Tag Archives: Vietnam

Vietnam reelect Phu Trong as Party Leader


The 66-year-old has also steered the country’s robust response to the coronavirus pandemic which helped case numbers low, with just 35 deaths recorded.

Vietnam’s ruling Communist Party chief Nguyen Phu Trong was re-elected Sunday — a victory that makes him the most powerful leader in decades — but his win was overshadowed by a serious coronavirus outbreak in the country.


Trong, a 76-year-old pro-China conservative who is rumoured to be in poor health, was given the nod after a week of closed-door talks at the twice-a-decade Communist Party congress. It will be his third term in office — a feat unprecedented in Vietnam’s modern era.

“On Sunday morning, comrade Nguyen Phu Trong was elected the General Secretary of the 13th Communist Party Central Committee,” the Vietnam News Agency reported.


Another stint in the top job for Trong is seen as a boost for his high-profile anti-corruption campaign, officially dubbed a “blazing furnace”, that has swept through the party, police and armed forces.

“We can expect Trong to continue to push” his campaign, which has claimed high-level party officials, including three Politburo members, said Carl Thayer, an emeritus professor at the University of New South Wales and an expert on Vietnam.

With graft widespread across all state sectors, Trong’s anti-corruption drive has largely proved popular with the Vietnamese public and many party members.


“We admired him for his determination and efforts to cleanse and purify the party,” said Nguyen Tran Trung, a long-time Communist Party member.

“Though not in good health, his presence in the leading position still scares bad cadres in the apparatus. He plays a major role in preserving the Communist Party,” the 78-year-old state official told AFP.

But for opponents of the regime, the last five years have been marked by escalating repression, according to rights groups and analysts, who warned Trong is likely to push forward with the crackdown during his third stint in power.

“We can expect a continuing crackdown on dissenting voices in the online social media,” Thayer told AFP.


Prisoners of conscience have doubled from 84 to 170 since the previous congress in 2016, according to Amnesty International, which says a large and growing proportion are jailed based on their expression online.

Trong, the first party general secretary to serve a third term since the “doi moi” era of economic reform began in 1986, has also served as president since 2018.


For the moment he remains so, but will step down later this year when the National Assembly appoints a replacement.

This is expected to be Nguyen Xuan Phuc, currently prime minister, who has focused on the country’s economic growth and integration, securing a number of international trade deals.

The congress in Hanoi had wanted to showcase that achievement, but a new cluster close to the capital last week spoilt the celebrations — forcing the meeting to close a day earlier than planned.


Authorities warned the outbreak was the most serious yet.

By Sunday, Vietnam had recorded nearly 1,800 cases of the coronavirus, nearly 200 of which were recorded in the past four days.

Authorities also confirmed the first case in Vietnam of the South African variant in an expert who arrived from the country in late December.

On Saturday the health ministry approved a vaccine made by AstraZeneca and continued to test thousands of people and lock down high-risk communities.


The final members of the country’s “four pillar” leadership are expected to be Pham Minh Chinh — who is in line to be prime minister -— and Vuong Dinh Hue to head the rubber stamp national assembly.

Chinh, 62, is head of the party’s important Central Organisation Commission, and has strong ties with the police.



Just in: 22 soldiers missing in Vietnam landslide.


Landslide in Quang Tri province comes days after another mudslide killed 13, mostly soldiers, in neighbouring region.

A landslide early on Sunday left at least 22 soldiers missing in Vietnam’s central province of Quang Tri, the government said, as the Southeast Asian country battles the worst flooding in years.

Intense rains since early October have caused floods and mudslides that have killed at least 64 people in central Vietnam, with more heavy rainfall expected over the next few days.

The landslide hit the barracks of a unit of Vietnam’s 4th Military Region, the government said in a statement on its website, days after another landslide killed 13 people, mostly soldiers, in the neighbouring province of Thua Thien Hue.


“We had another sleepless night,” a visibly emotional Phan Van Giang, Vietnam’s deputy defence minister, told reporters on Sunday.

