Archive for August, 2011

Footage: Chinese Workers Destroying Property and Attacking Vietnamese Citizens

Posted in Economics, Politics, Society, Videos with tags , , , , , , , , on August 30, 2011 by Ian Pham

The following is footage of one of the most severe cases of violence and destruction of Vietnamese properties at the hands of illegal Chinese laborers.  Though this incident took place quite a while ago, December 28, 2008, it is definitive to what has been happening, and still happening in Vietnam today.  The coverage and dialogue is all in Vietnamese, but worry not, for I can walk you through the entire video, right here.

This particular incident took place in the province of Thanh Hoa, at a local business owned by Mr. Nguyen Van Den, on December 28, 2008.  In the interview with Mr. Den, he clearly outlines how the incident went down. Six Chinese laborers entered his convenience store, opened up some packaged goods of his, and refused to pay.  When confronted by Mr. Den’s wife, a fight broke out between her and the Chinese.  When Mr. Den intervened to stop the altercation and protect his wife, the Chinese goons attacked him as well.

It did not end there however.  When the Chinese goons returned, their entourage had grown from six to forty, their only purpose to rip the store apart and further terrorize the shop owner.  The outcome, total pandemonium as Mr. and Mrs. Nguyen were violently beaten by a mob of foreign delinquents.  The angry mob grew even larger as the riot went on, from 40 to 200 illegal workers.  Not only did they destroy Den’s store completely, but they didn’t feel satisfied until his whole family was black and blue.  Den’s business was ruined as a result, his family, and even some of his neighbors and friends were left bloody and bruised on the street.

Around the three minute mark of the video, the interview switches to the Vietnamese police chief, Nguyen Nhu Nhan, who, shamefully enough, is trying to rationalize the incident on the Chinese’s behalf.  He was defending the Chinese in the incident, accusing the shopkeeper of being the aggressor. Furthermore, Nhan outlines the events of other such incidents up to that point, taking the Chinese side on all of the events, claiming that they were the victims in each situation.  This police chief is a prime example of a Communist lapdog, bowing down to China and turning his back on his own people.

It is a sad, sad truth that many Vietnamese citizens have to put up with this kind of harassment from these violent foreigners every single day. The scale of violence may vary depending on the incident, this was probably one of the worst cases.  Regardless of the degree of destruction, such reckless and violent behavior should never be condoned by the Vietnamese government.  Even if one Vietnamese citizen was subjected to this kind of treatment, the government should come to their defense without a hint of hesitation.  Sadly, this is not the case.  As you have seen, the Vietnamese police were completely useless in the matter.  They are only good for one thing, suppressing the Vietnamese people.  This time, the Chinese are already doing it for them, so they don’t have to lift a finger.  Vietnamese Communists.  Shame.

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Illegal Chinese Workers Terrorize Across Vietnam

Posted in Economics, Politics, Society with tags , , on August 27, 2011 by Ian Pham

Over the past several years, the Vietnamese Communist government has allowed many Chinese companies to conduct mining and labor projects on Vietnamese land.  The widely contested Bauxite Mining project is a prime example of the many devastating projects approved by the Communist Party in Vietnam.  Besides Bauxite Mining, there are many other projects that are detrimental to Vietnam’s land and its people.  A large percentage of the workers involved in these projects are not even from Vietnam.  They are, in fact, from China, working in Vietnam, devastating Vietnamese land, and terrorizing Vietnamese people.

According to Asia News (Friday, August 26, 2011), there are more than 74,000 foreign workers in Vietnam, 90% of them are Chinese. They occupy all areas of Vietnam, from the northern province of Lang Son, reaching all the way to the south, down to the province of Ca Mau.  Even more disturbing however, is that the majority of these Chinese workers do not have permission to work in Vietnam, in other words, they are in Vietnam illegally.  Of the 2,000 workers in Ninh Binh province, about 1,500 of them are illegal.  For Ca Mau province, only 690 out of 1700 workers are permitted to work.  These numbers should help illustrate the problematic situation in Vietnam, one that the Communist Party is doing nothing to fix.

The issue doesn’t stop there, disturbingly enough.  Not only are these illegal workers poorly trained and unequipped to work, they are also guilty of terrorizing the Vietnamese locals on a regular basis.  There are numerous reports of Chinese workers harassing and assaulting Vietnamese locals, such as shopkeepers and merchants.  In many cases, the Chinese workers will refuse to pay for items or services provided for them.  They would steal, threaten, and then return with large entourages of other Chinese workers to destroy the shops and businesses that had just serviced them.  There are reports where hundreds, even thousands of illegal Chinese workers would beat local shopkeepers with weapons and tools, steal their merchandise, and tear down their businesses to the ground.

