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Heavy-Handed Politics

"€œGod willing, with the force of God behind it, we shall soon experience a world
without the United States and Zionism."€ -- Iran President Ahmadi-Nejad

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Vietnam's Communists Grapple With Corruption, Calls for Democracy

Facing a corruption crisis and confronted by increasingly strident calls for democratization, one of the world's last ruling communist parties opened a major gathering Tuesday.

Some 1,200 delegates are taking part in the weeklong 10th national congress of the Communist Party of Vietnam, a once-every-five-years meeting that decides political direction and chooses a new central committee and politburo.

Key aims, according to the CPV website, include making the party "pragmatically transparent and strong in political, ideological, and organizational terms, and the tightening of the party's ties with people."

The CPV is one of only five communist parties still in power -- those ruling China, Cuba, North Korea and Laos are the others - and is the only party permitted in the Southeast Asian nation of 81 million people.

Twenty years ago it initiated a series of economic reforms known as Doi Moi (renewal), with many restrictions on private enterprise lifted. They were not accompanied by a political reforms, however.

Vietnam and the U.S. are currently in negotiations over a trade deal paving the way for Hanoi's admission to the World Trade Organization (WTO) and a congressional vote on giving Vietnam "permanent normal trade relations" status. Read on...


  • I find Vietnam fascinating, in part because it gets so little media coverage, but mostly because it tends to copy China in so many ways and what happens in one country can be a good predictor of what will happen in the other. Great post. Thanks.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:57 PM  

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