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ASEAN Takes a Subtle Stance Against China’s Maritime Claims
30.06.2020 By Jerome A. Cohen (Jerry's Blog) - On Saturday, ASEAN member states took a subtle but important step forward toward asserting the all-encompassing authority of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) over PRC claims.
Without specific reference to the unanimous Philippine arbitration decision interpreting UNCLOS, which would have plainly infuriated the PRC, this new ASEAN statement, crafted by Vietnam but apparently acquiesced in by all ASEAN members, explicitly confirms that “UNCLOS sets out the legal framework within which all activities in the oceans and seas must be carried out”. [read more]

China Puts Huge Warship at Woody Island Ahead of Naval Exercise
29.06.2020 Drake Long (BenarNews) - China has docked what looks to be a Type 071 warship in service with the People’s Liberation Army Navy at Woody Island, China’s main administrative center and military base in the South China Sea’s Paracel Islands.
The ship will likely be used in in a large-scale naval exercise planned in the area this week. On Saturday, China’s Maritime Safety Administration (MSA) announced a military exercise would take place in the South China Sea from July 1 to 5. [read more]

Southeast Asian leaders focus on COVID-19 measures
27.06.2020 Omer Faruk Yildiz (Anadolu Agency) - KUALA LUMPUR - 36th edition of summit held virtually due to pandemic. Hosted by Vietnam, this year’s Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit was held online with a focus on coronavirus measures.
In a statement on Friday, the bloc said policies on combating COVID-19, the South China Sea issue, and the North-South Korea tension were discussed by leaders. The summit originally scheduled for April was postponed due to the pandemic that has claimed thousands of lives across the world. [read more]

Asean takes position vs China's vast historical sea claims
27.06.2020 (The Times Of India) - South China Sea , in one of their strongest remarks opposing China's claim to virtually the entire disputed waters on historical grounds.
The leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations took the position in a statement issued by Vietnam  Saturday on behalf of the 10-nation bloc.  [read more]

Amid pandemic, ASEAN warn of 'alarming' South China Sea incidents
27.06.2020 (The Japan Times) - HANOI – Vietnam and the Philippines raised concerns over repeated violations of maritime rules at a summit of Southeast Asian leaders amid growing grievances with China over its territorial claims in the South China Sea.
The meeting, held virtually and hosted by Vietnam, comes as the region reopens after lockdowns to check the spread of COVID-19 and negotiates travel lanes with other nations. While the 10-nation bloc known as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has pledged cooperation to fight the virus, it is also grappling with Beijing’s assertions in the high seas. [read more]

China Resumes Dredging at South China Sea’s Woody Island
26.06.2020 Drake Long (BenarNews) - China is dredging in a bay at Woody Island, its biggest settlement in the South China Sea, a likely effort to expand the artificial island’s northwest corner, satellite imagery shows.
This development in the disputed Paracel island chain, in the northern part of the sea, comes amid mounting concern in Southeast Asia over China’s assertion of its sweeping territorial claims.
In an unusual move Friday, Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) leaders called for maintaining free airspace over the South China Sea in reaction to reports that Beijing’s plans to establish an Air Defense Identification Zone over the region. [read more]

Southeast Asia Leaders Sound Alarm on South China Sea Tensions
26.06.2020 Nguyen Xuan Quynh, Andreo Calonzo, Suttinee Yuvejwattana and Philip J. Heijmans (Bloomberg) - Vietnam and the Philippines raised concerns over repeated violations of maritime rules at a summit of Southeast Asian leaders amid growing grievances with China over its territorial claims in the South China Sea.
The meeting, held virtually and hosted by Vietnam, comes as the region reopens after lockdowns to check the spread of Covid-19 and negotiates travel lanes with other nations. While the 10-nation bloc known as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations has pledged cooperation to fight the virus, it is also grappling with Beijing’s assertions in the high seas. [read more]

Philippine President Duterte Warns of 'Alarming Incidents' in the South China Sea
26.06.2020 (Sputnik) - The Asia-Pacific region has several territorial disputes in the South China and East China Seas that involve Brunei, China, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Vietnam.
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte expressed concerns on Friday about China ramping up activity in the disputed South China Sea while the region is busy struggling with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. [read more]

Some thoughts on Vietnam’s Covid-19 repression
22.06.2020 By David Hutt (Asia Times) - While Vietnam's battle against Covid-19 has been a success, its fight against free speech is questionable. On Thursday, Pham Chi Thanh, a Vietnamese writer and blogger, was arrested for “producing, storing, and disseminating information and documents against the Vietnamese state.” The following day, Nguyen Anh Tuan, a well-known pro-democracy activist and writer, was detained in Hanoi. [read more]

History Lesson: Yes, Vietnam Did Halt China's 1979 Invasion - That one didn't go how Beijing had planned.
22.06.2020 by Charlie Gao (The National Interest) - Chinese operations against Vietnam in the 1980s are often divided into four phases. In the first, the Chinese and Vietnamese further entrenched their positions along the border. This lasted until 1981. The second and third phase consisted of escalating offensive operations across the border from 1981 to 1987, gradually increasing in intensity. The last phase involved the PLA’s withdrawal from the border region. The political objectives of the Chinese incursions were to “punish” Vietnam for its continued belligerence towards Thailand and Cambodia. [read more]

How young people are combating anti-black racism in their immigrant communities
22.06.2020 By Terry Nguyen (Vox) - Second-generation Americans are organizing online to translate educational resources, combat disinformation, and express solidarity with the black community.
Alyssa Pham, a 20-year-old American, has held progressive beliefs for years. Meanwhile, her parents, who are South Vietnamese refugees, have tended to lean conservative. In spite of this political rift, the Pham household has developed a habit of watching Vietnamese news segments together at dinnertime most evenings, which, as of late, has facilitated their conversations about the Black Lives Matter movement.
The language barrier is a hurdle for many second-generation children who are fluent in English but possess only a rudimentary grasp of their parents’ native tongue. [read more]

China Sends Ship as Warning to Vietnam: No Court Case, No Oil Drilling
22.06.2020 By Ralph Jennings (VOA) - TAIPEI, TAIWAN - China sent a survey vessel through waters claimed by its maritime sovereignty rival Vietnam this month to warn Hanoi against starting new energy exploration projects and filing any motions in an international court, observers say.
Tracking tools showed China’s 105-meter-long, 58-person survey ship Haiyang Dizhi 4 moving toward Vietnamese waters on June 14, Radio Free Asia reported. [read more]

Les Américains asiatiques solidaires du mouvement Black Lives Matter
22.06.2020 (La Libre) - Viet Hoai Tran savait exactement ce qu'il voulait mettre sur sa pancarte brandie lors des manifestations antiracistes qui ont secoué les Etats-Unis depuis la mort de George Floyd: "Le péril jaune soutient le +Black Power+".
La mort de George Floyd lors de son interpellation par des policiers, dont un Américain d'origine asiatique, a déclenché une vague de colère à travers le pays mais aussi provoqué un mouvement d'introspection pour la communauté asiatique américaine, aux liens historiquement tendus avec la communauté noire. [en savoir plus]

South China Sea: if Vietnam files suit, China may take part in legal proceedings
20.06.2020 Laura Zhou (SCMP) - Participating in an arbitration would be a shift from tactics in the case Beijing lost unanimously to the Philippines in 2016.
Analysts debate different responses Beijing could take after Hanoi signals it may seek an arbitral resolution to South China Sea disputes.
Beijing is contemplating what countermeasures it can take if Vietnam takes it to international court over territorial disputes in the resource-rich South China Sea, insiders say. [read more]

Australia hints at Chinese cyberattack; Japan, Vietnam too riled by Beijing
20.06.2020 (Times of India) - Last week, Vietnam’s foreign ministry said two Chinese ships had attacked a Vietnamese fishing boat in the South China Sea. The incident happened near the Parcel Islands which China claims as its own. In April, Vietnam had protested after one of its fishing boats was sunk by a Chinese maritime surveillance vessel near the islands. [read more]

Jakarta: ‘No reason to negotiate’ with Beijing on South China Sea
18.06.2020 Tia Asmara (BenarNews) - The Indonesian foreign minister said Thursday there was “no reason to negotiate” as she reaffirmed Jakarta’s stance that it has no overlapping claims with Beijing in the South China Sea, days after Indonesia sent the U.N. chief another letter on the topic.
“Indonesia’s position is very clear that … based on UNCLOS 1982 there are no overlapping claims with China. Therefore, there is no reason to negotiate,” Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi said during a press conference in Jakarta, referring to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
In its latest letter to Gutteres, Indonesia stated that features in the Spratly Islands – a chain in the South China Sea – were not entitled to an exclusive economic zone (EEZ) or continental shelf and therefore could not overlap with Indonesia’s EEZ or continental shelf. [read more]

Wasserkrieg im Hochgebirge
17.06.2020 Von Alexander Isele (Neues Deutschland) - Für China ist das Wasser aus dem Himalaya überlebenswichtig, sagt der Soziologe Boike Rehbein. Für viele andere Staaten in Asien ebenso.
Die neun längsten Flüsse Asiens entspringen auf chinesischem Staatsgebiet im Himalaya. Der Brahmaputra fließt nach Bangladesch, der Mekong bis nach Vietnam, der Indus durch den äußersten Norden Indiens und Pakistan. 1,3 Milliarden Menschen leben entlang der Flüsse. Derzeit kochen einige Konflikte im Himalaya wieder hoch, allen voran der zwischen Indien und China. Wie wichtig ist das Gebirge für Süd- und Südostasien? Historisch ist dieses Gebiet sehr wichtig: Indus, Brahmaputra, Mekong und Roter Fluss entspringen allesamt dem Tibetischen Plateau.
In der Mekong River Commission sprechen sich die Regierungen von Kambodscha, Laos, Vietnam und Thailand ab, um ihre geteilten Wasserressourcen zu managen. [Weiterlesen]

Chinese Survey Ship Ventures near Vietnam’s EEZ
16.06.2020 Drake Long (BenarNews) - A Chinese government-owned survey ship appears to have been sent into Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ), vessel-tracking data shows, in a move that could stir more tensions in the South China Sea.
Two separate vessel-tracking tools showed the Hai Yang Di Zhi 4 traveling toward Vietnamese waters on Sunday, passing the Chinese military base at Fiery Cross Reef in the Spratly Islands. It was last detected Tuesday morning, just within 200 nautical miles of Vietnam’s coast and roughly 182 nautical miles from the Vietnamese island of Phú Quý. [read more]

Vietnam’s judicial system on trial
16.06.2020 Author: Duy Dinh, IHEID (East Asia Forum) - On 14 January 2008, two female postal workers were found murdered inside a small post office where they also resided in Vietnam’s Long An province. Ho Duy Hai was detained two months later by the police and it was reported that he admitted to committing the crime. He inexplicably declined lawyers contracted by his family and only accepted the lawyer appointed by the investigative agency. No one was allowed to visit him until the trial day. [read more]

