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China-Vietnam Relations Fall To A One-Year Low Over A New Maritime Dispute
31.07.2017 Ralph Jennings (Forbes) - After a world court tribunal ruled last year in July that Beijing lacked legal rights to claim most of the South China Sea, it stepped up talks with the chief maritime disputant Vietnam. Vietnam and China contest sovereignty over the sea’s two major island chains and a lot more. Both remember deadly naval clashes in 1974 and 1988 for control over some of those islets. Three years ago, anti-China riots broke out in Vietnam after Beijing let a Chinese offshore oil driller park a rig 240 kilometers east of the Vietnamese coast.
“China’s reported threat to Vietnam forms part of a pattern of increased bellicosity from China,” Carl Thayer, emeritus professor at The University of New South Wales in Australia, says in a July 25 research note. “At the extreme end of the spectrum, China could fire warning shots at the exploration vessel or, as threatened, take some form of limited military action against one of the features that Vietnam occupies.” [read more]

Entenfleisch mit frischem Blut
31.07.2017 von Marina Mai (taz) - BERLIN - Seit der Berliner Journalist Trung Khoa Le kritisch über die vietnamesische Regierung berichtet, erhält er Morddrohungen. An sein Telefon geht Trung Khoa Le nur noch, wenn er den Anrufer kennt. Der deutschvietnamesische Journalist aus Berlin sagt, er fühle sich bedroht. Von Offiziellen in Vietnam und von einer Privatperson aus München. Letzten Dienstag hat er Strafanzeige bei der Berliner Polizei gestellt und diesen Moment für seine Onlinezeitung mit einem Foto festgehalten. Darauf hält er seinen deutschen Presseausweis ins Bild.
Die vietnamesische Presse, etwa das führende Onlinemagazin VietNamNet, überhöhte den Besuch des in Vietnam umstrittenen Ministerpräsidenten vorab: Auf persönliche Einladung Angela Merkels werde der Politiker nach Berlin und Hamburg reisen. Von Merkel werde er ebenso empfangen wie US-Präsident Donald Trump, Chinas Staatspräsident Xi Jinping und Wladimir Putin aus Russland, schrieben mehrere Medien in Hanoi. Kurz: Nguyen Xuan Phuc habe das kleine Vietnam und sich selbst in eine Reihe mit den Großen dieser Welt gestellt.
Diese Legende hat der Journalist Le auf seiner kleinen Onlinezeitung detailliert und sachlich hinterfragt. Das Ergebnis: Ein Empfang des vietnamesischen Premiers im Kanzleramt war nie vorgesehen. [Weiterlesen]

Vietnam proposes firing vice minister amid corruption crackdown
31.07.2017 (Reuters) -  HANOI - Vietnam's ruling Communist party said on Monday that a former executive of electricity firm Dien Quang Lamp should be sacked from her current position as a vice-trade minister as it continues a crackdown on corruption.
Deputy trade minister Ho Thi Kim Thoa might lose all of her positions at the ministry after the Central Inspection Committee found her responsible for several wrongdoings at the company and in the illegal appointment of a wanted former official. Thoa approved the appointment of former PetroVietnam Construction Joint Stock Corp chairman and ex-provincial leader Trinh Xuan Thanh, whom police said turned himself in on Monday after a 10-month international manhunt. [read more]

Water Wars: Jockeying for Black Gold in the South China Sea
28.07.2017 By Jimmy Chalk, Sarah Grant (Lawfare) - China leverages its growing military presence, threatening Vietnam and building ties with the Philippines.
Oil and gas play a significant role in the South China Sea dispute. United States Geological Survey studies estimate that beneath the South China Sea lay 22 million barrels of crude oil and 300 million trillion cubic feet of natural gas, which rival estimates of reserves in Mexico and the U.S. Gulf Coast.
Those territorial disputes bubbled to the fore this week. [read more]

Vietnam’s strategies in the South China Sea
28.07.2017 Author: Carlyle A. Thayer, UNSW Canberra (East Asia Forum) - A year ago on 12 July 2016, the Arbitral Tribunal handed down its award on the claims brought by the Philippines against China over their maritime disputes in the Spratly Islands. The Tribunal ruled unanimously on almost all of the Philippines’ claims.
If China and the Philippines had complied with the findings of the award, as required by international law, Vietnam would have been a major beneficiary.
But Vietnam chose not to press the legal leverage it accrued from the Tribunal’s award.  Rather, Vietnam has joined other ASEAN members in avoiding any mention of the award, preferring ‘legal and diplomatic processes’ instead. [read more]

Britain says it will send warship to South China Sea next year, in move likely to anger Beijing
28.07.2017 (SCMP) - Britain plans to send a warship to the disputed South China Sea next year to conduct freedom of navigation exercises, Defence Minister Michael Fallon said on Thursday, a move likely to anger Beijing.
“We hope to send a warship to region next year. We have not finalised exactly where that deployment will take place but we won’t be constrained by China from sailing through the South China Sea,” Fallon said.
“We have the right of freedom of navigation and we will exercise it.” [read more]

Südchinesisches Meer: Waffen statt Lösungen
27.07.2017 Rodion Ebbighausen (DW) - Im Südchinesischen Meer spitzt sich die Lage zu. Doch nichts deutet darauf hin, dass die Konfliktparteien an einer konstruktiven Lösung arbeiten. Stattdessen kaufen sie mehr und mehr Waffen.
Es rumort wieder im Südchinesischen Meer. Nachdem die letzten Monate vergleichsweise ruhig waren, haben in den vergangenen Tagen und Wochen drei Ereignisse für Aufmerksamkeit gesorgt. [Weiterlesen]

Ölstreit: China droht Vietnam mit Militärangriff
27.07.2017 (Sputnik) - China drohte vor kurzem, vietnamesische Stützpunkte anzugreifen, falls Hanoi die Öl- und Gaserschließung im umstrittenen Teil des Südchinesischen Meeres fortsetzen sollte. Das schreibt die Zeitung "Nesawissimaja Gaseta" am Donnerstag.
Vietnam nahm diese Drohung ernst und beauftragte den spanischen Ölkonzern Repsol, die Erschließung einzustellen. Diese Arbeiten hatten vor etwa einem Monat begonnen. Die Bohranlagen befinden sich in ungefähr 250 Meilen vor der südöstlichen Küste Vietnams, in der Nähe der Spratly-Inseln. Die Medienberichte über diesen Zwischenfall sind kontrovers. Laut Reuters geht es um das Gebiet, das Peking für sich reklamiert und wo auch seine Anlagen liegen. [Weiterlesen]

China-Vietnam South China Sea Spat in the Spotlight
25.07.2017 By Prashanth Parameswaran (The Diplomat) - Reports indicate Beijing’s coercive efforts continue even as it plays up a cooling down period in the South China Sea.
On July 24, the BBC cited both a Southeast Asian oil industry source and a Vietnamese diplomatic source as confirming that Hanoi had terminated a gas-drilling expedition that had begun last month in a disputed area of the South China Sea following a threat from China that it would attack Vietnamese bases in the Spratly Islands. According to the industry source, the company behind the drilling, Repsol of Spain, was ordered to leave the area Vietnam called Block 136-03 (and China calls Wanan Bei-21) about 250 miles off of Hanoi’s southeast coast. [read more]

Alarming Escalation in the South China Sea: China Threatens Force if Vietnam Continues Oil Exploration in Spratlys - A new pattern of Chinese bellicosity?
24.07.2017 By Carl Thayer (The Diplomat) - On July 15, well-informed sources in Hanoi privately reported that Vietnam directed a subsidiary of Spain’s Repsol to suspend oil drilling in block 136-03 in the South China Sea. Nine days later a report by the BBC’s Bill Hayton finally confirmed this.
According to the BBC, Vietnam informed Repsol executives last week that “China had threatened to attack Vietnamese bases in the Spratly Islands if the drilling did not stop.” Vietnamese government officials directed Repsol to leave the area.
While there has been some dispute among observers about the commercial viability of block 136-03, the BBC reported that Repsol confirmed the discovery of a major gas field only a few days ago. [read more]

South China Sea: Vietnam halts drilling after 'China threats'
24.07.2017 By Bill Hayton (BBC) - Vietnam has reportedly terminated a gas-drilling expedition in a disputed area of the South China Sea, following strong threats from China.
A source in the south-east Asian oil industry has told the BBC that the company behind the drilling, Repsol of Spain, was ordered to leave the area.
It comes only days after it had confirmed the existence of a major gas field. [read more]

South Vietnam flag still flies high
23.07.2017 By Helen Clark  (Asia Times) - Buried at the bottom of a detailed account of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s trip to the G-20 Summit were a few lines on his meeting with Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc. Though Vietnam is not a part of the G-20, a grouping of the top 20 economies in the world, Phuc and other leaders travelled to the event for meetings on the sidelines.
“In his discussion with Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, the Vietnamese leader raised concerns about five local councils in Australia that reportedly support the flying of the ‘yellow’ flag, which was the flag of the former government of South Vietnam,” reported Fairfax media. “Mr Nguyen asked Mr Turnbull to exert his influence and stop the practice.” [read more]

Can Vietnam’s Military Really Mind Its Own Businesses?
20.07.2017 By Nguyen The Phuong (The Diplomat) - The debate over the military’s role in economic activities continues to rage on.
The land disputes that surfaced recently in Dong Tam and the debate over whether or not to use the notorious Tan Son Nhat golf course to expand the highly overloaded Tan Son Nhat International Airport has ignited another sensitive but interesting issue within Vietnam: the role of the military in economic activities.
The golf course debate and Dong Tam land disputes, which were highly disturbing for both party and military elites, raised a huge debate on social and state media about the role of the military in any economic activities. [read more]

Whose line is it anyway? The growing threat of China’s maritime presence
20.07.2017 by Joanna Eva (Global Risk Insights) - China sent its first ever deployment of troops to its military facility in Djibouti on the Horn of Africa this week, under the guise of anti-piracy operations and humanitarian missions in the region. The facility sits at the shipping chokehold of the Gulf of Aden, and Japan, India and Vietnam are likely to view the deployment as a threat to their domestic routes amid rising maritime tensions worldwide.
As China seeks to create a “string of pearls” from Hong Kong to Africa via Sri Lanka and Pakistan, it is no doubt moving to secure its vast oil and raw mineral imports from the Middle East and Africa – but at what cost to the security of global waterways as a whole? [read more]

The South China Sea seven years on
19.07.2017 Author: Michael McDevitt, CNA (East Asia Forum) - This month seven years ago at the Hanoi ASEAN Regional Forum, then secretary of state Hillary Clinton made a very public, and — for the Chinese — surprising, intervention into the South China Sea (SCS) disputes. This move implicated Washington in a way that was probably unforeseen in Washington and in the region at the time. While the objective of the Clinton statement was to indicate that peace and stability in the SCS was a US interest, in hindsight, by choosing to be so publically involved — over time exhorting China to play by the rules;  [read more]

Jakarta disregards Beijing, renames part of South China Sea
18.07.2017 Erwida Maulia (Nikkei Asian Review) - JAKARTA -- Citing a decision last year of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in Europe that has been ignored by China, Indonesia has renamed its exclusive economic zone in the southwestern part of the South China Sea.
Jakarta revealed the newly designated North Natuna Sea on Friday when it unveiled a new official map of the national archipelago. It reflects recent negotiations with Southeast Asian neighbors, and the 2016 findings of the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague in the Netherlands on the dispute in the South China Sea between China and the Philippines. [read more]

Vietnam to reduce number of military businesses
18.07.2017 Jon Grevatt (IHS Jane's Defence Weekly) - The Vietnam government has announced a commitment to complete the restructuring of the businesses owned by the country’s military, vowing the divest stakes in the majority of companies.
Major General Vo Hong Thang, the director of the Ministry of National Defence’s (MND) economics department, said in comments published on 14 July by state-run news that the businesses owned by the Vietnam People’s Army (VPA) had declined in number significantly in recent years but that further downsizing is expected. [read more]

Vietnam: Künftige Reporter in Kriegseuphorie
17.07.2017 Dieter Herrmann (web.de) - Dass das vietnamesische Fernsehen sich wieder bei mir gemeldet hat, hat einen sehr speziellen Grund - und es ist ein hochpolitischer. Vorsicht ist angebracht in meiner Funktion als Ausbilder beziehungsweise Trainer für Journalisten, denn ich will mich auf keinen Fall vor einen politischen Karren spannen lassen.
Bei "VTV" (Vietnam TV) habe ich schon zuvor mehrfach unterrichtet. Immer war es wichtig, sachlich und fachlich zu bleiben und dabei trotzdem "westliche Werte" zu vermitteln. Ganz einfach war das nie - immerhin ist Vietnam eine sozialistische Einparteien-Republik und die Medien, allen voran das Fernsehen, sind staatliche Betriebe. [Weiterlesen]

Asserting sovereignty, Indonesia renames part of South China Sea
15.07.2017 (The Asahi Shimbun) - JAKARTA -- Indonesia renamed the northern reaches of its exclusive economic zone in the South China Sea as the North Natuna Sea on Friday, the latest act of resistance by Southeast Asian nations to China's territorial ambitions in the maritime region.
Seen by analysts as an assertion of Indonesian sovereignty, part of the renamed sea is claimed by China under its contentious maritime boundary, known as the 'nine-dash line', that encompasses most of the resource-rich sea.
Indonesia insists it's a non-claimant state in the South China Sea dispute but has clashed with China over fishing rights around the Natuna Islands, detaining Chinese fishermen and expanding its military presence in the area over the past 18 months. [read more]

Doi Moi II: Rule of Law and State Legitimacy in Vietnam
14.07.2017 By Le Vinh Trien and Kris Hartley (The Diplomat) -“Vietnam has the opportunity to define a next-generation model of liberalized development.”
Vietnam’s economic development since the 1986 Doi Moi reforms has been a model of progress for the country’s ASEAN peers. Since 2000, Vietnam’s yearly GDP growth has averaged 6.4 percent, pushing the country to middle-income status at an impressive pace.
In Vietnam, growth facilitated by aggressive exploitation of cheap and idle resources is nearing an end, and the country must now plan for lower economic growth rates. Environmental costs notwithstanding, the mobilization of resources for growth has been facilitated by market liberalization, but the financial proceeds have accrued largely to economic and political elites. [read more]

G-20 leaders reach deal on trade, struggle on climate
08.07.2017 (The Asahi Shimbun) - HAMBURG, Germany--Leaders of the world's top economic powers reaffirmed their support Saturday for free trade but tempered their statement by acknowledging countries could defend their home companies and markets against unfair practices.
The Group of 20 summit came up with compromise language on trade, although officials struggled to find common ground on another contentious issue, fighting climate change.
In the wake of President Donald Trump's decision to leave the Paris climate agreement, the group agreed in a draft statement to "take note" of the U.S. withdrawal while the other 19 reaffirmed support of the Paris deal to limit emissions of greenhouse gases scientist say are behind global warming. [read more]

Vietnam Makes Bold Move For Oil In Disputed South China Sea
05.07.2017 By Irina Slav (OilPrice) - Vietnam has allowed a drillship in a contested part of the South China Sea, according to an industry consultant who spoke to the BBC.
The drillship, Deepsea Metro I, on contract to Talisman-Vietnam, a unit of Talisman Energy—which Spanish Repsol bought back in 2015—is drilling about 250 miles from the Vietnamese coast.
The move is a bold one, because the block where Deepsea Metro I is drilling—called Block 136-03 by Vietnam and Wan-an Bei 21 by China—has already been leased to a company by Beijing – Hong Kong-based Brightoil, which has close ties to the Chinese government. Over the last three years, Hanoi denied Talisman-Vietnam a license to drill in the block in a bid to avoid antagonizing China, but it seems things have since changed. [read more]

Terroristen auf den Philippinen töteten zwei vietnamesische Geiseln
05.07.2017 (derStandard) - Manila – Islamisten auf den Philippinen haben zwei entführte Seeleute aus Vietnam enthauptet. Nach Angaben einer Militärsprecherin vom Mittwoch wurden die Leichen der vor acht Monaten entführten Vietnamesen in einem Dorf in der Provinz Basilan entdeckt. - derstandard.at/2000060797230/Terroristen-auf-den-Philippinen-toeteten-zwei-vietnamesische-Geiseln [Weiterlesen]

Vietnam will Beziehungen zu Deutschland vertiefen
05.07.2017 (Focus Online) - Mainz (dpa/lrs) - Der vietnamesische Premierminister Nguyen Xuan Phuc will die Beziehungen zu Deutschland ausbauen. Das berichtete Bundesratspräsidentin Malu Dreyer (SPD) am Mittwoch nach einem Treffen in Mainz.
Vor der Staatskanzlei demonstrierten Exil-Vietnamesen gegen eine „Diktatur von Kommunisten“.
Nguyen Xuan Phuc ist Vorsitzender der Asiatisch-Pazifischen Wirtschaftsgemeinschaft APEC und nimmt deshalb am G20-Gipfel in Hamburg teil. [Weiterlesen]

The Weak Points in Vietnam's Military
27.06.2017 By Shang-su Wu (The Diplomat) - Despite significant defense investments, some neglected portions of Vietnam’s military are vulnerable to Chinese attack.
In the last two decades, Hanoi has concentrated its limited resource to strengthen some of its aerial and maritime capabilities, but the rest of Vietnam’s military equipment is moving toward obsolescence due to lack of renewal. Despite lack of a universal definition, military obsolescence can be seen from two perspectives: absolute and relative. The former refers to operational readiness, and the latter signifies a comparison of capabilities between a state and its potential enemy. In Vietnam’s case, the relative perspective is more salient because of China’s comprehensive military modernization. While Hanoi’s new fighters, submarines, and frigates are not inferior to their Chinese counterparts, other Vietnamese capabilities would be vulnerabilities available for Beijing to exploit. Minesweeping, armored vehicles, and artillery are three major examples. [read more]

Mar del Sur de China, Hanoi y Beijing en desacuerd
26.06.2017 Thanh Thuy (AsiaNews) - Hanoi - Se terminó abrupta e inesperadamente la visita a Vietnam del gen. Fan Changlong, vicepresidente de la Comisión Militar Central de la República Popular de China (RPC).
El alto oficial tendría que trabajar en estrecha colaboración con las autoridades vietnamitas del 18 al 22 junio. En los dos primeros días, el viaje incluyó reuniones de alto nivel con los líderes del gobierno de Hanoi: Nguyễn Phú Trọng, secretario general; el presidente Trần Đại Quang; el Primer ministro Nguyễn Xuân Phúc; Ngô Xuân Lịch el ministro de Defensa. [seguir leyendo]

