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David Brown : Vietnam Party Congress – Better Being Red than Right

Signalement de l’analyse politique de David Brown sur le congrès national du Parti communiste vietnamien qui s’est clôturé le 1er février 2021.

The 13th Congress of the Vietnamese Communist Party adjourned at last on February 1. The eight-day meeting – closed to outsiders except for the opening and closing ceremonies – wound up a year of intense internal politicking. Delegates ratified pre-cooked lists of leading cadres, the men and a handful of women who will populate the 200-member Central Executive Committee and its standing committee, the 18-member Politburo. And, of course, they acclaimed Nguyen Phu Trong’s agreement to stay on as the party’s general secretary.

The foreign journalists who’d parachuted in for the congress and spent most of their time in Hanoi soaking up local color at last had something to report – the 76-year-old Trong had been reelected for an unprecedented third term (cue stormy applause). They filed their copy and headed for the airport. Nearly 1,600 delegates, representing 5.1 million party members in party units spread over Vietnam’s 64 cities and provinces, scooted for home as a flare-up of Covid-19 sent Hanoi into lockdown. Vietnam’s domestic media dutifully reported that the 13th Congress had been a brilliant success, but it seems more likely that behind the facade of continuity and stability, this congress mainly papered over a couple of worrisome problems.

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Illustration “à la une” : Pham Minh Chinh, le nouveau Premier ministre du Viêt-Nam, désigné au XIIIe congrès du PCV.