The second October 16-17 visit by U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis to Vietnam this year attracted great attention among international experts. His first visit was in January 2018. Frequently cited Vietnam expert Carl Thayer, Emeritus Professor at the University of New South Wales at the Australian Defense Force Academy, said the trip showed that Secretary Mattis is following guidance in the U.S. National Security Strategy and the U.S. National Defense Strategy to include Vietnam in a cooperative defense network to deal with current challenges to regional security, including aggressive Chinese actions in the South China Sea. Vietnam calls the waters the East Sea. "It is clear from the U.S. National Security Strategy and U.S. National Defense Strategy that the United States views Vietnam as an important strategic partner. The recent speech by Vice President Mike Pence signaled a major shift in U.S. policy to identify and treat China as an … [Read more...] about How Vietnam can walk the tightrope of US-China tensions
Walk the tightrope
Viet Nam News By Linh Do Last month, my 16-year-old cousin from America visited Viet Nam. She had been here many times before when she was a child. Yet in this visit, as a teenager with a fully grown female body, she was in for a surprise. The girl wore scanty tank tops and very short shorts as she walked around. People stared. Intrusively. Rudely. Which made her very uncomfortable. I was at a loss, not knowing how to respond to this sexually charged cultural crossroads. The girl enjoyed wearing what she wore, it was her taste, her choice, her freedom, her right. At the same time, people couldn’t help staring either. In the West, choice, freedom and rights are often the catchwords. For about 150 years, spearheaded by Western feminism, women all over the world have been fighting for the right to be equal with men. We have gained access to education, politics and whatever sphere of life we desire. In terms of sexuality, we have made great strides. We can marry, … [Read more...] about Walking the tightrope of female sexuality
VietNamNet Bridge – Earlier this week, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, who has been in his post for three months, asked his cabinet to be pioneers in practising thriftiness and cutting spending. He also said as a role model, he would not get a new official car. Although it was not something big, his announcement was welcomed by many. It was a small, tangible act after the leader introduced policies attempting to create an active and transparent Government. Asserting that businesses are “the driving force for national economic development,” and their rights will be protected, Phuc promised that the Government would exert more efforts to boost administrative reform and seek to abolish unsuitable regulations. His cabinet has worked on the revision and supplementation of business-related laws to remove barriers for businesses so they can operate more effectively. To address unsafe food, in late April, the Prime Minister chaired a national conference on food safety. … [Read more...] about New PM can talk the talk, can he walk the walk?
VietNamNet Bridge - The revenue of the state budget is not big enough to cover expenses, but Vietnam cannot continue borrowing big money. At a meeting with voters in Bac Giang province some days ago, chair of the Vietnam Fatherland Front’s Central Committee Nguyen Thien Nhan said Vietnam’s public debts have exceeded 62 percent of GDP, or just 3 percent below the safety line, while government’s debt accounts for over 50 percent. Phap Luat TP HCM quoted Nhan as saying that Vietnam’s public debt has increased because of global financial crisis. "The revenue of the state budget is not big enough to cover expenses. Therefore, we have to borrow money to pay old debts. However, we cannot borrow big money anymore," he said. "We need to mobilize internal strength for development," he said. The revenue of the state budget is not big enough to cover expenses, but Vietnam cannot continue borrowing big money. In fact, the warning about public debt was given by the … [Read more...] about Public debt exceeds 62 percent of GDP, Vietnam walks tightrope
Thousands of leukemia patients in Vietnam have had their medication cut due to a shortage of subsidized supplies from Swiss manufacturer Novartis. Around 500 patients at the National Institute of Hematology and Blood Transfusion in Hanoi are taking one or two Glivec pills a day instead of their normal doses of three. Some patients in Saigon are also facing the same situation. Glivec is the trade name for imatinib, a drug used to treat chronic myelogenous leukemia and acute lymphocytic leukemia. Bach Quoc Khanh, director of the Hanoi institute, said there is no alternative for the medicine, but patients can survive on lower doses for a short period of time. Glivec is sold in Vietnam for VND400,000 ($18) a pill, a price barely affordable in a country where people made an average income of $2,380 in 2017. In 2010, the health ministry reached an agreement with Novartis for the manufacturer to subsidize 60 percent of the price while the rest would be covered by Vietnam's health insurance … [Read more...] about Vietnamese cancer patients walk a tightrope as vital medical aid runs dry