Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Political crackdown and economic downturn

James Hookway of the Wall Street Journal writes in its June 4 edition that the arrests of journalists Nguyen Van Hai and Nguyen Viet Chien for their reporting on the corruptoin scandal may be related to a reassertion of authority by conservative hardliners in the Vietnamese Communist Party and the recent economic woes Vietnam is facing, including inflation and the prospect of hundreds of labor strikes:

"Observers like Prof. Thayer say the arrests point to a backlash against the modest political opening introduced by Mr. Dung, 58 years old. Since he became prime minister in 2006, Mr. Dung has overshadowed Vietnam's other top leaders, party chief Mr. Manh and President Nguyen Minh Triet.

"Mr. Dung has maintained a high profile in the local media in Vietnam, frequently being filmed with representatives of the many multinational companies that have flocked to Vietnam in the past few years to escape rising costs in China and other countries. Mr. Dung even sat for a day answering emailed questions from Vietnamese citizens.

"But with inflation rising and many of the people who have flocked to its cities and industrial parks to fuel its rapid economic growth now struggling to make ends meet, more conservative members of the Politburo seem to be reasserting their authority..."

Source: Wall Street Journal, June 4.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home