Archive for Military Exercises

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.

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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.

Vietnam to Conduct Naval Exercises in the South China Sea

Posted in Politics with tags , , , , , on June 12, 2011 by Ian Pham

Remember last week when Vietnam came out to condemn China for their recent exploits in the Southeast Asia Sea?  Well, the Chinese didn’t like that very much, so a few days ago, they went and did it again.  This time, the Peoples’ Liberation Navy had a different approach.  Instead of a full on naval vessel like the last time, the Communist Chinese sent in a smaller fishing boat to confront a different Vietnamese research boat.  When the Chinese fishing boat got close, it used a fishing net to latch itself into the Vietnamese research boat.  The PLN then sent in two of their military vessels to attack the research boat, claiming to defend the Chinese fishing boat from the Vietnamese boat.  Like last time, the Chinese accused the research boat of being the armed aggressors.

In response to this latest act of aggression, Hanoi has announced that it will be holding its own naval exercises in the Southeast Asia Sea.  Hours from now, as monday comes earlier in Vietnam, the Vietnamese Navy will be conducting nine hours of naval exercises off their central coast.  According to the Associated Press, this is the first time that the Vietnamese government is engaging in naval exercises of this scale using live ammunition.  Hanoi has warned other countries to avoid the area.  The Vietnamese government is finally doing what it should have done many, many months ago.  The Chinese government has been harassing Vietnamese fishermen for years now, but the incidents have been especially heinous within the last two years.

In Vietnam, the citizens have come together in protest for a second sunday in a row.  Once again, the streets of Hanoi and Saigon were flustered with red flags, banners, and patriotic t-shirts.  This problem with Communist China seems to be getting bigger by the day.  An editorial published by China’s state-run newspaper had warned Vietnam not to start trouble with China, making references to history, and alluding to the 1000 years occupation.  In my opinion, if one wanted to look at the history between China and Vietnam, look not at the 1000 years of occupation, but the 1000 years of victory after that.  In the words of Nguyen Trai, “Our nation may be strong at one time and weak at another, but never in time have we suffered from a lack of heroes.”  No matter which way the wind takes us, we will prevail.