war
The war pitted communist North Vietnam against the US-backed South and ended with the fall of Saigon, the capital of South Vietnam, on April 30th, 1975
13 FERUARY 2015
Popular Vietnamese communist party official Nguyen Ba Thanh dies
The 61-year-old Nguyen Ba Thanh was the former top official in central Danang, and helped transform the coastal city into a tourism and investment hub by cutting corruption and red tape, then, head of the Communist Party’s anti-corruption agency
5 FEBRUARY 2015
Vietnam to continue playing the diplomatic field
The underlying diplomatic philosophy is to create interdependent relations with as many major powers as possible, while avoiding taking sides. And whether or not the benefits outweigh the costs, Vietnam is unlikely to change course any time soon.
9 JANUARY 2015
Vietnam Expects Intense Political Year in 2015
2015 will be an intensely political year. The Vietnamese Communist Party’s 12th Congress will convene in January 2016 to renew the nation’s leadership. Aspirants to top positions are already canvassing district and provincial party organisations for support
6 DECEMBER 2014
Vietnam writer Nguyen Quang Lap ‘arrested over blog’
An award-winning Vietnamese writer has been arrested, reportedly for publishing criticism of the Communist government on his blog.
15 NOVEMBER 2014
Vietnam’s PM wins approval in parliamentary confidence vote
Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung survived a confidence vote in parliament on Saturday, with 64 per cent of the delegates giving a vote of ‘high confidence’ in his leadership and 14 per cent showing’low confidence
22 OCTOBER 2014
Freed Vietnam dissident arrives in US, vows fight
Nguyen Van Hai, one of Vietnam’s most prominent bloggers whose case was raised by President Barack Obama, was freed two years after being jailed for 12 years by a court in southern Vietnam on charges of « anti-state propaganda. »
20 OCTOBER 2014
Gender equality has improved much in Vietnam
Gender equality in Vietnam has vastly improved during the past 20 years, said Hoang Ba Thinh, director of the Center for Gender, Population, Environment and Social Affairs under Vietnam’s University of Social Sciences and Humanities.
Public sector corruption on the rise in Vietnam
Public sector corruption remains serious and complex, especially in finance and banking, land and natural resources management and exploitation, and public investment, a high-ranking government official said Monday.
17 OCTOBER 2014
Vietnam’s Ex-Lawmaker Maintains Innocence After 18-Year ‘Harsh’ Jail Term
Fresh from his release from 18 years in jail, Le Van Tinh, a former Vietnamese lawmaker said he had faced harsh treatment during his imprisonment, most of which was in solitary confinement, because he had maintained his innocence on charges of plotting to overthrow the communist government in Hanoi.
3 OCTOBER 2014
US lifts 40-year arms ban to boost Vietnam sea defence
In a decision likely to anger China, the US is partly lifting a 40-year ban on arms sales to former foe Vietnam to help boost defences in the tense South China Sea
2 OCTOBER 2014
Poverty projected to fall by experts
The rate of households living under the poverty line in Viet Nam is expected to remain below five per cent in 2015 and fall by about 1.5 per cent annually until 2020.
24 SEPTEMBER 2014
Vietnam ‘can look to Singapore for help on financial reform’
Vietnam can tap Singapore for help to reform and transform areas such as its financial sector, emeritus senior minister Goh Chok Tong said yesterday at the start of his four-day official visit to the country
16 SEPTEMBER 2014
HRW: Vietnam police abuse, torture
Vietnamese police abuse and sometimes torture people in custody for crimes as minor as traffic violations and are rarely disciplined for a practice that has lead to deaths of detainees, Human Rights Watch said.
4 SEPTEMBER 2014
The U.S.-Vietnam 123 Agreement Could Help Vietnam’s Electricity Needs
The Vietnamese government has laid out an ambitious plan to meet future electricity demands, but making use of multiple energy sources remains a challenge. In this context, the U.S.-Vietnam nuclear cooperation agreement could play a critical role in shaping the country’s electricity production over the next decades.
28 AUGUST 2014
Vietnam and China agree to restore relationship
The Party, State and people of Viet Nam have always attached great importance to pursuing the consolidation of Viet Nam and China’s comprehensive strategic partnership, together with the Party, State and people of China, and ensuring the partnership’s sound and long-lasting stable development
26 AUGUST 2014
Vietnam jails activists for up to three years
A Vietnamese court has jailed three activists for up to three years, a lawyer said Tuesday, after a one-day trial marked by strict security including the detention of scores of supporters.
31 JULY 2014
UN envoy says Vietnam still ‘violating’ religious freedom
Vietnam was accused of « serious violations » of religious freedom by a UN expert on Thursday, despite the communist country making some progress on easing tight state control of matters of faith
30 JULY 2014
‘Escape’ China, Viet communists urge
A former ambassador to Beijing was among 60 prominent members of Vietnam’s Communist Party urging the country’s leaders to « escape » reliance on China through political and economic reforms
15 MAY 2014
Dozens killed in Vietnam anti-China protests
At least five Vietnamese people and 16 others described as Chinese have been killed in the latest incident of rioting, Reuters news agency has reported, as tension between Beijing and Vietnam escalates over the disputed territory in the South China Sea
14 MAY 2014
Vietnam arrests hundreds after anti-China protests
At least 500 people have been arrested after protesters set more than a dozen factories on fire across Vietnam Tuesday amid an eruption of anti-China sentiment following Beijing’s deployment an oil rig in contested waters last week
11 MAY 2014
Vietnam protesters attack China over sea dispute
Hundreds of people across Vietnam have protested against China’s role in a sea dispute – the largest rallies of their kind recently in the communist country
14 APRIL 2014
Vietnam Frees at Least One More Political Activist
Nguyen Tien Trung, a blogger, was released from a prison in southern Ho Chi Minh City at the weekend, his father said on Monday. Trung was convicted of subversion and news of his release was not made public
7 APRIL 2014
Vietnamese Dissident Arrives in US after Early Release from Prison
One of Vietnam’s best known dissidents, a rights lawyer and son of a revolutionary poet, has been released early from prison. Afterwards, he traveled to the United States. Lawyer Cu Huy Ha Vu, 56, is one of Vietnam’s most famous dissidents. He had served three years of a seven-year prison sentence before he was suddenly released
19 MARCH 2014
Vietnam jails blogger for critical posts
A Hanoi court finds dissident Pham Viet Dao guilty of « abusing democratic freedoms » in the latest crackdown on dissent.