China Rams Vietnamese Fishing Vessel Near Paracel Islands
13.06.2020 (Philippines News) - A Chinese ship rammed a Vietnamese fishing boat operating in the Paracel Islands, Vietnamese state media reported Friday, in what may be the first case of China enforcing its unilateral fishing ban in parts of the South China Sea against vessels of another nation.
Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper reported that Wednesday's incident happened near Lincoln Island, a rock in the Paracels that is occupied by China but claimed by both China and Vietnam. [read more]

Naval Air: Chinese South China Sea ASW
12.06.2020 (StrategyPage) - China is apparently operating some of its Y-8FQ ASW (Anti-submarine Warfare) aircraft from a 3,100 meter (10,000 foot) airstrip on the Fiery Cross (Yongshu) Reef airbase. This base was completed in 2016 by dredging up enough sand to create a 271 hectare (677 acre) artificial island.
Fiery Cross Reef is within the Spratly Islands. China describes the Fiery Cross facility as a naval rescue station but most of the time military aircraft are operating from the airbase.  [read more]

Vietnamese rubber giant razes indigenous lands as Cambodian government grapples with legacy land issues
11.06.2020 By Tim Ha (Eco-Business) - When the indigenous Kreung and Kachok communities locked down their villages in Cambodia’s Ratanakiri province in March to keep safe from the novel coronavirus, no one knew change was afoot in their ancestral forest.
While the families in the Muoy, Inn, Mas and Kak villages were sheltering in place, Vietnamese rubber giant Hoang Anh Gia Lai (HAGL) bulldozed land earmarked for return to the communities after years of tough negotiations involving local authorities, the company, village representatives and rights groups, according to Cambodian non-governmental organisation Equitable Cambodia.
Being robbed of their land has impaired the villagers’ livelihoods because they can no longer collect firewood, traditional medicine, honey, fruit and other forest products the way they used to, said Eang Vuthy, executive director of Equitable Cambodia. [read more]

Vietnam und der Fall Trinh Xuan Thanh: Entführung indirekt eingeräumt
09.06.2020 Marina Mai (taz) - BERLIN - Erstmals hat ein hoher Beamter des vietnamesischen Innenministeriums eingestanden, dass der frühere Wirtschaftsfunktionär Trinh Xuan Thanh 2017 von Berlin nach Hanoi entführt wurde. Der Mann, der seinen Namen nicht öffentlich nennt, tat das in einer Eingabe über Vietnams Innenminister To Lam an die Parteiführung.
To Lam hat laut einem Urteil des Berliner Kammergerichtes die Entführung in Auftrag gegeben. Das Gericht sah es als erwiesen an, dass die von ihm nach Berlin geschickten Geheimdienstmitarbeiter während und nach der Entführung mit ihm telefonierten. [Weiterlesen]

South China Sea: United States urges United Nations to reject China’s claims
03.06.2020 Kristin Huang (SCMP) - The United States has added its voice to growing calls at the United Nations objecting to China’s claims over the strategically important and resource-rich South China Sea.
In a letter submitted by the US ambassador to the UN, Kelly Craft, on Monday, the US urged the UN to reject China’s maritime claims in the South China Sea, saying they did not comply with the 1982 US Law of the Sea Convention (Unclos). [read more]

Beijing’s plans for South China Sea air defence identification zone cover Pratas, Paracel and Spratly islands, PLA source says
31.05.2020 Minnie Chan (SCMP) - US military aircraft, including RC-135U reconnaissance planes (pictured), conducted at least nine sorties and patrol operations over the South China Sea in April.
Beijing has been making plans for an air defence identification zone (ADIZ) in the South China Sea since 2010, the same year it said it was considering the introduction of similar airspace controls over the East China Sea in a move that was widely criticised around the world, a military insider said. [read more]

World cannot ignore Chinese aggression in South China Sea - Beijing has been pressuring neighbors and building up fleet strength
30.05.2020 James Stavridis (Nikkei Asian Review) - Admiral James Stavridis was 16th Supreme Allied Commander of NATO and 12th Dean of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He spent the bulk of his operational career in the Pacific, including multiple command assignments.
Most recently, China has been using its naval forces to pressure the littoral nations, especially Vietnam and the Philippines. A month ago, China sank a Vietnamese fishing vessel, a maneuver that was roundly condemned by the international community. [read more]

Chinese Incursions Into Vietnamese Waters, Security Implications for the Region, and the Potential Role of India
29.05.2020 By: Rajaram Panda (The Jamestown Foundation) - The outbreak of the global COVID-19 pandemic that began in the Chinese city of Wuhan has not deterred the People’s Republic of China (PRC) from pursuing its long-term strategic vision of asserting its sovereignty in the South China Sea (SCS) at the expense of smaller regional countries.
It appears that Beijing is exploiting the COVID-19 pandemic to expand its “unlawful claims” in the South China Sea. [read more]

In Letter to UN Chief, Indonesia Takes Stand on South China Sea
28.05.2020 Ika Inggas and John Bechtel, Washington (Benar News) - Indonesia added its weight to recent diplomatic moves by ASEAN members opposing Beijing’s claims in the South China Sea, sending a rare diplomatic note to the head of the United Nations earlier this week.
The letter, sent to U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres on Tuesday, spelled out the Indonesian government’s support for a 2016 ruling by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, when the court sided with the Philippines in a case that Manila brought against China over a territorial dispute in the sea. [read more]

Vietnamese firm ‘destroys’ indigenous land
25.05.2020 Khouth Sophak Chakrya (The Phnom Penh Post) - A giant Vietnamese agribusiness company is destroying indigenous land in Cambodia’s Ratanakkiri province, said a joint press release from Equitable Cambodia and Inclusive Development International that was published on Monday.
The human rights groups wrote that many indigenous people in Cambodia’s Ratanakkiri province have been waiting for years for the Vietnamese rubber company, Hoang Anh Gia Lai (HAGL), to finally return their sacred land, as had been promised by a 2015 mediation agreement. [read more]

As Jakarta Trims Defense, Beijing Makes Waves in the South China Sea
24.05.2020 By Aristyo Rizka Darmawan (The Maritime Executive) - The Covid-19 outbreak has hit hard for Southeast Asian economies. Anticipating more shocks to come, several countries have already moved to cut defence spending, seeing the military as a budget line that can be readily reduced.
The Haiyang Dizhi 8, a Chinese government research ship, conducted a survey near the Malaysia’s Petronas-operated West Capella, creating tension with the Malaysian government. In another incident, a Vietnamese fishing vessel was sunk by a Chinese maritime surveillance vessel in disputed waters. [read more]

Some thoughts on Vietnam’s Covid-19 repression - While Vietnam's battle against Covid-19 has been a success, its fight against free speech is questionable
22.05.2020 By David Hutt (Asia Times) - On Thursday, Pham Chi Thanh, a Vietnamese writer and blogger, was arrested for “producing, storing, and disseminating information and documents against the Vietnamese state.” The following day, Nguyen Anh Tuan, a well-known pro-democracy activist and writer, was detained in Hanoi.
A former reporter at the state-radio Voice of Vietnam, Pham Chi Thanh subsequently became a “dissident” writer, publishing honest and critical books about Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong and the Communist government’s founding father Ho Chi Minh. [read more]

The Disproportionate Effect of COVID-19 on Migrant Workers in ASEAN
22.05.2020 By Camille Bismonte (The Diplomat) - Thailand, Singapore, and Vietnam approached the intertwined issues of COVID-19 and migrant workers quite differently.
A significant percentage of all ASEAN workers consist of migrant labor, whose remittances contribute a substantial proportion of GDP in many nations around the region. In light of COVID-19, however, the impact on these migrant workers has been significantly higher — and the consequences devastating
After the coronavirus outbreak was reported in Wuhan, Vietnam was one of the first countries in Asia to implement travel restrictions and has had mass closures since. [read more]

La Chine poursuit la hausse de son budget militaire
22.05.2020 (Journal de Quebec) - BEIJING - La Chine a annoncé vendredi une légère décélération de ses dépenses militaires pour 2020: toujours loin derrière celles des États-Unis, elles restent toutefois solides (+6,6 %) malgré le contexte économique morose hérité de la COVID-19.
Le budget de la défense est scruté par de nombreux voisins asiatiques de Beijing, avec lesquels il entretient des différends territoriaux. [en savoir plus]

Vietnam jails ex-deputy defence minister over land scandal
21.05.2020 (CNA) - HANOI: A military court in Vietnam on Thursday (May 21) sentenced a former deputy defence minister accused of allowing three plots of land in Ho Chi Minh City to be illegally transferred to private investors from the navy to four years in prison.
State media said Navy admiral Nguyen Van Hien, 65, who was found guilty of "lack of responsibility", had transferred plots totalling 7,300 sq m for 45-49 years for the construction of office buildings. [read more]

Vietnam verlängert die Aufenthaltserlaubnis für Ausländer, die aufgrund von COVID-19 gestrandet sind
20.05.2020 (TwitterSmash) - Ausländer, die nach dem 1. März im Rahmen von Programmen zur Befreiung von der Visumpflicht, E-Visa oder Touristenvisa nach Vietnam einreisen, erhalten automatisch eine kostenlose Verlängerung der Aufenthaltserlaubnis bis zum 30. Juni Dienstag.
Die Verlängerung erfolgt automatisch und muss nicht erneuert werden. Visa-Inhaber können das Land ab sofort bis zum 30. Juni verlassen oder verlassen, ohne Papierkram zu erledigen. [Weiterlesen]

Family Member of Slain Vietnamese Community Leader Petitions Police for Return of Belongings
19.05.2020 (RFA) - A close relative of an elderly community leader killed by Vietnamese police during a land protest outside Hanoi in January has petitioned authorities for the return of a car and other valuables that disappeared from her home after the clash, the woman said.
Nguyen Thi Duyen, wife of the grandson of slain community leader Le Dinh Kinh, told RFA’s Vietnamese Service on Tuesday that items of jewelry valued at almost $2,300 were among the personal possessions that were taken after she was detained following the Jan. 9 raid by police. [read more]

As Jakarta trims defence, Beijing makes waves in the South China Sea
19.05.2020 by Aristyo Rizka Darmawan (The Interpreter) - The Covid-19 outbreak has hit hard for Southeast Asian economies. Anticipating more shocks to come, several countries have already moved to cut defence spending, seeing the military as a budget line that can be readily reduced. Indonesia, for example, has announced it will slash its defence budget this year by nearly US$588 million. Thailand has likewise reduced its defence allocation by $555 million. Malaysia, Vietnam, and the Philippines all face similar pressure.
In recent months amid the coronavirus outbreak, China’s naval forces are reported to have carried out intense manoeuvres in the South China Sea, the scene for several overlapping and disputed territorial claims. [read more]