What does the Vietnamese government have to say about all this?  Not much, apparently.  After all, it was they, the Vietnamese Communists, who allowed China to send in their workers, terrorize, and destroy Vietnam’s economy in the first place.  It is good that they have spoken in the Paracel and Spratly matter, but that is far from enough.  There are many major problems that the Chinese have afflicted Vietnam with, many problems that the government has yet to address.  The People’s Republic of China has invaded Vietnam in every way but one, military force.  They’ve attacked Vietnam’s economic development, domestic politics, and the people’s way of life.  This is a serious problem, one that the Communists in Vietnam are inadequate to deal with.

Vo Nguyen Giap Turns 100… Again

Posted in IV. Columns, Modern History, Politics with tags , on August 25, 2011 by Ian Pham

So… Approximately 365 days ago, a congratulatory article was written to honor General Vo Nguyen Giap on his 100th birthday.  I bet you’re wondering why one year later, we’re talking about his 100th birthday again.  Well, it’s not as odd as it appears, as you will now see.  In Vietnam, a newborn child is considered one year old as soon as he or she is born. There is infancy, but there is no zero age.  Therefore, when counting one’s age in Vietnamese years, it is, more often than not, one year ahead of what it is in the west.  That is why I’m writing this article, to commemorate General Vo Nguyen Giap on his birthday of 100 western years.

Why am I even writing an article paying respects to Vo Nguyen Giap?  He’s a Communist, that makes him bad, right?  Not exactly.  It is true that he was a major contributor to North Vietnam’s victory over the U.S.A., right hand man to the evil Ho Chi Minh, and a founding member of the Communist Party.  Despite all this, it is debatable that he was different from the other leaders, both in policy and vision.

Of all the members in the old Communist Party, I can only recall one leader who may have had Vietnam’s interest in mind.  That man is Vo Nguyen Giap.  After the Northern takeover of all of Vietnam, Le Duan, the General Secretary, wanted to impose a policy of revenge and retribution against the remnants of South Vietnam’s population and the U.S., something that Vo Nguyen Giap strongly opposed.  Unlike Le Duan, Giap wanted to fix relations with the United States quickly, pacify the survivors of South Vietnam, and move the country forward.  He saw Vietnam’s potential, and wanted to utilize it.  However, Le Duan was much to stubborn, bitter, and devious to let this happen.  He wanted Communism, pure Communism, nothing else.  As a result, Vo Nguyen Giap was politically marginalized by Le Duan and his conspirators, ousted from the political centre of the Party.

Today, Vo Nguyen Giap is the one clear voice in the Communist Party who openly opposes Chinese expansionism.  He is the only name who is unafraid to challenge the treasonous acts of some of the major members of todays Communist Party and tell the Chinese Communist Party that what they are doing is intolerable.  It is just a shame that others within the Party don’t follow his example.  He was, and still is, a courageous man. The only one in the Communist Party who had a different, more constructive vision of what Vietnam could be.  If he came out victorious against Le Duan in the power struggle, the country might have moved in a very different direction.  For this reason, I feel the need to recognize that, and commemorate the one member of the Communist Party who is not a corrupted, cowardly, and mentally challenged despot.  So for the second time, I wish General Vo Nguyen Giap a Happy 100th Birthday.

Weekly Protests Shutdown By Communist Government; U.S. Calls For Release Of Detainees

Posted in Politics, Society with tags , , , , , , , on August 23, 2011 by Ian Pham

The Vietnamese government has decided to put the weekly protests in Hanoi to a stop.  After 10 weeks of Sunday protests, the Communist Party has finally lost its nerve.  As the people in Vietnam prepared for their anti-China demonstration at Hoan Kiem Lake, a large group of both uniformed and plain-clothed police officers were already there waiting for them.  The policemen rounded up the protestors just as they were about to begin their patriotic chants, shoving many of them into a large bus that had pulled up to the scene.  At least 47 demonstrators were detained as a result, thus signifying that the Communist Party will no longer tolerate peaceful protests in the name of the country.