Nixed China-Vietnam Meeting Highlights Illusion of South China Sea Calm
22.06.2017 By Prashanth Parameswaran (The Diplomat) - Incident is a warning that despite attempts to downplay the flashpoint, tensions could quickly escalate.
On Thursday, news surfaced that a China-Vietnam defense meeting had been unexpectedly canceled, reportedly due to private disagreements over the South China Sea rather than the logistical issues publicly mentioned by Chinese defense industry. If true, this would be far from surprising given the past record of saber-rattling between Beijing and Hanoi. But more broadly, it should also serve as a warning to the international community that despite Chinese attempts to downplay the South China Sea issue, Beijing’s actions could quickly help escalate tensions once again for one reason or another. [read more]

China Cancels Military Meeting With Vietnam Over Territorial Dispute
21.06.2017 By Mike Ives (NYT) - HONG KONG — State-run newspapers in Vietnam and China reported in recent days that senior military officials from the two countries would hold a fence-mending gathering along a border where their militaries fought a brief but bloody war in 1979.
But Tuesday, the scheduled start of the gathering, came and went without any of the coverage in the state news media that readers in the two countries had expected. The Chinese Defense Ministry later said in a terse statement that it had canceled the event “for reasons related to working arrangements.”
The cancellation is highly unusual for the two Communist neighbors, and it comes as Beijing continues to build artificial islands in the South China Sea , where the Chinese seek to expand their military influence at a time of uncertainty over President Trump’s policies in the region. [read more]

Vietnam's Crackdown on Political Dissent Described as Boon for Business
21.06.2017 Ralph Jennings (VOA) - TAIPEI — Economic analysts say many foreign investors are finding an up side to the suppression of dissent in Vietnam, taking comfort in the expectation of business stability as the country’s one-party government moves toward a landmark economic summit later in the year.
Plain-clothed authorities beat rights campaigners and bloggers in 36 incidents between January 2015 and April 2017, often resulting in serious injuries, the New York advocacy group Human Rights Watch said Sunday. Some had joined demonstrations to protect the environment or pushed for human rights, the group said.
“At the moment it’s almost implicit that the one-party state will continue indefinitely, and if you want to really criticize it in public, you’re asking for trouble,” said Adam McCarty, chief economist with Mekong Economics in Hanoi. “Businessmen like that sort of stability. You might object to it ethically, morally or on democratic grounds, but on business grounds, it’s a stable business environment.” [read more]

Roter Rausch
17.06.2017 Von Frederic Spohr (Die Zeit) - China war gestern, heute boomt Vietnam. Die Wirtschaft wächst rasant, seit sich das kommunistische Land für den Weltmarkt geöffnet hat. Die Löhne steigen, die Ungleichheit auch.
Vielleicht haben sich die Kommunisten so die Zukunft ihrer Städte vorgestellt: Im Zentrum von Ho-Chi-Minh-Stadt entsteht derzeit ein neues Viertel, das auf Werbeprospekten den Utopien vergangener Zeiten gleicht: Majestätisch reihen sich fast identische Türme entlang des Flusses Saigon aneinander, spätestens bis 2018 soll hier auch das höchste Gebäude Vietnams vollendet sein, mehr als 450 Meter wird der Landmark 81 Tower in den Himmel ragen.
Eine Einzimmerwohnung kann umgerechnet fast 200.000 Euro kosten, für die meisten Vietnamesen eine gigantische Summe, der monatliche Mindestlohn in Ho-Chi-Minh-Stadt liegt bei gerade mal rund 150 Euro. [Weiterlesen]

US-Vietnam Defense Ties in the Spotlight with Warship in Cam Ranh
13.06.2017 By Prashanth Parameswaran (The Diplomat) - On June 12, the U.S. Navy announced that a U.S. warship was conducting a port visit to Vietnam’s Cam Ranh Bay for maintenance. The engagement was the latest in a series that demonstrates the progress that Washington and Hanoi are making in their defense relationship even amid the uncertainty that remains over U.S. President Donald Trump’s broader Asia policy.
One outlet for this defense collaboration is U.S. ship visits to Cam Ranh International Seaport, a new international port facility capable of receiving foreign warships that Vietnam had opened back in March last year. The port, located in Cam Ranh Bay, a deep-water harbor in central Vietnam along the South China Sea that Washington had used as a base during the Vietnam War, has since seen visits from a string of countries, including Japan, France, China, the Philippines, and Singapore. [read more]

Counter-Coercion Series: China-Nietnam Oil Rig Standoff
12.06.2017 By Michael Green, Kathleen Hicks, Zack Cooper, John Schaus and Jake Douglas (The Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative / CSIS) - On May 1, 2014, Vietnam detected the Haiyang Shiyou 981 (HYSY 981) oil rig and three Chinese oil and gas service ships heading south from China’s Hainan Province. When the China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) first launched this $1 billion deep-water drilling rig in 2012, the company’s chairman had lauded its virtues as a “strategic weapon” for Beijing in the South China Sea. This was the first time, however, that the HYSY 981 had actually moved into Vietnamese-claimed waters. One diplomat told reporters that this prospect had “been one of [Hanoi’s] worst fears” since the rig’s maiden voyage, even if “the timing caught us by surprise.” [read more]

Dicke Wolken über dem Südchinesischem Meer
10.06.2017 (Philippinen Magazin) Manila, Philippinen – Das Südchinesische Meer wird zu einem neuen Spannungsfaktor in den Beziehungen zwischen den USA und China, schreibt die Zeitung „Iswestija“ am Freitag. Die Situation in der Region eskaliert laut der Zeitung dermaßen, dass manche Experten inzwischen von einem Risiko bewaffneter Zwischenfälle reden.
Zum ersten Warnsignal an Peking wurde die Entsendung eines US-Kriegsschiff zu dem von China besetzten Mischief-Riff im Spratly-Archipel Ende Mai – zum ersten Mal unter Präsident Donald Trump. Das Schiff näherte sich der Insel bis auf zwölf Seemeilen an.
Später warfen zahlreiche US-Politiker dem Reich der Mitte ein illegales Vorgehen im Südchinesischen Meer vor, das unter anderem auch Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia, Taiwan und die Philippinen teilweise beanspruchen. [Weiterlesen]

What Did the Vietnam Premier’s Japan Voyage Accomplish?
09.06.2017 By Prashanth Parameswaran (The Diplomat) - From June 4-8, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc paid a four-day visit to Japan.
Japan and Vietnam have long had an important relationship. The initial focus of ties was economic, and Japan has evolved to become Vietnam’s largest source of official development assistance, second largest foreign investor, third largest tourism partner, and fourth largest trading partner.
But there has been increasing security cooperation as well in recent years, especially with common concerns about China’s maritime assertiveness in the East and South China Seas. This dimension of ties has grown to include not just exchanges and visits, but regular dialogues, port calls, and capacity-building and the sharing of best practices. [read more]

World Bank Approves $53 Million to Improve Urban Infrastructure in Lao Cai and Phu Ly cities
09.06.2017 (World Bank) - The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved today $53 million to support infrastructure development in Lao Cai and Phu Ly, two emerging middle cities in northern Vietnam.
The additional financing will bolster the efforts of the Medium Cities Development Project (MCDP), which has so far benefitted over 45,000 people - exceeding initial targets. Infrastructure services that will be improved include water treatment and wastewater collection, flooding prevention in low lying areas, and transport services in areas with poor or non-existent roads or access to transport networks. [read more]

Indonesia releases 695 Vietnamese fishermen
09.06.2017 By Ainur Rohmah (Anadolu Agency) - TUBAN, Indonesia - Indonesia on Friday released 695 Vietnamese fishermen who were detained after straying into its waters.
They had been languishing in detention centers in Sumatra’s Riau province after being captured by authorities and accused of illegal fishing.
The freed fishermen will be picked up by three Vietnamese coast guard ships in the waters of Batam, said Eko Djalmo, head of marine and fishery resources at the Maritime Affairs Ministry. [read more]

Vietnam suspends sending workers to Qatar
09.06.2017 (Nikkei Asian Review) - Political situation sparks concern for over 1,000 nationals in construction, housekeeping - Labor-exporting companies in Vietnam have been asked to suspend sending workers to Qatar after other Gulf nations severed diplomatic ties with Doha.
Officials from Vietnam's Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs on Thursday told reporters that the suspension will last until new developments in Qatar's situation appear.
There are around 2,000 Vietnamese nationals in Qatar, 1,800 of them workers mainly in the construction and housekeeping sectors, according to the diplomatic representative of Vietnam in Qatar. [read more]

Chinese media mocks Australia, Japan, India, Vietnam alliance
06.06.2017 (Asia Times) - China’s Global Times described a new regional bloc as a “ridiculous utopia”, in response to a Reuters report that Australia, Japan, India and Vietnam were quietly stepping up talks to form an alliance to counter Beijing’s growing influence.
The editorial (link in Chinese) argued that the countries in the region need to cooperate with China to achieve their “most important tasks”. At the same time, the Trump administration would pay no mind to the message that Washington needs to step up its regional presence. Trump, after all, needs to fix problems at home, regardless of the “grumbling” of allies. [read more]

Asia loses faith in America as Mattis fails to ease Trump angst
05.06.2017 (The Business Times) - [SINGAPORE] The first question asked of US Secretary of Defence James Mattis at a Singapore security conference this weekend began just by thanking him for taking the job. It was a compliment meant for Mr Mattis, but not his boss.
US President Donald Trump's transactional approach to foreign policy, perceived disinterest in alliances and above all unpredictability were overwhelming topics of concern at the annual Shangri-La meeting of defense ministers and other security officials and analysts from a total of 48 countries, which ended on Sunday.
On stage, the focus was on the need to protect the "rules-based international order'' from China's territorial claims in the South China Sea, and the rising threat from international terrorism. References to Trump tended to be diplomatic. [read more]

Unsure of U.S., Asia builds new alliances to counter China
05.06.2017 (The Asahi Shimbun) - SINGAPORE--Several Asian nations are seeking to bolster informal alliances among themselves, regional diplomats and officials said, unsettled by growing fears that the United States could not be relied on to maintain a buffer against China's assertiveness.
Countries including Australia, Japan, India and Vietnam are quietly stepping up discussions and co-operation, although taking care they do not upset Beijing, the diplomats said. No one was yet talking about a formal alliance. [read more]

Washington Zig-Zags in the South China Sea
02.06.2017 By Donald K. Emmerson (Asia Sentinel) - The latest American assertion of freedom-of-navigation rights in the South China Sea may have reassured some that new bonhomie between presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping won’t lead to abandonment of the region. But questions remain.
On May 24, the guided missile destroyer USS Dewey passed within 12 nautical miles of Mischief Reef, a land feature occupied by China in the South China Sea. Analysts who had followed and criticized China’s campaign to control the sea, upon learning of this Freedom of Navigation Operation may have shared the same thought: Finally!  [read more]

Stockschläge und Auswendiglernen – So erlebe ich Schule in Vietnam
02.06.2017 (Orange by Handelsblatt) - Klassen-Kampf: Jens studiert Management und jobbt als Lehrer in Vietnam. Der Alltag im Sozialismus erinnert ihn an die Schulgeschichten seiner Großeltern.
Mitten im Unterreicht geht die Tür auf und meine Schüler springen auf. Ein Aufsichtslehrer kommt in die Klasse. Wortlos schreitet er durch die Reihen. Die Kinder legen ihre Hände auf den Tisch. Sind die Fingernägel schmutzig oder sitzt die Schuluniform nicht richtig, zückt der Aufsichtslehrer seinen Stock – und schlägt dem Kind auf die Hand oder auf den Hintern. In meiner Schule ist diese Form der Erziehung Alltag. Ich unterrichte Englisch in Vietnam. [Weiterlesen]

Viet Premier Finds “Unexpectedly Good Dynamics” at White House
01.06.2017 By David Brown (Asia Sentinel) - There were lots of smiles as US President Donald Trump and Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc ended their White House meeting on May 31. An Asia Sentinel source who polled aides to both leaders said “the dynamics were unexpectedly good…There were no thorny issues and Trump made a positive impression on the Vietnamese.”
Human rights not mentioned, trade is
Human Rights Watch forecast that human rights would get little attention and was proven right; Trump and Phuc merely “welcomed the results of frank and constructive dialogue.” [read more]

Trump hails signing of deals worth 'billions' with Vietnam
31.05.2017 By Roberta Rampton and David Brunnstrom (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump discussed trade with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc during a White House visit on Wednesday and welcomed the signing of business deals worth billions of dollars and the jobs they would bring.
"They just made a very large order in the United States - and we appreciate that - for many billions of dollars, which means jobs for the United States and great, great equipment for Vietnam," Trump told reporters at the White House.
Phuc said on Tuesday he would sign deals for U.S. goods and services worth $15 billion to $17 billion during his Washington visit, mainly for high-technology products and for services. [read more]

A onetime enemy set for a warm White House welcome
30.05.2017 By James Borton and Sandra Erwin (The Washington Times) - Nations can’t choose their neighbors, but Vietnam, a country long buffeted by war, is proving it can certainly choose its friends.
President Trump on Wednesday will greet Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc at the White House, the clearest sign to date that Washington and Hanoi, once-implacable foes burdened by a bloody and tragic history, increasingly share overlapping strategic interests and a mutual outlook on the region and the world. [read more]

No More Free Passes for Vietnam on Human Rights
30.05.2017 By Chuck Jordan (The Hill) - When President Donald Trump meets with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc Wednesday, May 31 in Washington, he has a chance to change policies of the past that failed to advance either U.S. interests or those of the Vietnamese people.
The President will likely focus on America’s trade deficit with Vietnam and seek to exploit the complicated relationship between Hanoi and Beijing over lucrative territories claimed by both in the South China Sea.
These issues are important. But it would be a mistake to view U.S.-Vietnam relations only through the lenses of economics or security. [read more]

Korruption in Vietnam - Ein Parteistar stolpert
30.05.2017 von Jürgen Kremb, Singapur (NZZ) - Smart, witzig, gut gekleidet: Dinh La Thang fiel unter den grauen Herren von Vietnams Kommunistischer Partei von Anfang an auf. Seinem bemerkenswerten Aufstieg folgt nun ein ebenso rasanter Fall.
Wenige Politiker im 19-köpfigen Politbüro der Kommunistischen Partei Vietnams sind so rasch aufgestiegen wie Dinh La Thang. Genauso bemerkenswert war nun der Sturz des 56-Jährigen vor einigen Tagen: Innerhalb von nur vier Tagen verlor Thang nicht nur seinen Sitz im mächtigsten politischen Gremium des Landes, gleichzeitig musste er auch seinen Posten als Parteisekretär von Saigon räumen. In dem Amt waltete er quasi als Bürgermeister der Metropole. Thang würden Gesetzesverstösse und Missmanagement vorgeworfen, hiess es in der kurzen Mitteilung der staatlichen Medien. [Weiterlesen]

Japan holt verstärkt vietnamesische Studenten
29.05.2017 (Pressetext) - Hanoi (pte003/29.05.2017/06:10) - Im Kampf um wirtschaftlichen Einfluss in Südostasien beschreitet Japan nun einen neuen Weg und setzt dabei verstärkt auf die Bildungsschiene. Mit hoher Intensität wird dabei versucht, Studenten aus dieser Region anzuwerben um damit die Verflechtungen mit der Region zu erhöhen. Dabei steht vor allem Vietnam im Fokus der Bemühungen.
Die Zahl der vietnamesischen Studenten in Japan hat sich gemäß der Japan Student Services Organisation http://www.jasso.go.jp/en/ in den letzten sechs Jahren verzwölffacht und beträgt derzeit rund 54.000, was einen Anteil von rund einem Viertel aller internationalen Studenten in Japan ausmacht. Die größte Gruppe bilden dabei die chinesischen Studenten mit einem Anteil von 41 Prozent. [Weiterlesen]

China "strongly dissatisfied" with G7 statement on East, South China Seas
28.05.2017 (Nikkei Asian Review) - BEIJING (Reuters) - China is "strongly dissatisfied" with the mention of the East and South China Sea issues in a Group of Seven (G7) statement, and the G7 allies should stop making irresponsible remarks, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman said.
In their communique on Saturday, G7 leaders said they were concerned by the situation in the South China Sea and East China Sea. They also called for a demilitarisation of "disputed features". [read more]

Will Phuc’s Washington visit boost Vietnam-US ties?
28.05.2017 By Xuan Loc Doan (Asia Times) - Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc will officially visit the United States and meet with President Donald Trump in the White House this week. As such, he will become the first Southeast Asian leader to travel to the US and hold face-to-face talks with Mr Trump since he took office in January.
Vietnam is listed among the 16 countries that are being investigated by the Trump administration for alleged trade abuse.
Yet, instead of reacting angrily to these moves, Vietnam has adopted a cooperative posture. In his March meeting with Osius, who also served under the Obama administration, Quang said his country “backs free trade on an equal and win-win basis.” [read more]

Google to cooperate with Vietnam to remove 'toxic' content
28.05.2017 By Sarmistha Acharya (IBT) - Google's parent company Alphabet will work with the Vietnam government to remove "toxic" and illegal content from its platform.
In February, Vietnam complained about anti-government and offensive content on Facebook and YouTube, urging domestic companies to withhold advertising until the tech majors come up with a solution.
Together with YouTube, Facebook accounts for two-thirds of the digital media market share in Vietnam, domestic agency Isobar Vietnam says. [read more]

Myanmar, having warmed to the West, turns to China again
28.05.2017  (The Asahi Shimbun) - WASHINGTON -- Myanmar was supposed to turn away from China and toward the West when the United States helped the Southeast Asian country make the transition to a civilian government after five decades of military rule.
The opposite is happening: The new government is failing to attract Western investment and Beijing is on a charm offensive. China is offering economic and political support and a relationship free of the human rights concerns straining Myanmar's ties elsewhere. [read more]

Chinese jets intercept U.S surveillance plane -U.S. officials
28.05.2017 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - WASHINGTON, May 26 (Reuters) - Two Chinese fighter jets intercepted a U.S. Navy surveillance plane over the South China Sea on Wednesday, with one coming within 200 yards (180 meters) of the American aircraft, U.S. officials told Reuters.
The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said initial reports showed that the U.S. P-3 Orion surveillance plane was 150 miles (240 km) southeast of Hong Kong in international airspace when the Chinese aircraft carried out the unsafe intercept. One Chinese aircraft flew in front of the American plane, restricting its ability to maneuver.
The Pentagon confirmed that two Chinese jets had carried out the intercept, saying it was "unsafe and unprofessional." [read more]