Une extension automatique de résidence temporaire pour les étrangers
19.05.2020 (Le Petit Journal) - Les étrangers arrivés au Vietnam entre le 1er et le 3 mars pourront bénéficier d’une "extension automatique de résidence temporaire" jusqu’au 30 juin 2020.
Le Département de l’Immigration du ministère de la Sécurité publique a délivré un avis mardi 18 mai selon lequel certains cas d’étrangers arrivés au Vietnam entre le 1er et le 3 mars pourront bénéficier d’une « extension automatique de résidence temporaire » jusqu’à la fin du mois de juin. [en savoir plus]

Keep Fishing, Vietnam Tells Citizens After China Ban in Disputed Sea
18.05.2020 (VOA) - After China attempted to put limits on the disputed South China Sea, Vietnam responded with a message to its fishermen: just keep fishing, within the law.
The Southeast Asian nation, a major world exporter of seafood, told provincial governments along the coast to “intensify” oversight of the fishers under their safeguard. [read more]

Under Cover of Pandemic, China Steps Up Brinkmanship in South China Sea
14.05.2020 by Robert A. Manning, Patrick M. Cronin (Foreign Policy) - Beijing has increased pressure on its nervous neighbors in its quest to dominate the entire South China Sea.
While the world is distracted by the coronavirus pandemic, China has been quietly taking paramilitary and political-legal actions in the South China Sea that could be game-changing for the region. [read more]

Pékin profite de la pandémie mondiale pour renforcer ses positions en mer de Chine du Sud
14.05.2020 Par Bruno Philip (Le Monde) - Les manœuvres chinoises répétées ont suscité une vaste réprobation de la part de ses proches voisins et des Etats-Unis.
Depuis le début de la pandémie de Covid-19, tout démontre que la Chine profite de la crise sanitaire qui paralyse les Etats-Unis et mobilise l’attention des pays d’Asie du Sud-Est pour renforcer ses positions dans les zones disputées de la mer portant son nom : cette mer de Chine méridionale revendiquée dans sa totalité par Pékin et, en partie, par les Philippines, le Vietnam, la Malaisie, Taïwan et le Sultanat de Brunei. [en savoir plus]

It’s time for Vietnam and ASEAN to challenge Beijing in the South China Sea
13.05.2020 Nguyen Quang Dy (ASPI) - On 14 April, as China’s Haiyang Dizhi 8 survey group sailed into the South China Sea again, Taiwan scrambled ships to monitor the passage of the Chinese navy’s Liaoning aircraft carrier strike group as it went through the Miyako Strait near Okinawa and turned south.
According to a MarineTraffic report on 23 April, the carrier group was operating near Macclesfield Bank, and the survey group was shadowing a Philippines-flagged drilling ship that had been contracted by Malaysia to survey for oil in its exclusive economic zone near the overlapping waters between Malaysia and Vietnam. [read more]

China steps up maritime activity with eye on post-pandemic order
13.05.2020 Tsukasa Hadano and Alex Fang (Nikkei Asian Review) - BEIJING/NEW YORK -- In April, the Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning passed between two Japanese islands, Okinawa's main island and Miyakojima, in the East China Sea with a full fleet.
This marked the carrier group's first time sailing to and from the Pacific Ocean via the passage and was seen as yet another sign of China's stepped-up military activity in neighboring seas. [read more]

COVID-19 can fuel more anti-Chinese resentment than Mekong dams
13.05.2020 (AsiaNews) - The pandemic is likely to make life worse for Thai fishermen as well as Vietnamese and Cambodian farmers. Restrictions resulting from the virus could limit food supply. The food security of 60 million people in the lower part of the Mekong River is in danger.
Asia’s third longest waterway has been a source of concern for environmentalists and experts over the continuous and sudden changes in the flow of water caused by drought and upstream hydroelectric power plants. [read more]

Vietnam’s Coronavirus Success Is Built on Repression
12.05.2020 by Bill Hayton, Tro Ly Ngheo (Foreign Policy) - The Communist Party’s tools of control made for effective virus-fighting weapons.
When the Hanoi-based economic consultant Raymond Mallon returned home after a trip abroad in late March, he was immediately texted by the local police asking after his health. Vietnam is a state that not only knows where you live but also knows when you go away—and your mobile phone number.
Each inhabitant was checked against official residency lists and asked to explain their recent activities and travel history. “I felt like a criminal,” Ngo Minh Hoang told Foreign Policy, after a police officer knocked on his door in late March asking if he had traveled abroad during the last 14 days. [read more]

Vietnam Encourages Fishermen to Defy China South China Sea Ban
12.05.2020 By Drake Long (RFA) - Vietnam’s government on Tuesday encouraged the nation’s fishermen to keep operating around the disputed Paracel Islands despite China’s unilaterally-imposed fishing ban in the South China Sea, and directed provincial authorities to support Vietnamese fishermen at sea.
That statement of defiance from Hanoi, calling the ban “invalid,” came as an oil exploration ship contracted by another South China Sea claimant, Malaysia, ended a survey off further south, off the Malaysian coast. The ship has been shadowed by Chinese vessels for the past month. [read more]

China Expected to Ignore Philippine Protest over Upgrade of a Disputed Islet
11.05.2020 By Ralph Jennings (VOA) - TAIPEI, TAIWAN - China is expected to ignore a Philippine protest against creation of an "administrative center" on a disputed islet because Manila has few means to follow up, but the outcry could throttle Beijing’s eventual pursuit of more legal control over  Asia’s most hotly disputed sea.  
The Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs on April 30 rejected China’s “illegal designation” of Fiery Cross Reef as an administrative center, according to the department’s website. Chinese officials point to historical usage records as support for their claims to numerous features in the South China Sea where the reef in question is located. [read more]

Les États-Unis envoient deux navires de guerre en mer de Chine méridionale
10.05.2020 (45eNord) - La marine américaine a envoyé deux navires pour patrouiller à proximité d’une zone qui est l’objet d’un différend sur les droits miniers entre la Malaisie et la Chine dans la mer de Chine méridionale pour la deuxième fois en un mois, rapporte cette semaine le service des nouvelles du United States Naval Institute.
Outre les États-Unis, les navires de la Marine royale malaisienne (RMN) et ceux de l’Agence malaisienne d’application des lois maritimes opèrent également dans la région, bien que les liens économiques de la Malaisie avec la Chine aient entraîné peu de protestations publiques officielles contre les activités de la Chine, souligne le USNI News. [en savoir plus]

How Covid-19 will and won’t change Vietnam
08.05.2020 By David Hutt (Asia Times) - Communist Party has transparently handled the virus crisis, a shift some hope will carry over into more open politics.
Vietnam has emerged as a coronavirus crisis success story, thanks in large part to its competent and uncharacteristically transparent handling of the viral outbreak. Now, analysts wonder if the trend will hold as the Communist Party-led nation exits lockdown and looks towards a leadership transition.
The response, analysts note, stands in stark contrast to the Party’s recent past, including when the government tried to cover up a massive toxic spill into the sea in 2016, causing perhaps the country’s worst ever environmental disaster. [read more]

Vietnamese Man Arrested For Gambling Dies in Jailhouse Beating
08.05.2020 (RFA) - A Vietnamese man jailed on a gambling charge died in custody on Friday three days after beginning a six-month prison term, with authorities saying he was beaten to death by fellow inmates, and family members vowing to seek justice.
Nguyen Quang Lap, 36, was arrested in February in a gambling case in southeastern Vietnam’s Ba Ria Vung Tau province and was sentenced with 11 other defendants by the Chau Duc District People’s Court to six months in jail. [read more]

Vietnam weist Fischfangverbot Chinas in umstrittenem Seegebiet ab
08.05.2020 (Der Farang) - HANOI:  Die vietnamesische Regierung hat einen einseitigen Beschluss Chinas zurückgewiesen, ein Fischfangverbot für das Südchinesische Meer zu verhängen. Die Hoheit über das Seegebiet ist umstritten. Die Regierung in Hanoi rief Peking am Freitag zur Zurückhaltung auf. «Vietnam weist diese einseitige Entscheidung Chinas zurück», sagte ein Sprecher des Außenministeriums. Im derzeitigen «internationalen und regionalen Kontext» solle die chinesische Seite die Situation im Südchinesischen Meer nicht verkomplizieren. [Weiterlesen]

Vietnam protests Beijing’s ‘unilateral fishing ban’ in S. China Sea
08.05.2020 (RT) - Hanoi protested on Friday against what it described as Beijing’s unilateral fishing ban, which it’s imposed in the disputed South China Sea from May 1 to August 16. The statement comes weeks after a Vietnamese boat had reportedly been rammed by a Chinese maritime surveillance vessel, Reuters said.
China and Vietnam have for years been embroiled in a dispute over the potentially energy-rich stretch of water, known by Hanoi as the East Sea. [read more]

Vietnam may soon sue China on South China Sea
07.05.2020 By David Hutt (Asia Times) - Hanoi is weighing an international arbitration case against Beijing to settle their hotly contested sea claims. Vietnam is believed to be inching towards filing an international arbitration case against China’s expansive claims in the South China Sea, a potential legal response to rising Chinese intimidation and harassment in the contested waterway. [read more]

How China Is Slow Conquering the South China Sea
07.05.2020 by Denny Roy (The National Interest) - The Chinese government has consistently built-up false assurance by presenting a façade of commitment to peace, harmony and moral principle. Additionally, the dependence of regional countries on Chinese trade and investment puts Beijing in a position to dictate compliance.
With each decade, more of Beijing’s agenda is realized. During the 1970s, China limited its attempted enforcement of Chinese claims mostly to the Paracels Islands, which lies in the northern part of the South China Sea, closer to China. [read more]

Chinese spies hop from one hacked government network to another in Asia Pacific, researchers say
07.05.2020 Written by Sean Lyngaas (Cyberscoop) - Nearly five years ago, researchers unmasked a Chinese hacking group, pinpointing the unit of the People’s Liberation Army that was allegedly sponsoring it. The so-called Naikon group was key to China’s spying efforts in the South China Sea, targeting government agencies from the Philippines to Vietnam, said the report from companies ThreatConnect and Defense Group Inc.
On Thursday, analysts with Israeli cybersecurity company Check Point said that Naikon has been far from idle in recent months, trying to hack familiar government targets in Australia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, and other Southeast Asian countries. [read more]

This Asia-Pacific Cyber Espionage Campaign Went Undetected for 5 Years
07.05.2020 Ravie Lakshmanan (The Hacker News) - An advanced group of Chinese hackers has recently been spotted to be behind a sustained cyber espionage campaign targeting government entities in Australia, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, Myanmar, and Brunei—which went undetected for at least five years and is still an ongoing threat.
The group, named 'Naikon APT,' once known as one of the most active APTs in Asia until 2015, carried out a string of cyberattacks in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region in search of geopolitical intelligence. [read more]

China's Aircraft Carrier Liaoning Is Training for War in the South China Sea
06.05.2020 by Peter Suciu (The National Interest) - After a month of training in the South China Sea, the Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning returned to its homeport of Qingdao last week. The South China Morning Post reported that the ship was joined by at least five escort vessels, while the recent drills were meant to highlight the fact that it remained combat-ready as its crew was unaffected by the coronavirus pandemic.
The training was part of a routine arrangement in the annual plan, which features long durations at sea. During this time, the People’s Liberation Army website ChinaMilitary reported that the aircraft carrier’s integrated combat capability underwent testing. [read more]