Prior to the arrests on Sunday, the Communist government in Vietnam had made a public order warning all the participants to stop with the weekly demonstrations.  Despite the prohibition announcement, protestors continued to gather at the lake of Hoan Kiem to rally against China’s expansionism in the Southeast Asia Sea.  That was then that the Communist Party felt it necessary to stop the protests for good.  They have become uneasy and wary of the people’s ongoing activism, fearing that it may turn into a revolutionary force that put their power in jeopardy.  As a result, the protests have been stopped for the week, though it is still unclear what will happen next Sunday.

The United States has called for the release of the detainees who took part in the protests, citing basic human rights and freedoms should be respected.  Since the arrests on Sunday, 39 of those detained have been released, though several are still held for investigation.  The U.S. and Vietnam have strengthened their relations greatly in the last few years, organizing conferences, visits, and military exercises.  However, Vietnam’s flagrant violations of human rights and freedoms continue to put a strain on this relationship.  The U.S. sees much potential in Vietnam, the strengthening of U.S.-Vietnam relations can bring many benefits to Vietnam, but this can only take place when Vietnam finally respects the basic rights and freedoms that the people deserve.

Recent Crackdowns Of Vietnamese Activists

Posted in Democracy Activists, Politics, Society with tags , , , , , , , , on August 19, 2011 by Ian Pham

The Vietnamese authorities have heated up their crackdowns in recent weeks.  With the arrests of many Vietnamese activists who have risen to defend victims of the Communist government, human rights activism is steadily becoming a  recurring force that the government has to deal with.  Among the persecuted are four land-rights activists, a lawyer, and a college professor (pictured right).

The land-rights activists have taken up some cases in defence of individuals who have been victimized by the land grabbing Communist Party.  One high profile case involved families living in south Mekong Delta whose homes are being confiscated, stolen, by the Vietnamese government.  The four activists involved in this case are pastor Duong Kim Khai, activists Cao Van Tinh, Tran Thi Thuy, and Doan Thai Duyen Hai.

Also, Vietnamese lawyer Huynh Van Dong has been suspended from practicing law for taking part in the defence of human rights activists.  The Vietnamese government has found him “guilty” of contempt for the court, “disrespecting the law,” and his attempts to “degrade the credibility and offend the Communist Party of Vietnam.”  Huynh Van Dong also represented democracy activists Pham Van Thong and Tran Thi Thuy in their preliminary trials.

Last week, college professor Pham Minh Hoang was charged with “subversion” and spreading “propaganda against the state,” both of which are common charges for dissidents and democracy activists.  Pham Minh Hoang is a French educated Vietnamese returning home to help develop the country through education and knowledge.  However, Pham Minh Hoang’s qualifications have somehow become a threat to the government, so the professor/blogger has been sentenced to three years in jail by the ruling Communist Party.

The crackdowns seem to be more frequent in Vietnam as of late.  Whether the democracy movement is gaining momentum or the Party has just spruced up their security forces is yet to be determined.  In any case, it is apparent that democracy is becoming more understood as a necessity in Vietnam.  There are many facing jail time for their dauntless activism of human rights and democracy, a movement that will only grow stronger with time.

1979: The Sino-Vietnamese War (Part II)

Posted in Modern History, Politics with tags , , , , , , , on August 16, 2011 by Ian Pham

Enter Deng Xiaoping

After Vietnam’s swift invasion of Cambodia, tensions between Vietnam and China finally flared to the breaking point.  Deng Xiaoping was enraged by Vietnam’s total domination in the Cambodian conflict and felt obligated to teach Vietnam a lesson in war.  The arrogant Communist leader labelled Vietnam a “hooligan” and vowed to move his PLA into Hanoi in a matter of days.  However, the Chinese Communist leader would be forced to swallow his own harsh words.  Invading Vietnam, as Deng would soon learn, is not an easy endeavour.

Deng Xiaoping had two core objectives when he deployed his forces into Vietnam. The first reason was personal, the Chinese wanted to defeat Vietnam overwhelmingly, the same way that Cambodia was taken down at the hands of the Vietnamese.  This is why Deng Xiapoing claimed that he would teach Vietnam a lesson, boasting to show how superior [he thought] the Chinese military was over Vietnam.  The second reason was political, for Deng wanted to remove Vietnam from Cambodia, thus ending their occupation of a former Chinese ally.  Unfortunately for Deng, as one will find out, neither of these objectives would be met by his PLA.