Ärger in der Luft - Chinesische Jets fangen US-Flieger ab
27.05.2017 (Blick) - Ein Zwischenfall im Südchinesischen Meer sorgt für Missmut zwischen den USA und China.
Zwei chinesische Kampfflugzeuge haben nach US-Angaben ein Aufklärungsflugzeug der US-Marine abgefangen. Der Zwischenfall habe sich am Mittwoch über dem Südchinesischen Meer im internationalen Luftraum ereignet, erklärte am Freitag das US-Verteidigungsministerium.
Die Aktion sei gefährlich und unprofessionell gewesen. Eines der chinesischen Kampfflugzeuge habe sich der US-Maschine bis auf 180 Meter genähert, sagten Insider der Nachrichtenagentur Reuters. [Weiterlesen]

What Vietnam Can Offer America
27.05.2017 Alexander Vuving (National Interest) - When Vietnamese prime minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc travels to the United States later this month, he will be the first national leader from Southeast Asia and the third from an Asian—but not Middle Eastern—country after Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese president Xi Jinping were hosted by President Donald Trump. Although this does not mean that Vietnam is the third most important country in the region for the United States, it says something about the eagerness with which Hanoi and Washington, DC are reaching out to each other and the priority each enjoys in the agenda of the other.
After a short-lived rebalance to the West during 1987–1989, Vietnam pivoted to China in 1990, a sea change marked by the secret meeting at Chengdu in September that year between Chinese and Vietnamese Communist Party chiefs and heads of government.  [read more]

After Talking To China About China, Vietnam Goes To Washington To Do It Again
26.05.20176 By Helen Clark (SCMP) - Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc is making his first trip to the United States since assuming office in April last year. He will arrive in Washington on May 29 and meet with US President Donald Trump on May 31. He will be the first Southeast Asian leader to visit Washington under the new administration.
It is hard to say what will come out of the meeting, or if there will be another reportable gaffe or mistake. Phuc’s focus will likely be on the South China Sea and trade. He may surprise Trump by asking to buy more arms. [read more]

Phuc, Trump, and geopolitical stabilization in the South China Sea
26.05.2017 By Lucas Niewenhuis (supchina) - Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc is scheduled to meet Donald Trump next week, and Reuters says, “Vietnam could hardly have asked for more: a U.S. warship challenging Chinese claims in the South China Sea, a meeting at the White House and six new coastal patrol boats.”
The six patrol boats that the U.S. just delivered to Vietnam were built by the Louisiana-based shipbuilder Metal Shark, and were ceremonially handed over by U.S. Ambassador Ted Osius to the Vietnam Coast Guard on May 22. According to Maritime Executive, the U.S. Coast Guard also “transferred a high-endurance cutter, USCGC Morgenthau, to the Vietnam Coast Guard during a ceremony in Honolulu” on May 25. [read more]

China, Vietnam behind cyber attacks on PH, Asia
25.05.2017 By Nelson Badilla (The Manila Times) - FireEye, an intelligence-led company, on Thursday disclosed that cyber attacks mounted on Southeast Asia, including the Philippines, for several years already were sponsored by the governments of China and Vietnam.
Apart from economic advantage, the cyber attacks also gave huge political and business advantages in terms of understanding the whole government and trade movements of various countries, including the Philippines, according to Bryce Boland, FireEye’s chief technology officer for Asia Pacific.
He, however, refused to reveal details. [read more]

Vietnam-linked hackers likely targeting Philippines over South China Sea dispute: FireEye
25.05.2017 (Reuters) - Hackers linked with Vietnam's government are likely targeting Philippine state agencies to gather intelligence related to the maritime dispute in the South China Sea, cybersecurity company FireEye said on Thursday.
Vietnam's government was not immediately available for comment - though it has regularly dismissed similar allegations in the past.
FireEye said the hackers, called APT32, had attacked a Philippine consumer products corporation and a Philippine technology infrastructure firm in 2016, alongside other companies, some doing business in Vietnam. [read more]

Vietnamese Students Are Pouring Into Japan
25.05.2017 by Yoshiaki Nohara and Nguyen Dieu Tu Uyen (Bloomberg) - In a battle with China for influence and opportunity in Southeast Asia, Japan is making inroads on a new front: education.
Japan is aggressively recruiting students from the region in hopes they will help enhance economic ties with their home countries in the future. That’s because Southeast Asia is a key investment destination for the country -- and an important source of talent.
The number of Vietnamese studying in Japan, including language schools, grew more than 12-fold in the six years to May 2016, reaching about 54,000, according to the Japan Student Services Organization. They now account for nearly a quarter of international students in Japan, behind only Chinese students, who make up 41 percent but whose numbers have leveled off in recent years. [read more]

In a First Under Trump, a U.S. Warship Challenges Beijing's Claims in the South China Sea
25.05.2017 Idrees Ali and Phil Stewart / Reuters (Time) - (WASHINGTON) — A U.S. Navy warship sailed within 12 nautical miles of an artificial island built up by China in the South China Sea, U.S. officials said on Wednesday, the first such challenge to Beijing in the strategic waterway since U.S. President Donald Trump took office.
The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the USS Dewey traveled close to the Mischief Reef in the Spratly Islands, among a string of islets, reefs and shoals over which China has territorial disputes with its neighbors. [read more]

USA: opération pour la "liberté de navigation"
25.05.2017 (Le Figaro) - Un navire militaire américain est passé près d'un îlot revendiqué par Pékin en mer de Chine méridionale, dans une opération destinée à démontrer la "liberté de navigation" dans ces eaux contestées, a indiqué mercredi un responsable américain.
Le navire américain, le USS Dewey, est passé "à moins de 12 milles nautiques" de Mischief Reef, un îlot revendiqué par la Chine dans l'archipel des Spratley, a indiqué ce responsable. Il s'agit de la première opération de ce type de l'administration Trump. Elle a eu lieu tôt jeudi matin heure locale, selon le responsable américain. [en savoir plus]

Provokantes Manöver: US-Präsident Trump schickt Kriegsschiff in Südchinesisches Meer
25.05.2017 (Huffington Post) - Das Südchinesische Meer ist ein heikles Territorium. Mehrere Staaten ringen hier um Gebietsansprüche. Nun haben erstmals die USA seit dem Amtsantritt von US-Präsident Donald Trump militärische Stärke in der Region demonstriert.
Ein US-Kriegsschiff durchquerte Gewässer in der Nähe der Spratly-Inseln, berichteten US-Medien am Donnerstag. China hat die Insel zum Teil künstlich aufschütten lassen. Damit will das Regime Einfluss in der Region gewinnen und seine Ansprüche unterstreichen.
China sieht diese als Hoheitsgewässer an, obwohl es laut eines Urteils des Schiedsgerichtshof von Den Haag keinen Anspruch besitzt. [Weiterlesen]

Politician Ron Atkey opened Canada’s doors to boat people
24.05.2017 Ron Csillag (The Globe and Mail) - In 1979, Canadians watched with horror as hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese refugees packed barely seaworthy boats and cast off into the treacherous South China Sea. It was the biggest peacetime exodus the world had seen. Many would drown fleeing the Communist regime. At the same time, a world away, two young Toronto historians made a copy of a manuscript they had written and mailed it to Ron Atkey, the immigration minister in the new government of Joe Clark.
Mr. Atkey, working with his friend and cabinet colleague Flora MacDonald, began hiking the number of refugees from the region that Canada would admit. Just two weeks into his job in June, 1979, he announced an increase from 5,000 to 7,000 a year. This country, he averred, would use international forums to denounce the “genocide” taking place in Vietnam and show “the world that we are a compassionate nation.” [read more]

Trump to meet Vietnam's prime minister in White House next week
23.05.2017 by Sarah Westwood (Washington Examiner) - President Trump will meet with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc next week, the White House announced on Tuesday.
"President Trump looks forward to discussing ways to strengthen our bilateral relationship and deepen regional cooperation with one of America's important partners in Southeast Asia," the White House said in a statement. [read more]

Indonesia, Vietnam agree to solve Natuna incident diplomatically
23.05.2017 (ANTARA News) - Jakarta - The Indonesian and Vietnamese governments have agreed to diplomatically solve the Natuna incident that occurred in Indonesias Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) on May 21, Marine Affairs and Fishery Ministrys Secretary General Rifki Effendi Hardijanto stated.
"We (Indonesian and Vietnamese governments) will solve this incident through diplomatic means, and do our best, so the same thing will not happen again," Hardijanto noted during a press conference at the Mina Bahari building IV of the Ministry of Marine Affairs in Jakarta on Tuesday. [read more]

Vietnam, Indonesia Vessels Clash In South China Sea
23.05.2017 (AP) - JAKARTA, Indonesia -- Indonesia says several Vietnamese fishing vessels escaped its waters following a show of force by Vietnam's coast guard in the South China Sea.
Indonesia's Maritime and Fisheries Ministry said Tuesday that Vietnam is holding an Indonesian fisheries officer, who was aboard one of the Vietnamese vessels, and Indonesia has 11 Vietnamese crew members in its custody. [read more]

Vietnam receives six Metal Shark patrol boats from the US
23.05.2017 Gabriel Dominguez, London (IHS Jane's 360) - The Vietnam Coast Guard (VCG) has received six 45 ft (13 m)-long Metal Shark patrol boats from the United States: a further indication of the growing security co-operation between the two countries.
The boats were handed over on 22 May in a ceremony presided over by US Ambassador to Vietnam Ted Osius, according to a statement by the US Embassy in Hanoi. [read more]

An Annoyed Vietnam Is Taking The Upper Hand In Relations With Washington
22.05.2017 Ralph Jennings (Forbes) - When Vietnam’s prime minister visits the White House as early as next week, he will probably push for a free trade deal with the United States. That agreement would mean gold to Vietnam, where the fast-growing economy depends on shipments of manufactured exports to developed countries. The PM’s reminder would press U.S. President Donald Trump over a pledge to sign one-on-one agreements as a replacement for the 12-country Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP).
In case Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc doesn’t get anywhere on opening trade negotiations with Washington, his government can turn to increasingly attractive plans B and C. [read more]

Is Vietnam Really Planning on Bringing Back 50-Year-Old American Fighter Planes?
21.05.2017 Michael Peck (The National Interest) - ... At stake are the F-5s captured in 1975 when North Vietnam’s Soviet-equipped armies conquered South Vietnam. Among the spoils of war seized by Hanoi was a vast array of U.S.-supplied tanks, artillery and rifles (including nearly a million M-16s). The finds were so great that unified Vietnam became one of the most well-armed nations on the planet in the mid-1970s. The haul also included eighty-seven F-5A Freedom Fighters and twenty-seven F-5E Tiger IIs, part of the Northrop (now Northrop Grumman) F-5 line of lightweight, low-cost fighters that the United States exported to numerous third-world nations during the Cold War.
“The F-5E/Fs were reportedly more popular with their Vietnamese crews than were the Russian-built aircraft that provided the primary strength of the Vietnamese air force, which is a rather unique testimonial,” states one aviation website. “They were particularly appreciative of the comfortable cockpits and the ease of handling of the F-5. However, the lack of spare parts and replacements gradually took its toll, and led to a need for cannibalization and to the gradual reduction of the numbers of F-5Es available for service.” [read more]

While the U.S. Is Distracted, Beijing Is Winning the Battle to Control the South China Sea
19.05.2017 Charlie Campbell / Beijing (Time) - Remember the furore over the South China Sea? The Chinese do. Americans seem preoccupied, though, with Russia's social media war on the U.S., and North Korea’s nuclear program. These, combined with huge gaps in the Trump administration’s foreign policy team, may be handing Beijing almost complete control of the South China Sea.
On Thursday, China and the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) agreed a framework for a code of conduct that will apply to the disputed waterway in the latest sign of waning U.S. influence.
“The leadership in Beijing must think that its won the lottery,” says Professor Nick Bisley, an Asia specialist at Australia’s La Trobe University. “It signals that ASEAN is prepared to bend on certain issues, which must be favorable to Beijing." [read more]

Vietnam’s Communist Party Calls For Public Dialogue on Governance
19.05.2017 (RFA) - In a recent online conference to review the implementation of the Politburo’s “Directive No. 5” on learning from and following the ideology of Vietnam’s communist revolutionary leader Ho Chi Minh, Central Propaganda Department chief Vo Van Thuong said the party is ready to look outside its ranks for ideas on governance.
Thuong said his department is awaiting guidance from the Central Party Secretariat on how to organize public discussions, adding that the communist party “is not afraid” of dialogue and debate.
Reporter Pham Chi Dung said that the government of Vietnam is generally resistant to reform and will only adapt when its back is against the wall.
“I think that the leadership of the government will only substantially change when the party hits a dead end,” he said.
“But their situation is not at a ‘dead end’ right now, it’s only precarious.” [read more]

China installs anti-diver rocket system on disputed reef
18.05.2017 (Straits Times) - BEIJING • China has installed rocket launchers on a disputed reef in the South China Sea to ward off Vietnamese military combat divers, according to a state-run newspaper, offering new details on China's ongoing military build-up.
China has said military construction on the islands it controls in the South China Sea will be limited to necessary defensive requirements, and that it can do what it likes on its own territory. [read more]

China installiert Raketenwerfer auf umstrittenen Kagitingan Reef
17.05.2017 (Philippinen Magazin) - Manila, Philippinen – China hat Raketenwerfer auf einem der umstrittenen Riffe im Südchinesischen Meer installiert, berichtet eine staatliche chinesische Zeitung,  das Kagitingan Reef steht unter chinesischer Verwaltung und wird sowohl von den Philippinen, als auch von Vietnam und Taiwan beansprucht.
Der Bericht habe nicht gesagt, wenn das Abwehrsystem installiert wurde, aber dass es Teil einer Antwort war, die Mai 2014 begann, als vietnamesische Taucher eine große Anzahl von Fischernetzen in den Paracel-Inseln installierten. [Weiterlesen]

Präsident Duterte geht im Inselstreit weiter auf China zu
16.05.2017 (Philippinen Magazin) - Der philippinische Präsident Rodrigo Duterte ist im Streit um Inseln im Südchinesischen Meer weiter auf China zugegangen. Er könne sich vorstellen, die Bodenschätze in dem Gebiet zusammen mit China und Vietnam abzubauen, sagte Duterte. Ein Abkommen zur gemeinsamen Nutzung der Bodenschätze müsse aber „fair und ausgeglichen“ sein.
Malaysia und Brunei, die ebenfalls Ansprüche stellen, erwähnte Duterte nicht. China beansprucht weite Teile des Südchinesischen Meers, in dem große Öl- und Gasvorräte vermutet werden. Zur Durchsetzung ihrer Ansprüche hat die Volksrepublik künstliche Inseln aufgeschüttet, von denen sich manche auch militärisch nutzen lassen. [Weiterlesen]

Philippines: le président Duterte prêt à des accords sur la mer de Chine
16.05.2017 (L'Express) - Davao (Philippines) - Le président philippin Rodrigo Duterte s'est déclaré ouvert mardi à la possibilité d'explorer les ressources naturelles de la mer de Chine méridionale avec la Chine et le Vietnam, qui ont aussi des prétentions sur cette zone stratégique.
"Si on peut y obtenir quelque chose sans tracasseries, pourquoi pas?", a-t-il répondu à la presse comme on l'interrogeait sur l'éventualité d'explorer la mer de Chine conjointement avec la Chine et le Vietnam. Un accord en ce sens devra être "juste et équilibré, a-t-il cependant souligné.  [en savoir plus]

China, Vietnam agree to keep S. China Sea tensions in check
15.05.2017 REUTERS (The Asahi Shimbun) - BEIJING--China and Vietnam will manage and properly control their maritime disputes, avoiding actions to complicate or widen them, so as to maintain peace in the South China Sea, the two nations said in a joint communique China released on Monday.
Vietnam is the Southeast Asian country most openly at odds with China over the waterway since the Philippines pulled back from confrontation under President Rodrigo Duterte.
After what China said were "positive" talks on the South China Sea last week between President Xi Jinping and Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang, the joint statement stressed the need to control differences. [read more]

Vietnam : des pirates à la solde de l’Etat s’en prennent aux multinationales
16.05.2017 Jérôme Dajoux (informanews) - Alors qu’une cyberattaque mondiale a fait plus de 200 000 victimes ce week-end, la société FireEye, spécialisée dans la sécurité informatique, a mis en lumière une campagne de cyberespionnage menée à l’encontre des multinationales implantées au Vietnam. Des pirates à la solde de l’Etat pourraient être à l’origine de celle-ci.
L’Etat vietnamien réfute toute implication dans la campagne de piratage
Pourtant, à en croire les spécialistes de FireEye, ce discours a de quoi sonner faux ! Depuis plusieurs années, la société suit les activités d’un groupe baptisé APT32 qui semble viser des entreprises étrangères ayant des intérêts commerciaux au Vietnam. [en savoir plus]

Vietnam's APT32 Marks a New Chapter in Cyber-espionage
15.05.2017 Tara Seals (Infosecurity Magazine) - An advanced threat group that conducts targeted intrusions at large multinational businesses with interests in Vietnam has been brought to light, code-named APT32.
According to FireEye, the group has carried out compromises in firms across multiple industries and targeted foreign governments, dissidents and journalists—and its activity aligns with Vietnamese state interests. Its targets are headquartered in Germany, China, the Philippines, the US, the UK and Vietnam. Several of them are household names. [read more]

IT-Experten: Cyberspionage gegen internationale Konzerne in Vietnam
15.05.2017 (Tiroler Tageszeitung) - Singapur (APA/Reuters) - In Vietnam sind nach Angaben der IT-Sicherheitsfirma Fireeye internationale Konzerne Opfer systematischer Cyberspionage. Die angestrebten Informationen ließen darauf schließen, dass die Regierung involviert sei, sagte Fireeye-Experte Nick Carr der Nachrichtenagentur Reuters. „Alle Aktivitäten, die wir beobachtet haben, sind im Interesse des Landes Vietnam.“
Zu den Opfern zählten bekannte ausländische Unternehmen, ergänzte Carr. Darunter seien eine deutsche Industriefirma, die eine Fabrik in dem Land baue, ein chinesischer Hotelentwickler sowie das Büro einer weltweit tätigen Beratungsfirma mit Sitz in Großbritannien. Namen wollte der Fachmann nicht nennen. Der in Vietnam tätigen Hackergruppe haben die Fireeye-Experten den Namen APT32 gegeben. Sie soll auch in die Computer von vietnamesischen Dissidenten und Journalisten eingedrungen sein. [Weiterlesen]