Reviewing Vietnam’s ‘Struggle’ Options in the South China Sea - What are Hanoi’s options to push back on Beijing?
05.05.2020 By Derek Grossman (The Diplomat) - Once again, Chinese assertiveness against Vietnam in the South China Sea is on the rise. Beginning on April 3, a Chinese coast guard ship sunk a Vietnamese fishing vessel in disputed waters off the Paracel Islands, and ten days later, on April 13, Beijing redeployed the controversial Haiyang Dizhi 8 geological survey ship, which it had used last year to harass international drilling near Vanguard Bank, to Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ).
Following this new round of escalating bilateral tensions, Vietnam has publicly protested each Chinese move. But these statements have yet to alter Beijing’s bad behavior. So the question naturally becomes: beyond publicly airing grievances, what else could Vietnam do to curtail Chinese assertiveness in the future? [read more]

Vietnam’s Note Verbale On The South China Sea
05.05.2020 by Vo Ngoc Diep (AMTI) - Malaysia’s recent submission to the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf has triggered a note-verbale debate between claimants in the South China Sea. After China and the Philippines, Vietnam is the latest to join the debate with a note to protest not only Malaysia’s claims, but China’s as well.
Vietnam’s note verbale, dated March 30, 2020, concisely explains Vietnam’s positions in legal terms which are compatible with the key findings of the 2016 South China Sea arbitration award. [read more]

China erhebt Anspruch auf 80 Prozent des Südchinesischen Meeres
04.05.2020 Von Kathrin Sumpf (Epoch Times) - Mitten im Südchinesischen Meer richtete China zwei neue Verwaltungsbezirke ein und erhebt nun Anspruch auf 80 Prozent des Meeres - während die Welt mit Corona beschäftigt ist. Die Atolle und Riffe rund um die Spratly- sowie die Paracel-Inseln bilden für die Kommunistische Partei Chinas stationäre Flugzeugträger und ein globales Sprungbrett.
Damit beansprucht China faktisch 80 Prozent des Südchinesischen Meeres als Kernland. Einwohner gibt es dort nur wenige, allerdings ein paar Hundert Soldaten der chinesischen Armee. [Weiterlesen]

Vietnam's old soldiers struggle to survive
03.05.2020 UCA News reporter (UCA News) -  Church lends a helping hand to veterans who have fallen on hard times, worsened by a nationwide lockdown.
Michael Nguyen Van Hung, a former South Vietnamese soldier, receives daily food rations from churches for his survival in Ho Chi Minh City.
Hung, 63, has seen his meager income dwindle since the Covid-19 pandemic broke out in late January. “I've had to borrow money from the center to pay for my rent,” said Hung, who lives in Vinh Hoi Parish. He pays nearly 2 million dong a month for a 12-meter-square room and utilities. [read more]

Will Vietnam Be ASEAN Chair for Another Year?
01.05.2020 By David Hutt (The Diplomat) - There are rumors that Vietnam wants an extra year as chair, to make up for the COVID-19 disruption. Would the rest of ASEAN agree to that?
Before Southeast Asian leaders took part in the virtual Special ASEAN Summit on Coronavirus Disease on April 14, a rumor was circulating that Vietnam, which holds the rotating ASEAN chair this year, was angling to extend its chairmanship for yet another year, several sources tell me.
For Vietnam, the coronavirus pandemic has scuppered its hopes of achieving real change in the ASEAN bloc this year. [read more]

China: Machtpolitik im Windschatten des Virus
29.04.2020 Von Lea Deuber, Peking, und Arne Perras, Singapur (SZ) - Während die Kräfte vieler Nachbarstaaten im Kampf gegen Corona an Land gebunden sind, versucht Peking, im Südchinesischen Meer Fakten zu schaffen.
Von der Einrichtung zweier neuer Verwaltungsbezirke der chinesischen Stadt Sansha Mitte April hätte niemand in der Welt Notiz genommen, wäre ihre Lage nicht so besonders. Sie heißen Xisha und Nansha und sind mitten im Südchinesischen Meer zu finden, 900 km südöstlich der chinesischen Insel Hainan. Einwohner gibt es dort kaum, nur ein paar Hundert Soldaten der chinesischen Armee. [Weiterlesen]

China is making the most of the coronavirus to dislodge the US as the world’s main superpower
29.04.2020 James Pasley (Business Insider) - China is aggressively pushing its foreign policy agenda while the world is focused on the coronavirus.
In recent months, as the coronavirus, which originated from Wuhan, China, spreads, the government led by President Xi Jinping has tried to strengthen its position around the world, while trying to dislodge the US from its position as a superpower. [read more]

Vietnamese hackers exploited Google Play Store for espionage campaign
28.04.2020 Written by Shannon Vavra (cyberscoop) - Hackers with suspected links to the Vietnamese government have been using the Google Play Store to distribute malicious software for the last four years, according to Kaspersky research published Tuesday.
While attackers are targeting users in several countries, they appear to be especially focused on users in Vietnam. The effort suggests hackers are running domestic as well as foreign espionage operations, according to Kaspersky.
They have been distributing their campaign through applications which promise to help users locate the nearest pub in Vietnam, or providing information on nearby churches. [read more]

Facebook Falls in Line for Vietnam Censors - Profit first for Zuckerberg
27.04.2020 By: David Brown (Asia Sentinel) - When I phoned her, Giao Chi was winding up a 14-hour workday, spent connecting with staff and editing and posting stories. She is the heart and soul of an independent Vietnamese language news and commentary website accessed daily by hundreds of thousands of readers.
Most readers are in Vietnam. Others are in countries where anti-Communist refugees have settled. [read more]

Chinese aircraft carrier maneuver aimed at achieving multiple results
26.04.2020 (Focus Taiwan) - Taipei, April 26 (CNA) A recent training mission of the Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning, which sailed through waters near Japan and Taiwan and into the South China Sea near Vietnam, has been seen by a Taiwanese defense analyst as a maneuver with the aim of "hitting three birds with one stone."
On March 30, a Chinese fishing boat collided with the Japanese destroyer Shimakaze in the East China Sea, while on April 2, a Chinese Coast Guard vessel sank a Vietnamese fishing boat in the South China Sea. [read more]

Die Welt geht jetzt auf Distanz zu China
23.04.2020 Matthias Koch (RND) - Anfangs dachten viele, China werde der Gewinner der Viruskrise sein, weltpolitisch und wirtschaftlich.
Doch danach sieht es nicht mehr aus, Xi Jingpings High-Tech-Diktatur ist unter Druck geraten wie noch nie.
Die Welt verlangt von Peking etwas, das es dort nie gab: Transparenz.
Beim Mann auf der Straße entstand allerorten eine doppelt negative Assoziation: Diese Chinesen – erst bescheren sie der Welt einen neuartigen Virus, und dann verkaufen sie uns auch noch Ramschprodukte. [Weiterlesen]

Vietnam told to sue China over marine invasion - Bishop Hop and priests sign statement demanding action over Chinese moves to claim islands
23.04.2020 (UCA News) - Hanoi  - Religious and civil groups and activists have asked Vietnam’s government to take legal action to get back its islands invaded by China and to respect the people’s patriotic activities.
Since July 2019, Chinese ships have trespassed and operated on Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone many times, held military exercises and obtruded on other countries’ offshore oil and gas explorations. [read more]

Vietnams Kriegserklärung an Corona
23.04.2020 Rodion Ebbighausen (DW) - Vietnam ist ein dicht bevölkertes Nachbarland Chinas. Das Gesundheitssystem ist nicht sehr robust und dem Staat mangelt es an Kapital, um das Virus zu bekämpfen. Trotzdem ist die Infektionsrate in Vietnam niedrig. Wieso?
Ein Vorgehen wie in Korea, wo Hunderttausende Tests durchgeführt wurden, ist aus Kapazitätsgründen in Vietnam ausgeschlossen.
Deswegen setzte Vietnam auf rigorose Quarantäne und die lückenlose Ermittlung von Kontaktpersonen, und zwar viel früher als China, wo Ausgangssperren als letztes Mittel unausweichlich geworden waren.
So wurde in Vietnam bereits am 13. Februar eine ganze Kommune mit mehr als 10.000 Einwohnern in der Nähe von Hanoi unter eine dreiwöchige Quarantäne gestellt.  [Weiterlesen]

Vietnam arrests seven over procurement 'wrongdoings' during coronavirus crisis
22.04.2020 (Reuters) - HANOI - Vietnam arrested seven people, including three officials from the Hanoi Center for Disease Control and Prevention, on Wednesday for “wrongdoings” linked to procurement during the coronavirus crisis, the security ministry said. The suspects were arrested on charges of overstating the cost of a COVID-19 testing system during a transaction. [read more]

U.S. Warships Enter Disputed Waters of South China Sea as Tensions With China Escalate
21.04.2020 By Hannah Beech (NYT) - The move comes as a war of words between the United States and China over the coronavirus pandemic intensifies.
American warships have sailed into disputed waters in the South China Sea, according to military analysts, heightening a standoff in the waterway and sharpening the rivalry between the United States and China, even as much of the world is in lockdown because of the coronavirus. [read more]

Vietnam protests Beijing's expansion in disputed South China Sea as world remains occupied with coronavirus
20.04.2020 (ABC) - Beijing claims sovereignty over most of the South China Sea, directly challenging the territorial claims of its neighbours — the Philippines, Vietnam, Taiwan and Malaysia.
China has recently been pushing its presence in the energy-rich waters while other claimants are pre-occupied with tackling the coronavirus pandemic, prompting the United States to call on China to stop its "bullying behaviour" there. [read more]

China Steps up Patrols in Disputed Sea; Here’s What Malaysia and Vietnam Will do
20.04.2020 By Ralph Jennings (VOA) - TAIPEI, TAIWAN - Malaysia and Vietnam, militarily weaker than China, are expected to protest through diplomatic channels over a Chinese survey ship fleet that entered disputed waters this month, inviting a long but nonviolent standoff.
Both Southeast Asian countries are monitoring movement of the Chinese Haiyang Dizhi 8 fleet, which multiple news reports say passed through disputed tracts of the South China Sea last week. The same vessel spent four months in 2019 in an oil-rich tract of the sea claimed by Vietnam and blocked Vietnamese crews from exploring for oil underwater. [read more]

Chinese Are Slaughtered In A War Of Memes & Politics
20.04.2020 Richard S. Ehrlich (Scoop) - BANGKOK, Thailand -- A vicious, hilarious, political war has erupted on the Internet between Thailand's satirical dissidents and China's outraged nationalists, prompting the Chinese embassy in Bangkok to complain, apparently in vain.
"The scheme by some particular people, to manipulate the issue for the purpose of inflaming and sabotaging the friendship between the Chinese and Thai people, will not succeed," the embassy's 372-word statement on April 14 said in English, Thai and Chinese. [read more]

