By Geoffrey Cain / HANOI Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2011
Leaders pose for a photo with delegates from the military during a tea-break at the 11th National Congress of the Communist Party in Hanoi on Jan. 18, 2011
Kham / Reuters
Sarcastic observers joked that the scene — the monotonous non-event held every five years that has become Vietnam’s 11th National Party Congress — summed up the obsolescent state of the communist party itself. For a week starting last Wednesday, 1400 delegates gathered in the capital of Hanoi to set the party’s strategy and voted out some older members of its gray-haired leadership. The outcome? Much of the same, but with a few younger faces — an increasingly rare species in a country where many business-oriented youth no longer join need to join the party. A third of the party’s 15-man politburo, the most powerful committee in the country, stepped down, some citing their ages and health concerns.
Continue reading Why Vietnam’s Political Reshuffling Won’t Fix A Struggling Economy
Motorists go past a poster promoting the Vietnam Communist Party Congress in Ho Chi Minh City January 4, 2011.
By John Ruwitch and Jason Szep
HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam (Reuters), Jan 13 – Nguyen Duc Tai was on a mission one sweltering January morning in Vietnam’s commercial capital, Ho Chi Minh City.
Flush with cash from his annual bonus, he wanted to buy his wife a new mobile phone, a gift for the coming Tet lunar new year holidays. In a country where the average annual income is about $1,100, a good phone is a big investment. Tai wanted to make the right choice with his 5 million dong ($250).
Continue reading Special Report: Vietnam capitalist roaders follow China’s trail
17 August 2010 Last updated at 04:02 ET
China’s People’s Liberation Army tests missiles in the South China Sea
The growth of China’s military is shrouded in secrecy which could give rise to “misunderstanding and miscalculation”, a US defence department report says.
China has been upgrading its land-based missiles, expanding its submarine force and nuclear arsenal, the Pentagon’s annual report to Congress said.
Continue reading US says China’s military has seen secret expansion
By PAULINE JELINEK and ROBERT BURNS, Associated Press Writers Pauline Jelinek And Robert Burns, Associated Press Writers – Wed Aug 4, 11:13 pm ET
WASHINGTON – More than 30 years after his death, an Air Force general has been exonerated of charges that he violated presidential restrictions on aerial bombing during the Vietnam War and that he ordered the falsification of records to conceal the missions.
John D. Lavelle was forced to retire in April 1972 at the rank of major general — two stars below the rank he held as commander of air operations in Vietnam — after being relieved of duty for ordering unauthorized airstrikes against North Vietnamese military targets.
In this 1972 file photo, Gen. John D. Lavelle, right, talks with then Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John C. Stennis, D-Miss., before a closed session to hear his case, in Washington.
Continue reading Obama restores rank of disgraced Vietnam general
Seal that prompted the FBI action
A row has broken out between Wikipedia and the FBI over the use of its seal.
In a letter sent to Wikipedia’s San Francisco office, the FBI said that “unauthorised reproduction of the FBI Seal was prohibited by US law”.
“Whoever possesses any insignia…or any colourable imitation thereof..shall be fined…or imprisoned… or both,” the FBI wrote.
Continue reading Wikipedia and FBI in logo use row
China has announced a number of military exercises in recent weeks
A large airborne military exercise is underway in China’s central and eastern provinces and seas.
Fighter jets, spy planes and helicopters, along with 12,000 soldiers, are taking part in the drill.
It is one of several announced in official media in recent weeks.
The exercise follows verbal sparring between the US and China over conflicting territorial claims by China and many South East Asian nations in the South China Sea.
Continue reading China air force exercises ‘carry message’
Up to two-and-a-half million people have been affected by devastating floods in north-west Pakistan, the International Red Cross has said.
Rescuers are struggling to reach 27,000 people still cut off by the floods, which are the worst in 80 years.
At least 1,100 people have died and thousands have lost everything.
Continue reading ’2.5 million people affected’ by Pakistan floods officials say
VOA News 30 July 2010
A Chinese defense official is criticizing the United States for taking an interest in a South China Sea dispute for the second time this week.
Ministry spokesman Geng Yansheng said Friday that remarks last week by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton were an unwelcome attempt at the “internationalization” of a territorial issue involving the Spratly and Paracel chains. China’s foreign ministry made similar remarks earlier this week.
Continue reading China Renews Criticism of US Over China Sea Dispute
Gen Bigeard was a veteran of WWII, French Indochina and Algeria
Vietnam has turned down a request to scatter the ashes of a French war veteran at the site of a battle which helped end colonial rule by France.