16 MARCH 2014
Vietnam’s child workers number 1.75m
Viet Nam had 1.75 million child labourers aged between five and 17, equal to 9.6 per cent of that age group in the country, according to the first National Child Labour Survey
15 MARCH 2014
Bitter taste brewing in Vietnamese coffee
Vietnam is now one of the largest coffee producers and exporters in the world — with a 20 per cent global market share. Although roasted and instant coffee exports have increased steadily, the industry faces risks due to its low capacity to deal with world price fluctuations
12 MARCH 2014
Vietnamese police fabricates evidence, distorts witness statements to convict blogger
Bui Thi Minh Hang has been in jail for a month with two other people without any indictment. As she continues her hunger strike, police tries to extort false statements against her from five activists. Despite the lack of evidence of any guilt, she could get from three months to three years in prison.
4 MARCH 2014
Vietnam’s popular blogger jailed on anti-state charges
Popular Vietnamese blogger and journalist Truong Duy Nhat was jailed for two years on Tuesday for posting articles critical of the Communist government and leaders, his lawyer said
18 FEBRUARY 2014
Vietnam upholds dissident lawyer jail term
Scores of police encircled the Hanoi People’s Court of Appeals, which upheld a two and a half year jail sentence for Catholic lawyer and blogger Le Quoc Quan, whose conviction in October was denounced by rights campaigners as politically motivated.
3 FEBRUARY 2014
Vietnamese diplomat seeks asylum in Switzerland
A Vietnamese diplomat once posted at the country’s consulate in Geneva says he has sought political asylum in Switzerland, just days before a UN review of Vietnam’s human rights record.
22 JANUARY 2014
Vietnam delays nuclear plant project
The Vietnamese government has decided to defer a plan to build a nuclear power plant for at least two years to ensure safety measures are put in place.
20 JANUARY 2014
Vietnam sentences 30 heroin smugglers to death in biggest drugs trial
Vietnam has sentenced 30 drug smugglers to death in the communist country’s largest ever narcotics case, involving scores of defendants and nearly two tons of heroin
14 JANUARY 2014
Vietnamese Security Agents Assault Monk of Banned Buddhist Church
Vietnamese plainclothes security agents have assaulted a prominent monk as part of a greater crackdown on the banned Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam (UBCV) following its announcement of a new executive committee, an affiliated advocacy group said Tuesday
10 JANUARY 2014
The Rise and Survival of Nguyen Tan Dung: A New Era in Vietnamese Politics
The twisting political fortune and enigmatic personae of Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung provides a particularly interesting illustration of Vietnam’s changing political scene.
9 JANUARY 2014
Workers clash with police in Vietnam
Workers building a massive Samsung factory in Vietnam have battled police and torched motorbikes, in a rare outbreak of labour violence in the tightly controlled countryhttp://asiancorrespondent.com/118066/4-injured-in-vietnam-samsung-factory-riot/
Vietnamese police block Buddhist Memorial Day celebrations
More than a hundred agents are « intercepting, harassing and intimidating » monks, nuns and ordinary members of the Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam, denying access to the Long Quang Pagoda in Hue. Those who are arrested have come from various parts of the country to join the celebration
8 JANUARY 2014
Death row Vietnam executive in ‘shock’ graft trial claim: report
The former boss of a scandal-mired Vietnamese state shipping firm alleged he paid bribes to senior communist party officials to try to evade arrest, state media said Wednesday.
3 JANUARY 2014
Fixing Vietnam’s Economy
Vietnam has been facing a debt crisis since 2006 although its difficulties began before that when the rapidly changing economy exposed a number of key weaknesses such as inflation, a skyrocketing state budget deficit and the inefficient use of SOEs as economic spearheads.
30 DECEMBER 2013
Freed Vietnamese Political Prisoner Decries Jail Conditions
A Vietnamese political prisoner released after 14 years in detention has called for better treatment for dissidents remaining in the country’s prison camps, saying he was barely able to survive his own sentence
20 DECEMBER 2013
Constitutional Reform Not the Only Avenue for Economic Reforms in Vietnam
Reform-minded Vietnamese and foreign investors were disappointed when Vietnam’s National Assembly passed a new constitution in late November without making any changes on the dominant role of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) in the economy
13 DECEMBER 2013
Shoots of hope for Vietnamese democracy
Last month, at the Vietnamese legislature’s end-of-year session, the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) was reaffirmed in the revised Constitution as the state’s one-party ruler. But social and political conditions are changing in Vietnam; are there any prospects for democratic development in this country of 90 million?
12 DECEMBER 2013
Russia Strengthens Ties With Vietnam
Vietnam has long been Russia’s closest partner in Southeast Asia, especially during periods in which both countries were seeking to balance against China. Historically, the country has been a major area of focus for China — either as a potential client state extending the Chinese coastline south or as a potential thorn in Beijing’s side. This is the essence of Russia’s interest in Vietnam
30 NOVEMBER 2013
Russia and Vietnam taking it to the next level
Vladimir Putin’s visit to Vietnam earlier this month, his third since assuming the Russian presidency, was accompanied by references to the ‘comprehensive strategic partnership’ between both countries. This wording has been adopted since last year, clearly indicating that the two countries are getting closer to each other and intend to cultivate a special bond.
28 NOVEMBER 2013
Vietnam Vote Reaffirms Party Role in Constitution
Ninety-eight percent of Vietnam’s National Assembly voted in favor of revisions to the Southeast Asian country’s 1992 constitution on Thursday, but critics say the changes are a step backward for the country
22 NOVEMBER 2013
Opinion: The Changing Face of Vietnam
Vietnam is a relatively youthful country, and as the youth of today grow up and inherit their country, so too will it adapt to their ideas
16 NOVEMBER 2013
Vietnam banker sentenced to death for fraud
Former finance chief and business associate to die by lethal injection for their parts in embezzlement of $25 million.
13 NOVEMBER 2013
Vietnam gets 2 new deputy PMs
Vietnam’s legislature approves the appointment of two new deputy prime ministers, including Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh, bringing to five the number of deputy prime ministers in Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung’s cabinet.
12 NOVEMBER 2013
Russia’s Putin signs energy, military deals with Vietnam
Russia and Vietnam will cooperate in offshore oil exploration and deepen military ties, President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday after « constructive and open » talks with his counterpart in Hanoi.
8 NOVEMBER 2013
Vietnam may resume firing squads for exécutions
Country struggles to obtain chemicals needed for lethal injections as 678 people wait on death row
7 NOVEMBER 2013
Amnesty slams Vietnam rights record
Authoritarian Vietnam has stepped up an alarming crackdown on domestic dissent even as it seeks a seat on the UN Human Rights Council, Amnesty International said Thursday.