Report: Hackers ‘aligned’ with Vietnam government attacked international firms and media
15.05.2017 (TechCrunch) - A hacker group “aligned with Vietnamese government interests” carried out attacks on corporate companies, journalists and overseas governments over the past three years, according to a report from cyber security firm FireEye.
FireEye, which works with large companies to secure their assets from cyber threats, said it has tracked at least 10 separate attacks from the group — referred to as OceanLotus, or APT32 — since 2014.
In one incident, an undisclosed European corporation was “compromised” before developing a manufacturing facility in Vietnam, FireEye said. Other attacks were made against overseas-based Vietnamese journalists, companies with plans to expand into Vietnam and Vietnam-based offices of consulting companies with global clientele. [read more]

Vietnam-Aligned Hackers Attack Foreign Firms, FireEye Says
15.05.2017 by Jason Scott (Bloomberg) - Cyber espionage attacks against foreign companies operating in Vietnam have been traced to a group of hackers “aligned with Vietnamese state interests,” according to a report from cyber-security provider FireEye.
The attacks by the group -- designated by FireEye as APT32 -- have been conducted since at least 2014, mainly targeting companies operating in the manufacturing, consumer products and hospitality sectors, FireEye said in the report released Sunday. The group has also targeted foreign governments, dissidents and journalists, it said. [read more]

Vietnam: corrupción e ideología
15.05.2017 por Valentí Popescu (Deia) - LA corrupción es tan vieja como la sociedad y acompaña a esta por doquier los seres humanos ambicionan poder y riqueza. Pero raras veces se ve esto con tanta claridad como en el Vietnam actual, donde el Partido Comunista ha emprendido una lucha contra la corrupción… ¡para afianzar en el poder a los que ya mandan!
El país ha vivido tranquilamente con esta lacra hasta que en los últimos años en las altas esferas del partido y del Gobierno se entabló una enconada lucha por el poder entre los aperturistas (ante todo, en temas económicos) y los marxistas ortodoxos. [seguir leyendo]

Transitioning to Capitalism in The Socialist Republic of Vietnam
14.05.2017 By Jaana Woiceshyn (Capitalism Magazine) - ... Vietnam is still a communist country (since the end of the Vietnam War in 1975), with government five-year economic plans and collective ownership of all land (at least officially) affecting its largely agriculture-based economy.
Despite the increasing liberalization of trade, some privatization, and more respect for private property rights, the Vietnamese still don’t have economic freedom at the same level as North Americans.
Most importantly, to fully achieve flourishing, the Vietnamese need not only economic but political freedom. This means changing the government from communism and central planning to one that recognizes individual rights, not just to property but to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. [read more]

Japan loses a friend in Ho Chi Minh City
14.05.2017 (Nikkei Asian Review) - TOKYO -- The dismissal of Dinh La Thang as the head of Ho Chi Minh City may bring negative consequences to Japanese businesses.
Thang, 56, has been a cooperative, Japan-friendly conduit in Vietnamese politics. Now that he is gone, Japanese companies may see fewer infrastructure orders and less business on the whole.
The Central Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam on Sunday decided to dismiss Thang as a Politburo member.
Thang automatically lost his job as secretary of Ho Chi Minh City because the seat must be held by one of the Politburo's 19 members. His replacement is Nguyen Thien Nhan, chairman of the Vietnamese Fatherland Front. [read more]

What’s really behind Vietnam’s sacking of top Communist Party official?
13.05.2017 By Helen Clark (SCMP) - Dinh La Thang, a former chairman of state-owned enterprise (SOE) PetroVietnam, and currently transport minister and party chief in Ho Chi Minh City, has been sacked from his position for violations and mismanagement during his time at the company.
So far, the dismissal of Thang, for serious mismanagement and losses from 2009 to 2011, seems simple enough for a government that made a public commitment to tackle corruption from the very highest level. Corruption and mismanagement are issues that have dogged Vietnam through its remarkable economic transformation and have contributed to lowered public trust in the government. [read more]

The future of China - Vietnam relations
13.05.2017 Frank Sieren (DW) - Only recently were the two states at loggerheads over the disputed islands in the South China Sea. In 2014 China erected an oil rig in Vietnamese territorial waters, which drove Vietnam to military rearmament. What followed was a serious dispute between the two neighbors.
After decades of problems, that began with two wars, in 1979 and 1988, and ended with the fight over the islands, there appears to be a positive political upturn in relations between the two countries. This was already clearly evident in January during the visit to Beijing by the head of the Vietnamese politburo, Nguyen Phu Trong, where an enhanced strategic partnership was agreed upon. [read more]

Philippinen entsenden Truppen auf umstrittene Insel
12.05.2017 (Philippinen Magazin) - Die Philippinen haben ihre Truppen auf eine strittige Insel im Südchinesischen Meer verlegt. Das meldet die Agentur AP am Donnerstag.
Wie der Befehlshaber des West-Kommandos der philippinischen Streitkräfte, Raul del Rosario, laut der Agentur mitteilte, sollen die Truppen inklusive Militärgerät in der vorigen Woche auf die Insel Titu, die sich unweit des Riffs Subi – einer der Spratly-Inseln – befindet, verlegt worden sein.
Genau dort wolle China Militärobjekte errichten, heißt es. Der philippinische Präsident Rodrigo Duterte plane hingegen den Bau von Kasernen auf der Insel Titu. [Weiterlesen]

Vietnam: limogeage d'un homme fort au sein du Politburo
09.05.2017 Frédéric Noir (RFI) - Au Vietnam, Dinh La Thang, l’un des hommes forts du régime, membre du Politburo et responsable du Parti communiste à Hô-Chi-Minh-Ville, vient d’être démis de ses fonctions. Il est accusé de malversations alors qu’il occupait des fonctions au sein de la compagnie pétrolière nationale. Ce geste fort, officiellement au nom de la lutte anti-corruption, s’inscrit également dans le cadre des luttes intestines au sommet de l’Etat vietnamien.
C’était l’un des principaux cadres du Parti, un homme connu du public pour son caractère bien trempé. [en savoir plus]

Beijing’s View of the World
09.05.2017 by Gordon G. Chang (Hoover Institution) - “China is a big country and other countries are small countries, and that’s just a fact,” said Yang Jiechi in July 2010. At a regional security meeting in Hanoi, Yang, then China’s foreign minister, shocked the audience as he looked at his counterpart from Singapore when uttering those contemptuous words.
If there is one sentence that sums up how Beijing in fact views the world, Yang’s arrogant assertion, part of an extraordinary half-hour rant, is it. Chinese leaders may these days talk of “a community of common destiny,” but they are merely telling us what they know we want to hear.
Beijing, unfortunately, does not view the world as a community where destiny is common. It is, as Chinese leaders see it, brutish, Hobbesian even. As a result, they believe the planet should be run, as Mr. Yang implies, from the top, where the strong do what they will, not bound by treaties, norms, and conventions. The Chinese dress their vision in the cloth of “harmony” to make it acceptable to others. [read more]

Watchdog Says Vietnamese Officials Bribed By Log Smugglers
08.05.2017 (The Associated Press) - BANGKOK (AP) -- An environmental watchdog group has accused Vietnamese government and military officials of taking payoffs to ignore vast smuggling of lucrative lumber from neighboring Cambodia.
Millions of dollars in bribes have been paid by Vietnamese timber traders to both Vietnamese and Cambodian officials, said the report issued Monday by the U.K.-based Environmental Investigation Agency [read more]

Member of Vietnam’s Politburo removed over ‘serious mistakes’
08.05.2017 (The Japan Times) - HANOI – A senior Vietnamese Communist Party official has been removed from the powerful Politburo for committing “very serious mistakes and violations” when he was head of the country’s oil and gas monopoly, PetroVietnam.
The Central Committee voted in majority to impose the disciplinary measures against Dinh La Thang, according to a statement posted late Sunday on the party’s website.
Thang, 56, was chairman of the board of PetroVietnam from 2005 until he was appointed transport minister in 2011. [read more]

Vietnam’s crusade to clear the sidewalks
07.05.2017 (The Star) - ERADICATING the sidewalk economy to clear pavements for pedestrians is not a wise solution. Rather, the Vietnamese government should consider pavements as public goods and manage them in a manner that benefits all stakeholders.
In February, a team of police and urban management officers in HCM City’s District 1 cracked down on illegal sidewalk encroachment, kicking off a movement for localities – from the north to the centre – to follow suit.
The actions were deserving of praise in so far as they restored pavements for pedestrian use and enhanced urban cleanliness.
But the actions also came in for deserved criticism for their harshness, with pavements being cleared regardless of their width, not taking cognisance of the fact that several sidewalks were still wide enough for street vendors or households to open a stall and earn a living. [read more]

Tiny Chinese fleet paves way for future carrier operations
06.05.2017 (Nikkei Asian Review) - TOKYO -- Three Chinese naval vessels arrived in Ho Chi Minh City on Saturday as part of a 20-nation, 180-day tour, the Chinese navy's longest overseas tour to date.
Political Commissar of the Navy Miao Hua, who saw the fleet off in Shanghai on April 23, said the tour is intended to "convey friendship and show a good image of the Chinese navy." While that may well be one of the goals, the tour is also part of a longer-term strategy to boost China's regional influence.
In its annual report to Congress on Chinese military developments, the U.S. Department of Defense said the goal of the Chinese navy over the coming decades is "to become a stronger regional force able to project power across the greater Asia-Pacific region for high-intensity operations over a period of several months." [read more]

Late Vietnamese cardinal jailed by communists moves closer to sainthood
04.05.2017 (Reuters) - The late Cardinal Francois Xavier Nguyen Van Thuan, an iconic figure of inspiration for Vietnamese Catholics who was jailed under the communists, has moved a step closer to sainthood, the Vatican said on Thursday.
Van Thuan, who died in Rome in 2002 after several years as Vatican justice minister, spent 13 years in prison and under house arrest in his homeland when the communists took full control of the country in 1975 after the Vietnam War. [read more]

Pacific leaders urged to pressure Vietnam on poaching issue
04.05.2017 (Radio New Zealand) - Pacific leaders are being urged to increase the pressure on Vietnam to accept responsibility for its fishermen poaching beche de mer and other marine resources in coastal waters.
This comes after reports that Vietnam has been receptive to complaints from Australia about the poachers while being dismissive of the complaints from Pacific countries.
Government officials of affected countries, (including Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, New Caledonia, the Federated States of Micronesia, Palau and the Marshall Islands), were hosted in Australia this week by the Forum Fisheries Agency and the Pacific Community to try and come up with a consolidated regional approach to the poaching. [read more]

Asian nations turn to China as Trump puts America first
02.05.2017 REUTERS (The Asahi Shimbun) - MANILA--Across Asia, more and more countries are being pulled into Beijing's orbit, with the timid stance adopted by Southeast Asian nations on the South China Sea at a weekend summit a clear sign this fundamental geostrategic shift is gathering momentum.
The unexpected bonhomie that has emerged between Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping could give Asian countries further confidence to continue their swing towards Beijing. [read more]

Duterte's 'transactional approach' undermines ASEAN stance on China
02.05.2017 Richard Heydarian (Nikkei Asian Review) - By playing down South China Sea dispute, Philippine president weakens bloc's centrality.
Just hours after his inauguration on June 30, 2016, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte nonchalantly declared that he would not "taunt" China with the landmark international ruling supporting his country's arbitration case on the South China Sea. It was a remarkable climbdown for the leader of a country that for years had been at the forefront of diplomatic efforts to constrain Chinese maritime assertiveness in regional waters.
By the end of last year, Duterte said he would "set aside" entirely the arbitration ruling in order to improve relations with China. The Filipino leader also made it clear that he would not raise the arbitration case in regional gatherings, particularly within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. [read more]

Philippines' Duterte hesitant on US visit, warm on China
01.05.2017 (Digital Journal) - by AFP - Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said Monday he may turn down an invitation by Donald Trump to visit the United States, as he welcomed three Chinese warships to his home town.
Duterte, who has loosened the Philippines' long alliance with the United States while strengthening ties with China and Russia, said he could not commit to the American president because of a busy schedule that included a trip to Moscow.
Rights groups have warned Duterte may be orchestrating a crime against humanity, with police and vigilantes committing mass murder. But Duterte insists his security forces are not breaking any laws. [read more]

China: Signs Of An Expansionist Nation – Analysis
01.05.2017 By Bhaskar Roy (Eurasia Review) - Over the decades the People’s Republic of China has sold to the world the narrative that it is a self-contained power and has no ambition of coveting territories of other nations. This is far from the truth. China in the past had tried to expand colonialism over other countries like Vietnam and Indonesia. The only problem was they were unable to hold on to the territories that they tried to colonize.
In their incursion into Vietnam in 1978 to teach Hanoi a lesson, they had to withdraw with a bloody nose. In their military excursion against India in 1962, they withdrew unilaterally behind the MacMahon Line, not in goodwill but in strategic calculations they would not succeed in holding on to those territories in Arunachal Pradesh, then NEFA, for long. They, however, projected it as a virtue. [read more]

ASEAN-Mitgliedsstaaten verzichten im Inselstreit auf Kritik an China
01.05.2017 (Philippinen Magazin) - Manila, Philippinen – Die Asean-Staaten haben trotz des Streits einiger Mitglieder mit China um Inseln auf direkte Kritik an der Volksrepublik verzichtet.
In der Abschlusserklärung des Staatenverbandes wurde der Konflikt nicht erwähnt. Es heißt lediglich, man habe die Besorgnis einiger Staats- und Regierungschefs über die jüngsten Entwicklungen in der Region zur Kenntnis genommen. [Weiterlesen]

Pacific countries meet to discuss Vietnamese poachers
01.05.2017 (Radio New Zealand) - Pacific countries affected by coastal poachers from Vietnam are meeting in Australia this week to seek a solution to the problem.
The so-called blue boats' main target is beche de mer which dried can sell for more than $US2000 a kilogram in China.
The latest arrest of these so-called reef robbers was in Solomon Islands in March when three vessels were caught. [read more]

American Stories Are Refugee Stories
01.05.2017 By Bich Minh Nguyen (Lithub) - For most of my life, I could pretend I was not a refugee. I grew up in the Midwest, in a mostly-white town in the 1980s, and back then the idea was to forget the past and move along. Stay out of trouble. Don’t talk about the war. Don’t react to racist taunts. Behave well enough not to get noticed. And that’s what I did. But every April, I remembered. My family had left Saigon on April 29, 1975, the day before the fall of the city and the end of the war. I was a baby, carried by my father and uncles and grandmother, brought by motorcycle, boat, ship, and airplane to refugee camps and eventually the United States, and given an American childhood.  [read more]

Political Infighting Seen Behind Rare Call to Discipline Vietnam Politburo Member
01.05.2017 (RFA) - A recent proposal that a powerful top member of Vietnam’s ruling Communist Party be punished for misconduct while the head of state-run oil giant PetroVietnam came at the behest of the country’s party chief as part of a bid to secure his political future, according to observers.
Last week, the party’s Inspection Committee recommended that the Central Committee and Politburo consider disciplinary measures against Dinh La Thang, Communist Party secretary of Ho Chi Minh City, for greenlighting unregulated investments that caused PetroVietnam losses of nearly U.S. $40 million. [read more]

Why the United States Went to War in Vietnam
28.04.2017 Heather Stur (FPRI) - Why did the U.S. go to war in Vietnam? This is a question historians continue to debate.
One of the main reasons it remains a source of argument is that it is difficult to say when the U.S. war actually began.
Should we trace it back to the 1940s when President Harry Truman authorized U.S. financial support of the French war in Indochina? Did it begin in the 1950s when the Geneva Accords divided Vietnam in two and President Dwight Eisenhower offered U.S. aid to help establish a non-communist nation in the southern half to counter the communist north? [read more]

Southeast Asia's leaders steer away from democracy: activists
28.04.2017 By Karl Malakunas (AFP) (digitaljournal) - Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's deadly drug war is part of a worrying assault on human rights and democracy across Southeast Asia, activists said as regional leaders gathered in Manila on Friday.
Duterte has been condemned in the West for the crackdown, which has claimed thousands of lives since he took power last year, but he is expected to enjoy the support of most of his guests as he hosts the heads of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). [read more]

China and the South China Sea: ‘you shall not pass’
28.04.2017 William Choong (The Strategist) - Recently, a senior Vietnamese official asked Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi in Phnom Penh if negotiations with ASEAN on a South China Sea Code of Conduct (COC) would be completed by the end of the year. Mr Wang and his officials laughed it off, a Southeast Asian diplomat told me. A Vietnamese observer said he felt sorry for ASEAN. ‘They are just using the code of conduct to buy time.’
Chinese cynicism about the COC belies apparent progress. In August 2016—a month after the historic Hague ruling on Manila’s case against Beijing—ASEAN and China agreed on a hotline for maritime emergencies and a joint declaration applying the Code of Unplanned Encounters at Sea to the South China Sea. [read more]

China gewinnt
28.04.2017 von Till Fähnders, Manila (FAZ) - Der für seine verbalen Ausfälle berüchtigte philippinische Präsident Rodrigo Duterte muss sich in diesen Tagen zurückhalten. Zum ersten Mal empfängt er als Gastgeber die höchsten Vertreter der südostasiatischen Staaten zu einem Gipfel in Manila. Nahezu im Stundentakt landete am Freitag ein Staats- oder Regierungschef auf dem internationalen Flughafen. Die Philippinen haben sich minutiös vorbereitet. Denn für den Staatenbund Asean, der zusammen mehr als 600 Millionen Einwohner zählt, kommt der Gipfel zu einem entscheidenden Zeitpunkt. Zum 50. Jubiläum seines Bestehens muss er sich zwischen den konkurrierenden Mächten Amerika und China positionieren. [Weiterlesen]

Water Wars: Philippine Military Brass Makes Waves in South China Sea
28.04.2017 By Eliot Kim (Lawfare) - Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces General Eduardo Año made an unexpected visit last Friday to the disputed South China Sea island of Pag-Asa, also known as Thitu. The trip came a week after Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, in order to preserve good relations with China, dropped earlier plans to visit Pag-Asa in June on Philippine Independence Day. When announcing the cancellation of his plans, Duterte had suggested that he may instead send his son to raise the Philippine flag on the island, which is also claimed by China, Taiwan and Vietnam. [read more]

Vietnam War: an alternative scenario
28.04.2017 By John J. Metzler (Asia Times) - Forty-two years ago, on April 30, 1975, North Vietnamese tanks smashed through the gates of Saigon’s Presidential Palace, thus dramatically ending what was known as the Vietnam War. South Vietnam had fallen, the US was politically stunned, and the narrative would switch to Vietnamese reunification.
We know what happened. Forcible reunification. Massive re-education. The Boat People refugees. And a dour united Socialist Republic of Vietnam under the tender charms of Hanoi’s hardline communists.
But what if it had played out differently – a historic scenario that took a different turn leading to a free and prosperous South Vietnam along the same lines as South Korea? Vietnam, after all, is a country, not a war. [read more]