General Marcel Bigeard, one of France’s most decorated soldiers, who died last month, reportedly asked to rejoin his fallen comrades.
But a Vietnamese official is quoted as saying this would “create a precedent”.
Continue reading Vietnam rejects French officer’s ashes request
By the CNN Wire Staff
(CNN) — Vietnam’s Ministry of Information and Communications has cut off overnight public Internet access in businesses and banned advertisements of online games pending new regulations amid a public outcry over the games’ influence on youth, the state-run news agency reported.
The move also temporarily stopped the licensing of online games. Vietnamese officials announced the decision Tuesday and said it would remain in effect until the end of the year.
Continue reading Vietnam restricts online gaming over youth concerns
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, center, talks with Vietnamese reporters after a press conference at the Government Guest House in Hanoi, Vietnam, Thursday, July 22, 2010. Clinton is in the Vietnamese capital to attend the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Regional Forum on security. (AP Photo/Julian Abram Wainwright, Pool) (Julian Abram Wainwright – AP)
Continue reading In Hanoi, Clinton highlights closer ties with Vietnam, pushes for human rights
Hanoi – The top diplomats of Vietnam and China on Wednesday pledged to strengthen relations despite territorial conflicts over the South China Sea.
As current chair of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN), Vietnam would “do our best to strengthen strategic relations between ASEAN and China generally, and between Vietnam and China in particular,” Deputy Prime Minister Pham Gia Khiem told Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi.
Continue reading Vietnam and China to strengthen relations despite territory dispute
July 20 (Bloomberg) — Southeast Asian nations should take the lead in promoting regional peace, Vietnam Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung said ahead of a security forum this week involving the world’s biggest powers.
“Asean should further demonstrate its ability and role as a leading force for the promotion of dialogue and cooperation,” Dung said at the opening ceremony in Hanoi of a meeting of the group’s foreign ministers.
Continue reading Asean Should Take Lead to Promote Peace, Vietnam Says
WASHINGTON (AFP) – US lawmakers have asked Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to raise human rights when she visits Vietnam next week, saying that the issue should be at the heart of the nations’ growing relationship.
In a letter to Clinton sent Thursday, 19 members of the House of Representatives wrote that Vietnam “holds in its cells hundreds of prisoners whose only crime is to peacefully advocate for social justice.”
Clinton’s visit “represents a crucial opportunity not only to raise pressing concerns for imprisoned activists but to integrate human rights issues into the core of US-Vietnam bilateral policy,” they wrote.
Continue reading US lawmakers ask Secretary of State Clinton to raise human rights issues in Vietnam
By Martha Ann Overland / Ho Chi Minh City
For much of the past year, residents of a village in Vietnam’s southern Ca Mau province heard a child screaming in terror in a nearby house, but no one alerted the authorities. As 14-year-old Nguyen Hoang Anh was being branded with hot irons, had solvents poured in his wounds and had his teeth pulled out with pliers, those who heard him ignored his cries. Neighbors feared the couple that employed the boy on their shrimp farm might retaliate against them if they notified officials. Others, knowing police rarely interfere in domestic issues, did not know whom to call.
Continue reading Child-Abuse Case Reveals Vietnam’s Lax Social Services
Oxford Analytica, 03.15.10, 06:00 AM EDT
Rising labor costs and tensions with China have sent companies looking for labor in Vietnam, but Hanoi has its own set of serious problems.
Vietnam is viewed as a viable alternative to China for foreign (particularly U.S.) companies seeking to establish or increase their lower-cost manufacturing capacity.
Continue reading Outsourcing To Vietnam
From French to anti-communist to communist, each regime has put its imprint on street names. Take Saigon — oops, Ho Chi Minh City — where nearly all 60 French-named streets have been renamed.
|A historic photo, from the early 1900s, of the Rue Catinat, which later became the Tu Do (Freedom) Street, and still later Dong Khoi (Uprising) Street. Believed to have been taken between 1900-1910Credit: Collection Philippe Chaplain – Fédération Nationale du Patrimoine] ***  (Collection Philippe, Federation Nationale / July 4, 2010)
By Mark Magnier, Los Angeles Times July 5, 2010
Reporting from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam —
Literature lovers who come looking for Rue Catinat in this city once known as Saigon better hope they happen upon a Francophile octogenarian.
The street, made famous in Graham Greene’s “The Quiet American,” hasn’t been called that in more than half a century. These days, it’s called Dong Khoi (Uprising) Street. (And before that, it was called Freedom Street. But more about that later.)
Continue reading In Vietnam, a sign of the times