Archive for January 18, 2011

What to Expect From Vietnam’s New General Secretary

Posted in Politics with tags , , , , on January 18, 2011 by Ian Pham

Though this is not yet confirmed, Nguyen Phu Trong (shown above) is the man likely to become the next General Secretary of the VCP, succeeding the post of Nong Duc Manh.  General Secretary is the very top rank of the Vietnamese Communist Party, a position that has been continuously squandered by successively idiotic rulers.  Can this all change with Mr. Nguyen Phu Trong?  Not likely.  From what I’ve learned, he’s just as bad as Nong Duc Manh, maybe even worse.

Alright, it is possible that he might not be worse than Nong Duc Manh because seriously, Nong Duc Manh was just awful.  However, Nguyen Phu Trong is not a very smart man, he is not innovative, and he does not have the guts to hold his own in the face of Chinese assertiveness.  Many of his slogans and policies are repeats of old Communist rhetoric, mentioned over and over by the men of the past.  He also shows weakness in managing foreign relations with the Chinese, content with being treated as the “little guy” in meetings among supposed equals.

In conclusion, Nguyen Phu Trong unfortunately, does not look like a very promising leader.  It is too soon to tell whether he is better or worse than Nong Duc Manh.  It is true I might suggest that Nguyen Phu Trong may be a better fit leader than his predecessor Nong Duc Manh, but that is only because Manh was really, really horrible.  He was so bad, it’s just embarrassing.  Right now, all we need to do is take quick a look at the face of the new General Secretary of Vietnam.  For the next little while, every success, failure, accomplishment and catastrophe that befalls the country will be entirely in his hands.  No pressure.