Xi Dreading US, Japan Exit From China As Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia Vie For Opportunities
19.04.2020 (EurAsian Times) - China’s pivoting role in the spread of the novel coronavirus pandemic has earned it the fury of countries across the globe. This has many to consider reducing their reliance on China for their manufacturing needs including Japan.
The Japanese decision to ‘leave’ China has set alarm bells ringing in Beijing with President Xi Jinping calling for a ‘protracted battle’ while assuming the worse, writes Katsuji Nakazawa for the Nikkei Asian Review. [read more]

Pekings Krisenpropaganda
18.04.2020 von Severin Weiland und Matthias Gebauer (Der Spiegel) - China nutzt die Coronakrise, um sich international mit Hilfsaktionen zu profilieren, auch in Deutschland. Die Bundesregierung spricht intern von einer gezielten Desinformationskampagne.
Die Internetseite der chinesischen Botschaft in Deutschland bietet derzeit eine interessante Lektüre. Wo sonst meist PR-Nachrichten von Erfolgen der Volksrepublik künden, kommentiert die Botschaft seit Wochen verstärkt auch die deutsche Medienberichterstattung. [Weiterlesen]

Bild-Chef schreibt an Chinas Staatschef: „Sie gefährden die ganze Welt“
16.04.2020 von Julian Reichelt (Bild) - Sehr geehrter Herr Präsident Xi Jinping,
Ihre Botschaft in Berlin hat sich in einem offenen Brief an mich gewandt, weil wir in BILD die Frage gestellt haben, ob China für den gigantischen wirtschaftlichen Schaden aufkommen sollte, den das Corona-Virus derzeit weltweit anrichtet.
Ihre Botschaft nennt das „infam“ und wirft mir vor, ich würde „Nationalismus schüren“.
Lassen Sie mich dazu ein paar Dinge sagen.
Sie regieren durch Überwachung. Ohne Überwachung wären Sie nicht Präsident. Sie können alles überwachen, jeden Ihrer Bürger, aber Sie weigern sich, die hoch seuchenriskanten Tiermärkte in Ihrem Land zu überwachen. Jede kritische Zeitung oder Internetseite machen Sie dicht, aber nicht die Buden, an denen Fledermaussuppe verkauft wird. [Weiterlesen]

Why Philippines Solidarity With Vietnam in South China Sea Fishing Row Matters
16.04.2020 By Lucio Blanco Pitlo III (The Diplomat) - Philippines expresses concern and solidarity with Vietnam over a fishing row with China in the South China Sea.
The South China Sea flashpoint continues to spark trouble among claimants despite a spiraling pandemic. Early this month, the sinking of a Vietnamese fishing boat by a Chinese coast guard vessel off the disputed Paracel Islands led the Philippines to issue a statement of concern and solidarity with its Southeast Asian neighbor. [read more]

Chinese ship seen moving south near Malaysia amid rising South China Sea tensions
16.04.2020 Rozanna Latiff, James Pearson (Reuters) - KUALA LUMPUR/HANOI - A Chinese government survey ship embroiled in a standoff with Vietnamese vessels moved south near Malaysia, shipping data showed Thursday, amid accusations that China is using the pandemic to assert its presence in the South China Sea.
The Haiyang Dizhi 8 was spotted off Vietnam this week, returning after being closely tracked last year in the resource-rich waters, a potential global flashpoint as the United States challenges China’s sweeping maritime claims. [read more]

How The 1979 China-Vietnam War Forever Reshaped Asia - The region was never the same again
15.04.2020 by Sebastien Roblin (The National Interest) - Here's What You Need To Remember: Party Chairman Deng Xiaoping used the PLA’s demonstrated shortcomings to consolidate political power and begin a modernization effort, downsizing it by over a million personnel to improve its quality. Thus, the Chinese war intended to “teach Vietnam a lesson” ended up being instructive both politically and operationally, though only at a terrible cost in human life for both sides.
At 5 AM on February 17, 1979, a massive artillery bombardment rippled across Vietnam’s mountainous northern border with China. Waves of soldiers from the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) swarmed towards the startled Vietnamese soldiers hunkered down in border forts, bunkers and caves. [read more]

Chinese ship back in waters within Vietnam’s EEZ
15.04.2020 (Taipei Times) - A Chinese ship embroiled in a standoff with Vietnamese vessels last year has returned to waters near Vietnam, as the US accused China of pushing its presence in the South China Sea while other claimants are preoccupied with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Vietnamese vessels last year spent months shadowing the Chinese Haiyang Dizhi 8 survey vessel in resource-rich waters that are a potential global flashpoint, as Washington challenges Beijing’s sweeping maritime claim.
The presence of the Haiyang Dizhi 8 in Vietnam’s EEZ comes toward the scheduled end of a 15-day nationwide lockdown in Vietnam aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus. [read more]

South China Sea: Vietnam approaches UN against China
14.04.2020 S D Pradhan (The Times of India) - Realising that the International Community is now focused on the Coronavirus war, China has intensified its aggressive activities to usurp the entire South China Sea. The sinking of a Vietnamese boat with a crew of eight on board by a Chinese ship on the 3rd April 2020 near the Paracel Islands is the recent act of aggressiveness in the region. Two Vietnamese fishing boats attempted to rescue the eight fishermen, but they were also detained with their ships. [read more]

Virus Outbreak: Vietnam enters virus diplomacy fray
11.04.2020 (Taipei Times) - Vietnam has given 390,000 masks to Cambodia and 340,000 to Laos, old allies with whom its influence has waned while China’s has expanded.
Vietnam, despite its lack of resources compared with its giant neighbor, has donated 550,000 face masks to France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Britain, and 390,000 to neighboring Cambodia and 340,000 to another neighbor, Laos.
Helped by a mass quarantine and aggressive contact-tracing, the Vietnamese Ministry of Health has recorded more than 250 cases of COVID-19 and no deaths.
“Vietnam appears to have gained in confidence by managing to deal successfully with the coronavirus,” Carl Thayer, an expert in Vietnam’s diplomacy at the Australian Defence Force Academy in Canberra, said. [read more]

Dong Tam shows that Vietnam land laws are unjust and grassroots democracy is failing
10.04.2020 Author: Toan Le, Monash University (East Asia Forum) - On 9 January 2020, thousands of police entered the Dong Tam commune in Hanoi. A clash erupted, leading to the killing of three policemen and a civilian later named as Le Dinh Kinh. Once a veteran soldier and chief of police, the 84-year-old Kinh had become a leader of the Dong Tam people in a longstanding land dispute with the government. He died defending land that he and other villagers fervently believed was their own.
Vietnams Zugangsrechte zu privatem Land sind eng mit der kommunistischen Herrschaft verbunden. Angesichts der langen Geschichte des privaten Landbesitzes und der privaten Landrechte in Vietnam ist das vietnamesische Volk nie vollständig der Auffassung gefolgt, dass die Regierung ausschließlich alles Land als Staatseigentum verwalten sollte. [read more]

Vietnam in talks to borrow $1 billion as budget deficit seen widening
10.04.2020 (Reuters) -  HANOI - Vietnam plans to borrow $1 billion from foreign lenders this year, the Ministry of Finance said Friday, adding that the country’s budget deficit is seen widening this year due to the coronavirus outbreak.
“The Finance Ministry is negotiating with potential lenders (IMF, WB and ADB),” the ministry said in a statement posted on its website, referring to the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank. [read more]

Philippines backs Vietnam after China sinks fishing boat
08.04.2020 (Washington Post) - MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines on Wednesday expressed solidarity with Vietnam after Hanoi protested what it said was the ramming and sinking of a Vietnamese fishing boat by a Chinese coast guard ship in the disputed South China Sea.
The Department of Foreign Affairs in Manila expressed deep concern over the reported April 3 sinking of the boat carrying eight fishermen off the Paracel Islands. [read more]

South China Sea: US State Department Criticizes China for Reported Ramming, Sinking of Vietnamese Fishing Boat
07.04.2020 By Ankit Panda (The Diplomat) - On Monday, the U.S. State Department criticized China after reports emerged that a Vietnamese fishing vessel had been sunk near the disputed Paracel Islands.
In a statement, Morgan Ortagus, the U.S. Department of State’s spokesperson, said that the United States was “seriously concerned by reports of the PRC’s sinking of a Vietnamese fishing vessel in the vicinity of the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea.” [read more]

Dragon’s global strategic game plan: Coronavirus and sinking of the Vietnamese boat
04.04.2020 (The Times of India) - The world is facing the challenges caused not only by the Coronavirus that originated in China but also the Chinese aggressive actions aimed at establishing its hegemony on seas from the South China Sea to the Indian Ocean. The consequences of the former and objectives of the latter are the same, which strengthens the suspicion that the spread of coronavirus was ‘allowed’ to serve its broad objectives. Significantly, the US National Security Advisor has accused China for cover-up of the outbreak in Wuhan and silencing the doctors who sought to disclose the virus. [read more]

Vietnam protests Beijing's sinking of South China Sea boat
04.04.2020 Khanh Vu (Reuters) - HANOI - Vietnam has lodged an official protest with China following the sinking of a Vietnamese fishing boat it said had been rammed by a Chinese maritime surveillance vessel near islands in the disputed South China Sea.
The Vietnamese fishing vessel, with eight fishermen onboard, was fishing near the Paracel Islands on Thursday when it was rammed and sunk by the Chinese vessel, Vietnam’s foreign ministry said in a statement posted on a government website on Saturday. [read more]

China was once the cradle of the coronavirus pandemic but it has bounced back with astonishing speed, writes EDWARD LUCAS as he reveals the country may have won the war for global supremacy as well
03.04.2020 by Edward Lucas (Daily Mail) - China has — it seems — won its battle against the coronavirus. It may have won the war for global supremacy as well.
That would be a paradoxical outcome. The coronavirus outbreak originated in China, reportedly in the ‘wet’ livestock markets in the city of Wuhan. [read more]

Vietnam charges China with sinking one of its fishing vessels in South China Sea
03.04.2020 by Joel Gehrke (Washington Examiner) - China rammed and sank a Vietnamese fishing vessel in the disputed waters of the South China Sea and detained the crew, according to Vietnamese officials.
“This is the first time a Chinese ship has hit and sunk boats in our commune this year,” Nguyen Van Hai, a provincial Vietnamese official, said Friday. Chinese officials denied responsibility for the collision, which took place Thursday. [read more]

China sees chance to expand global influence amid pandemic
02.04.2020 by Olivia Beavers (The Hill) - China is seeking to expand its global influence during the coronavirus pandemic by painting itself as a powerful benefactor at a time when Beijing is facing accusations of concealing information about the initial outbreak.
Not only is China largely charging for the supplies, they said, it also comes with political strings attached.
“Once you accept Chinese aid, there is pressure to adapt to Chinese positions on things like human rights, environmental issues, political disputes and the like,” said Michael Auslin, a distinguished research fellow at Stanford's Hoover Institution. [read more]