Le Duan’s Plan

With Deng’s army on the march, Le Duan, Vietnam’s General Secretary, made his own preparations to deal with the Chinese forces.  He had just defeated Pol Pot in war and was now overseeing his country’s occupation. For this reason, Le Duan had to keep most of his forces stationed in Cambodia, leaving him with only the secondary militia to take on the forces of Deng Xiaoping.  This secondary army of Vietnam, to the surprise of all (except the Vietnamese), would be more than enough to take on the Chinese forces.

The Chinese entered Vietnam on February 17, 1979, successfully marching only 7-8 kilometres for the first several days.  The Chinese saw heavy resistance from the People’s Army of Vietnam, who caused them to remain idle for the three days of their invasion.  On the fourth day, after the standstill at the hands of the Vietnamese secondary army, the Chinese forces fought their way towards Cao Bang and Lang Son.  After six days of excruciating battles, the Chinese managed to capture Cao Bang on February 27, with another two days to occupy Lang Son.  It was throughout this period that the Chinese army were encountering difficulties on the battlefield, with the Vietnamese forces waiting at the opposite end.

The Retreat & The Aftermath

On March 5, with the hopes of marching into Hanoi all but crushed, Deng Xiaoping had no other option but to retreat his forces.  On the way back, the Chinese forces, under Deng’s orders, hunted down and killed all of the Vietnamese civilians in their path.  Tens of thousands of innocent civilians, which consisted mostly of women, children, and the elderly, were ruthlessly slaughtered by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army.  The forces of Le Duan were now pursuing the Chinese back to the border, but were slowed down by the trail of land mines left by the murderers of Deng Xiaoping.  The massacre could not be stopped in time, and many thousand innocent lives were lost at the hands of the ever bitter and humiliated Deng Xiaoping.

When his forces were finally withdrawn from Vietnam on March 16, Deng Xiaoping had the nerve to claim victory over Vietnam, shamelessly declaring that he had achieved all his objectives in the war.  What he failed to mention accurately was the three day standstill at the beginning, the seven day halt that followed, and the complete and utter deterioration of his dream of ever reaching Hanoi in the end.  Furthermore, Deng Xiaoping felt no remorse for the many thousands of innocent lives that he had taken on his retreat back to China.  This act of violence happened to such a scale that it can be labelled a war crime.  To sum up, his expedition into Vietnam was a complete disaster, one that he could not bring himself to admit.

Prior to his invasion, Mr. Deng pompously proclaimed that he would teach Vietnam a valuable lesson, pledging to move his army into Hanoi by dinner time.  Because of his arrogance, Deng pushed his soldiers into a military conflict that dragged on for nearly 30 days, costing him an undisclosed number of military bodies said to be around 60,000, possibly even higher. What did he gain out of this?  Not very much.  In the words of author Gerald Segal, “China failed to force a Vietnamese withdrawal from [Cambodia], failed to end border clashes, failed to cast doubt on the strength of the Soviet power, failed to dispel the image of China as a paper tiger, and failed to draw the United States into an anti-Soviet coalition.” Deng Xiaoping sent his army into Vietnam with the intention of teaching the country a lesson, but with his humiliating defeat at the hands of Le Duan and the Vietnamese, it is clear that it was Deng who has been taught a lesson.

China Conducts “Routine” Military Exercise… At Vietnam’s Border

Posted in Politics with tags , , , on August 13, 2011 by Ian Pham

Just two days ago, the Chinese government underwent some military practices deep in the southern province of Guangxi, at the China-Vietnam border.  When questioned about their intentions, the Chinese claimed that it was only a routine military exercise, with no ulterior motives whatsoever.  Quite hard to believe, since China has been committing acts of intimidation against Vietnam, year after year, month after month, and day after day.  This is just another scare tactic that the People’s Republic of China is trying on Vietnam, anything beyond that goal is doubtful.

As you may know, a leadership transition took place in Vietnam several months ago, seeing several high profile positions transferred to some newer faces.  The positions of President and General Secretary have been appointed to Truong Tan Sang and Nguyen Phu Trong, respectively. Beijing has been keeping track of this leadership change, as they hope to extend control over these new individuals as they did with their predecessors.

This is not the first time that China has acted in such a threatening and belligerent manner.  Anyone following the current events in Asian politics can vouch that this is nothing new.  Every time a nation Chinese of interest goes through some sort of leadership succession, China feels the need to test this them and see how tough they are.  They tried it with the last leaders of Vietnam, they tried it with George W. Bush, and they’ve tried it with Barack Obama.  Compare the times that the Chinese leadership has threatened to use force with the times that they’ve actually followed through, one won’t find much reason to worry.  Rest assured, this is only a test.