State media reports said on Sunday water in rivers in Quang Tri province had risen to the highest levels in more than 20 years.

In Thua Thien Hue province, rescuers continued to battle driving rain as they searched for at least 15 construction workers missing and feared dead after a landslide at the start of the week in a mountainous area.

Heavy rain of up to 600 millimetres (24 inches) will continue in parts of central Vietnam until Wednesday, Vietnam’s weather agency said on Sunday.


COVID-19: Vietnam record first death


Vietnam recorded its first coronavirus death Friday, state media reported, as the pandemic rebounds in a country previously praised for controlling the initial outbreak.

“The first death… is a 70-year-old man who lives in Hoi An city,” Vietnam News Agency reported, citing the Ministry of Health.

In this file photo taken on April 19, 2020, residents wearing face masks practise social distancing while shopping from behind a line as a preventive measure against the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, at a wet market in Hanoi. Manan VATSYAYANA / AFP

Details later…


Vietnam bus accident: 13 lose to death


A high school reunion trip in Vietnam took a fatal turn on Sunday when a bus carrying the alumni crashed and flipped over at a bend on the highway, killing more than a dozen passengers.

The nearly 40 passengers on the bus were classmates from Dong Hoi High School who were travelling to visit the area in central Quang Binh province for the 30th anniversary of their graduation.

But the driver lost control on a sharp turn on the highway, said state media.

At least 13 people were killed, and many more injured.

“People on the coach said that when the coach was travelling down the slope, there were signs the brakes were broken,” Noble Reporters Media


Images shared on news websites showed a bus on its side in a gutter by the asphalt road, with bystanders looking on as rescuers tended to the injured.

Travelling on Vietnam’s roads can be a hazardous affair, and World Health Organization says traffic accident injuries are the leading cause of death for those aged 15-29.

So far, the country has recorded more than 3,200 deaths in the first six months of this year.


COVID-19: Coronavirus hit Vietnam

Villages in Vietnam with 10,000 people close to Hanoi, the capital were placed under quarantine on Thursday after six cases of the deadly new coronavirus were discovered there, authorities said.

The locking down of the commune of Son Loi, about 40 kilometres (25 miles) from Hanoi, is the first mass quarantine outside of China since the virus emerged from a central Chinese city late last year.

“As of February 13, 2020, we will urgently implement the task of isolation and quarantine of the epidemic area in Son Loi commune,” said a health ministry statement.

“The timeline… is for 20 days”.

Son Loi is a farming region made up of several villages.

The health ministry previously said five people in Son Loi had been infected with the virus, and on Thursday reported a sixth case.

More than 1,350 people have died in China from the virus, and nearly 60,000 others have been infected, since it was first detected in the Hubei province in early January.

China has imposed unprecedented quarantines across Hubei, locking in about 56 million people, in a bid to stop it spreading.

Tens of millions of others cities far from the epicentre are also enduring travel restrictions.

The virus has also had massive ramifications globally, with many countries banning travellers from China in a bid to stop people spreading the disease.

Vietnam, which shares a porous border with China, has 16 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, including those in Son Loi.

Vietnam had banned all flights to and from mainland China in a bid to stop the virus from spreading.

It also suspended new tourist visas for Chinese nationals or foreigners who had been in China over the past two weeks.


Coronavirus: Vietnam ban all flights to China & from china

Vietnamese Government on Saturday announced that it will be suspending all flights to and from China over the coronavirus epidemic.

Announcing a public health emergency, Vietnam’s government also said it would stop issuing visas for foreign nationals who had been in China in the past two weeks.

Permits granted for flights between Vietnam and China, including Hong Kong and Macau as well as self-ruled Taiwan which China claims as its territory, have been revoked until further notice.

However shortly after the statement was released, Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry said it had spoken to the Vietnamese government and had the ban on flights to the island lifted.

Recall that the United States and Australia had also announced a temporary ban on granting entry to non-citizens arriving from China.