Völkerrechtswidrige Entführung bei geheimdienstlicher Agententätigkeit (Berliner Vietnamesenfall 17)
02.04.2020 RA Daniel Lehnert ( - § 99 StGB bestraft die „einfache“ nachrichtendienstliche Tätigkeit ohne Beschränkung auf Staatsgeheimnisse im Inland.
Der vietnamesische Geheimdienst hat 2017 einen früheren Geschäftsführer eines staatlichen vietnamesischen Unternehmens aus Deutschland nach Vietnam entführt, dessen Auslieferung war vorher gescheitert. Der Entführte war 2016 nach Deutschland gekommen und hatte politisches Asyl beantragt. In der Zwischenzeit wurde er in Vietnam in 2 Verfahren unter anderem wegen Untreue jeweils zu einer lebenslangen Freiheitsstrafe verurteilt. Der aus Vietnam stammende Angeklagte, der selbst kein Mitglied des vietnamesischen Geheimdienstes ist, war in der Operation eingebunden, beschaffte mehrere im Rahmen der geheimdienstlichen Operation verwendete Fahrzeuge und half bei Beseitigung von Spuren (so die im Urteil die Feststellungen des Kammergerichts Berlin). [Weiterlesen]

Vietnam bans posting fake news online - About coronavirus or anything else
02.04.2020 By Robbie Harb (The Register) - Vietnam will fine people posting fake news on social media in an effort to crack down on the spread of both general misinformation and falsehoods about the novel coronavirus.
The new law, which will come into effect on April 15, will fine people who post or share fake news online VND10 to VND20m ($425-$850), which is several months salary for many Vietnamese.
The country's communist government's definition of fake news (in Vietnamese) includes not only posts that include incorrect or misrepresented information, but also extends to slandering the reputation of companies and organisation, and insulting the "honor and dignity" of individuals. [read more]

Coronavirus Outbreak - Vietnam Imposes Hefty Fines for Going Maskless
01.04.2020 By Ha Nguyen (VOA) - WASHINGTON - While U.S. health authorities are debating whether or not wearing masks will help slow the spread of COVID-19, Vietnamese authorities are handing out steep fines to those who disregard the mandate to wear them at all times, just about everywhere.
Hanoi required all Vietnamese and foreigners to wear masks in crowded places as of March 16. At airports and train stations, free masks were handed out to those without them. [read more]

Bart- und Tattoo-Verbot für vietnamesische Häftlinge
01.04.2020 ( - In Vietnam werden die Regeln für Gefängnisinsassen verschärft. Künftig sind unter anderem Tattoos, Bärte oder geschorene Köpfe verboten.
Die ohnehin schon berüchtigten Gefängnisse in Vietnam verschärfen ihre Vorschriften. Häftlinge dürfen sich künftig nicht die Köpfe scheren, keine Bärte wachsen und keine Tattoos machen lassen, wie staatliche Medien am Mittwoch berichteten.
Das Sicherheitsministerium untersagt zudem Bücher und Dokumente mit «ungesundem Inhalt», womit anti-staatliche Inhalte gemeint sein könnten. [Weiterlesen]

China Sends Ships, Planes over Disputed Seas to Show Strength after COVID-19 Outbreak
25.03.2020 By Ralph Jennings (VOA) - TAIPEI, TAIWAN - China is asserting itself in disputed waters around Asia this month to look strong after containing the world’s first coronavirus outbreak as the rest of the world grapples with the disease now.
The Communist leadership seeks an image boost among its own population that's beleaguered by shutdowns and lockdowns -- measures to stop the spread of COVID-19. [read more]

Mer de Chine: Pékin dénonce un passage «provocateur» de l'US Navy
11.03.2020 (Le Figaro) - La Chine a accusé mercredi les Etats-Unis de «provoquer des troubles» après le passage d'un navire de guerre américain en mer de Chine méridionale, à proximité d'îles contrôlées par Pékin.
Un destroyer américain «a fait irruption sans autorisation» mardi dans les eaux de l'archipel des Paracels, a indiqué dans un communiqué Li Huamin, porte-parole de la Zone d'opération sud de l'armée chinoise.
La marine américaine conduit régulièrement des opérations baptisées «liberté de navigation» en mer de Chine méridionale afin de tenir tête à Pékin, qui y revendique la quasi-totalité des îles face à ses voisins (Malaisie, Vietnam, Philippines, Bruneï). [en savoir plus]

How China is rapidly expanding its missile arsenal
09.03.2020 (The Economic Times) - China fired more than 100 ballistic missiles during testing and exercises in 2019, according to sources close to the US military. Such a figure greatly exceeded what the USA and Russia launched, and it illustrates that China is not decelerating in any way its development of missiles for the PLA Rocket Force (PLARF).
One of the martial strengths of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) is its missile arsenal, which is advanced and contains a multitude of more than 40 types that can be used to carry either conventional or nuclear warheads. One key type is the DF-26 intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM), which is being introduced in greater numbers. [read more]

What Does a Second Aircraft Carrier Visit Mean for US-Vietnam Relations?
04.03.2020 By Prashanth Parameswaran (The Diplomat) - A closer look at the significance of a development that has long been in the works.
This week, a U.S. aircraft carrier will make a port call in Vietnam’s coastal city of Da Nang – just the second visit of its kind since the end of the Vietnam War, following the first in early 2018. Though the move has long been in the works and is just a single engagement, it nonetheless bears noting given its significance for U.S.-Vietnam ties and Washington’s regional approach more generally [read more]

China Vessels Impede Energy Exploration by Malaysia as Vietnam Looks on
28.02.2020 (RFA) - After a prolonged stand-off with Vietnam, Chinese vessels are again monitoring and harassing energy exploration efforts by another claimant country in the disputed South China Sea, according to a report by a Washington-based think tank. This time it is Malaysia that’s on the receiving end.
A report from the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative (AMTI) revealed that in October 2019 an exploratory vessel, contracted to Malaysian state-owned oil company Petronas, and its offshore supply vessels entered an area of the South China Sea claimed by Vietnam, China, and Malaysia. [read more]

Coronavirus Weakens China’s Powerful Propaganda Machine
26.02.2020 By Li Yuan (NYT) - Beijing is pushing tales of perseverance, but many young people are openly questioning the Communist Party’s message.
Exhausted medical workers with faces lined from hours of wearing goggles and surgical masks. Women with shaved heads, a gesture of devotion. Retirees who donate their life savings anonymously in government offices.
Beijing is tapping its old propaganda playbook as it battles the relentless coronavirus outbreak, the biggest challenge to its legitimacy in decades. State media is filling smartphones and airwaves with images and tales of unity and sacrifice aimed at uniting the people behind Beijing’s rule. [read more]

Malaysia picks a three-way fight in the South China Sea
21.02.2020 (AMTI) - A months-long standoff over oil and gas operations in the South China Sea is playing out between Malaysian, Chinese, and a small number of Vietnamese vessels, though all three governments are keeping the episode out of the public eye. At issue are two oil and gas fields that Malaysia’s state-owned Petronas is exploring on the extended continental shelf claimed by both Kuala Lumpur and Hanoi. These fields sit within Malaysian oil and gas blocks ND1 and ND2. China has responded with a campaign of intimidation reminiscent of its operations against Malaysian and Vietnamese oil and gas work last year.  [read more]

China: Der Coronavirus-Ausbruch, das Wuhan-P4-Labor und Chinas Volk-ohne-Raum-Theorie
11.02.2020 Von Steffen Munter (Epoch Times) - Die Lungen-Seuche aus Wuhan greift weiter um sich. Längst hat sie mehr als 27 weitere Staaten erreicht. Doch Rätsel gibt nicht nur der Virus selbst auf, sondern auch sein Ursprung, der möglicherweise im Wuhan-P4-Labor liegt.
Wie der kanadische Nachrichtensender „CBC“ berichtete, wurde die prominente chinesische Virologin Dr. Xiangguo Qiu zusammen mit ihrem Ehemann und einer unbekannten Anzahl ihrer Studenten aus China aus dem Nationalen Mikrobiologielabor, Kanadas P4-Labor, entfernt. [Weiterlesen]

«Wenn Peking ungestraft andere Länder drangsaliert und internationales Recht ignoriert, betrifft das uns alle»
10.02.2020 Patrick Zoll (NZZ) - China hat im Südchinesischen Meer Stützpunkte aufgebaut und bedrängt kleinere Länder. Die Geostrategie-Expertin Bonnie Glaser erklärt, warum die USA sich China widersetzen und ob die Gefahr einer Eskalation besteht.
Das Südchinesische Meer ist heiss umstritten. Gleich sieben Länder erheben Anspruch auf einen Teil des Gewässers, durch das zahlreiche wichtige Schifffahrtslinien verlaufen. Mit Abstand die weitreichendsten Forderungen stellt China: Alle Landformationen wie Riffe, Felsen oder Inseln, die sich innerhalb der sogenannten «Nine Dash»-Linie befinden, beansprucht Peking für sich.
China ignoriert und verletzt tagtäglich den Entscheid des internationalen Schiedsgerichts vom Juli 2016. Wir müssen uns fragen, ob China internationales Recht nur selektiv befolgt. [Weiterlesen]

Vietnam denounces Slovakian expulsion of diplomat in abduction row
07.02.2020 (Reuters) - PRAGUE - Vietnam denounced Slovakia’s expulsion of one of its diplomats in a row over the abduction of a disgraced Vietnamese businessman via Slovakia in 2017, saying it was not in line with the “traditional friendship” between the two countries.
Businessman Trinh Xuan Thanh had been seeking asylum in Germany at the time of his disappearance on a Berlin street. He was spirited back to Vietnam, via Slovakia, where he was tried and jailed for life in 2018 for violating state regulations and embezzlement. [read more]

Slovakia expels Vietnamese diplomat over abduction case
06.02.2020 (Reuters) - PRAGUE - Slovakia said it had expelled a Vietnamese diplomat over a case involving the abduction of a Vietnamese businessman in 2017 from a Berlin street.
In a final ruling on the case, a German court on Tuesday dismissed the appeal of the last suspect in the kidnapping of businessman Trinh Xuan Thanh, who had been seeking asylum in Germany at the time of his disappearance.
Slovakia’s foreign ministry said in a statement posted on its website late on Wednesday that it had informed Vietnam’s ambassador to Bratislava that one of his diplomats must leave the country within 48 hours. [read more]

Slowakei: Vietnamesischer Diplomat ausgewiesen
06.02.2020 Von Viktoria Großmann (Süddeutsche Zeitung) - Die Entführung eines vietnamesischen Geschäftsmannes von Berlin über Bratislava nach Vietnam war völkerrechtswidrig, stellt der Bundesgerichtshof fest. Vorwürfe gegen den früheren Innenminister halten an.
Zweieinhalb Jahre nachdem ein vietnamesischer Geschäftsmann in Berlin entführt und über die Slowakei zurück nach Vietnam gebracht wurde, weist die Slowakei nun einen vietnamesischen Diplomaten aus. Damit reagiert das Land auf ein Urteil des Bundesgerichtshofs von dieser Woche. [Weiterlesen]