Vietnam court condemns 8 to death for heroin trafficking
28.04.2017 (The Globe and Mail) - Vietnamese state media say a court in Hanoi has condemned eight people to death for heroin trafficking.
The Hanoi People's Court on Thursday convicted 11 people of trafficking 303 kilograms (666 pounds) of heroin to China between 2004 until the ring was broken up in 2015.
The People's Police newspaper reported Friday that eight of the 11 were condemned to death. The three others were sentenced to life imprisonment, including ringleader Dang Minh Chau, whose penalty was reduced because she has a child under 3 years of age. [read more]

Vietnam Will Lose The Most From A Code Of Conduct In The South China Sea
27.04.2017 Ralph Jennings (Forbes) - Leaders from 10 Southeast Asian countries are talking this week, possibly about peaceful use of the heavily disputed South China Sea. Four have claims to the resource-rich tract of water and China says nearly the whole 3.5 million-square-km body of water belongs under its flag instead. Discussion about the South China Sea now and throughout the year among the Association of Southeast Asian Nation (ASEAN) leaders may spawn a framework code of conduct by June, to be refined later in the year or from 2018. The code of conduct – broadly a set of rules aimed at heading off mishaps in disputed waters – has eluded Asia since parties signed an initial Declaration of Conduct in 2002 to kick off negotiations a full-on code.
Once the deal happens, Vietnam will be the biggest loser. [read more]

Senior Vietnamese Communist Party official faces punishment
27.04.2017 (The Seattle Times) - HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — A high-ranking Vietnamese Communist Party official faces punishment for wrongdoing when he was head of the country’s oil and gas monopoly, PetroVietnam.
The party’s Inspection Committee said in a statement Thursday that Dinh La Thang, a Politburo member and secretary of the Communist Party Organization of Ho Chi Minh City, was responsible for the loss of tens of millions of dollars of investment in a bank and the near collapse of four major PetroVietnam projects. [read more]

Facebook to work with Vietnamese government to cut down on state criticism
27.04.2017 (Express) - VIETNAM'S government said Facebook has committed to work with it to prevent content that violates the country's laws from appearing on its platform.
Facebook's commitment came during a meeting between its Head of Global Policy Management Monika Bickert and Vietnamese information and communication minister Truong Minh Tuan in Hanoi, a statement on the government's website said.  [read more]

Wie viel Kommunismus steckt noch in Vietnam und Laos?
27.04.2017 Von Marko Martin (WELT N24) - ... An der Oberfläche herrscht in Saigon jedenfalls eine bezirzende Gelassenheit – besonders am Wochenende, wenn das Pflaster des Nguyen-Boulevards zur entspannten Ausgehmeile wird. Gitarrenspieler links (keine Parteisongs klimpernd, sondern sich eher an Simon & Garfunkel versuchend), rechts die Phalanx der mobilen Straßenköche und dahinter Restaurants, die vietnamesische Küche auf eine edle, ambitionierte Weise anbieten, inklusive Cocktails wie Sex on the Beach oder Singapore Sling, für auswärtige Besucher ebenso wie für die schicke wachsende Schar einheimischer Mittelklassenachtschwärmer.
„Siehst du die Videokameras in den Baumwipfeln? Sobald sich hier auf dem Boulevard irgendeine Minidemonstration bilden würde, kämen aus dem Untergrund spezielle Polizeieinheiten mit ihren Schlagstöcken, denn unter Tage befindet sich ein Kontrollzentrum voller Monitore.“
Unter dem Pflaster also die fortgesetzte Repression? In der Tat, und nicht zufällig steht das inzwischen marktwirtschaftlich boomende, jedoch noch immer von einer kommunistischen Einheitspartei regierte Vietnam an der traurigen Spitze jener Länder, die kritische Internetblogger zu drakonischen Zuchthausstrafen verurteilen. [Weiterlesen]

Die Taufe einer Seemacht
26.04.2017 Von Kai Strittmatter, Peking (SZ) - Die Volksrepublik präsentiert ihren ersten selbstgebauten Flugzeugträger. Präsident Xi möchte die Vormachtstellung im Süd- und Ostchinesischen Meer ausbauen. Die Nachbarländer beobachten dies mit Sorge.
China hat am Mittwoch in der Hafenstadt Dalian in Shandong seinen ersten selbstgebauten Flugzeugträger ins Wasser gelassen. Staatsmedien feierten den Stapellauf schon seit Tagen als großen Schritt der Nation auf dem von Partei- und Staatschef Xi Jinping vorgegebenen Weg zur Hochseemacht.  [Weiterlesen]

China launches first home-built aircraft carrier amid S.China Sea tension
26.04.2017 By Michael Martina (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - BEIJING, April 26 (Reuters) - China launched its first domestically built aircraft carrier on Wednesday amid rising tension over North Korea and worries about Beijing's assertiveness in the South China Sea.
State media has quoted military experts as saying the carrier, China's second and built in the northeastern port of Dalian, is not expected to enter service until 2020, once it has been kitted out and armed. China claims almost all the South China Sea, believed to have huge deposits of oil and gas, through which about $5 trillion in ship-borne trade passes every year, and has been building up military facilities like runways on the islands it controls. Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam also have claims. [read more]

Vietnamese protesters demand apology over police mistreatment
25.04.2017 (AsiaNews) - Hanoi – Almost a thousand protesters surrounded the Quynh Luu police station in central Vietnam’s Nghe An province on Monday to demand an apology from police for seizing 200 T-shirts with protest slogans and beating two men transporting the shirts.
The shirts, which police promised later in the day to return, bore the slogan No-Formosa in a reference to the Taiwan-owned Formosa Plastics Group, whose steel plant in coastal Ha Tinh province caused a toxic waste spill last year that killed an estimated 115 tonnes of fish and left fishermen jobless in four coastal provinces. [read more]

Was it ‘fall’ or ‘liberation’ of Saigon?
24.04.2017 By Kenichi Yoshida (The Nation) - In April 30, 1975, North Vietnamese tanks crashed into the palace in the city, then called Saigon, and the South Vietnamese regime collapsed. The communist government branded this day the “Day of Liberating the South”.”
But was this really a “liberation”? Didn’t many people flee the country because they did not want to be governed by the North? Weren’t many people unable to find a job because they were government officials or involved in services for South Vietnam? Weren’t many people sent to re-education camps? [read more]

In shadow of China's reef city, Philippines seeks upgrade for its island patriots
24.04.2017 By Ronn Bautista (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - THITU ISLAND, South China Sea, April 21 (Reuters) - If the Filipinos on the remote South China Sea island of Thitu had binoculars, they might just be envious of how their neighbours on the next island live.
Just 15 miles (24 km) across the shimmering sea from this rundown outpost of the Philippines lies a different world shown by an unbroken line of new, four-storey white buildings. Radar towers and a lighthouse complete Subi Reef, a mini city China has raised from the sea at an astonishing pace since 2013.
For the 37 Filipino families who call Thitu their home, however, life is basic with just a few buildings, no television or internet, and no shops or street-side eateries. [read more]

Pence puts Trump administration on right foot with ASEAN
23.04.2017 Kavi Chongkittavorn (Nikkei Asian Review) - News of presidential visit to regional summits in November sends positive signal to Asia.
During his week-long trip to four major Asia-Pacific countries, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence delivered a strong message of a continued U.S. security commitment to the region and a firm stance on trade issues in line with U.S. President Donald Trump's priorities.
Pence did not mention how the U.S. intends to treat four ASEAN countries -- Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and Malaysia, that it has labeled as "trade cheats" and which had a combined trade surplus with the U.S. of $90 billion last year. [read more]

Conflict and Diplomacy on the High Seas
23.04.2017 By Pete Cobus (VOA) - One-third of global maritime traffic. An estimated $5 trillion in annual trade. Six claimant nations. One body of water. And that’s just on the surface.
Welcome to the South China Sea, the geographic commons of Southeast Asia’s navigable rimland. Its 3.5 million square kilometers of underlying bedrock contain oil and natural gas deposits that, by official U.S. estimates, are at least equal to Mexico’s and, by some contested Chinese estimates, might be second only to Saudi Arabia’s. Also home to lucrative fisheries and supply routes that carry 80 percent of China’s crude imports, the territorially disputed region may be the most strategically important waterway of the 21st century. [read more]

Trump Invites Vietnam's Prime Minister to Visit U.S.
21.04.2017 By My Pham (US News & World Report) - HANOI (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump has invited Vietnam's prime minister to visit the United States, the Southeast Asian nation's government said on its website on Friday.
U.S. national security adviser H.R. McMaster has delivered a letter of invitation from Trump to Vietnam's Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh, now on a visit to the United States, the government added.
Last month, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc also said he was ready to visit the United States to promote ties between the two countries.
Trump will attend the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Vietnam in November. [read more]

Vietnam uses an old naval base to make new friends
20.04.2017 (The Economist) - NEAR the point where Vietnam bulges deepest into the South China Sea lies Cam Ranh Bay, perhaps the finest natural deepwater harbour in South-East Asia. After the American withdrawal and communist triumph, the government of the newly reunited Vietnam leased the naval base to the Soviet Union. Russia gave up the facility in 2002. Today it is Russian tourists who flock to Cam Ranh International Airport, with its American-built airstrip, on their way to the beaches of nearby Nha Trang.
These days Vietnam ostensibly follows a policy of “Three Nos”: no military alliances, no foreign bases and no joining with another country to fight a third. Nonetheless, adjacent to the Vietnamese naval base at Cam Ranh is a facility that receives foreign military vessels. [read more]

Trump viajará en noviembre a Vietnam y Filipinas para cumbres de APEC y ASEAN
20.04.2017 (Terra) - El presidente estadounidense, Donald Trump, viajará en noviembre a Vietnam para asistir a la cumbre de líderes del Foro de Cooperación Económica Asia-Pacífico (APEC), y a Filipinas para las cumbres del Sudeste Asiático y la de líderes de EE.UU. y la Asociación de Naciones del Sudeste de Asia (ASEAN).
"El presidente está comprometido a visitar Vietnam para la cumbre de líderes del APEC y a Filipinas para la cumbre de EE.UU.-ASEAN y la del Sudeste Asiático, todas ellas en noviembre", dijo hoy a periodistas el subsecretario adjunto de Estado de EE.UU. para el Sudeste Asiático, Patrick Murphy. [seguir leyendo]

Fighting corruption in Vietnam requires institutional reform
19.04.2017 Author: Hai Hong Nguyen, UQ (East Asia Forum) - The first half of 2016 saw Vietnam’s fight against corruption gain new momentum. Having consolidated his power after being re-elected as Secretary-General of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV), Nguyen Phu Trong issued resolutions and directives aimed at tightening party members’ ethical conduct.
Trong then launched attacks on several high-ranking officials — notably Trinh Xuan Thanh and Vu Huy Hoang.
But in the second half of 2016, setbacks discredited these efforts.
For years, the police and the judiciary have emerged as the sectors most affected by corruption — Central Steering Committee for Anti-Corruption (CAC) chairman Nguyen Phu Trong once questioned whether there was corruption within the anti-corruption forces. [read more]

China Seeks Foreign Help in Risky Work Finding Oil in Disputed Sea
19.04.2017 Ralph Jennings (VOA) - TAIPEI — Beijing is looking for foreign contractors to help find oil and gas under the South China Sea but expects to meet resistance because other governments contest its claims and any discoveries may bring low returns.
China's state-run China National Offshore Oil Corp. issued a tender last week for foreign companies to join it in exploring for fossil fuels in 22 tracts south of the country's coastline. The blocks spanning a combined 47,270 square kilometers cover waters contested by Taiwan and Vietnam. [read more]

Duterte says will reinforce, not militarise, Philippines-controlled islet
10.04.2017 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - MANILA, April 10 (Reuters) - Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said on Monday his order to the military to reinforce areas in the South China Sea controlled by Manila was to maintain the geopolitical balance, and assured China no "offensive weapons" would be placed there.
Duterte said the Philippines wanted peace and friendship with China but his country needed to bolster what territory it had in the Spratly archipelago because "everybody's grabbing" islands and reefs in the disputed waterway.
The maverick former mayor set off alarm bells on Thursday, including in Beijing, when he said he had ordered troops to occupy uninhabited islets and shoals that the Philippines claims in the Spratly Islands.
Philippine officials later said plans were to upgrade existing facilities and not occupy new territories. [read more]

At strategic shoal, China asserts power through control, and concessions
10.04.2017 (The Asahi Shimbun) - REUTERS - SCARBOROUGH SHOAL, South China Sea--Far out in the South China Sea, where dark blue meets bright turquoise, a miles-long row of fishing boats anchor near Scarborough Shoal, backed by a small armada of coastguard projecting China's power in Asia's most disputed waters.
China still calls the shots at the prime fishing spot and has boosted its fleet there, nine months after an international panel ruled its blockade of the lagoon was illegal.
Beijing rejected that ruling by the Permanent Court of Arbitration, which invalidated China's claim of sovereignty over most of the South China Sea. [read more]

Iles Spratleys: le président philippin Duterte moins conciliant avec Pékin
10.04.2017 Par Dominique Cettour Rose (franceinfo) - Le président philippin Rodrigo Duterte va renforcer sa présence militaire sur une dizaine d'îles revendiquées par son pays en mer de Chine méridionale. C'est sur l'une d'elles, Thitu, la deuxième plus étendue de l’archipel des Spratleys que Duterte a choisi de se rendre pour célébrer, en juin 2017, le 119e anniversaire de l'indépendance des Philippines, ancienne colonie espagnole.
Il l'a annoncé, le 6 avril 2017, sur la base militaire de l’île de Palawan, à quelques milles des îles Spratleys, à l’ouest des Philippines, indiquant aux journalistes qui l'accompagnait avoir «ordonné aux forces armées d'occuper les neuf ou dix» récifs et îlots inhabités en mer de Chine du Sud, revendiqués par Manille. [en savoir plus]

Vietnam’s Left-Behind Urban Migrants
08.04.2017 By Jonathan De Luca (The Diplomat) - Tough restrictions on internal migration are trapping Vietnam’s rural-to-urban migrants in a vicious cycle of poverty.
When Ms. Thuan moved from her hometown of Nam Giang in the Red River Delta to Hanoi, she initially planned to stay for a year. Like many other rural-to-urban migrants who have sought better livelihoods in Vietnam’s rapidly developing cities, she is trapped in a cycle of poverty.
Despite living and working in Hanoi for decades, she is unable to seek formal residency status. Vietnam’s restrictive residential registration system (ho khau) dictates that Vietnamese citizens must register their permanent residence in only one district in the country. [read more]

Spannungen im Südchinesischen Meer wachsen
07.04.2017, von Christoph Hein, Singapur (FAZ) - Genau während des Gipfels des amerikanischen Präsidenten Donald Trump und seines chinesischen Gegenübers Xi Jinping wachsen die Spannungen im Südchinesischen Meer, der wichtigsten Schifffahrtsroute der Welt. Der philippinische Präsident Rodrigo Duterte erklärte, er haben Truppen zum Schutz unbewohnter philippinischer Inseln entsandt. Zugleich kursieren Satellitenaufnahmen eines chinesischen Kampfjets auf einer der Inseln, die Peking für seine Armee hatte ausbauen lassen.
Zum Zeitpunkt der Ankündigung Dutertes und des Treffens zwischen Trump und Xi versandte die Denkfabrik Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative (AMTI), eine Tochterorganisation des amerikanischen Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, Luftaufnahmen des chinesischen Kampfjets auf der Insel. Der J-11 Jet parkt auf Woody Island, das zur zwischen den Ländern umstrittenen Gruppe der Paracel-Inseln gehört. [Weiterlesen]

Philippinischer Präsident Duterte befiehlt Besetzung von Inseln und Riffen
06.04.2017 (DW) - "Hisst die philippinische Flagge!" und sichert unsere Machtansprüche: so der Marschbefehl von Staatschef Duterte. Riskiert er damit, im brisanten Inselstreit die Chinesen mit ihren ehrgeizigen Zielen zu verprellen?
Die Philippinen wollten damit ein deutliches Zeichen setzen, erklärte Duterte auf Palawan, das in der Nähe der von mehreren Anrainerstaaten beanspruchten Spratly-Inseln liegt. [Weiterlesen]

Chinese infrastructure construction on disputed Spratly Islands indicator of Chinese intent to press claim, despite UNCLOS ruling
06.04.2017 (IHS Jane's) - The completion of the bases represents an incremental increase of interstate war risks between China and regional states such as the Philippines, Vietnam, and Malaysia, each of which have competing territorial claims over the islands in the South China Sea. [read more]

The Philippines Is Struggling To Stop Taiwan And Vietnam From Entering A Disputed Sea
04.04.2017 Ralph Jennings (Forbes) - China has earned a dubious name in the Philippines for asserting a claim to parts of a vast sea that Manila sees as its own. Chinese vessels bar Philippine fishing boats from entering a 150-square-km shoal where fishermen in the Southeast Asian country say the good hauls come from. But now not-so-friendly vessels from Taiwan and Vietnam are also turning up off Luzon Island in the Philippine exclusive economic zone, according to fishermen and local officials in a city on the South China Sea. [read more]

Anti-Korruptions-Beauftragter baut sich Villa
03.04.2017 (RP-Online) - Hanoi. Ein vietnamesischer Antikorruptionsbeauftragter hat einem Medienbericht zufolge eine Luxusvilla gebaut, die er normalerweise nie finanzieren könnte.
Das Haus in der Provinz Dak Lak habe er finanziert, indem er zusätzlich nachts als Fahrer von Motorrad-Taxis arbeitete, erklärte er der Zeitung "Tuoi Tre".
Details zum Einkommen des Mannes wurden nicht bekannt; allerdings verdienen Beschäftigte im Öffentlichen Dienst in Vietnam in der Regel weniger als 500 Dollar (aktuell rund 470 Euro) pro Monat. Seine Tätigkeit als Taxifahrer dürfte dem Mann nicht mehr als 20 Dollar pro Schicht eingebracht haben. [Weiterlesen]

International Workshop On South China Sea Held In France
03.04.2017 (Bernama) - ASEAN could connect countries to address tensions in the South China Sea, an international workshop in France was told recently, Vietnam News Agency (VNA) reported.
The event was held by Paul-Valerie Montpellier 3 University and its partners as part of the International Francophone Week.
Participants evaluated the situation in South China Sea as well as sovereignty disputes and escalating risks in the region [read more]

