Vietnam. According to Countryaah website, national day of Vietnam is every September 2. The Communist Party continued to hold a firm grip on Vietnamese politics, which became clear when new members of the country’s highest political body, Parliament Quôc hôi, were elected on May 19. No opposition parties were allowed to stand in the elections, and the Communists won all of the 498 seats except 51 who went to independent candidates approved by the party.
Two months later, incumbent President Trân Đu迂c Lu迂o迂ng was re-elected by Parliament for another five-year term. Prime Minister Phan Văn Kai also had to keep his post. When the government was later presented, the most attention was paid to the resignation of Security Minister Le Minh Hu迂o迂ng as a result of a corruption scandal surrounding a mafia boss.
The country’s economy was affected by the general economic downturn in the world and growth slowed slightly during the year. However, since the beginning of the 1990s, Vietnam’s economic growth has been around 7-8% per year with the exception of 1997 and 1998, when the Asian financial crisis hit the entire region.
An agreement was concluded during the year between the parties to the conflict over the oil-rich Spratly Islands. The agreement meant that the parties would not perform any action that could aggravate the situation. In May, Russia formally returned its fleet base in the Gulf of Cam Rhan to Vietnam. The base was used by the Soviet Union during the Cold War and was the largest military base outside the Warsaw Pact.
During the year, Vietnam received criticism from human rights groups for dealing with a group of members of a Christian minority people in the mountains along the border with Cambodia. The group had moved to Cambodia from Vietnam, where they considered themselves persecuted and discriminated against for ethnic and religious reasons. Since the UN agency UNHCR gave up its attempts to return the refugees to Vietnam, the dispute was resolved by giving the refugees asylum in the US.
The economy is showing positive signs
After a downturn during the corona pandemic, economic growth will increase again in the third quarter of 2020. It is a growing export that is leading the rise. The Vietnamese economy is considered to have coped with the crisis during the pandemic relatively well compared to many other countries. One reason is that the country gained control of the spread of infection quite early. Vietnam has had 1,077 confirmed corona cases and 35 covid-19 deaths. The societal spread of the coronavirus has not been noted for almost a month.
Long prison sentences for explosives
Twenty people, including a father and his son, were sentenced to prison for a bombing of a police station in Ho Chi Minh City in June 2018. The attack, in which two policemen and a chef were injured, was, according to authorities, organized by “terrorists” with links to the anti-regime Canadian-based Vietnamese group Trieu Dai Viet. The man described as the mastermind behind the attack is sentenced to 24 years in prison and his son to three years in prison. Another 18 accomplices will serve between two and 18 years in prison. The bombing was carried out in connection with extensive demonstrations around Vietnam against a bill on special economic zones that investors could lease for 99 years. The protesters feared that Chinese investors would take over the zones.
Foreign flights back in the air
Vietnam resumes flights to four destinations in Asia: Guangzhou in southern China, Tokyo in Japan, Seoul in South Korea and Taipei in Taiwan. On September 22, flights to and from Phnom Penh in Cambodia and Vientiane in Laos will resume. It has now been two weeks without new confirmed corona falls in Vietnam after the local eruption in Danang (see July 2020), which prompted the authorities to resume certain restrictions. Everyone who flies to Vietnam must be tested for the coronavirus, both on departure to another country and on arrival. Vietnam has attracted international attention for its successful fight against the corona pandemic. The country has had 1,063 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 35 covid-19 deaths. The success is attributed to effective infection tracking.
Land conflict leads to death sentences
Two brothers are sentenced to death for “murder of three police officers” in connection with a protracted land conflict that degenerates into violence. An elderly civilian man is also killed in the violence. The land conflict has been going on for years in a community outside Hanoi, where residents have accused the military of seizing land to build an airport. When authorities in January tried to erect a fence around the disputed site, residents used violence with “grenades, petrol bombs and knives”, according to the Ministry of Public Security. According to the residents, the killed man was the leader of the opposition to the construction and is said to have been killed in his sleep by the authorities. It is the dead man’s two sons who have now been sentenced to death for the murder of three policemen. Another 27 people are sentenced to various sentences, from 15 months probation to life for involvement in the violence.Human Rights Watch (HRW) criticizes the judges for being too harsh and the trial for “speeding up”.
Vietnamese convicted of human trafficking tragedy
Four people have been sentenced to prison in Vietnam for their roles in the tragedy when 39 Vietnamese migrants were found dead in a refrigerated truck outside London in the UK in 2019, Vietnamese state media report (see October 2019). The convicts are between 26 and 36 years old and have received prison sentences of between 2.5 and 7.5 years. The convicts have been found guilty of having organized illegal emigration. Three other Vietnamese are reported to have been sentenced to probation for involvement in human trafficking. The migrants died trapped in the vehicle due to heat and lack of oxygen. A number of people in the UK, France and Belgium have been charged with involvement in human trafficking, including the truck driver who pleaded guilty to manslaughter.