From the November-December 2018 issue of News & Letters
On Oct. 23, Communist Party General Secretary and ideologue Nguyen Phu Trong was named (by a 99.8% National Assembly vote) as Vietnam’s new president. He thus becomes the newest of the world’s strongman rulers.
Trong’s ascension comes in response to massive protests that shook Vietnam earlier this year in response to a government proposal to create “special economic zones” widely seen as likely to be dominated by Chinese capital. Many termed this proposal “the law to sell the country.”
Demonstrations spread from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to towns around the country. Thousands also protested a new cybersecurity law that would facilitate government spying on dissidents and internet censorship.