South China Sea: The Fishermen on the Front Lines
01.04.2017 By Edyta Roszko (The Diplomat) - Under the cover of night, a Vietnamese boat with fishermen from one of Central Vietnam’s coastal provinces sneaks into the exclusive economic zone of Malaysia in the South China Sea to buy freshly caught seafood from other Vietnamese fishermen who act as brokers. Cam — a young Vietnamese fisherman — had just entered Malaysian waters when a speedboat with five masked and armed men on board seized his boat and quickly forced the fishermen to the bow and on their knees. They were not allowed to turn their heads to catch a glimpse of their attackers, who stripped them of their mobile phones and other valuables that they had on their bodies. Beaten with gun barrels and bamboo sticks, the fishermen were threatened and intimidated and then forced into a cell under the deck where they had to wait until the boat with the attackers sailed away. [read more]

Trump sends letter to Vietnam's president to promote ties
01.04.2017 By My Pham | HANOI (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump has written to Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang to promote more cooperation between the two countries, the government website cited Quang as saying.
Trump sent a letter to Quang "affirming his wishes to promote cooperation on economics, trade, regional and international issues", the Vietnamese government website said. [read more]

China ist in der Lage Kampfjets auf umstrittene Inseln zu stationieren
29.03.2017 (Philippinen Magazin) - China kann US-Wissenschaftlern zufolge auf mehreren künstlichen Inseln im Südchinesischen Meer offenbar jederzeit Kampfflugzeuge stationieren. Die Volksrepublik habe einige Inseln so ausgebaut, dass es dort Einrichtungen für die Marine und die Luftwaffe sowie Radar- und Verteidigungsanlagen gebe, erklärte das in Washington ansässige Zentrum für internationale und strategische Studien (CSIS).
Das Institut verwies auf Satellitenfotos, die im März aufgenommen worden seien. „Mit Stationierungen ist in naher Zukunft zu rechnen“, sagte der Wissenschaftler Greg Poling. [Weiterlesen]

ANALYSIS: In lifting people’s well-being, Vietnam passes Philippines
23.03.2017 Jose M. Galang (ABS-CBN) - Vietnam has overtaken the Philippines in terms of human development, according to the latest United Nations Human Development Programme (UNDP) report on the state of people’s well-being across the globe.
While the Philippines continues to post a higher per-capita national income value, Vietnam’s recent economic growth has succeeded in significantly narrowing the income inequality among its people, data from the report indicate. [read more]

In Asia’s Infrastructure Race, Vietnam Is Among the Leaders
22.03.2017 by Karl Lester M Yap and Nguyen Dieu Tu Uyen (Bloomberg) - It may be one of the smallest economies in Asia, but Vietnam is among those leading the infrastructure race.
Vietnam's public and private sector infrastructure investment averaged 5.7 percent of gross domestic product in recent years, the highest in Southeast Asia and compares with 6.8 percent in China, according to the Asian Development Bank. Indonesia and the Philippines spend less than 3 percent, while Malaysia and Thailand spend even less at under 2 percent. [read more]

Vietnam seeks South Korean support in South China Sea
21.03.2017 (The Asahi Shimbun) - HANOI--Vietnam's Prime Minister sought support for the nation's stance in the South China Sea when he met South Korea's foreign minister in Hanoi on Monday.
"The Prime Minister proposed that South Korea continue its support over the position of Vietnam and Southeast Asia on the South China Sea issue and to help the country improve its law enforcement at the sea," the government said in a statement on its website after the meeting between Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and South Korea's Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se.
The statement did not say whether South Korea backed Vietnam's position on the South China Sea. [read more]

Digital in Vietnam: Is politics hindering progress?
20.03.2017 (Econsultancy) - With internet usage increasing by an average of 10% a year over the last five years, Vietnam is one of the fastest growing digital economies in the world, creating an amazing opportunity for ecommerce.
Over half the population of Vietnam are now online, representing a market of around 50m people. This growth has created huge potential in the online economy — but there are some factors slowing progress.
One of the reasons why digital media has taken off in Vietnam is because traditional media such as print and TV are monitored and censored by the government. Reports say that the government calls in editors every week – on Tuesdays in Hanoi and Thursdays in Ho Chi Minh City – to tell them what to cover and what to conceal. [read more]

China’s South China Sea strategy
19.03.2017 (Taipei Times) - Reports earlier this week said that China was continuing its militarization of North Island (北島) in the Paracel Islands (Xisha Islands, 西沙群島) — which are also claimed by Taiwan and Vietnam — including land clearing and what could be preparations for a harbor to support future military installations.
These are part of China’s regional maritime strategy that it has been developing for decades.
Beijing might be gambling that the young administration of US President Donald Trump will not see these small changes as overly provocative, despite US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s cautions. [read more]

Vietnam rethinks contentious two-child policy
17.03.2017 Wayne Hay (Al Jazeera) - The Communist government of Vietnam is considering changing a law that restricts most families to two children.
Adjustments to the policy may happen this year in certain parts of the country, which has been in place on and off for decades and is being blamed for a looming population problem.
Vietnam's population growth is slowing and ageing at one of the fastest rates in the world. In fact, the World Bank says the number of people in Vietnam who are 65 or older will triple by 2040.
In Vietnam, it is often desirable to have boys, which has led to another problem, gender imbalance, and what is believed to be one of world's highest abortion rates. [read more]

The 'Chinazation' of Cambodia - China's deepening economic presence is bringing progress -- but at what cost?
16.03.2017 Kenji Kawase (Nikkei Asian Review) - HONG KONG/PHNOM PENH -- Just a few blocks from the Royal Palace, in the traditional heart of downtown Phnom Penh, sits one of Cambodia's most renowned Chinese schools.
Run by a local ethnic Chinese organization, the school is one of the largest Mandarin-speaking elementary and junior high schools outside China and Taiwan. It currently has more than 11,000 students, including those at its branch campus.
But China is not offering Cambodia any free lunches. Along with a renewed emphasis on Beijing's economic support for Phnom Penh, the joint communique signed by Xi Jinping and Hun Sen published last October stated that they have agreed to "further enhance coordination and cooperation within various multilateral frameworks" and to maintain close, timely and effective communications on matters concerning their significant interests to "offer forceful support for each other." [read more]

ÎLES PARACELS : Bras de FER pour un bras de MER
16.03.2017 (Thiesinfo) - La Chine aurait recommencé les travaux de construction sur un îlot en mer de Chine méridionale, selon de nouvelles images satellites. Selon ces données, Pékin pourrait construire un nouveau grand port sur les îles Paracels, dont la souveraineté est contestée. ​Les îles Paracels, en mer de Chine, bientôt le siège d’un port militaire chinois ? C’est ce que pourraient laisser penser des photos, prises le 6 mars par la société d’imagerie satellite Planet Labs de ces îlots contestés entre la Chine et ses voisins. [en savoir plus]

China Has Begun New Construction Work on Disputed South China Sea Island
14.03.2017 Greg Torode / Reuters (Time) - (HONG KONG) — China has started fresh construction work in the disputed South China Sea, new satellite images show, a sign that Beijing is continuing to strengthen its military reach across the vital trade waterway.
Regional military attaches and experts believe the work shows China's determination to build up its network of reefs and islets, even if it is seeking to avoid a fresh confrontation with the new administration of U.S. President Donald Trump. [read more]

Vietnam demands China stop cruises in South China Sea
13.03.2017 (The Asahi Shimbun) - REUTER - HANOI--Vietnam demanded on Monday that China stop sending cruise ships to the South China Sea in a response to one of Beijing's latest steps to bolster its claims in the strategic waterway.
A Chinese cruise ship with more than 300 passengers visited the disputed Paracel Islands earlier this month.
"Vietnam strongly opposes this and demands that China respect Vietnam's sovereignty over the Paracel Islands and international law and immediately stop and not repeat those activities," foreign ministry spokesperson Le Hai Binh said. [read more]

Vietnam’s ticking time-bomb of elderly poverty
12.03.2017 By Ray Yeh and Kim Wong (Channel NewsAsia) - More are working into old age to survive, in the world’s most rapidly aging country. Will solutions be too little, too late for Vietnam’s growing ranks of elderly poor?
Vietnam’s population is still relatively young - just over 10 per cent are aged 60 years and older - but it is fast greying. In fact, according to World Bank calculations, it could now be the world’s most rapidly ageing country.
Come 2030, nearly one in five will join the ranks of old age. And by 2050, that figure may be 30 per cent, or nearly one in three of the population. Life expectancy, now 73, could hit 80.
"The speed of aging in Vietnam is among the fastest seen globally to date, and is happening at much lower income levels than currently old countries,” warned the World Bank in a 2016 report. [read more]

En augmentant modestement son budget de la défense, la Chine prouve-t-elle qu'elle veut vraiment la paix ?
10.03.2017 Valérie Niquet (Le Huffington Post) - A l'ouverture de la réunion annuelle de l'Assemblée populaire nationale, Fu Ying, porte-parole de la session annuelle de l'APN, a annoncé le taux d'augmentation du budget de la défense, limité en 2017 à "environ 7%". Ce taux d'augmentation, contrairement aux rumeurs qui avaient circulé, n'est que très légèrement supérieur aux prévisions de croissance de l'économie chinoise pour 2017 (6,5%) et poursuit la tendance à la baisse amorcé en 2016.
Apparaître raisonnable
Le premier élément est une évolution dans la stratégie de communication et de positionnement de la Chine sur la scène internationale. Face à une administration Trump qui apparaît comme très erratique et multipliant les déclarations provocatrices, les dirigeants chinois ont choisi d'apparaître au contraire comme porteurs de modération sur le plan économique comme sur le plan stratégique. [en savoir plus]

South China Sea dispute sees sea cucumber fishermen 'forced into Australian waters'
10.03.2017 By Nadia Daly (ABC) - This week the three Vietnamese fishermen were imprisoned in Darwin after being caught collecting huge quantities of sea cucumber in a marine park off Queensland's coast in February.
The Darwin Local Court heard the men claim they had been pushed from their traditional fishing territory in the Spratly Islands over the past few years by China, which now controls parts of the region.
They said that forced them to fish further afield in neighbouring countries – including as far south as Australia. [read more]

China says first draft of South China Sea code of conduct ready
08.03.2017 (The Asahi Shimbun) - BEIJING--A first draft of a code of conduct for behavior in the disputed South China Sea has been completed, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Wednesday, adding tension in the waterway had eased notably.
Since 2010, China and the 10 members of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) have been discussing a set of rules aimed at avoiding conflict among rival claimants in the busy South China Sea.
Speaking at his annual news conference on the sidelines of China's parliamentary session, Wang said talks last month had made "clear progress" and had formulated a first draft of a framework for the code. [read more]

900 mn in Asia had to pay bribes in last year: report
07.03.2017 (Digital Journal) - More than a quarter of people living in Asia had to pay a bribe while trying to access a public service in the past year, a watchdog said Tuesday, calling on governments to root out endemic graft in the region.
The report by Berlin-based Transparency International surveyed more than 20,000 people in 16 countries spanning the Asia Pacific region from Pakistan to Australia.
From the results they estimated 900 million people were forced to fork over "tea money" at least once in the previous 12 months.
Bribery rates were highest in India and Vietnam, where nearly two thirds of respondents said they had to sweeten the deal to access basic services like public education and healthcare.
When it came to perceptions of corruption Malaysia and Vietnam got the worst ratings from their citizens, who felt graft was widespread and accused their governments of doing little to fight it. [read more]

En la región Asia-Pacífico, al menos 900 millones de personas han pagado sobornos en el 2016
07.03.2017 (AsiaNews/Agencias) - Bangkok – Cerca de 900 millones de personas han dado sobornos, al menos una vez, en el 2016. Es el resultado arrojado por una investigación que tomó como muestra 20.000 individuos en 16 países de la región Asia-Pacífico, y que fue llevada a cabo por la agencia Trasparency International (TI). La misma muestra la enorme difusión del fenómeno, por el cual, para contar con un servicio que brinda una oficina pública, ha de pagarse algún tipo de donación por debajo del mostrador.
El nivel más alto se registra en la India y en Vietnam, donde casi dos tercios de los individuos entrevistados declararon que tuvieron que “aceitar” los engranajes de la burocracia para recibir favores en el campo de la educación y la salud. [seguir leyendo]

China and Vietnam: Thoughts From a Chinese Sojourner in Ho Chi Minh City
Different interpretations of history showcase hidden tensions in the China-Vietnam relationship.
02.03.2017 By Xie Tao (The Diplomat) - In early February, I paid my second visit to Ho Chi Minh city, Vietnam. Unlike my first visit, which was four years ago, this time I decided to spend much of the five days exploring the various museums in the city. It was the dry season in Vietnam, and the museums would provide a pleasant shelter from the sizzling heat in the streets.
Ho reportedly made the following remarks in 1946, shortly after he agreed to allow French troops to return to Vietnam.
Putting aside the Lonely Planet book, I tried to make sense of Vietnam-China relations. All of a sudden I remembered a quote widely attributed to Ho Chi Minh, the father of modern Vietnam. Ho reportedly made the following remarks in 1946, shortly after he agreed to allow French troops to return to Vietnam.
“You fools! Don’t you realize what it means if the Chinese remain? Don’t you remember your history? The last time the Chinese came, they stayed a thousand years. The French are foreigners. They are weak. Colonialism is dying. The white man is finished in Asia. But if the Chinese stay now, they will never go. As for me, I prefer to sniff French shit for five years than to eat Chinese shit for the rest of my life.” [read more]

Vietnam commissions last two of six Russian-built attack submarines
01.03.2017 Gabriel Dominguez, London and Ridzwan Rahmat, Singapore (IHS Jane's 360) - The Vietnam People's Navy (VPN) has commissioned the last two of six Project 636 'Kilo'-class diesel-electric attack submarines (SSKs) ordered from Russia in 2009, the Ministry of National Defence (MND) in Hanoi announced in a press statement.
Named Da Nang (pennant number HQ 186) and Ba Ria - Vung Tau (pennant number HQ 187), the boats entered service with the VPN in a ceremony held on 28 February at the Cam Ranh Bay naval base in Vietnam's south-central coastal province of Khanh Hoa.
According to Jane's World Navies, Vietnam signed a deal with Russia in 2009 to acquire the six SSKs in a bid to provide a substantial boost to VPN's ability to patrol the South China Sea. [read more]

China vs. America in the South China Sea: What Should Donald Trump Do?
27.02.2017 Michael Brady (The National Interest) - The foreign-policy issues confronting the United States are vast and complex. They range from terror groups such Islamic State and Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula to Russia’s attempt at re-exerting its status as a major world power. One issue, competition to control the South China Sea, pits mainland China against its lesser rivals: Vietnam, Taiwan, Brunei, the Philippines and Malaysia.
Trump and his national-security team need to understand that China’s claims are primarily driven by the need for resources, not sovereignty. According to recent reports, China’s population will reach approximately 1.4 billion by 2020.
China’s inability to feed its population in the future may ultimately lead to conflict, with or without US intervention. [read more]

Drama on high seas as MMEA chase Vietnamese boats in Sabah waters
27.02.2017 By Awang Ali Omar (New Straits Times) - SANDAKAN: The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) engaged in an hour-long sea chase with two Vietnamese fishing boats in waters off Billien island here yesterday. The MMEA eventually managed to intercept both boats.
Agency spokesperson Lieutenant Commander Mohamed Yusuf Mohamed Ali said the chase began when the first ship refused to stop when ordered to by the agency. [read more]

Kein Denkmal für Ho Chi Minh
25.02.2017 Andreas von Delhaes-Guenther (Bayernkurier) - Österreich liefert zur Zeit ein Paradebeispiel für die Untugend, dass kommunistische Massenmörder gerne verklärt werden, während man auf der rechtsradikalen Seite (zurecht) keine Gnade kennt.
„Ich schätze, dass ist eine Fake-Meldung. Ansonsten müsste man an der Zurechnungsfähigkeit der Wiener Politiker zweifeln!“, kommentierte einer der noch freundlichen Krone-Leser.
„Was hat Ho Chi Minh mit Österreich zu tun?“, so eine weitere berechtigte Frage. Andere Leser fragten nach den Pflegekosten für das Denkmal, zumal das rot-grün regierte Wien hochverschuldet ist.
Eine Stadtsprecherin räumte gegenüber „Heute.at“ ein, dass vor der Errichtung von Denkmälern gleich mehrere Dienststellen damit befasst seien – im konkreten Fall fünf. Aus dem Büro des Kulturstadtrates Andreas Mailath-Pokorny (SPÖ) hieß es dagegen, das Denkmal sei „jedenfalls kein Wunsch der Stadt“. In dem Zuständigkeits-Verschiebe-Spiel will offenbar niemand den schwarzen Peter haben. [Weiterlesen]

Lange schallt es noch:  Ho, ho, ho, er lebe hoch!
Kritik: Im Donaupark lässt Wien ein Denkmal für Ho Chi Minh bauen
24.02.2017 von Mirko Weber (Stuttgarter Zeitung) - Selbst unter Politikwissenschaftlern strengerer Observanz ist die Doktorarbeit des Soziologen Rudi Dutschke  - Titel: „Zur Differenz des asiatischen und westeuropäischen Weges zum Sozialismus“ - mittlerweile ein wenig in Vergessenheit geraten. Womöglich auch deshalb, weil über die westeuropäische Route nicht mehr groß diskutiert wurde, nachdem die osteuropäische erwiesenermaßen in die Irre geführt hatte. Das wiedervereinigte Vietnam hat es da einfacher: Seit 1976, also nach Kriegsende, regiert im Einparteienstaat die Kommunistische Partei und macht, was sie will, nämlich Sozialismus (oder was sie dafür hält).
Während in (Ost-)Berlin und Dresden die ehemaligen Ho-Chi-Minh-Straßen heuer wieder bürgerlich heißen, werbe Wien für sich, indem es einen „Tyrannen zum Helden“ mache, schreibt dieserhalb fast empört das deutsche Forum Vietnam 21 an den österreichischen OB. [Weiterlesen]

Breaking a taboo, Hanoi recalls war with China
23.02.2017 By Xuan Loc Doan (Asia Times) - Several of Vietnam’s state-controlled news outlets have in recent days recalled the country’s 1979 border war with China, until now a strictly taboo topic. Such a recollection may signal that the ruling Communist Party of Vietnam has finally eased censorship of the short-lived but bloody military conflict.
The war between the two communist neighbors broke out in the early hours of February 17, 1979, when China launched a full-scale military invasion into Vietnam’s northernmost provinces. Though the skirmish lasted only 27 days, the devastation it caused was colossal. [read more]