1 NOVEMBER 2013
Vietnam’s 7reaches 90 million
Vietnam’s population has reached 90 million, ranking 14th among the countries with the largest population in the world, 8th in Asia and 3rd in Southeast Asia, according to Dr Duong Quoc Trong, director of the General Office for Population and Family Planning.
31 OCTOBER 2013
Chinese Confucius Institute Project Raises Concern in Vietnam
A plan to establish an organization that promotes Chinese languages and culture in Vietnam has drawn criticism from Vietnamese scholars, who say Beijing is trying to invade the country with its ideology
29 OCTOBER 2013
Vietnam’s Latest Trial Shows New Generation of Activism
A man in Vietnam has been convicted of « abusing democratic freedoms » for using the social media site Facebook to campaign for the release of his brother, a jailed government critic. It is the latest case involving a new generation of Internet-based activists.Thirty-year-old Dinh Nhat Uy was put on trial Tuesday for posting information on his Facebook page in support for his brother, who is serving a four-year jail sentence for distributing anti-government leaflets
27 OCTOBER 2013
Hundreds Turn Out to Support Same-Sex Marriage in Vietnam
Hundreds of people gathered in the center of Hanoi Sunday morning to watch a staged wedding ceremony between two same-sex couples ahead of a planned parliamentary debate on the topic next month.
23 OCTOBER 2013
Vietnam’s role in ASEAN
Joining ASEAN had crucial social, political, economic and security implications for Vietnam. Vietnam’s membership of the grouping integrated its security with the whole of Southeast Asia and created a favourable environment for economic development. This, in turn, raised Vietnam’s global image, leading to increased cooperation with multiple players in the region and greater bargaining clout with super powers like the United States and China.
19 OCTOBER 2013
Jailed Vietnamese Dissident In New Hunger Strike Over Artwork Seizure
Jailed prominent Vietnamese dissident Cu Huy Ha Vu has begun another hunger strike—this time in protest against the seizure of his artwork he had drawn in prison, according to his wife.
13 OCTOBER 2013
China, Vietnam set up working group to discuss sea issues
China and Vietnam will establish a bilateral working group to discuss joint maritime development, a move analysts said is a « breakthrough » for the neighbors to peacefully handle disputes. The countries will establish two other working groups regarding infrastructure and financial cooperation, Premier Li Keqiang and his Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Tan Dung told reporters at a news conference after their talks on Sunday http://www.asianewsnet.net/China-Vietnam-set-up-working-group-to-discuss-sea–52762.html
12 OCTOBER 2013
Vietnam’s foreign policy tightrope
Vietnam’s new foreign policy approach, which some analysts have labelled ‘more friends, fewer enemies’, reflects its precarious position as a bird on the wire caught between China and the United States.
State funeral in Vietnam for war hero General Giap
In Vietnam, a state funeral was being held on Saturday for a national hero – General Giap, the independence icon who masterminded military victories over colonial power France in the 1950s and later over the Americans.
11 OCTOBER 2013
Vietnamese civil society bringing political change
Vietnam’s political culture is gradually transforming from totalitarianism to pluralism. Why? Because an emerging and independent civil society is openly challenging communist party rule.
10 OCTOBER 2013
US signs nuclear technology deal with Vietnam
The United States and Vietnam have signed a pact allowing the transfer of nuclear technology to the south-east Asian country, opening the way for US investment in the burgeoning industry.
4 OCTOBER 2013
Vietnam’s General Vo Nguyen Giap dies
Vo Nguyen Giap, the Vietnamese general who masterminded victories against France and the US, has died aged 102.
2 OCTOBER 2013
Vietnam dissident Le Quoc Quan jailed over tax evasion
One of Vietnam’s best-known dissidents, Le Quoc Quan, has been sentenced to 30 months in jail for tax evasion.
Vietnam’s exports set to surpass target
Vietnam is expected to see an export turnover of US$131 billion this year, representing a 14 per cent increase from 2012. According to a Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) forecast, turnover would be 4 per cent higher than the target set by the National Assembly earlier this year
Vietnam concerned by ageing population
Vietnam ‘s population was ageing rapidly and had entered the « ageing phase », with many challenges to be addressed including income insecurity, inadequate social protection and limited healthcare capacity.
27 SEPTEMBER 2013
How eating dog became big business in Vietnam
Every year, hundreds of thousands of pets are snatched in Thailand, then smuggled into Vietnam, destined for Hanoi’s top restaurants and street stalls. Demand for dogmeat is so high that supply has become a highly lucrative – and brutal – black market
26 SEPTEMBER 2013
Vietnam, France upgrade relations to strategic partnership
Vietnam and France upgraded their ties to a strategic partnership during Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung’s three-day visit to Paris which concluded Thursday 26, Vietnam News Agency reported.
23 SEPTEMBER 2013
Vietnamese Intellectuals File Petition Demanding ‘Civil Society Forum’
More than 100 Vietnamese reform-seeking intellectuals signed a petition calling on the government to establish an open public forum to discuss prospects for democracy in the authoritarian state. It is the latest bid to pressure the country’s Communist leaders to end one-party rule, which rights groups say suppresses virtually all forms of political dissent. o the charter should not be done hastily.
21 SEPTEMBER 2013
Viet Nam unveils plans to overhaul education system
Viet Nam is expected to comprehensively renew education and training by 2030 to effect in both education quality and efficiency.
9 SEPTEMBER 2013
Vietnam, South Korea seeks to sign free trade deal next year
Vietnam and South Korea agreed to conclude a free-trade deal by the end of next year as they seek to expand trade by more than three times and work toward an agreement for two nuclear power plants.
2 SEPTEMBER 2013
Rights groups take aim at Vietnam’s new internet laws
A controversial law to prevent Vietnamese internet users from sharing news articles drew criticism on Tuesday from human rights groups which said the decree is designed to clamp down on dissent in the one-party Communist state.
1 SEPTEMBER 2013
Vietnam internet restrictions come into effect
The decree, known as Decree 72, says blogs and social websites should not be used to share news articles, but only personal information.
29 AUGUST 2013
Visions of a democratic Vietnam
23 AUGUST 2013
Ties strengthen between Japan and Vietnam
Following a shady past, involving Japanese imperialist expansion and controversial ties with the United States, it seems that Japan-Vietnam relations have experienced an observable improvement, especially within the past couple of years. The implications of such close interaction are important, particularly when considering the region’s economic, political and security structure.
