Vietnam. According to Countryaah.com, Vietnam Independence Day is September 2. A mass trial was held during the year in Hô Chi Minh City against 155 people, especially from the lower world of Vietnam. Among the defendants were the infamous Mafia leader Truong Văn Cam, aka Nam Cam, but also previously high ranking media, police, judiciary and the ruling Communist Party.
The trial began in February, and a month later the first judges fell. Nine former police officers were found guilty of bribery. They had received bribes to protect Nam Cam’s illegal gambling business. In June, Nam Cam and five other people were sentenced to death. for murder, bribery and illegal gambling. One of the convicted was later converted to life imprisonment. In December, two party officials were sentenced to prison for gross misconduct.
The regime received continued criticism for its way of dealing with dissimilar thinking. In January, the Communist Party decided to tighten control over the country’s religious groups. In April, Prime Minister Phan Văn Khai met the leader of the banned Buddhist community of Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam (UBCV), Thich Huyen Quang, who had been under house arrest for two decades. The meeting was seen by judges as an attempt to appease world opinion criticism of the regime’s way of treating religious dissidents. Several of UBCV’s monks are in prison for membership in the organization.
Vietnam is a relatively new oil producer, but in 2004 it was in 3rd place in Southeast Asia with an extraction of 400,000 barrels a day. The country is the world’s second largest rice exporter (after Thailand) and third largest exporter of cashew nuts and pepper respectively.
In Ho Chi Minh City, thousands in April 2005 participated in the official celebration of the 30th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War. Prime Minister Phan Van Khai declared that the victory on April 30, 1975 “was forever written into the nation’s history”. At the same time, he acknowledged that the country faced many challenges, that it had to drop complacency over the past and instead look to the future. As part of the celebration, over 7,500 prisoners were released – including some political prisoners.
Phan Van Khai’s official visit to the United States in June – the first since the end of the war – was viewed in Vietnam as a very positive event, giving the country’s social and economic status a huge push forward.
In June 2006, Parliament launched an in-depth investigation into the corruption in several ministries – including bribery, nepotism and illegal gambling. The charges were particularly directed at Transport Minister Dao Dinh Binh. He had resigned from the ministerial post in April and had admitted corruption. Also in June, a number of aging leaders resigned from their posts. That included 72-year-old Prime Minister Phan Van Khai, 69-year-old President and Head of State Tran Duc Luong, and 68-year-old President of the National Assembly Nguyen Van An.
The country was admitted to the WTO in 2007 after eight years of negotiations.
New Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung transformed his government in August 2007, promising economic reforms that, in his words, would “end the bureaucracy and corruption”.
Economic growth fell to 3% in 2009. A dramatic drop from the year before when it was 26%. A sign that the global economic crisis also hit Vietnam. In 2010, growth reached 6.5%, but in return inflation exceeded 10% and the country’s currency alone was devalued three times that year.
In the elections to the National Assembly in May 2011, the Communist Party won 458 of Parliament’s 500 seats. Independent candidates got the remaining 42.
In July 2011, the National Assembly elected Truong Tan Sang as new president. He had been a member of the Communist Party’s executive committee since 1996. In July 2013, he met with President Obama for, among other things. to discuss bilateral trade between the two countries.
2012 was marked by tensions in the Communist Party between the president’s and the prime minister’s wing. The prime minister had to apologize publicly for poor management of the economy, which had led to high inflation and debt. In parallel, a critique and self-criticism campaign were carried out.
Despite restrictions on freedom of expression and a larger number of political prisoners, the country declared that it would seek a seat on the UN Human Rights Council in 2014-16.
The immensely popular General Vo Nguyen Giap died in the fall of 2013. After his victory over the French in 1953, the general had taken a special position in both the army and the Communist Party and at the same time gave him immunity when he occasionally criticized his party.
Danish Foreign Minister Villy Søvndal visited Vietnam in March 2013.