Stadt stoppt Ho-Chi-Minh-Denkmal
23.02.2017 (ORF) - Vietnams Kommunistenführer Ho Chi Minh, laut Schätzungen für die Ermordung einer Million Menschen verantwortlich, soll im Donaupark ein Denkmal bekommen. Die Aufregung war groß - die Stadt hat die Pläne nun auf Eis gelegt.
Ho Chi Minh gilt als Befreier Vietnams von den Kolonialmächten, Kämpfer gegen die USA und wird von linken Gruppen als Freiheitskämpfer geehrt. Dabei wird gerne vergessen, dass unter Ho Chi Minh Schätzungen zufolge eine Million Menschen ermordet wurden und es zahlreiche Kriegsverbrechen gab. [Weiterlesen]

Hồ und Che: Kein Denkmal für Hồ Chi Minh in Wien
23.02.2017 Hans Rauscher (derStandard) - Che Guevara hat schon eines. Nun sollte auch der nordvietnamesische Revolutionär und Staatsgründer Hồ Chi Minh eines bekommen: ein Denkmal in Wien. Der Donaupark sollte offenbar ein Refugium für Denkmäler zweifelhafter kommunistischer Gewalttäter werden
Nix is’. Kulturstadtrat Andreas Mailath-Pokorny kam die Idee offenbar nicht so toll vor und ordnete eine "Prüfung" an. Das bedeutet in Österreich Verschiebung auf den St. Nimmerleinstag. Mailath, der nicht zu denen gehört, die in der Wiener SPÖ dem Klub der "1968er-Nostalgiker" angehören (Ho, Ho, Ho Chi Minh!") ist sich wohl darüber im Klaren, dass Ho Chi Minh auf der Bestenliste der großen Massenmörder zum Heil der Menschheit ziemlich weit oben hingehört.
Wien hätte sich in die Reihe jener revisionistischen Bewegungen eingereiht, wo die Statuen der alten kommunistischen Diktatoren nach dem Zusammenbruch der Sowjetunion zunächst abgebrochen und dann teilweise wieder aufgestellt wurden. [Weiterlesen]

Rudert zurück - Stadt Wien stoppt Ho Chi Minh-Denkmal
23.02.2017 (heute.at) Im Donaupark in Wien-Donaustadt sollte ein Denkmal für den umstrittenen vietnamesischen Ex-Präsidenten Ho Chi Minh entstehen. E gilt unter anderem als Verantwortlicher für die Ermordung von mindestens einer Million Menschen. Nach großer Aufregung am Donnerstag über die Pläne dieses Denkmals rudert die Stadt Wien zurück.
Kritik hagelte es unter anderem von Wiens ÖVP-Chef Gernot Blüml, von ÖVP-Kultursprecherin Maria Fekter, sowie von Norbert Hofer (FPÖ), 3. Präsident des Nationalrates.
Mehrere Dienststellen im Rathaus waren mit dem Fall betreut. Am Donnerstag ruderte die Stadt Wien zurück - der Plan wurde ad acta gelegt. Die Aufstellung des Ho Chi Minh-Denkmals gestoppt und die Entscheidungsgrundlagen geprüft werden. [Weiterlesen]

Denkmal für kommunistischen Politiker Ho Chi Minh im Donaupark geplant
23.02.2017 (meinbezirk.at) - Geht es nach der "Gesellschaft Österreich Vietnam", soll im Donaupark eine rund zwei Meter hohe Statue zur Erinnerung an den früheren vietnamesischen Präsidenten und Revolutionsführer Ho Chi Minh errichtet werden. An der Person Ho Chi Minh spalten sich jedoch die Meiungen gewaltig. Eine endgültige Entscheidung steht noch aus.
Für den einen Freiheitskämpfer, für den anderen Massenmörder – wie viele historische Persönlichkeiten polarisiert auch die Figur Ho Chi Minh. „Es kann nicht sein, dass in Wien einem kommunistischen Diktator gehuldigt wird und letztendlich die Wienerinnen und Wiener für die Pflege dieses Denkmals aufkommen müssen“, so ÖVP-Klubobmann Manfred Juraczka in einer Presseaussendung.
Mit "Unfassbare Schande. Rot-Grün ehren einen Massenmörder!" kommentiert Heinz-Christian Strache (FPÖ) kaum überraschend das Vorhaben auf Facebook.
"Ohne größeren Diskurs muss das nicht sein", sagt Bezirksklubobfrau Heidi Sequenz. Sequenz hätte zahlreiche Zuschriften von Vietnamesen und Österreichern erhalten, die sich klar dagegen aussprechen würden. "Da hätte ich schon ein bisschen Bauchweh dabei", sagt die Grüne.  [Weiterlesen]

Wien soll Denkmal des vietnamesischen Diktators Ho Chi Minh bekommen – Menschenrechtler empört
23.02.2017 (Epoch Times Europe) - Im Wiener Donaupark soll im Oktober 2017 ein Denkmal für den vietnamesischen Diktator und Massenmörder Ho Chi Minh eingeweiht werden. Die Gedenkstätte, deren Errichtung die „Gesellschaft Vietnam Österreich“ übernimmt, soll nach ihrer Fertigstellung in das Eigentum der Stadt Wien übergehen. Kontrovers diskutiert wurde dies bei der Wiener Stadtregierung offenbar nicht.
„Bei allen Nicht-Kommunisten dieser Republik könnte diese Entscheidung der rot-grünen Stadtregierung nicht wirklich toll ankommen“, kommentiert dazu „Krone.at“.
Doch nicht nur der rechte Flügel der österreichischen Politik sieht die Errichtung eines solchen Denkmals fragwürdig. Auch die Verfolgten des kommunistischen Regimes in Vietnam, die als „Boat People“ nach dem Sieg des Vietcong in den Westen flüchten konnten, haben ein Problem damit, berichtet die ehemalige Politikerin und Bürgerrechtlerin Vera Lengsfeld in ihrem Blog. [Weiterlesen]

Aufregung um Denkmal für Ho Chi Minh
23.02.2017 Von Christian Rösner (Wiener Zeitung) - Wien. Die "Gesellschaft Österreich Vietnam" will dem 1969 verstorbenen vietnamesischen Präsidenten und Revolutionsführer Ho Chi Minh in Wien ein Denkmal setzen - und zwar im Donaupark, wo bereits eine umstrittene Büste von Che Guevara steht. "Die Stadt Wien (Stadtgartenamt) hat nunmehr die Errichtung einer Gedenkstätte für Ho Chi Minh, den Staatsgründer und langjährigen Präsidenten Vietnams, im Wiener Donaupark genehmigt", heißt es auf der Homepage der Gesellschaft wörtlich.
Die Opposition sprach von einem Skandal: "Es kann nicht sein, dass in Wien einem kommunistischen Diktator gehuldigt wird", erklärten Wiens ÖVP-Landesparteiobmann Stadtrat Gernot Blümel und Klubobmann Manfred Juraczka.
Ergebnis der Recherche: Es sind fünf Dienststellen mit der Errichtung eines solchen Denkmals befasst. Eine konkrete Verantwortlichkeit ließ sich aber auch daraus nicht ableiten.
Dann ließ am Donnerstagabend plötzlich eine Sprecherin von Mailath-Pokorny über die Austria Presseagentur ausrichten: "Die Stadt hat die weiteren Vorhaben für die Aufstellung des Ho-Chi-Minh-Denkmals gestoppt. Die Entscheidungsgrundlagen werden einer Prüfung unterzogen." [Weiterlesen]

Statt dem Heldenplatz ein Denkmal für Ho Chi Minh?
Die Diskussion um die Umbenennung des Wiener Heldenplatzes bekommt immer bizarrere Facetten

23.02.2017 Von Christian Weniger (Kleine Zeitung) - Weil der Heldenplatz im März 1938 durch die Ansprache Adolf Hitlers, in welcher er den Anschluss Österreichs an das Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Reich verkündete, bis heute belastet wurde, entzündete Kulturminister Thomas Drozda die Diskussion um eine Umbenennung des Platzes bei der Hofburg. Der heißt zwar schon seit den Zeiten Kaiser Franz Josephs so, wurde auch von den Nazis nicht umbenannt, aber Drozda würde doch ein anderer Name besser gefallen: Platz der Demokratie oder Platz der Republik.
So, jetzt bekommt aber diese Diskussion eine weitere Facette, eine kuriose. Wie bekannt wurde, will die Österreichisch-Vietnamesische Gesellschaft gerne ein Denkmal für Ho Chi Minh, den vietnamesischen Revolutionär, Premierminister und Präsidenten der Demokratischen Republik Vietnam, errichten. Ho Chi Minh, das Symbol für den Kampf der Kommunisten in Vietnam gegen die USA, war in den 1960er-Jahren ein Idol der jungen Demonstranten in Europa.
Eines dürfte er aber sicher nicht sein - eine Lichtgestalt. Und eines ist schon gar nicht verständlich, warum in Österreich diesem umstrittenen kommunistischen Politiker, dessen Land keine Oase der Menschenrechte und Freiheit war, überhaupt ein Denkmal gesetzt werden soll. [Weiterlesen]

Massenmördergedenken in Wien - Protest von Exilvietnamesen
22.02.2017 (ef) - Im Wiener Donaupark soll im Oktober 2017 ein Denkmal für den vietnamesischen Diktator und Massenmörder Ho Chi Minh eingeweiht werden. Dafür hat der Gewerkschafter Marcus Strohmeier aus dem Kuratorium der Gesellschaft Österreich-Vietnam erfolgreich im Wiener Rathaus lobbyiert.
Bisher wird der Vorgang nicht kontrovers diskutiert. Strohmeiers Parteikollege Kulturstadtrat Andreas Mailath-Pokorny (SPÖ), ist offenbar gerade zu sehr mit der Debatte um den Wiener Heldenplatz beschäftigt. Der Platz ist nach zwei österreichischen Feldherren benannt, die in Schlachten gegen Napoleon und die Türken vor Wien glänzten. Mailath-Pokorny hält die Erinnerung an die beiden Militärs nicht mehr für zeitgemäß. Gegen den Militär, Massenmörder und Kriegsverbrecher Ho Chi Minh scheint er aber nichts zu haben.
Die Verfolgten des kommunistischen Regimes in Vietnam, die als „Boat People“ nach dem Sieg des Vietcong in den Westen flüchten konnten, sehen das allerdings anders. [Weiterlesen]

Die USA werfen China Aufrüstung vor
22.02.2017 von Anne-Sophie Galli (NZZ) - China hat nach amerikanischen Erkenntnissen auf mehreren künstlichen Inseln im Südchinesischen Meer militärische Einrichtungen erstellt. In diesen könnten Flugabwehrraketen mit grosser Reichweite stationiert werden. Die Betonbauten auf den Riffen Subi, Mischief und Fiery Cross verfügten über einfahrbare Dächer, sagten zwei amerikanische Behördenmitarbeiter der Nachrichtenagentur Reuters.
Eine detaillierte Reaktion aus Washington liegt noch nicht vor. Ein Pentagon-Sprecher hat nach dem Bau der Gebäude lediglich verkündet, dass sich sein Land weiterhin gegen eine Militarisierung des Südchinesischen Meeres einsetzen wird. [Weiterlesen]

Ein Denkmal in Wien für Massenmörder Ho Chi Minh
22.02.2017 (Krone) - Unzählige Kriegsverbrechen, Millionen Tote, systematische Folter und blutiger Terror - diese leichenübersäte Leistungsbilanz ist offenbar die ideale Voraussetzung, um in der Stadt Wien mit einem Denkmal geehrt zu werden: Die Fans von Vietnams Kommunistenführer Ho Chi Minh (1890-1969, Bildmitte) dürfen jetzt im Wiener Donaupark mit dem Sanktus der rot-grünen Stadtregierung eine Statue ihres Idols aufstellen.
Die frohe Botschaft für die (ohnehin nur noch wenigen) Kommunisten verkündete natürlich der "Falter" - die Autorin hat im lustig-flockig-locker erzählten Gschichterl über die vietnamesischen Denkmal-Pläne und die "Alt-Achtundsechziger im linken Flügel des Rathauses" aber irgendwie vergessen, die Säuberungswellen, die Genickschüsse, die widerwärtigsten Folterpraktiken an gefangenen US-Piloten oder die Umerziehungslager der Kommunisten Ho Chi Minhs zu erwähnen. [Weiterlesen]

Construction en Mer de Chine Méridionale : Washington y voit des ABRIS pour missiles
22.02.2017 Babacar Diouf (ThiesInfo) - La Chine a presque fini de construire deux (2) dizaines de structures sur des îles artificielles en mer de Chine méridionale. Bien que la finalité de ces installations reste toujours à préciser, des responsables américains affirment déjà qu’elles seraient conçues pour stocker des missiles sol-air de longue portée. Le ton monte entre Washington et Pékin: cette fois-ci, ce sont deux (2) dizaines de structures déployées sur des îles artificielles en mer de Chine méridionale qui préoccupent vivement certains responsables américains, qui y voient d’ores et déjà des « abris pour missiles de longue portée ».
Pour rappel, l’Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative (AMTI) a déclaré en décembre que la Chine avait fait installer ce qui semble être des systèmes de défense antiaériens et antimissiles sur les sept (7) îles artificielles qu’elle a fait construire sur des récifs en mer de Chine méridionale. [en savoir plus]

China's new South China Sea buildings could house missiles: US officials
22.02.1017 (Nikkei Asian Review) - WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- China, in an early test of U.S. President Donald Trump, is nearly finished building almost two dozen structures on artificial islands in the South China Sea that appear designed to house long-range surface-to-air missiles, two U.S. officials told Reuters.
The development is likely to raise questions about whether and how the United States will respond, given its vows to take a tough line on China in the South China Sea.
China claims almost all the South China Sea, which carries a third of the world's maritime traffic. Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam also have claims. Trump's administration has called China's island building in the South China Sea illegal. [read more]

ASEAN wants South China Sea deal with Beijing this year
21.02.1017 Cliff Venzon and Erwida Maulia (Nikkei Asian Review) - BORACAY ISLAND, Philippines -- The Association of Southeast Asian Nations hopes to strike a deal with China on a "framework" for a code of conduct in the South China Sea by the middle of this year, though some members of the regional grouping appear to be more enthusiastic about the idea than others.
"We are confident that this code of conduct, the framework, will be completed by the middle of this year or soon thereafter, simply [because] everyone, including ASEAN member states and China, is pushing hard for this," Philippine Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay told reporters on Tuesday. [read more]

Kim's alleged killer’s identity verified: Vietnam media
21.02.1017 By Bennett Murray HANOI, Vietnam (Anadolu Agency) - A Vietnamese state-controlled newspaper reported that it has seen government documents strongly suggesting that a woman held in Malaysia on suspicion of killing Kim Jong-nam was traveling on a legitimate passport.
The Thanh Nien newspaper reported Tuesday that a passport with the same name and birthday as the passport carried by Doan Thi Huong, the 28-year-old woman arrested in Kuala Lumpur on suspicion of taking part in the murder of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s half-brother, matched issuance records found in the archives of the Nam Ninh provincial immigration department in northern Vietnam. [read more]

South China Sea may strain ASEAN unity this year
18.02.2017 (Nikkei Asian Review ) - MANILA -- The ability of Southeast Asia's regional bloc to tackle territorial disputes in the South China Sea with a united front will be tested as a newly China-friendly Philippines leads the discussions in that effort.
With the Philippines softening up on China, other member states that have conflicts with China may feel that the rug has been pulled out from under them. [read more]

Vierter Verdächtiger nach Tod von Kims Halbbruder in Haft
18.02.2017 (Stern) - Kuala Lumpur - Nach dem rätselhaften Tod des ältesten Halbbruders von Nordkoreas Machthaber Kim Jong Un hat die Polizei einen weiteren Verdächtigen festgenommen.
Der 46 Jahre alte Nordkoreaner sei am Freitagabend (Ortszeit) im malaysischen Bundesstaat Selangor in Gewahrsam genommen worden, teilte die Polizei am Samstag mit.
In dieser Woche waren bereits zwei Frauen, eine 29-Jährige mit indonesischem Pass sowie eine 28-Jährige mit Papieren aus Vietnam, als Hauptverdächtige sowie ein Malaysier festgenommen worden. [Weiterlesen]

North Korean man arrested in Malaysia over Kim’s death
18.02.2017 By Etsushi Tsuru (The Asahi Shimbun) - KUALA LUMPUR--Police in Malaysia said Feb. 18 they arrested a 46-year-old North Korean man in relation to the slaying of Kim Jong Nam, the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
Police said the suspect, Ri Jong Chol, has a Malaysian working visa and is one of several men who coached two women assassins in the assault against Kim at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport on Feb. 13.
China Press said one of the two women, Doan Thi Huong, 28, who has a Vietnamese passport, told police that she met one of the men in Malaysia about three months ago for the first time. [read more]

Vietnamese gather to mark 40th anniversary of brief but bloody border war with China
17.02.2017 (SCMP) - China sent hundreds of thousands of troops into northern Vietnam 38 years ago, for what it said was to teach Vietnam a lesson for invading the China-backed Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia.
Several dozen people gathered on Friday in Hanoi to commemorate Vietnam’s brief but bloody border war with China nearly 40 years ago.
The participants laid flowers and lit incense at the stature of King Ly Thai To, the founder of capital Hanoi in the 10th century amid a heavy police presence.
The authorities used loudspeakers to urge the crowd to disperse. There are no official government activities marking the event, but it was extensively covered in the state media this week. [read more]

Die grössten Verlierer eines US-Handelskriegs
16.02.2017 (Philippinen Magazin) - Drei Länder zahlen den höchsten Preis, wenn US-Präsident Donald Trump seine Drohungen wahr macht und mit Asien einen Handelskrieg anzettelt. Neben China wären Vietnam und die Philippinen am meisten betroffen.
Noch sind die wirtschaftlichen Drohgebärden gegen China nicht mehr als heiße Luft. Kaum im Weißen Haus, hatte Donald Trump angekündigt, er werde die Volksrepublik als „Währungsmanipulator“ brandmarken. Im Wahlkampf hatte er zuvor eine Abgabe von 45 Prozent auf Importe aus China angeregt.
Neben China selbst erscheinen Vietnam und die Philippinen am exponiertesten, sollte Washington seine Handels- und Einwanderungspolitik verschärfen. Auch andere Teile Asiens, darunter Indien und Pakistan, würden nach Einschätzung von Analysten in Mitleidenschaft gezogen, aber in einem geringerem Ausmaß. [Weiterlesen]

Zweite Verdächtige nach Tod von Kims Halbbruder in Haft
16.02.2017 (SZ) - Kuala Lumpur (dpa) - Nach dem mutmaßlichen Giftmord am ältesten Halbbruder von Nordkoreas Machthaber Kim Jong Un sitzen zwei asiatische Frauen als Hauptverdächtige in Haft.
Bei der zweiten Verdächtigen handelt es sich nach Angaben der Polizei um eine 29-Jährige, die im Besitz eines indonesischen Reisepasses ist.
Am Mittwoch war bereits eine 28 Jahre alte Frau verhaftet worden, die Papiere aus Vietnam dabei hatte.
Nach einem Bericht der "New Straits Times" (Donnerstag) dauerte der Überfall nur fünf Sekunden. Demnach wurde der Nordkoreaner von einer der beiden Frauen abgelenkt. Die andere nahm ihn von hinten in den Schwitzkasten und vergiftete ihn. Auf Aufnahmen von Überwachungskameras soll zu sehen sein, wie sie einen Handschuh trug, der möglicherweise mit Gift präpariert war. [Weiterlesen]

Vietnam's Got a New South China Sea Strategy
16.02.2017 Koh Swee Lean Collin (The National Interest) - The Vietnam People’s Navy is shifting from sea denial to counter-intervention.
As Hanoi’s navy has just received its final Russian-built Kilo-class diesel-electric submarine, and is on the cusp of operationalizing a complete submarine squadron within 2017, the image of a sea-denial-centered Vietnamese naval strategy is still in place.
All six boats are not only equipped for sea denial in the traditional sense—torpedoes and mines, for example—but they also possess Russian-made Klub-S sea-launched land-attack cruise missiles (SLCM) that can hit targets as far away as three hundred kilometers—well within the Missile Technology Control Regime, which places restrictions on exports of certain offensive missile systems to non-signatory states. [read more]

Wenn Alt-Achtundsechziger im Donaupark Ho-hopsen
Die Gemeinde Wien gönnt sich ein Denkmal für die vietnamesische 1968er-Ikone Ho Chi Minh. Warum denn das?