20 AUGUST 2013
New Vietnamese party to challenge rules
16 AUGUST 2013
Vietnam media violate child’s right to privacy in reporting abuse: experts
A recent study by the non-government Center for Community Development and Social Work found that every year at least 6,000 news articles fail to protect children’s privacy, Infonet – the online newspaper of the Ministry of Information and Communication reported.
Vietnam frees student activist in rare appeal ruling
A Vietnamese court on Friday overturned a six-year jail term handed to a student activist, freeing her on the spot in a rare show of leniency by the authoritarian nation.
Vietnam activists ‘to form multi-party democracy’
A group of activists in Vietnam have expressed their intention to form a new political party to promote multi-party democracy in the communist country.
15 AUGUST 2013
Vietnam ‘Threatened’ by Chinese, Thai Investments in Laos
Vietnam “feels threatened” by increasing Chinese and Thai investment in neighboring Laos and is concerned that the two countries will dethrone it as the top investor there, according to a senior Lao official. The concern was expressed in a letter from the secretariat of Vietnam’s ruling Communist Party to its Lao counterpart
9 AUGUST 2013
Vietnam Tries Public-Private Partnerships
The concept of public-private partnerships (PPP) isn’t novel, but it is gaining new traction in Vietnam. The country recently announced it will build its first express highway through a PPP arrangement that draws on private investment by Bitexco, a large multi-industry corporation.
6 AUGUST 2013
Vietnam executes 1st prisoner by lethal injection
Vietnam executed its first prisoner by lethal injection on Tuesday, ending a two-year pause in capital punishment caused by difficulties in obtaining the needed chemicals, state media reported.
1 AUGUST 2013
Vietnam to clamp down on social media news postings
Communist Vietnam is to ban bloggers and social media users from sharing news stories online, under a new decree seen as a further crackdown on online freedom.
25 JULY 2013
Obama presses Vietnam on rights but sees better ties
US President Barack Obama said Thursday he spoke frankly to Vietnam’s leader about human rights but called for greater cooperation between the former war adversaries in areas from trade to security.
24 JULY 2013
Vietnamese Dissident Said Weak from Hunger Strike
Nguyen Van Hai, also known as Dieu Cay, is serving a 12-year prison term for conducting “propaganda against the state” in relation to his blogging and citizen media activities. His case has been mentioned by President Barack Obama, whose administration is appealing for the release of political prisoners.
16 JULY 2013
Freedom of the Press, Vietnamese Style
It’s a dangerous business being a journalist in Vietnam, to be sure
12 JULY 2013
Viet Nam strives to strengthen strategic partnership with India
Viet Nam attaches a great deal of importance to its strategic partnership with India, which underlines the country’s policy on South Asia, as it appreciates India’s proactive role in maintaining regional and global peace, stability and cooperation.
12 JULY 2013
Hanoi against the beatification of Cardinal Van Thuân. Canonisation process witness stopped at airport
Nguyên Hoang Duc, literary critic and former civil servant, blocked at the boarding gate. He was expected in Rome, on official invitation, for the closing ceremony of the diocesan inquiry. A meeting with the Cardinal began his journey of conversion which resulted in his baptism. The Communist Government wants to hinder the process.
10 JULY 2013
Report: Corruption Growing in Vietnam
A new report on global corruption trends finds more than half of Vietnam’s population believes corruption has increased in recent years. In a survey done by Transparency International, 55% of respondents from Vietnam felt an increase in corruption, compared to an average of 48% in Southeast Asia as a whole
7 JULY 2013
Vietnam: Playing with fire
Follow America and save the country; follow China and save the party. This saying, heard everywhere in Vietnam, distills the geopolitical dilemma facing its ruling Communist Party
5 JULY 2013
Border demarcation enhances peace between Laos and Vietnam
The recent success in border demarcation and restoration has enhanced peace and orderliness along the Laos-Vietnam border, according to Lao Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bounkeut Sangsomsak. http://www.asianewsnet.net/Border-demarcation-enhances-peace-between-Laos-and-48845.html
21 JUNE 2013
Vietnam and China work towards warmer ties
Beijing’s welcome ceremony, and Ha Noi’s decision to send its president – the first Vietnamese leader to visit China since President Xi Jinping took office in March – reflect a mutual desire to improve the close, but complex and often-strained ties between the communist allies and one-time war foes, say observers. »The pomp and ceremony reveals Xi’s personal endorsement for warmer ties, » said Singapore-based analyst Euan Graham.
20 JUNE 2013
China, Vietnam Agree on Hotline to Resolve Maritime Disputes
China and Vietnam have agreed to set up an emergency hotline to help quickly resolve territorial disputes that have occasionally strained relations between the two neighbors. http://www.voanews.com/content/china-vietnam-agree-on-hotline-to-resolve-maritime-disputes/1685504.html
11 JUNE 2013
Vietnam MPs vote low confidence in PM Nguyen Tan Dung
Vietnam’s prime minister survived a non-confidence ballot in the national assembly on Tuesday, but with his position weakened after more than 30 percent of its members voted against him. http://asiancorrespondent.com/108971/vietnam-prime-minister-survives-no-confidence-vote/
2 JUNE 2013
Vietnam’s peasants betrayed by the party
Even after Doan Van Vuon and his brother Quy were indicted for attempted murder in January 2013, it seemed reasonable to hope that they would catch a break from Vietnam’s courts. Vuon, a Vietnamese farmer, was after all a popular hero. http://www.eastasiaforum.org/2013/06/02/vietnams-peasants-betrayed-by-the-party/
30 MAY 2013
Two paths for US-Vietnam ties
The success of the United States in Southeast Asia and its « pivot » policy in the Asia-Pacific will be built on the strength of its partnerships with strategic allies. Longstanding allies such as Japan, South Korea and Australia have provided the US with strong support in the region, but to implement the « pivot » Washington needs to expand its pool of reliable strategic partners. Vietnam has the potential to serve as one of those partners: under the current ruling Communist Party of Vietnam or a different future political regime, there always has been and always will be concern in Hanoi about the influence and intentions of its giant neighbor http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Southeast_Asia/SEA-02-300513.html
22 MAY 2013
Vietnamese Blogger Held for Distributing Rights Leaflets
A prominent blogger and her two colleagues were briefly detained this week by authorities in southern Vietnam’s Khanh Hoa province after distributing leaflets and balloons promoting international human rights standards.
