Archive for Politburo

New Faces in the Politburo as Congress Wraps Up

Posted in Politics with tags , , , on January 21, 2011 by Ian Pham

The leadership transition ceremony in Vietnam, or as they like to call it, the 11th National Congress, has officially concluded.  The majority of the Communist Politburo remains the same, as nine members hold on to their posts.  The size of the Political Bureau has expanded from 15 to 17, with 8 new faces coming into the picture.

As previously hypothesized, Nguyen Phu Trong is officially the new General Secretary of the Communist Party.  Nguyen Tan Dung retains his position as Prime Minister of the VCP, while Truong Tan Sang becomes the President.  There are other new members around the Politburo, but whether they’re relevant or not is a question that is yet to be answered.

Whether these new guys make a difference or not, it is without a doubt that major challenges await them.  Issues like the economy, discontent among the common citizens, and the increasingly powerful and aggressive People’s Republic of China, just to name a few, require careful attention.  It should be interesting, let’s just wait and see.

Also, Nong Dunc Manh, now the former General Secretary of the VCP, made an apology about his personal performance and the performance of his group.  It was basically just him saying sorry about all his failures as a leader, although those weren’t his words exactly.

It wasn’t a very good apology, he didn’t actually take sole responsibility, nor did he address big issues like China or the dirty politics committed by the Party.  He pretty much just talked about corruption and the poor outcomes of the country’s projects.  Not a great apology, but what’d you expect?  He’s not the greatest guy.

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.

Acknowledging Corruption Now, So What?

Posted in Politics with tags , , , , on January 15, 2011 by Ian Pham

Prospective President Truong Tan Sang made a statement the other day about how senior members of the Communist Party “lack morality and example in lifestyle,” according to CBS News and The Associated Press.  This means that Sang is willing to admit that the VCP has a corruption problem, which is usually a good thing in most cases.  The question now is what he plans to do about it?

Acknowledging that the VCP is corrupted shows that a change may be possible from within.  However, one should not get their hopes up just yet.  It is true that the first step to curing a problem is admitting it, but one should keep in mind that this is only the first step.  Communist have gone back on their words too many times in the past, history has shown this.  Therefore, they should not be trusted, at least not until real results are confirmed and verified.

One should recall Nguyen Tan Dung’s words when he became Prime Minister of the VCP five years ago.  He also pointed out that corruption was a major problem in Vietnam and wanted to do something about it.  Look how things turned out with him, Mr. Billionaire, never lifting an honest finger to acquire his wealth.  Who knows, maybe he actually wanted to end corruption, but after he started getting free money, he just shut his mouth.  The motive is debatable, but the result is not.  He is definitely corrupted now.

Some might find it even more disillusioning to know that Nong Duc Manh, the outgoing General Secretary of the VCP, also made a statement condemning corruption.  The reason for this disillusionment stems from the fact that Manh himself is the main source of corruption in the Communist Party.  Whatever he blames on the Party all started with him, as he is the top ranking member of the entire group.  He’s trying to avoid being held accountable, that is the only reason he speaks against corruption.

I’m not telling everyone to dismiss Truong Tan Sang’s words altogether.  What I really want to do is remind everyone that actions speak louder than words, especially when it comes to Communists.  South Vietnamese President Nguyen Van Thieu once warned his people, “don’t listen to what a Communist says, but rather, look at what a Communist does.”  This is a great statement, and a perfect approach to dealing with Communist propaganda.  Only time will show their true intentions.

Vietnam Begins Week-Long Leadership Transition

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

Starting today, the Vietnamese Communist Party will be making a changes to its leadership along with the lower levels of the Party.  This event is known as the 11th National Congress of the Vietnamese Communist Party and will be going on for the next seven days (January 12-19).  There is a lot of talk about new members, new ideas, and stuff like that.  However, one should recognize that all of that is just for show, as the real work is done behind the scenes.

Even before the event, there are many rumors about who will be replacing Nong Duc Manh, Nguyen Tan Dung, and Nguyen Minh Triet as General Secretary, Prime Minister, and President, respectively.  Not much is really known about the new “candidates,” though none of them have proved to be very exceptional in dealing with Vietnam’s many problems, both internal and external.

However, it is very likely that the current President, Nguyen Minh Triet will retire this time, rumors suggest that he will be replaced by a someone named Truong Tan Sang.  Nguyen Tan Dung might get another five years as Prime Minister, while Nong Duc Manh might be replaced by another Chinese puppet, Nguyen Phu Trong, as the General Secretary of the VCP.

Do all these names matter?  Probably not, but hopefully yes.  The Communist system of government is broken, afflicted with so many problems that each generation of leadership is succeeded by an even worse one.  For this reason, I myself do not know what to expect of all this.  Maybe there is a democrat hidden somewhere in the pack, just waiting to emerge from the ashes.  Can’t help but hope for the best, right?

Pictures: Nguyen Phu Trong (top) is rumored to be the new number one, while Nguyen Tan Dung (standing with Nguyen Phu Trong) is expected to remain Prime Minister for another five years, and some speculate that Truong Tan Sang (bottom) has been chosen as the new President of the VCP.  Whether these speculations are true, we will know in one week.