15.02.2017 Nina Horaczek (Falter) - "Ho-Ho-Ho-Chi-Minh!" riefen die Studenten der 68er-Bewegung und hüpften auf und ab. Jetzt, wo die Studis von damals die Pensionisten von heute werden, scheint im linken Flügel des Rathauses ein Hauch revolutionärer Nostalgie aufzukommen.
Wie sonst wäre es zu erklären. dass die Stadt Wien ein Denkmal für den vietnamesischen Revolutionär und Staatschef Ho Chi Minh (1890-1969) aufstellen will?
"Ho Chi Minh hat das Land geeint und vom Kolonialismus befreit", begründet Marcus Strohmeier von der vietnamesischen Gesellschaft, der im Rathaus für das Denkmal lobbyierte, "er hat sich einen Platz im Ehrenhain der Befreiungskämpfer mehr als verdient".
Weniger begeistert ist das Forum Vietnam 21, ein Zusammenschluss von Exil-Vietnamesen in Deutschland. Sie haben bei Bürgermeister Michael Häupl (SPÖ) protestiert. Mit diesem Denkmal würde Wien "kostenlose Propaganda für die heutigen Machthaber in Vietnam leisten". [Weiterlesen]

Who Called the Shots in Hanoi?
14.02.2017 Lien-Hang Nguyen (The New York Times) - As any account of combat in the Vietnam War will tell you, America fought an “elusive enemy”: guerrillas who would strike and then disappear; battalion commanders who refused to engage in open battles. But there’s more to the cliché than most people realize. Even by 1967, America’s military, intelligence and civilian leaders had no real idea who was actually calling the shots in Hanoi.
To some extent, this is what the North wanted — the impression that decisions were made collectively, albeit under the gentle guiding hand of President Ho Chi Minh. But the American confusion also, inadvertently, reflected the messy, factionalized reality of North Vietnamese politics, one that historians are only now coming to grasp. Thanks to the slow if capricious process of historical declassification, the publications of renegade memoirs and histories, the dissemination of “open letters” by disgruntled former leaders, and the careful and painstaking research and analysis by [read more]

New top U.S. diplomat plays central role in Trump's China shift
11.02.2017 (The Asahi Shimbun) - WASHINGTON--President Donald Trump's acceptance of Beijing's demand that he re-commit to a "one China" policy was heavily influenced by his new top diplomat, who argued behind the scenes that relations would remain on hold until Trump cleared up doubts about a longtime bedrock of U.S.-China ties, officials said.
The abrupt course adjustment, made public in a White House statement on Thursday after a phone call between Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping, followed White House meetings this week involving Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, the U.S. officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity. [read more]

Vorfall im Südchinesischen Meer - Chinesischer Kampfjet bedrängt US-Flugzeug
10.02.2017 (n-tv) - Ein chinesisches Kampfflugzeug hat nach US-Angaben über dem Südchinesischen Meer einen Aufklärungsjet der US-Luftwaffe bedrängt. Das chinesische Flugzeug habe sich am Mittwoch der US-Maschine auf 300 Meter genähert, was als "gefährliches" Manöver einzustufen sei, erklärte das US-Pazifikkommando. Washington sei wegen des Vorfalls über diplomatische und militärische Kanäle mit Peking in Kontakt getreten.
Den US-Angaben zufolge war das Flugzeug "auf einer Routinemission gemäß internationalen Regeln" unterwegs gewesen. Die P-3 habe ihren Kurs ändern müssen, um nicht in Gefahr zu geraten, berichtete "CNN". Der Vorfall habe sich nahe dem Scarborough-Riff ereignet, das sowohl China als auch die Philippinen für sich beanspruchen. [Weiterlesen]

Die Macht des Faktischen
06.02.2017 Von Martin Wagener (SZ) - Was bedeutet Donald Trump für die strategisch so wichtigen Beziehungen Amerikas zu Ostasien? Der Wahlkampf ließ nichts Gutes vermuten. Südkorea und Japan rief er auf, mehr für die dort stationierten US-Truppen zu zahlen. Anderenfalls müsse er die Bündnisgrundlagen überdenken. Nach der Wahl erzürnte Trump China, als er wie selbstverständlich mit der taiwanischen Präsidentin Tsai Ing-wen telefonierte. Kurz nach Amtsantritt kündigte er die Mitgliedschaft der USA im transpazifischen Freihandelsabkommen TPP. Trump scheint zu halten, was er versprochen hat. Dennoch bleibt der neue Kurs weiter undurchsichtig: Heißt "America first" am Ende Isolationismus?
Die Staaten Ostasiens würden vermutlich feststellen, dass sie zu schwach sind, um eine Gegenmacht zur Volksrepublik aufzubauen. Daher wäre es wahrscheinlich, dass sich dann vor allem die kleineren und mittleren Mächte an China anlehnen. Peking käme so dem Traum von der Ablösung der derzeitigen Pax Americana durch die Pax Sinica schnell näher. Für die meisten Sicherheitspolitiker in Washington wäre dies ein Albtraum. In Ostasien würde zum ersten Mal seit 1941 eine dominierende Macht entstehen, die den USA potenziell feindlich gesonnen ist. [Weiterlesen]

China welcomes Mattis' emphasis on South China Sea diplomacy
06.02.2017 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Beijing (Reuters) - China on Monday welcomed U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis' suggestion that diplomacy should be the priority in the South China Sea, and that major U.S. military action was not being considered to contend with China's assertive behaviour there.
Mattis, speaking in Tokyo on Saturday, blamed China for "shredding the trust of nations in the region", but also played down any need for U.S. military manoeuvres in the disputed waters of the South China Sea and instead called for open lines of communication. [read more]

Zeitenwende im Südchinesischen Meer?
06.02.2017 Rodion Ebbighausen (DW) - Trotz der markigen Worte, die der neue US-Außenminister Tillerson vor seiner Vereidigung zum Konflikt im Südchinesischen Meer wählte, ist die Strategie der USA noch unklar. Experten sehen bis jetzt China im Vorteil.
Im Südchinesischen Meer stehen die Zeichen bislang auf Konfrontation zwischen den USA und China. Der vor wenigen Tagen vereidigte US-Außenminister Rex Tillerson hatte bei seiner Senatsanhörung im Januar erklärt: "Die Errichtung künstlicher Inseln durch China im Südchinesischen Meer ist die illegale Übernahme umstrittener Gebiete ohne Rücksicht auf internationale Normen." Er fügte auf Nachfrage hinzu: "Wir müssen China ein klares Signal senden, dass es erstens mit dem Inselbauen aufhören muss und dass wir ihm zweitens auch den Zugang zu diesen Inseln nicht erlauben werden." [Weiterlesen]

What has Beijing achieved in the South China Sea?
03.02.2017 By Grant Newsham (Asia Times) - Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s comment during his confirmation hearing that the United States would deny China access to its man-made island bases in the South China Sea caused a predictable furor.
However, few people seriously think the US is going to blockade the islands. This is a poor option anyway.
Beijing perhaps had reason to believe the US ‘wouldn’t do anything’ – and US behavior after the Scarborough Shoal standoff in 2012 between Philippine and Chinese vessels bore that out, as did successive invitations to RIMPAC while the island building effort was in full-swing. Add to that mix the United States’ scant support for the Philippines after the Permanent Court of Arbitration ruling on the South China Sea in 2016. [read more]

Tensions in the South China Sea National Intelligence Estimate: The Next Two to Three Years
20.01.2017 by Daniel Urchick (Small Wars Journal) - The South China Sea is developing at an extraordinarily rapid rate and the events that transpire in the region in the next two to three years will be some of the most significant geopolitical events in the world.  Inside the South China Sea Region are five claimants, hundreds of contested geological features, and two major clashing superpowers: The United States and China. Four key variables have been identified as the principal factors in determining how the South China Sea will evolve in two to three years: (1) U.S. foreign policy in East Asia under Trump. (2) The Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) increasing reliance on nationalism to maintain its legitimacy. (3) Vietnam and the development of its foreign policy. (4) The trend in the unity of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) as a collective security organization. It is predicted with a high degree of confidence that tensions in the South China Sea will continue to increase as U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s foreign policy becomes more confrontational with China. This will in turn encourage Vietnam to act more assertively, which in turn will drive Chinese nationalism to new levels. [read more]

'It's made in Vietnam!' At inauguration, origin of red Trump hats shocks many
20.01.2017 By Melissa Fares and Dustin Volz | WASHINGTON  (Reuters) - One of the biggest cheers President Donald Trump received from supporters watching his inaugural address on Friday was his call to "buy American and hire American."
It was a moment rich in irony.
Many of those supporters were sporting Trump's trademark red "Make America Great Again" baseball caps that were made in China, Vietnam and Bangladesh.
Joshua Rojas, 25 and Alyssa Young, 28, had traveled from Texas to watch the inauguration. Young was wearing a pink "Make America Great Again" hat.
"I loved it as soon as I saw it. I bought it right over there from one of the vendors for $20," she said.
So was it made in America?
"I don't know where it was made actually," Young said. "Let me check." She took off the hat to check the label.  "Oh no," she cried. "It's made in Vietnam!" [read more]

South China Sea Conflict: Vietnamese Police Arrest Anti-China Protesters In Hanoi
19.01.2017 By Vishakha Sonawane (IBT) - Police in the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi arrested several people Thursday who had gathered to mark the 43rd anniversary of the Chinese invasion of the disputed Paracel Islands in South China Sea, according to reports. The law enforcement officials also stopped the anti-China protests within minutes at the ceremony to commemorate the event.
Police took away banners and hauled at least a dozen of people in a bus. Protesters demanded Vietnam to take a tougher stance toward rival Beijing. [read more]

Vietnam police halt anti-China protest over islands
19.01.2017 (Reuters) HANOI - Police in Vietnam's capital stopped an anti-China protest within minutes on Thursday at a ceremony to commemorate a clash between the two countries in the South China Sea more than four decades ago.
The protest in Hanoi started after a peaceful commemoration for soldiers of what was then South Vietnam who were killed in 1974, when China seized the Paracel islands, which it still holds. [read more]

La Policía de Vietnam frena una protesta contra China en Hanoi
19.01.2017 (Europa Press) - HANOI (Reuters/EP) - La Policía de Vietnam ha frenado este jueves una protesta anti China en Hanoi durante una ceremonia para conmemorar un enfrentamiento entre los dos países en el mar de China Meridional hace más de cuatro décadas.
Las autoridades han arrestado a cerca de 20 manifestantes después de que ignoraran las órdenes de la Policía y comenzaran a marchar con pancartas y cánticos de "Demoler la invasión de China". [seguir leyendo]

Vietnamese police break up antiChina Paracels rally
19.01.2017 (NATION) - Vietnamese police on Thursday scuffled with activists marking the 1974 Chinese invasion of a disputed island chain as they arrested several people and dispersed journalists.
About 100 people gathered in central Hanoi for the 43rd anniverฌsary of the Chinese takeover of the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea – territory claimed by both nations that remains a diplomatic flashpoint.
In a rare act of public defiance in the communist nation, activists chanted “Down with the invaders!” and held banners against the “ageold enemy” near the capital’s Hoan Kiem Lake.
Plainclothes police swiftly swooped in, snatching banners away and hauling at least a dozen people into a nearby bus.
Journalists were unceremoniฌously ordered to leave the scene and turn off cameras. [read more]

Vietnam: manifestation antichinoise, plusieurs arrestations
19.01.2017 (L'Orient-Le Jour) - La police vietnamienne a brutalement mis fin jeudi à Hanoï à une manifestation antichinoise et arrêté plusieurs participants, ont constaté des journalistes de l'AFP.
Banderoles contre "l'ennemi historique", chants contre les "envahisseurs"... une centaine de personnes s'étaient rassemblées pour cette manifestation non autorisée visant à marquer l'anniversaire de l'invasion par Pékin des îles Paracels en mer de Chine méridionale, il y a 43 ans.  [en savoir plus]

South China Sea: China, Vietnam agree to manage maritime difference
15.01.2017 (ANI) - Beijing - China and Vietnam have agreed to manage maritime differences and safeguard the peace and stability of the disputed South China Sea.
A joint communique issued on Saturday said that both countries pledged to seek basic and long-term solutions that both sides can accept via negotiation, and discuss transitional solutions that will not affect each other's stance including the research of joint development, reports Xinhua.
The communique was issued as General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) Central Committee Nguyen Phu Trong paid a four-day official visit to China since Thursday. [read more]

China tabloid: U.S. must ‘wage war’ to block off S. China Sea isles
13.01.2017 (The Asahi Shimbun) - BEIJING--Blocking Chinese access to islands in the South China Sea would require the United States to "wage war," an influential Chinese state-run tabloid said on Friday, after U.S. Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson suggested the strategy on Wednesday.
The United States would have to "wage a large-scale war" in the South China sea to prevent Chinese access to the islands, the Global Times said in an English language editorial. [read more]

Vietnam Recalibrates After Trump-Duterte Combo Upsets Strategy
12.01.2017 by Chris Blake and John Boudreau (Bloomberg News) - Vietnam is moving to firm up key relationships after the rise of unpredictable politicians in the U.S. and the Philippines upset its trade and security strategy.
A trio of high-profile diplomatic exchanges over the next week highlight a careful balancing act as Donald Trump prepares to take office. Communist Party chief Nguyen Phu Trong began a four-day visit on Thursday to China -- Vietnam’s biggest trading partner -- that includes a meeting with President Xi Jinping. Outgoing U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrives in Hanoi on Friday for talks. And next week Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe makes his first trip to Vietnam since 2013. [read more]

Mit dieser gefährlichen Idee könnte der kommende US-Außenminister die USA an den Rand eines Krieges bringen
12.01.2017 von Susanne Klaiber & Lennart Pfahler (The Huffington Post) - Der künftige US-Außenminister Rex Tillerson hat sich schon vor seinem Amtsantritt mit einer Weltmacht angelegt. Ein diplomatisch höchst heikler Schritt für den amerikanischen Chefdiplomaten in spe.
Eine besondere Brisanz birgt Tillersons Aussage auch aufgrund seiner Vergangenheit. Denn als Geschäftsführer des Erdölkonzerns ExxonMobil – einer Tätigkeit, die er jetzt ruhen lässt – suchte der künftige Außenminister schon häufiger die Konfrontation mit China. [Weiterlesen]

Social media lets Vietnamese vent like never before
12.01.2017 Atsushi Tomiyama (Nikkei Asian Review) - HANOI Rapid economic development is widening the gap between Vietnam's haves and have-nots. This is sowing discontent at a time when, thanks to the spread of smartphones and social media, citizens are airing their grievances and holding leaders accountable like never before.
Traditionally, the government has sought to control public opinion through state-run media and by stifling dissent. Now it is realizing that the social media genie is nigh impossible to put back in the bottle -- and that it had best listen to its restless citizens. [read more]

Trump's Asia summit dilemma: Irritant or opportunity?
10.01.2017 Lex Rieffel (Nikkei Asian Review) - Will U.S. President-elect Donald Trump attend the 2017 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Vietnam? Or the 2017 East Asia Summit in the Philippines? Does it even matter?
The Obama administration's focus on Asia reflected its declared "pivot" or "rebalancing" toward the region. Trump, however, has not exhibited any warm feelings toward Asian countries - despite his early meeting with Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in the days following his Nov. 8 election victory. This has made U.S. allies in Asia anxious and is probably encouraging China to seek greater political and economic influence in the region. [read more]

Taiwan protests Vietnam deporting fraud suspects to China
05.01.2017 (AP) - BEIJING - Taiwan has protested to Vietnam after the country deported four Taiwanese accused of fraud to its rival, China, alleging that this was done under pressure from Beijing.
Scores of Taiwanese have been arrested around the world in the past year in connection with vast telecoms fraud scams targeting Chinese. Countries including Malaysia, Cambodia and Kenya have recently deported Taiwanese suspects to China, in deference to Beijing's claim to sovereignty over the self-governing island.
Taiwan has vigorously protested the deportations, saying it should be allowed to prosecute its own citizens. But it lacks diplomatic relations with many of the countries, which have close diplomatic and economic ties to Beijing. [read more]

The Good, The Bad And The Ugly Of Chinese Tourists In Vietnam
02.01.2017 By Michael Tatarski (SCMP) - It’s late and it’s hot, and thoughts have turned to air-conditioned hotel rooms, so the Chinese group can be forgiven for missing the subtle geopolitical implications of what their unlicensed leader is saying.
For instance, the guide tells them while Vietnam is no longer a part of China and has claimed its independence, it still depends on China and pays tribute to it. Or that the city’s My Khe Beach, a broad sweep of white sand once dubbed China Beach by American soldiers, really belongs to China...
Most Chinese visitors head to either Da Nang or Nha Trang, two coastal cities in the centre of the country famed for their beaches, historical sights and seafood.
This has caused headaches for the local tourism industries, and especially Vietnamese guides.
Some Chinese guides operating in the country have been accused of telling their groups that Vietnam hates China, and that they should not believe anything the local guides say. They are also accused of using regional dialects so that Mandarin- or Cantonese-speaking Vietnamese guides cannot understand them. [read more]


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  
HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH
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

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