A brief protest took place on July 1, 2012 before being cracked down by Communist police.
The much anticipated anti-China protest slated for the 1st of July never took place, at least not to the scale that we all expected. Much of this is due to the quick work of the Communist police network, who swiftly barricaded, detained, and blocked many areas and leaders key to the operation. As a result, small scale demonstrations did take place before also being put to bed by the Communist police.
The following Sunday however, July 8, 2012, a modestly sized protest did take place in Ho Chi Minh City. That protest too was suppressed by the Communist police in Vietnam. Vietnamese authorities have been on high alert and placing heavy surveillance on its citizen, especially bloggers and writers. The possibility of large scale anti-China demonstrations keep the Communist Party in a state of fear and paranoia.
In Vietnam, expressing patriotism and love of one’s country is grounds for imprisonment and government retribution. The Vietnamese Communist Party would rather have a safe and cosy relationship with the PRC than its own people. Fears of an angry China have prompted the government in Vietnam to constantly suppress and crackdown on their own people.
There is a saying associated with the Vietnamese Communist Party, “fierce to its people, but meek to the Chinese.” It is quite self explanatory. The Vietnamese Communist Party uses excessive force and expends heavy resources all with the goal of suppressing the Vietnamese population. At the same time, they won’t hesitate to lower themselves to the Chinese Communist Party, for fear of an angry China.
Relations between the U.S. and Vietnam have developed substantially in recent years, though human rights remains an issue in Vietnam.
This can all be demonstreated by the VCP’s constant crackdowns of Vietnamese bloggers, writers, and protest organizers. These individuals have not even expressed anti-Party sentiments. All they’ve done is express love for the motherland and tried to defend her from the invading Chinese.
It is true that the Vietnamese government has passed a law laying claim to Paracel and Spratly, and greatly angering the Chinese. However, the very same government continues to be submissive and dove-like when dealing with China’s assertive claims to the southeastern sea.
When compared to the Phillipines’ government, the Vietnamese Communist Party does not measure up. President Benjamin Aquino III has handled the Phillipines’ situation with China promptly and assertively. Though the military and naval strength of the Phillipines is not up to par with China’s, or even Vietnam’s, the country has shown that they are a force to be reackoned with. As a result, the Filipino citizens are fully in support of their government, with the world also nodding with approval.
The VCP should take a lesson from the Philippines and start standing up to China more sternly. It is true that their strategy of bringing in the U.S. to the matter brings great benefits. However, their constant abuse of human rights and continued spineless approach in dealing with the PRC’s aggression continues to impede the country’s growth. The Vietnamese should take a tougher stance on China, and a more respectable approach in dealing with its own citizens. Only then will true progress be achieved.