Geschäftsmann nach Vietnam entführt: Haftstrafe bestätigt
03.02.2020 (Süddeutsche Zeitung) - Karlsruhe/Berlin (dpa). Die Entführung eines vietnamesischen Geschäftsmanns in Berlin löste eine diplomatische Krise aus - nun ist ein Beteiligter rechtskräftig zu fast vier Jahren Haft verurteilt. Die obersten Strafrichter des Bundesgerichtshofs (BGH) verwarfen die Revision des Mannes bereits vor mehreren Monaten, wie erst jetzt in Karlsruhe mitgeteilt wurde. (Az. 3 StR 562/18)
Der Geschäftsmann Trinh Xuan Thanh war am 23. Juli 2017 überfallen und mitsamt seiner Freundin von fünf asiatisch aussehenden Männern in einen Transporter gezerrt worden. Inzwischen wurde er in Vietnam wegen Korruptionsvorwürfen zwei Mal zu lebenslanger Haft verurteilt.
Das Berliner Kammergericht ging davon aus, dass dahinter der vietnamesische Geheimdienst steckte. Ein Vietnamese aus Prag hatte gestanden, den Transporter gemietet und nach Berlin und zurück gebracht zu haben [Weiterlesen]

Hexenkessel Südchinesisches Meer: Erneute Spannungen zwischen China und den USA
01.02.2020 (RT) - Am vergangenen Samstag kreuzte ein Kriegsschiff der US-Marine in der Nähe der von China beanspruchten Spratly-Inseln im Südchinesischen Meer. Dies gab die US-Marineverwaltung am Dienstag bekannt. Das Südchinesische Meer könnte im Jahr 2020 zu einem Hexenkessel werden.
Ein Sprecher der 7. Flotte der US-Marine teilte der Japan Times mit, dass die USS Montgomery, ein modernes Küstenkampfschiff, sein Recht auf freie Navigation (FONOP – Freedom of Navigation Operations) vor den Spratly-Inseln im Einklang mit dem Völkerrecht geltend gemacht habe.  [Weiterlesen]

Coronavirus Spreads, and the World Pays for China’s Dictatorship
29.01.2020 Nicholas Kristof (NYT) - ... The first known coronavirus infection in the city of Wuhan presented symptoms beginning on Dec. 1, and by late December there was alarm in Wuhan’s medical circles. That would have been the moment for the authorities to act decisively.
And act decisively they did — not against the virus, but against whistle-blowers who were trying to call attention to the public health threat. A doctor who told a WeChat group about the virus was disciplined by the Communist Party and forced to admit wrongdoing. The police reported giving “education” and “criticism” to eight front-line doctors for “rumormongering” about the epidemic; instead of punishing these doctors, Xi should have listened to them. [read more]

Verurteilung im Fall Trinh Xuan Thanh - Geständnis und Glaubwürdigkeit
29.01.2020 Marina Mai (taz) - Das Urteil gegen einen Entführungshelfer ist rechtskräftig. Nun bemüht sich die Anwältin um die Freilassung Trinh Xuan Thanhs aus vietnamesischer Haft.
Das Urteil des Berliner Kammergerichts von 2018 gegen einen Entführungshelfer des vietnamesischen Ex-Politikers Trinh Xuan Thanh ist rechtskräftig. Der Bundesgerichtshof hat eine Revision des Verurteilten zurückgewiesen. Das teilten der Anwalt des Betroffenen, Stephan Bonell, und die Nebenklagevertreterin Petra Schlagenhauf der taz mit. [Weiterlesen]

Will Vietnam’s anti-corruption campaign endure beyond Trong?
29.01.2020 Author: Le Hong Hiep, ISEAS–Yusof Ishak Institute (East Asia Forum) - A key current feature of Vietnamese politics is the high-profile anti-corruption campaign led by Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong. The campaign enters its fifth year, with Trong recently announcing that 10 more grand corruption cases would be put to trial in 2020. But if Trong steps down at the 13th CPV National Congress early next year, it is uncertain whether the campaign can maintain momentum.
The campaign mainly targets high-level corruption, while corruption at lower levels of government, or in agencies that people and businesses frequently deal with, such as the tax and customs authorities, have not shown clear signs of improvement. [read more]

Indonesia Fights Growing Pressure from China to Let it Use Use Disputed Waters
21.01.2020 By Ralph Jennings (VOA) - TAIPEI, TAIWAN - China is raising pressure on Indonesia over rights to use a contested tract of sea and challenging the militarily weaker Southeast Asian country to consider options from friendly dialogue to strong protests.
Indonesia spotted as many as 63 "trespassing" Chinese vessels in 30 locations within its maritime exclusive economic zone last month, the research platform East Asia Forum says in a January 15 report.  Another spate followed in early January.  Chinese coast guard vessels had escorted some, media reports from Jakarta say. [read more]

Who will lead Vietnam in 2021?
16.01.2020 Author: David Brown (East Asia Forum) - Vietnamese politics has reverted to its customary opacity. General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong and his intimates in the Communist Party’s secretariat remain intent on party renewal, a wholly internal affair.
Going into 2019, Trong’s tightening leash on the sprawling Ministry of Public Security and his crusades against corruption and for the elevation of the ‘model cadre’ had secured for him an iron grip on the 2021 succession scenario. Going into 2020, things are a little different. [read more]

Another Vietnam Politburo Purge?
16.01.2020 By David Hutt (The Diplomat) - Is Hoang Trung Hai getting the boot from Vietnam’s Politburo amid the countdown to the most consequential political event in the country’s politics in 2021? With only 12 months to go until the next National Congress of the Vietnamese Communist Party, gossip and intrigue are about to reach their peak this year as glimpses of  infighting and factional squabbling seep into the public sphere.
On January 10, the Party’s Central Inspection Committee took the decision to reprimand Hai, a member of the elite Politburo. [read more]

7 of 10 ASEAN members favor China over US: survey
16.01.2020 Kentaro Iwamoto (Nikkei Asian Review) - SINGAPORE -- As the rivalry between the U.S. and China continues to heat up, Southeast Asians are split between the two superpowers, according to a Singaporean think tank, posing a challenge for a region that has sought unity to speed economic growth.
Southeast Asia is not just a roaring economic powerhouse. Its location linking the Pacific and the Indian oceans makes it a strategically vital region for the two rivals. [read more]

South China Sea: Putin moves to support the Philippines and Vietnam against Beijing’s plan
14.01.2020 By Brian McGleenon (express) - RUSSIA has been invited by the Philippines to explore for oil in a vast area of the South China Sea claimed by Beijing.
The development will frustrate China’s attempts to secure ownership of the lucrative zone within its nine dash line, the proportion of the sea bed that Beijing has allocated for itself. In October Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte invited Moscow-based energy company Rosneft to conduct oil and gas exploration in waters the Philippines claims in the South China Sea. [read more]

Hanoi chief disciplined in corruption crackdown
11.01.2020 Tomoya Onishi (Nikkei Asian Review) - HANOI -- Vietnam's Communist Party issued a disciplinary warning Friday to the secretary of Hanoi, finding "violations" in his oversight of state-owned steel company Thai Nguyen Iron and Steel during his tenure as deputy prime minister.
The Politburo, the country's top decision-making body, said that Hoang Trung Hai's actions while handling the steelmaker's expansion "seriously damaged the financial position and properties of the state" while also harming the party's reputation, according to local media. [read more]

South China Sea: Malaysia, Indonesia, And Vietnam Beat China At Its Own Game
10.01.2020 Panos Mourdoukoutas (Forbes)  -   Malaysia has joined Indonesia and Vietnam to beat China at its own game in the South China Sea (SCS): The use of lawfare to settle disputes.
That's according to Dr. Namrata Goswami, the Senior Analyst, and Author.
Goswami is referring to Malaysia's decision last December to extend its continental shelf by submitting a petition to the United Nations Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS). [read more]

Battle lines drawn for Vietnam’s future leadership
09.01.2020 By David Hutt (Asia Times) - Lame duck and ailing leader Nguyen Phu Trong may lack the political clout to anoint his preferred successor.
Tran Quoc Vuong, a mainly unfamiliar apparatchik with Vietnam’s ruling Communist Party, arrived in France and the Czech Republic for rare state visits late last year.
Vuong, head of the Party’s Inspection Commission and standing member of its Secretariat, seldom leaves Hanoi and certainly not for tours of European capitals. [read more]

Die Weltmeere gehören allen – das muss auch Peking respektieren
09.01.2020 Patrick Zoll (NZZ) - Kurz vor Ende Jahr hatte die chinesische Marine Grund zum Feiern. Nach monatelangen Testfahrten konnte sie auf dem Stützpunkt von Sanya auf der südchinesischen Insel Hainan die «Shandong» in Dienst stellen, den zweiten Flugzeugträger des Landes.
Ein zweiter Flugzeugträger werde die taktischen und strategischen Möglichkeiten der Marine erweitern und ihre schiere Kraft erhöhen, feierte die nationalistische Propagandablatt «Global Times» das Ereignis. [Weiterlesen]

Indonesia president visits islands also claimed by China
08.01.2020 (Seattle Times) - JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesian President Joko Widodo on Wednesday reaffirmed his country’s sovereignty during a visit to a group of islands at the edge of the South China Sea that China claims as its traditional fishing area.
Widodo, accompanied by top military officials, toured Natuna Islands on a naval ship in a move designed to send a message to Beijing.
“Natuna is part of Indonesia’s territory, there is no question, no doubt,” Widodo said in a speech after the trip. “There is no bargaining for our sovereignty.” [read more]

Indonesien bekräftigt Anspruch gegen China auf Meeresgebiet
08.01.2020 von Wolfgang Greber (Die Presse) - Zwischen den beiden Ländern mehren sich die Konflikte. Chinesische Fischer fahren mit Küstenwache-Eskorten in indonesische Gewässer. Jakarta verstärkt hingegen Flotte und Luftwaffe auf dem Natuna-Archipel.
Bei einem Truppenbesuch im Südchinesischen Meer hat der indonesische Präsident Joko Widodo die Entschlossenheit seines Landes bekräftigt, sein Meeresgebiet dort gegen Ansprüche Chinas zu verteidigen. Widodo besuchte einen Fliegerhorst auf den Natuna-Inseln und zwei vor den Inseln patrouillierende Kriegsschiffe. [Weiterlesen]

Vietnam’s PM Urges Police to Clamp Down on National Security Crimes
06.01.2020 (RFA) - On the heels of a report that the Vietnamese government arrested and charged 39 prisoners of conscience in 2019 on charges of violating national security, the country’s prime minister urged the police to step up its efforts against “hostile forces and reactionaries.”
The 39 arrested and charged last year using the National Security clauses in Vietnam’s penal code include several journalists, among them “Pham Chi Dung, president of the unregistered Independent Journalist Association of Vietnam for his writing for the organization as well as the Voice of America (VOA) …and other foreign outlets,” the report said. [read more]