15 MAY 2013
Surprise or Déjà Vu? The Vietnam Communist Party’s Seventh Plenum
The Seventh Plenum of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) met from May 2 to May 11 to discuss, among other things, “possible ways to perfect the political system, [strengthen] party building, and [promote] the party leadership in mass mobilization work.” The plenum was also tasked to elect three additional members to the Politburo. http://cogitasia.com/vietnams-leaders-at-the-seventh-plenum-surprise-or-deja-vu/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+cogitasia%2FZCwV+%28cogitASIA+Posts%29&goback=%2Egde_134242_member_241569491
14 MAY 2013
Vietnam’s land law reforms: radical changes or minor tinkering?
In the last decade, the area of land taken from farmers has reached one-million hectares, significantly greater than the 810,000 hectares redistributed during the socialist land reforms in the 1950s. Currently land grab cases comprise over 30 per cent of all land disputes reaching officials and the courts. http://www.eastasiaforum.org/2013/05/14/vietnams-land-law-reforms-radical-changes-or-minor-tinkering/
11 MAY 2013
In Vietnam, Seeking Basic Rights Is No Picnic in the Park
Organizing picnics in one party communist state Vietnam is no walk in the park, as some human rights activists have painfully discovered. Last weekend, the blogger activists and their friends and relatives tried to break new ground by holding picnics in public parks to discuss human rights issues but ended up being beaten, interrogated and arrested by police or thugs they claimed were hired by the authorities. http://www.rfa.org/english/commentaries/east-asia-beat/picnic-05112013142328.html
10 MAY 2013
Can Vietnam have a one-party, two-candidate system?
Many constitutional issues are up for debate — the role of the ruling Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) in state organs and in society; the role of the armed forces; state versus private management and ownership of land; and the mechanisms needed to protect citizens’ and human rights. http://www.eastasiaforum.org/2013/05/10/can-vietnam-have-a-one-party-two-candidate-system/
27 APRIL 2013
Viet Nam stands up for East Sea
Viet Nam has reiterated that it will adopt every suitable peaceful measure to defend its sovereignty, jurisdiction and legitimate national interests in the East Sea in accordance with the UN Charter, international law and the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (1982 UNCLOS). http://vietnamnews.vn/politics-laws/238738/viet-nam-stands-up-for-east-sea.html
22 APRIL 2013
U.S. Navy Begins Annual Vietnam Naval Engagement Activity
The U.S. Navy began the fourth annual Naval Engagement Activity with the Vietnam People’s Navy April 21 with the arrival USS Chung-Hoon (DDG 93) and USNS Salvor (T-ARS-52) in Da Nang.
19 APRIL 2013
Opinion: The Promise of a Democratic Vietnam
The struggle for democracy and political reform in Vietnam has a found itself a banner around which to rally. It is called Petition 72, with « 72 » referring to the original number of respected scholars and former government officials who drafted the proposed constitution as an alternative to Vietnam’s current one. Petition 72, among other significant proposed changes, would abolish Vietnam’s one-party structure http://asiasentinel.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=5351&Itemid=188
9 APRIL 2013
Vietnamese Dissidents Attacked by Police-Linked Thugs
Unidentified assailants believed to be connected to the police on Tuesday ambushed and severely beat a Vietnamese dissident a day after he tried to shield a prominent woman land rights activist from harassment and attack by suspected government agents, according to the victims http://www.rfa.org/english/news/vietnam/dissidents-04092013182514.html
5 APRIL 2013
Peter Doan Van Vuon, anti-forced evictions hero, gets five years
Despite the convictions, the family’s punishment was not as bad as expected. The men in fact got two to five years in prison whilst the women were handed down suspended sentences. Although blaming them for the bad « impact on social order », the judge decided to avoid a verdict that could fuel social tensions. http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Peter-Doan-Van-Vuon,-anti-forced-evictions-hero,-gets-five-years-27580.html
22 MARCH 2013
Vietnam’s Obstacles to Reform
Despite the Vietnamese public’s lack of trust in the government, despite the government’s rights violations, reform remains a distant hope. The path to change is littered with obstacles, and what comes after is equally challenging. http://asiasentinel.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=5274&Itemid=188
Influential factors in the Vietnam–US relationship
Optimism surrounding the potential Vietnam–US strategic partnership has been riding high after John Kerry, a Vietnam War veteran and key player in the bilateral diplomatic relationship, became US Secretary of State in February 2013. http://www.eastasiaforum.org/2013/03/16/influential-factors-in-the-vietnam-us-relationship/
14 MARCH 2013
Vietnam anti-China activists mark island battle
Activists in Hanoi chanted anti-China slogans and laid flowers Thursday at a protest marking the anniversary of a battle over the contested Spratly Islands in which 64 Vietnamese soldiers died. http://my.news.yahoo.com/vietnam-anti-china-activists-mark-island-battle-072419364.html?goback=%2Egde_2343547_member_223453097
Chinese contractors’ rise in Vietnam: Causes, problems, and implications
By the end of 2009 Chinese engineering companies were involved in projects worth US$15.4 billion in Vietnam, making the Vietnamese market their largest in Southeast Asia. http://www.eastasiaforum.org/2013/03/14/chinese-contractors-rise-in-vietnam-causes-problems-and-implications/
8 MARCH 2013
Jailed Vietnamese Blogger Named ‘Woman of Courage’
Ta Phong Tan, a Catholic ex-policewoman who is serving a 10-year jail sentence for conducting « anti-state propaganda » in her online writings, is one of ten “extraordinary women” from around the world recognized by the State Department for their work advocating for women’s empowerment. http://www.rfa.org/english/news/vietnam/ta-phong-tan-03082013153228.html
2 MARCH 2013
Thousands sign petition for release of jailed Vietnamese Catholics
The non-partisan and apolitical initiative launched by family members and is divided into two groups, active in the north and south of the country. Among signatories, two bishops and a Buddhist religious leader, member of a group persecuted by Hanoi. The promoters speak of spurious sentence and illegal trial. http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Thousands-sign-petition-for-release-of-jailed-Vietnamese-Catholics-27281.html
26 FEBRUARY 2013
Vietnamese Reporter Fired for Critical Essay
A Vietnamese journalist working for a state-run newspaper has been fired and threatened with prosecution after criticizing a Communist Party leader on his personal website. Nguyen Dac Kien was let go by the official Family and Society newspaper on Tuesday, less than 24 hours after writing a blog post that took issue with a speech by General-Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong http://www.rfa.org/english/news/vietnam/fired-02262013175113.html http://www.voanews.com/content/vietnam-reporter-fired-after-criticizing-communist-leader/1611545.html
23 FEBRUARY 2013
Vietnam’s Democratic Destiny
It has sometimes been said that if Vietnam were to make the transition from a single-party state to a multi-party one, it would lead to democracy and freedom. That may not be true http://asiasentinel.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=5198&Itemid=188
21 FEBRUARY 2013
Vietnam Faces Political Entropy
The Vietnamese Communist Party, once credited for opening the country and joining the global economy, is in crisis. Its factional conflict, economic mismanagement and inattention to quality-of-life issues have eroded its claim to be « the force leading the state and society. » http://asiasentinel.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=5194&Itemid=188
9 FEBRUARY 2913
Despite crackdown on dissent, can Vietnam reform ?
