Archive for Vietnam

Major Developments In Vietnam Right Now

Posted in Politics, Society with tags , , , , , , , , on May 14, 2014 by Ian Pham

May 11 ProtestThere is a storm brewing in Vietnam right now, people. China has been steadily escalating its encroachment on Vietnamese territory, and at this point in time, it seems that the Vietnamese people have finally had enough. This past Sunday, spontaneous demonstrations broke out in Saigon, Hanoi, Danang, and Vinh, spreading like wildfire and growing into full-on political protests with a total of over 3,000 attendees across the four cities.

China has recently transported its large oil rig into Vietnam’s EEZ (Exclusive Economic Zone), sparking outrage among the Vietnamese populations, both domestically and abroad. Last week, moreover, the Chinese navy is condemned internationally for harassing Vietnamese boats, spraying personnel with heavy duty water hoses, and injuring 8 people.

These incidents are fairly recent, taking place within the last 14 days. Indeed, the events fit perfectly with China’s long pattern of aggressive and illegal behavior on the world stage. The list of belligerent actions that the PRC commits against its neighbors in the Pacific is fairly hefty, and worse, shows no sign of diminishing.

China’s heinous actions against Vietnam include state-sponsored piracy against Vietnamese fishermen in the Southeast Asia Sea, unsubstantiated claims to vast amounts of territory in the Pacific, increased military presence in the Paracel and Spratly Islands, and an overall aggressive tone towards its weaker neighbors. The list is by no means limited to these well documented events, as the PRC is understood to also have disputes with Japan and the Philippines over similar issues regarding sovereignty and security.

For the longest time, with heavy suppression from the Communist government in Hanoi, the people of Vietnam have been prevented from protesting China’s belligerency. Though demonstrations and gatherings are still planned and orchestrated at various times, they are always crushed by government forces, with heavy penalties for those involved.

Binh Duong ProtestsLately however, with this past Sunday being a prime example, it seems that the government is no longer able to prevent the people of Vietnam from defending their own country. Just today, in the industrial area in Binh Duong province, one protest exploded to a scale unprecedented in Vietnam’s recent memory, with over 10,000 people in attendance. The momentum seems to be growing, as further protests are planned for this Sunday throughout Vietnam.

It’s still too soon to tell what will happen, but from the looks of things, the situation is beginning to really heat up in the Communist-controlled state. I’ll do my best to keep you all updated on the situation. It’s going to be an interesting summer in Vietnam this year.

Going Bankrupt?

Posted in Economics, Politics with tags , , , , , , , on May 9, 2011 by Ian Pham

Here is something that I hope many of you will find interesting.  There is word going around from some analysts, suggesting that the Communist Party of Vietnam is going bankrupt.  This is more than speculation, but since the Communist system is built upon nothing but lies, it is a very real possibility.  How can this be?  Isn’t Vietnam one of Asia’s second fastest growing economies, only behind China, with an annual GDP growth of 7-8%?  Maybe, but maybe not.

Let’s talk about China for a moment.  It is widely believed that the Chinese economy is one of the fastest growing economies in the world.  Strong GDP figures, healthy numbers on the Consumer Price Index (CPI), and so on.  But hold on a minute, how do we know that these figures are what the Chinese Communists say they are?  An article by Taipen Daily editor Justice Litle puts these figures directly into question.

According to Litle, many of China’s claims to economic growth are strongly exaggerated, even to the point of outright fabrication.  In his article, “China Has Reason to be Terrified” (February 25, 2011), Litle goes over the discrepancies in China’s statistics on economic growth, looking at the reasons why the numbers just don’t add up.  To further strengthen his argument, Litle quotes the words of a Li Kequiang, China’s prominent political insider, who refers to the statistical figures as “man-made” and “for references only.”  To summarize, it is possible that the stats for China’s economic growth, as released by Beijing, may be completely untrue.  Though we may not be able to prove it yet, the ferocity of China’s economic growth may be fabricated. Furthermore, it is possible that the country is more of a paper tiger than is generally perceived.

Let’s now look back at Communist Vietnam, who, to the chagrin of your’s truly, always seems to be following in Beijing’s footsteps.  Nowadays, it is believed that Vietnam is the new up-and-coming economy in Asia, with a strong annual growth and ever-increasing market strength.  This general perception, like that of China’s, may also be nothing but pure bull.  Not only is Vietnam’s economy not what its leaders claim it to be, but its condition may actually be worse.  Exponentially worse, as a matter of fact.  Unlike China, who may still have the investment and economic clout to sustain itself, the smaller economy of Vietnam might not even have enough money to keep its economy afloat for much longer.  As a matter of fact, many believe that Vietnam’s economy is set to collapse in the not-too-distant future, taking the Communists with it.