Europe helps secure release of 11 North Korean defectors held in Vietnam - activists
04.01.2020 Hyonhee Shin (Reuters) - SEOUL - A group of 11 North Koreans who were detained in Vietnam while seeking to defect to South Korea have been released thanks to the help of European institutions, a Seoul-based activist group said on Saturday.
The eight women and three men were caught by border guards in northern Vietnam in late November after crossing from China, and had been held in the northeastern border city of Lang Son.
Peter Jung, who heads the group helping the refugees, Justice for North Korea, said they were freed and on their way to South Korea last month. [read more]

Europa hilft bei Freilassung von elf nordkoreanischen Überläufern – Aktivisten
04.01.2020 (Sputnik) - Elf Nordkoreaner, die bei einem Gruppen-Fluchtversuch nach Südkorea in Vietnam festgenommen wurden, sind dank der Hilfe europäischer Organisationen freigelassen worden. Dies teilte eine in Seoul ansässige Aktivistengruppe am Samstag mit.
Die acht Frauen und drei Männer wurden Ende November von Grenzbeamten in Nordvietnam von China kommend gefasst und in der nordöstlichen Grenzstadt Lang Son festgehalten worden. [Weiterlesen]

Indonesia boosts patrols after Chinese boat 'trespasses' in its waters
04.01.2020 (The Asahi Shimbun) - JAKARTA--Indonesia has increased patrols around islands near the disputed South China Sea after a Chinese coast guard vessel "trespassed" into Indonesia's exclusive economic zone, authorities said on Friday.
The Chinese vessel entered waters off the coast of the northern Natuna islands in mid-December, leading Indonesian foreign ministry to issue a “strong protest” and summon the Chinese ambassador in Jakarta. [read more]

2020 look ahead: China faces up to tough regional challenges
03.01.2020 Richard Heydarian (Nikkei Asian Review) - South China Sea, Belt and Road Initiative and Taiwan are all on Xi's to-do list.
Twenty-nineteen showed how much difference a year can make to the fate and self-perception of even the greatest and most ambitious powers. It also marked the toughest year in the political career of Xi Jinping, China's de facto president for life. [read more]

Trump-Trọng Summit Remains In Limbo – Analysis
02.01.2020 Nguyen Quang Dy (YaleGlobal Online) - Strategic partnership between Vietnam and the United States may be a bridge too far, especially for China.
HANOI: With repeated Chinese intrusions into oil-rich Vanguard Bank and anticipated departure of ExxonMobil from the Blue Whale project, the South China Sea dispute has reached a turning point. A planned meeting between presidents Donald Trump and Nguyễn Phú Trọng could be pivotal for a strategic partnership, but is unlikely to happen any time soon.
During the Trump-Kim summit in Hanoi in February, Trump invited Trọng to visit Washington with discussions expected on the South China Sea, the US-Vietnam strategic partnership and the Blue Whale project. Trọng postponed visits in July and October for unspecified concerns over health or Chinese reactions, and uncertainty lingers as Trump contends with impeachment by a polarized Congress. [read more]

Downside risks abound for Vietnam’s 2020 economy
02.01.2020 By David Hutt (Asia Times) - Despite strong growth planners would be ill-advised to lose sight of needed reforms and divestments
Vietnam’s Communist Party leaders could be excused if their 2020 outlook is overly politicized.
Apparatchiks and their respective factions are expected to begin jockeying for position ahead of the Party’s quinquennial National Party Congress in early 2021, where key leadership posts and policies will be decided. [read more]

China's 'dangerous' South China Sea plan almost complete
02.01.2020 (NZ Herald) - The battle for the South China Sea is heating up. Vietnam. Malaysia. The Philippines. All have drawn lines in the sandbars against China. But it may already be too late.
This past year, Vietnam stood its ground over the right to deploy an oil rig within its UN-mandated waters. Malaysia complained publicly of interference by the Chinese coastguard. The Philippines moved to secure its Scarborough Shoal islands. And, all the while, new nations have been joining the Freedom of Navigation pushback over Beijing's claims to the South China Sea. [read more]

Hacker aus Vietnam in Deutschland
02.01.2020 Marina Mai (taz) - Indizien sprechen dafür, dass der vietnamesische Staat an Cyberangriffen beteiligt ist. Laut Bayerischem Rundfunk soll auch BMW betroffen sein.
Der deutsche Autohersteller BMW wurde nach einem Bericht des Bayerischen Rundfunks ebenfalls Opfer eines Cyberangriffs. Bereits seit vergangenem Frühjahr soll sich eine Hackergruppe mit dem Namen OceanLotus im internen Firmennetzwerk von BMW eingehackt haben. Die Hacker hatten zuvor eine gefälschte Website eingerichtet, die den Eindruck erweckte, der BMW-Niederlassung in Thailand zu gehören. Das Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz hatte bereits im Juni die Automobilbranche vor der Gruppe OceanLotus gewarnt. [Weiterlesen]

A Year of Multiple Standoffs, Few Solutions in South China Sea Dispute
01.01.2020 By Ralph Jenning (VOA) - TAIPEI, TAIWAN - China confirmed its lead this year in Asia's biggest maritime sovereignty dispute by sending nonmilitary ships to waters normally controlled by other countries, allowing it to flex muscle without conflicts or diplomatic losses.
Pushback from Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam kept Beijing from adding artificial islets or control over existing features in the resource-rich South China Sea in 2019, analysts say. [read more]

P1 - RSF_VN-Force47

09.02.2020 (Liberal Publishing House) - This is a report on the violent government attack against Dong Tam village (near Hanoi, Vietnam) on January 9, 2020, just before the Lunar New Year. The attack resulted in the village leader’s death and more than two dozen arrests. Three policemen were also reported killed in the clash. This report reaches the conclusion that this event is the largest peacetime land dispute in Vietnam in terms of troops deployed, as well as one of the deadliest; it also highlights concerns about police brutality, abuse of power, and the contradictory concept of the “people’s ownership of land” in Vietnam.

P1 - Nguyen Phu Trong Predator of Press Freedom

Asientalk 13.09.2019
China as assertive neighbour
Journalists from Myanmar, Cambodia and Malaysia discuss about a difficult neighbour for Southeast Asia: China

How to evade new dependencies and how to balance Chinese powerplay? How fair is a dominant China treating its neighbours? Where does Beijing help, where does it create trouble? What role do the Chinese diaspora and anti-Chinese ressentiments play? Who pays the price for China´s quest for raw materials, water and energy ressources and its cheap exports flooding the whole region? How do Chinese divide-and-rule tactics effect the ASEAN community?
Moderator: Sven Hansen, taz-editor Asia-desk
An event by the taz Panterstiftung in cooperation with Han Sens Asientalk and the Federal Foreign Office
Fr., 13.09.2019, 7 p.m.
taz conference room
1st floor

Friedrichstraße 21
10969 Berlin-Kreuzberg

Free admission

P1- Jude Kirton-Darling

P1 - 2019 world press freedom index

P1 - Nguyen Phu Trong Predator of Press Freedom

Diskussion 11.02.2019
Vietnam – Mythen und Wirklichkeiten
P1 - Vietnam – Mythen und Wirklichkeiten
Politische Narrative stiften Identität und können Machtverhältnisse legitimieren - vor allem in einem autoritär regierten Land wie Vietnam.
Vietnam war für die über Europa und die USA weit hinausreichende „68er“ Bewegung Chiffre, Projektionsfläche und Katalysator: Es stand für den Glauben daran, dass die Unterdrückten dieser Welt ungerechte Herrschaft beseitigen, deren Verteidiger besiegen können und dafür, dass eine bessere, gerechtere und friedvollere Welt hier wie dort möglich ist. Vietnam war und blieb weit über 1968 hinaus ein politischer Mythos.
    Diskussion mit:
  • Wolfgang Kraushaar, Analytiker und Chronist der „68er“-Bewegung
  • Jörg Wischermann, Research Fellow am GIGA Institut für Asien-Studien und Herausgeber des Bandes „Vietnam: Mythen und Wirklichkeiten“ 
  • Gerhard Will, Südost­asienwisschaftler und Herausgeber des Bandes „Vietnam: Mythen und Wirklichkeiten“
  • Michael Behrens, Ex-Präsident der Europäischen Handelskammer in Vietnam
  • Moderation: Sven Hansen, taz-Asienredakteur
• Wann: Mo, 11.02.2019, 19.00 Uhr
• Wo: taz Kantine
• Friedrichstraße 21
• 10969 Berlin-Kreuzberg
• Eintritt frei

Diskussion 04.09.2018
Menschenrechte und Opposition
Wie kann die Menschenrechts- und Demokratiebewegung in Vietnam unterstützt werden?
Diskutieren werden Nguyen Van Dai, Rechtsanwalt, ehem. politischer Gefangener, Bruderschaft für Demokratie Vietnams und Vu Quoc Dung, Veto! Human Rights Defenders Network, Bad Nauheim.
Marina Mai, taz-Autorin moderiert den Abend. Die Einführung übernimmt Michael Heinisch-Kirch, Vorstandsvorsitzender der SozDia Stiftung Berlin.

Wann: Di, 04.09.18, 19.00 Uhr
Wo: taz Café,
Rudi-Dutschke-Straße 23
10969 Berlin
Eintritt frei

Amnesty International - Vietnam 2016:

H1 - Prisons Within Prisons

10 Most Censored Countries

Vietnam 2015 - Not Free

* Menschenrechte / Human Rights  
Amnesty International - DEATH SENTENCES AND EXECUTIONS 2014
Amnesty International - DEATH SENTENCES AND EXECUTIONS 2014

... Figures on the use of the death penalty continued to be classified as a state secret in Viet Nam, where media reported at least three executions. The real figure is believed to be much higher. Amnesty International recorded that the courts imposed at least 72 new death sentences, 80% of which were for drug trafficking, and that at least 700 people remained under sentence of death at the end of the year... [read the report]

* Menschenrechte / Human Rights  
WORLD REPORT 2015 - Vietnam

HRW WORLD REPORT 2015 - Vietnam
Jan. 2015 (HRW) The human rights situation in Vietnam remained critical in 2014. The Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) continued its one-party rule, in place since 1975. Maintaining
its monopoly on state power, it faced growing public discontent with the lack of basic freedoms. While fewer bloggers and activists were arrested than in
2013, the security forces increased various forms of harassment and intimidation of critics.
Vietnamese courts lack independence and continue to be used as political tools of the CPV against critics.
Vietnam bans all independent political parties, labor unions, and human rights organizations. Authorities require official approval for public gatherings and refuse
to grant permission for meetings, marches, or protests they deem politically or otherwise unacceptable. ...
read HRW Vietnam Report