Within ASEAN, only Laos scores as poorly as Vietnam on political rights, according to Freedom House, with the two Communist neighbors both receiving the lowest possible mark of seven, a score unchanged for years as Burma improved to a six for 2012. http://thediplomat.com/2013/02/09/despite-crackdown-on-dissent-can-vietnam-reform/2/
4 FEBRUARY 2013
Vietnam jails activists for subversion amid crackdown on dissidents
A court in Vietnam has sentenced a man to life in prison and given jail terms of up to 17 years to other defendants after they were found guilty of « subversive activities », according to the state-run Vietnam Television. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/feb/04/vietnam-jails-activists-subervsion http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Trial-ends-with-22-Vietnamese-activists-receiving-sentences-ranging-from-10-years-to-life-27047.html
31 JANUARY 2013
Vietnam deports pro-democracy activist
A pro-democracy activist released from a Vietnamese prison was on his way to his California home after nine months in detention, according to his family. http://edition.cnn.com/2013/01/30/world/asia/vietnam-activist-freed/index.html?hpt=ias_c2 http://asiancorrespondent.com/96657/vietnam-deports-american-activist-detained-for-9-months/
22 JANUARY 2013
One step closer to diplomatic relations between the Vatican and Hanoi
Benedict XVI received the Secretary General of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam Nguyen Phu Trong. A statement from the Holy See speaks of « cordial discussions » and “the hope that some pending situations may be resolved and that the existing fruitful cooperation may be strengthened. » http://www.asianews.it/news-en/One-step-closer-to-diplomatic-relations-between-the-Vatican-and-Hanoi-26934.html
9 JANUARY 2013
Vietnam convicts 14 activists of ‘anti-state plot’
Thirteen were jailed for between three and 13 years, while one received a suspended sentence. Most are Catholics, and they include bloggers and students. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-20955432 http://www.rfa.org/english/news/vietnam/trial-01082013181353.html
29 DECEMBER 2012
Ho Chi Minh City, the People’s Court condemns three bloggers for a total of 25 years
Nguyen Van Hai, his son, Nguyen Tri Dung and Maria Ta Phong Tan, were convicted of subversive propaganda against the state. They fought for the respect of human rights and against corruption in the party. The Prime Minister ordered all the organs of the regime to stop the spread of « subversive » internet sites and blogs at all costs. On December 27, another blogger, the Catholic Le Quoc Quan, arrested for tax evasion. The authorities want to stop his activities in favor of democracy and religious freedom. http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Ho-Chi-Minh-City,-the-People’s-Court-condemns-three-bloggers-for-a-total-of-25-years-26737.html
27 DECEMBER 2012
2012: A tough year for Vietnam
As 2012 winds down, Vietnamese leaders are probably glad to see the end of what has been a difficult year. Despite there still being a few days of activity left, the General Statistics Office recently announced that Vietnam’s GDP increased by only 5.03% this year. This is the lowest rate of growth since 1999 and is well below previous targets for 2012, which were generally above 6%. Notably, even this low rate of growth was only achieved after a slight fourth quarter upswing. http://thediplomat.com/pacific-money/2012/12/27/2012-a-tough-year-for-vietnam/
4 DECEMBER 2012
Le Luong Minh, the new Asean General Secretary
Vietnam nominated Minh to succeed former Thailand foreign minister Dr. Surin Pitsuwan to be the next secretary-general of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) for the term 2013-2017. The secretary general role holds ministerial rank, and rotates among ASEAN countries in alphabetical order
22 NOVEMBER 2012
Vietnam officials to face parliamentary confidence votes
The communist-dominated parliament of Vietnam is to subject elected leaders including the president and prime minister to annual confidence votes.
14 NOVEMBER 2012
Vietnam Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung urged to resign
A member of the Communist-dominated parliament in Vietnam has in a rare show of dissent told PM Nguyen Tan Dung that he should resign for his mistakes in handling the economy
6 NOVEMBER 2012
Vietnam’s fight against corruption: a self-defeating effort?
Vietnam’s National Assembly will pass the revised Law on Anti-Corruption in the next few weeks to try to intensify the fight against corruption.
2 NOVEMBER 2012
Chinese companies invade Vietnam, dangers for production and environment
Beijing also relocates to increase profits by taking advantage of local labor. Experts warn Hanoi: danger of upsetting balance of trade between the two countries, as well as flooding of low-priced and poor quality goods. Risks to public health and the environment.
30 OCTOBER 2012
Vietnam jails two dissident songwriters
Vietnam has jailed two musicians for spreading anti-state propaganda, after they wrote songs critical of government policy.
