Archive for November, 2010

Real Footage: Chinese Agression on the Senkaku Islands

Posted in Politics, Videos with tags , , on November 10, 2010 by Ian Pham

When China and Japan clashed over the incident on September 7, 2010, both sides had their own story to tell about it.  The Chinese claimed that the Japanese vessel intentionally collided with the Chinese boat, harassing the Chinese fishermen.  Japan’s response was quite similar, only they say that the Chinese were the real aggressors.

In any case, the Chinese “fishermen” were arrested and released after several days.  Even though both sides had their own take on the Senkaku Incident, I myself have already concluded which side was more truthful.  With clear evidence of heinous crimes committed in the Southeast Asia Sea and blatant disregard for international law, my judgement told me that the People’s Republic of China was the one guilty of naval aggression.

It has been two months since the incident and the PRC still accuse the Japanese of being the aggressors who wrongfully arrested the Chinese fishermen.  This video however, tells a different story.  Footage of the incident was recorded and documented by the Japanese Coast Guard, summing up the incident in a very conclusive way.  It doesn’t matter what claims the Beijing government make now, because this video says it all.

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Petition: Change the Name “South China Sea” to “Southeast Asia Sea”

Posted in Politics with tags , , , on November 8, 2010 by Ian Pham

This petition was started by the Nguyen Thai Hoc Foundation. I support this petition because I don’t believe the name “South China Sea” accurately represents the geographical location of this area.  This sea is located in Southeast Asia and surrounded by many Southeast Asian countries such as the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Vietnam.  That is why I signed this petition and encourage many of you to sign it too!  It’s really quick and easy!

This petition will remain on this website for as long as it takes.  You can help make a change too.  Spread the word and recommend this petition to anyone you believe will support our cause.  Let’s make history!

Sign Here!

http://www.change.org/petitions/view/change_the_name_south_china_sea_to_southeast_asia_sea

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Deals With the Free World, It’s a Great Thing!

Posted in Economics, Politics with tags , , , , on November 5, 2010 by Ian Pham

As you may know, Vietnam has made some pretty productive moves this past week.  During the meeting of East Asian ministers, Vietnam struck new deals with Japan, Russia, and the United States.  Being an optimist, I’d hope to see more deals like these made in the near future.

The business benefits of these agreements are clear, international investments, jobs, etc.  What I really like about these agreements is Vietnam’s willingness to cooperate with the democratic countries.  Officials from all sides hint at further improvements in multilateral relations, and that is a great thing.

I’m not naive enough to believe that these deals alone could make Vietnam democratic overnight.  However, I am idealistic enough to suggest that these new deals are taking Vietnam in a positive direction.  Any type of cooperation with a free and democratic country is good in my opinion.

That being said, I am not completely convinced.  Yes, things look good right now, but this is only the start of it.  Though China’ grip on the VCP seems to be slipping, they still hold considerable influence within the Party, and that makes things highly unpredictable.

At this point, my opinion about the Vietnamese government can go either way.  They’ve taken positive steps in moving the country forward, but the old problems still remain.  Only when the Party starts talking freedom of expression, association, and religion will you see my approval.

A Handful of New Deals in Vietnam

Posted in Economics, Politics with tags , , , , on November 4, 2010 by Ian Pham

There is an interesting trend happening in Vietnam right now, and that is the country reaching a number of new agreements with several different countries.  Besides the new agreement with Japan, which makes the two countries partners in mineral exportation and nuclear development, Vietnam has also reached new deals with the U.S. and the Russian Federation.  (Left to Right: Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao)

The deal with Russia signifies the two countries future cooperation in nuclear development, further adding to the development of Vietnam’s nuclear industry.  The agreement details Russia’s readiness to help build Vietnam’s first nuclear power plant, one of two reactors planned for completion by 2020.  Russian officials are also hinting at further cooperations between the two countries as future negotiations are scheduled.  (Picture: Russian President Dimitri Medvedev)

From the U.S., Vietnam purchased eight new 787-9 Dreamliner planes from Boeing, a major U.S. airline company.  Vietnamese officials say that future talks may bring further business transactions between the U.S. and Vietnam.  The new agreement was signed this past weekend at a ceremony in Hanoi where Hilary Clinton (right), and the rest of the leaders were in attendance.

Not bad at all, I must say.  Though the future is still uncertain, these new deals paint a better picture of what Vietnam can become, as long as the rulers follow through.  It’s still too early to tell what the intentions of the Vietnamese government are.  However, any interaction with the free and democratic countries is a positive step.  Therefore, my optimistic side tells me to expect the best.  Still, we can’t make any conclusions yet, we need results first.

Vietnam and Japan Become Partners in Mineral Exports and Nuclear Power

Posted in Economics, Politics with tags , , , , on November 3, 2010 by Ian Pham

The Vietnamese government has come to a new agreement with Japan, making them partners in mineral exports and nuclear development.  Vietnam will become a supplier of rare minerals and earths to Japan, and the two will cooperate in the development of nuclear power.

The previous supplier of most of Japan’s mineral and earth resources was China, but the recent developments in the Pacific has caused Japan to look for new business associates.  The recent clashes prompted China to impose an embargo on the Japanese, but they have since then been lifted.

Japan has made promises to assist Vietnam in the development of nuclear power, as Vietnam aims to construct eight nuclear plants by 2030.  The new agreements took place at the meeting of East Asian leaders on saturday in Hanoi.  Top officials from Russia and the U.S., including Hilary Clinton, were also in attendance.

Commemorating Ngo Dinh Diem

Posted in IV. Columns, Modern History, Politics, Society with tags , , on November 1, 2010 by Ian Pham

Today marks the anniversary of President Ngo Dinh Diem’s assassination at the hands of Duong Van Minh and authorized by the U.S. government.  On this day, many writers and bloggers take the time to remember the Vietnamese president, acknowledging his mistakes, but mostly celebrating his accomplishments.

In the past, the public’s perception of Ngo Dinh Diem has often been negative, backed by hundreds upon hundreds of distorted media portrayals.  Nowadays however, with more adequate evidence being published, the public opinion of President Diem has shifted drastically.

As the First President of the Republic of Vietnam, Diem resisted heavy pressure from the U.S., neutralized the political factions of Cao Dai, Hoa Hao, and Binh Xuyen, and damaged the terrorist plots of Ho Chi Minh and his Vietcong.  He created a stable government, free from French, Communist, and for a time, American saboteurs.

Under Ngo Dinh Diem, South Vietnam’s economy flourished.  Coffee shops were filled with busy people, making a quick stop on their way to work.  Echoing in the streets of Saigon were the smooth, cool melodies of Vietnam’s young Jazz musicians.  La Dalat motors, the country’s first motor company, was making their first appearance on the city streets.  In the Republic of Vietnam, business was booming.

In the eight years of his presidency, Ngo Dinh Diem successfully ridded South Vietnam of the numerous military and political threats, stabilizing the country, and making it powerful in the process.  He is a controversial figure, that is true.  However, the claims of his mistakes can now be balanced with evidence of his myriad contributions.

The debate concerning the policies of President Diem and whether his individual actions were ethical or not, is meant for another day.  Today we celebrate the life of the President, commemorating the  many sacrifices that he has made for the Vietnamese tradition.