[MA] Vietnamese Take to Streets to Protest China Oil Rig

[Bloomberg] Vietnam’s communist government allowed thousands of citizens to protest in the nation’s biggest cities to denounce a Chinese oil rig placed in contested waters that has led to clashes between ships from the two countries.

About 1,000 people marched in Ho Chi Minh City streets while hundreds gathered in a public square in front of the Chinese embassy in the capital city of Hanoi as police officers watched without interrupting. There were smaller protests in Danang and Hue in central Vietnam, Tuoi Tre newspaper reported. Protestors carried signs and banners, sang and chanted to protestChina’s exploration offshore. Continue reading “[MA] Vietnamese Take to Streets to Protest China Oil Rig”

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[MA] Kerry Revives Asia Focus With Trip From Hanoi to Manila

[Bloomberg] U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will emphasize the American presence inSoutheast Asia in visits to Vietnamand the Philippines after PresidentBarack Obama’s absence from a summit in October ceded the spotlight toChina.

Obama skipped the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit in Brunei because of the partial U.S. government shutdown at the time. His absence raised questions in the region about America’s promised strategic re-balancing toward the Asia-Pacific even as China exerts expanding influence in the region.

“The U.S. is trying to overcome the fallout from the no-show in Brunei,” Carlyle Thayer, an emeritus professor at the Australian Defence Force Academy in Canberra, said in a phone interview. “In terms of re-balancing, Vietnam is a major strategic player in Southeast Asia.” Continue reading “[MA] Kerry Revives Asia Focus With Trip From Hanoi to Manila”