It seems that the Communist regime is not as sustainable as the fools hoped it would be.  Vietnam’s Communist dictators are starting to run out of steam, taking so much money out of the economy that the system itself is now in jeopardy.  Though it is not positively certain that the Communists are on their way out, one should still feel joy in the possibility that their impending collapse may happen very soon.  Vietnam is in need of a revolution, and this need grows steadily stronger with time.  Double digit inflation is plaguing the Vietnamese economy, and this new evidence of statistical fabrication only strengthens the possibility that the Communists are losing grip of their own system.  This may be the breaking point of the Communist regime.  It is obvious that they’ve pushed the people too far, but it seems that they are pushing the system to the limit as well.  It is only a matter of time now, Vietnam’s revolution may not be far away.

What’s the Deal With the Xayaburi Dam?

Posted in Economics, Society with tags , , , , , , on April 21, 2011 by Ian Pham

Much controversy has been raised over a new construction project based in the heart of the Mekong Delta.  The Xayaburi Dam, a project under consideration between Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam, and will be taking place in the Xayaburi province of Laos.  If approved, this construction project will be the first of many within the Mekong River, something that the inhabitants strongly disapprove of.

The problems associated with the dam’s construction mainly involves the strong chance of environmental destruction and loss of natural life in the area.  If built, many argue, the dam would end up killing many species of fish and other aquatic lifeforms of that habitat.  Not only will this result in the extinction of many of these species, but will deprive the inhabitants of that region of their food supply, and see the destruction of many of their homes as well.

The Mekong River is a natural habitat to many diverse species of animals and plants, more importantly, it is the home of many different cultural peoples.  Natives and minority groups from Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, and Thailand all rely on the resources of the Mekong Delta to support their ways of life.  The construction of this dam threatens the very livelihood of all these peoples.  That is why the construction of the Xayaburi Dam should not be approved by us.  To defend the natural beauty of the Mekong River, and to defend the inhabitants of this River, we must not support the construction of this dam.

Reasons Why the Jasmine Revolutions Can’t Reach Asia… Yet

Posted in Politics, Society with tags , , , , , , on March 30, 2011 by Ian Pham

For a time, it was perceived that the power of the Jasmine Revolutions would somehow find its way to Asia.  Unfortunately, this has proven to be more optimism than reality.  How is it that the countries in the Middle East and North Africa are able to stage their peaceful revolution while Vietnam and China seem nearly unshaken by this ordeal?  There are several factors that have contributed to the prevalence of the totalitarian regimes.  The biggest reasons why the Communists have the upper hand lie in the Communists’ revolutionary expertise, the Confucian orthodoxy of Asian society, and the peoples’ vague knowledge of true democracy.

The most obvious obstacle of all stems from the brutality and sophistication of the Communist system.  These people have descended from the most brutal of dictators like Mao Zedong, Ho Chi Minh, and Joseph Stalin.  Born and bred in the revolutionary arts, they are systematically trained to brainwash, capture, and eliminate anyone or anything that poses a threat to the Party.  In a matter of speaking, the Communists have trained their men to think like robots.  Obey the government, and nothing else.  The massacre at Tiananmen Square in 1989 should show how far the Communists will go to cling to power.  They killed their own people, and are prepared to do it again.

Another very strong reason why the autocrats have been so strong in Vietnam and China comes from the Confucian aspect of Asian society.  The teachings of Confucius always preached the greatness of the emperor and how the people should submit to him, no matter what the cost.  And because the people of Vietnam and China followed these teachings more than 2000 years, it is enshrined in both cultures that the government goes unchallenged.  The Communist leaders are viewed as the new emperors, and this Confucian aspect of Asian society stands in the way of a true popular uprising in both countries.

Lastly, having never experienced the true potential of democracy, the people of Vietnam and China have no clear foundation to establish themselves.  It is true that South Vietnam was once democratic, but that generation is slowly withering away.  Some intellectuals studying abroad have learned about democracy, but they have been shut out and silenced by the overbearing strength of the Communist system.  Furthermore, the northern half of Vietnam has never experienced democracy, and are even less capable of conceptualizing the idea of democracy.  They think Communism is all there is, and is what always will be.

The brutality and ruthlessness of the Communist system has created a powerful barrier, preventing the people from rising up.  The teachings of Confucius, which teaches the people to respect and submit to the emperor, reflected today by the Communist Party, helps blur the fact that these governments are completely incompetent.  Finally, even if the people of Vietnam and China were to stage their revolutions successfully, they need to learn more about democracy in order to establish a sustainable foundation.  Before these issues get revolved, a popular uprising in Asia is highly unlikely.

That being said, nothing is written in stone.  Just because the country is faced with these challenges, it doesn’t mean that all hope is lost.  The old Communists may have found ways to suppress the population, but that does not mean that these methods will work forever.  One courageous act can change the course of history, and in the end, the fate of the country will lie in the hands of the people.  The non-intellectuals of Vietnam and China may not know about democracy, but in this age of endless information, this situation can be fixed very quickly.  Those who follow the teachings of Confucius should take a second look at the “Mandate of Heaven,” and finally see that the current regime has lost all legitimacy, and that it is time for a change.  To the people of Asia, to the people of the world, press on.  Never give up.