22 OCTOBER 2012
Vietnam PM admits ‘faults’ on economy
Vietnam’s prime minister admitted on Monday that his government had made mistakes in its stewardship of the troubled economy, in the latest bout of self-criticism by the secretive Communist regime http://www.asiaone.com/News/AsiaOne%2BNews/Asia/Story/A1Story20121022-379096.html http://asiancorrespondent.com/91051/vietnam-pm-apologizes-for-mismanaging-economy/
15 OCTOBER 2012
Vietnam PM escapes punishment despite censure
Vietnam’s prime minister escaped disciplinary action from communist party chiefs on Monday despite anger over a string of financial scandals and an economic malaise that have marred his leadership http://www.asiaone.com/News/AsiaOne%2BNews/Asia/Story/A1Story20121015-377829.html
4 OCTOBER 2012
The future of US relations with Vietnam
While the usual suspects — Iran, China, Cuba and Syria — dominate what passes for debate over foreign policy in the US, neither presidential candidate has had much to say about Vietnam
3 OCTOBER 2012
Vietnam dissident poet Nguyen Chi Thien dies in US
Nguyen Chi Thien, a dissident poet who spent 27 years in Vietnamese prisons, has died in California aged 73. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-19819794
24 SEPTEMBER 2012
Vietnam jails three bloggers in crackdown on dissent
Three Vietnamese bloggers, well known for their criticisms of the country’s Communist government, were sentenced to between four and 12 years in prison Monday in what rights activists said was an « absolutely outrageous » ruling. http://www.france24.com/en/20120924-vietnam-jails-three-bloggers-crackdown-dissent-human-rights-censorship-internet http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-19697905
13 SEPTEMBER 2012
Vietnam PM orders fresh crackdown on bloggers
Vietnam’s prime minister has ordered a fresh crackdown on bloggers who post articles critical of the governmen
7 SEPTEMBER 2012
Undercover Reporter Jailed
In a conviction condemned by rights groups, a Vietnamese journalist has been sentenced to four years in jail for offering a bribe to a policeman which he said was part of an investigation to expose police corruption
Hanoi and Berlin aim to strengthen economic and trade cooperation
Strengthening economic cooperation between Berlin and Hanoi, enhancing connections with direct flights and spreading the German language and culture in the Asian nation. These are just some of the many topics on the agenda of Philipp Rosler, Federal Minister for Economics and Technology, Vice-Chancellor and one of Angela Merkel’s closest collaborators, who will be on official visit to Vietnam from September 17 to 19
6 SEPTEMBER 2012
Viet Prime Minister Under Threat
Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung’s grip on Vietnam’s government is weakening. The Vietnamese premier is under attack by intra-party rivals who don’t like his rich friends and fault his management of the economy. If Dung goes down, important changes in Vietnam’s management of economic and social issues are likely to follow
1 SEPTEMBER 2012
Vietnam slams China’s island oil bid call
Viet Nam protests against China’s plan to invite international bidding for oil block 65/12, about 3 nautical miles off Cay (Tree) Island of Viet Nam’s Hoang Sa (Paracel) Archipelago, said Foreign Ministry Spokesman Luong Thanh Ngh
In Vietnam, Message of Equality Is Challenged by Widening Wealth Gap
The daughter of a member of the Vietnamese Communist Party’s Politburo, the country’s most powerful political body, Ms. Huong had only days before been appointed the head of a state-owned construction company. Commentators on the Internet expressed outrage that someone so young — she is reported to be 24 — held such a senior corporate post.
31 AUGUST 2012
What Happened to Independence, Freedom, and Happiness in Vietnam?
It is almost 67 years since the revelation of Vietnam’s Declaration of Independence and 37 years since the country’s unification. Despite revolutions to throw off the shackles of foreign powers, and a brutal war that stifled early hopes of democracy, Vietnam today remains under the thumb of an authoritarian government.
25 AUGUST 2012
Viet Nam seeks nuclear power infrastructure
Viet Nam is seeking more support from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and countries with advanced nuclear power industries to develop the infrastructure for its nuclear power programme.
23 AUGUST 2012
Major Vietnamese bank in turmoil after founder’s arrest
Nervous Vietnamese crowded the branches of one of the country’s major banks Thursday to withdraw some $240 million following news of the arrest of the bank’s founder on fraud charges. The stock market was also hit by the news
21 AUGUST 2012
Vietnam arrests high-flying banking mogul
Vietnam police have arrested a top banking tycoon on suspicion of illegal business activities, the government said on Tuesday, sending ripples through financial markets in the communist state
5 AUGUST 2012
Vietnam holds first gay pride parade
Dozens of cyclists decorated with balloons and rainbow flags streamed through the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi on Sunday for the first gay pride parade in the nation’s history. http://www.asiaone.com/News/AsiaOne%2BNews/Asia/Story/A1Story20120805-363553.html http://www.aljazeera.com/news/asia-pacific/2012/08/20128594623174870.html
4 AUGUST 2012
Inflation falls from 23% to 5% in one year
« Vietnam at a Glance » notes that inflation declined to 5 per cent in July from 23 per cent in August 2011. The trade deficit, too, narrowed to US$58m in the first seven months compared to almost $6bn a year earlier.
2 AUGUST 2012
Blogger Barred from Travel
A blogger in Vietnam who has been critical of the one-party communist state was prevented by the authorities on Thursday from traveling abroad, a month after he was attacked by suspected government agents. Catholic blogger Nguyen Huu Vinh said staff at the Noi Bai Airport in Hanoi stopped him from boarding a flight to Singapore when he wanted to accompany his mother, who needed medical treatment in the island state.
30 JULY 012
Vietnam blogger’s mother ‘dies in self-immolation’
The mother of a prominent Vietnamese blogger has died after setting herself on fire ahead of her daughter’s trial for propaganda against the Communist state, sources close to the family said Monday. http://www.asiaone.com/News/AsiaOne%2BNews/Asia/Story/A1Story20120730-362340.html http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-19053910
15 JULY 2012
Government deploys tanks as over 10 thousand Vinh diocese faithful march for religious freedom.
More than 10 thousand Catholics marched in different areas of the diocese of Vinh to demand respect for religious freedom against threats and violence of the government. On the eve of the marches, to intimidate the Catholics, the authorities deployed tanks outside the bishop’s residence, with patrols by gangs of thugs and soldiers http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Government-deploys-tanks-as-over-10-thousand-Vinh-diocese-faithful-march-for-religious-freedom.-25293.html
10 JULY 2012
Clinton Promotes US Investment, Human Rights in Vietnam
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is in Vietnam where she is promoting U.S. investment and raising human rights concerns. Secretary Clinton says the Obama administration is looking for ways to expand trade and investment with Vietnam, which was up 17 percent between 2010 and 2011 to nearly $22 billion. http://www.voanews.com/content/clinton-urges-vietnam-to-protect-human-rights/1381816.html#hash=relatedInfoContainer
21 JUNE 2012
China says Vietnam claim to islands ‘null and void’
China on Thursday 21 « vehemently opposed » a new Vietnamese law asserting sovereignty over islands in disputed waters, the latest escalation in tensions over the resource-rich South China Sea.
15 JUNE 2012
New Clashes in Land Dispute
Clashes broke out between villagers and a group of men hired to clear their land for a controversial development site on the outskirts of the Vietnamese capital Friday, leaving several villagers injured and others vowing to protect their homes should demolition crews return, sources said
3 JUNE 2012
Panetta visits former U.S. base in Vietnam
Leon Panetta visited a former U.S. Navy base in Cam Rahn Bay, Vietnam, on Sunday, marking the first trip to the base by an American defense secretary since the war ended
19 APRIL 2012
Vietnam edges towards casino capitalism
To roll or not to roll, that is the multi-billion dollar question Vietnam’s ruling Communist Party now weighs. The casino quandary hinges on how a nominally communist state that still deploys revolutionary rhetoric can openly embrace such a free-wheeling capitalist concept.
18 APRIL 2012
Wealthy Vietnam MP faces sack over husband fraud
One of Vietnam’s wealthiest individuals is at risk of losing her seat in parliament after failing to disclose that her husband was wanted for fraud. Dang Thi Hoang Yen, 53, chairwoman of the Tan Tao Group, is accused of not having disclosed details of her marriage and party status when applying to be a parliamentary candidate.
4 APRIL 2012
Opinion: Vietnam’s Disheartening Anniversary
Under Communist leadership, Vietnam has failed to make its mark on the world. The new Vietnam needs to focus on the future
29 MARCH 2012
Vietnam builds naval muscle
Following a series of high-profile procurement deals, Vietnam’s growing naval program symbolizes its evolving military posture. Driven by persistent maritime disputes with China and facilitated by an expanding economy, Vietnam is actively modernizing its military through naval, air and electronic-fighting capability upgrades
27 MARCH 2012
Vietnam and the US: The Odd Couple
Particularly in this American election year, human rights issues will test the durability of the rapprochement between Vietnam and the United States – former enemies now seemingly the best of friends
2 MARCH 2012
Vietnam’s Communist Party Ponders Change
The Communist Party of Vietnam turned 82 on Feb. 3, of which 36 years have been spent ruling Vietnam. We can only guess what the next 82 years will bring. Indeed, this past week the party’s delegates and executives met in Hanoi to discuss much needed reform
1st MARCH 2012
US, Vietnam Begin Tough Trade Talks
Vietnamese and Americans joined together in Hanoi last December for a happy celebration, commemorating the 10th anniversary of the entrance into force of the US-Vietnam Bilateral Trade Agreement signed in December, 2001. The gathering of current and former trade negotiators, diplomats, and business leaders exchanged witty anecdotes about who had been the toughest negotiator. However, the main focus for both American and Vietnamese participants was on the positive prospects for future US-Vietnam relations across the spectrum of trade and strategic common interests
21 JANUARY 2012
China, Vietnam drift in South China Sea
In the wake of a major maritime ruckus last spring, hopes of a deal between China and Vietnam are rising in the South China Sea
17 JANUARY 2012
Vietnam’s navy unveils first home-made warship
Vietnam’s navy has taken delivery of its first locally-made warship, equipped with artillery and missile systems, local media report
7 DECEMBER 2011
Vietnamese actor Don Duong dies at 55
One of Vietnam’s best-known actors, Don Duong – once labelled a traitor by his country’s armed forces – has died of heart failure and a brain haemorrhage aged 55, relatives say
22 SEPTEMBER 2011
20-million-dollar war memorial sparks public outrage in Vietnam
Vietnamese plans for a memorial to war widows sparked an outcry Thursday when it was revealed that the cost had spiralled to five
times its initial estimate.
8 SEPTEMBER 2011
Vietnam’s Forced Labor Camps
An international human rights group has called on the Vietnamese government to shut down scores of drug rehabilitation centers and release tens of thousands of people it says are being held against their will and compelled to endure forced labor and torture. Thousands of detainees,
including women and children, are made to work up to 10 hours a day doing unhealthy and tedious work such as shelling cashews, it alleges. The oil from the nuts is caustic and can burn the skin. Other detainees are forced to do farming, work in construction, sew garments and do other menial labor. Those who refuse to work are subjected to torture and deprived of food and water, it says
16 AUGUST 2011
Thousands of Vietnamese Catholics in prayer against government arrests
At least 2 thousand faithful of Ho Chi Minh City have celebrated a mass and prayed for the Catholics arrested by Vietnamese police during raids in recent weeks in the Diocese of Vinh and Thanh Hoa. The vigil was held last August 14 organised by the Redemptorists, who wanted to enounce
the Vietnamese authorities repression of Christians and their property, claiming the right to religious freedom in the country
26 JULY 2011
Vietnam PM Nguyen Tan Dung re-elected
Vietnam’s one-party parliament elects Nguyen Tan Dung for a second term as prime minister in a widely expected move, a parliamentary
25 JULY 2011
Vietnam’s lawmaking National Assembly appointed Truong Tan Sang as the communist country’s new president amid challenges at home with the economy and abroad with China over disputed territory in the South China Sea
23 JULY 2011
Nguyen Sinh Hung elected Assembly Chairman, four Vice Chairs chosen
Nguyen Sinh Hung has been elected Chairman of the 13th National Assembly with 457 votes, accounting for 91.4 per cent.
15 JULY 2011
US navy ships visit Vietnam amid heightened China tensions
Three U.S. Navy ships were welcomed Friday by former foe Vietnam for joint training, despite China’s irritation following weeks of fiery exchanges between the communist neighbors over disputed areas of the South China Sea.
13 MAY 2011
Vietnam should brace for ageing population, expert says
Vietnam must «prepare now rather than later» to support its rapidly ageing population or face economic challenges, an expert
4 MAY 2011
Vietnam: Ethnic Hmong ‘in mass protest in Dien Bien’
Thousands of ethnic Hmong people in Vietnam are holding a protest calling for autonomy in a rare outbreak of unrest, a local official tells the BBC.
19 JANUARY 2011
Nguyen Phu Trong is the new General Secretary of the Communist Party[/u] of Viet Nam
The election of the 67-year-old National Assembly chairman as the Party leader is announced as the 11th National Party Congress ends its nine-day sitting in Ha Noi
20 AUGUST 2010
Death of Dang Phong, Vietnamese historian, born in 1937
21 JANUARY 2010
A court in Vietnam has convicted four activists, including prominent human rights lawyer Le Cong Dinh, of trying to overthrow the Communist government
28 DECEMBER 2009
A Vietnamese court sentences pro-democracy activist Tran Anh Kim to five-and-a-half years in prison for subversion against the communist state. The former army officer was a member of the Democratic Party of Vietnam and the pro-democracy Bloc 8406, both of which are banned
14 JUNE 2009
Vietnam authorities arrest Le Cong Dinh a high-profile lawyer for allegedly conspiring against the government
2 JANUARY 2009
The authorities in Vietnam sack the editors of the country’s two largest pro-reform newspapers. Nguyen Cong Khe and Le Hoang were ousted months after two of their journalists went on trial over coverage of a government corruption scandal