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Archive for Vietnam

Newsline: Germany expels Vietnamese diplomat as Berlin accuses Hanoi of kidnapping

Germany accused Vietnam of kidnapping a Vietnamese asylum seeker in Berlin and ordered a Vietnamese intelligence officer to leave the country within 48 hours. German Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the abduction of Vietnamese citizen Trinh Xuan Thanh on German territory is “an unprecedented and blatant violation of German and international law.” An incident of this kind has the potential to affect relations between Germany and Vietnam in a very adverse way. It is also an extreme breach of trust, the statement said. The Vietnamese ambassador had been summoned on Tuesday afternoon, and Markus Ederer, state secretary of German Foreign Ministry, expressed the German government’s views on this in no uncertain terms. Germany demands that Trinh Xuan Thanh be allowed to travel back to Germany immediately so that the application for extradition and the asylum application can be examined in due process. The official representative of the Vietnamese intelligence agencies at the Vietnamese Embassy in Berlin has been declared persona non grata and given 48 hours to leave Germany. The 51-year-old Thanh was former head of the state-owned Petro Vietnam Construction Corporation, and was accused of causing about 150 million U.S. dollars in losses. The Vietnamese government issued an international arrest warrant for him in September. German media said the asylum seeker kidnapped by armed men in the center of Berlin resurfaced on Monday in Vietnam, where state-owned newspapers reported that he had turned himself into authorities. So far, Vietnam has not responded to Germany’s expulsion of its diplomat.



Newsline: Ex-chief accountant of Russian embassy in Vietnam to go on trial on embezzlement charges

Former chief accountant of Russian embassy in Vietnam Vladislav Balabkin charged with embezzling 6 million rubles (about $104,700) will go on trial, the official website of the Prosecutor General’s Office said. Investigators allege that In February 2013, Balabkin abused trust of Russian ambassador and received $200,000 from joint Vietnamese-Russian bank in Hanoi for his own purposes. The embassy received damage estimated at 6 million rubles as a result. Balabkin admitted guilt in full. His case will be reviewed by the Presnensky District Court of Moscow.


Newsline: North Korean suspect in Jong-nam’s murder is son of ex-envoy to Vietnam

A North Korean suspect in the killing of Kim Jong-nam is reportedly the son of a former top North Korean envoy to Vietnam, and he allegedly lured a Vietnamese female suspect to join the plot to kill the estranged half-brother of North Korea’s leader. Ri Ji Hyon, 33, is the son of former North Korean ambassador to Hanoi, Ri Hong, and had lived in Vietnam for about 10 years, Yonhap news agency quoted sources as saying on Wednesday. Ji Hyon worked as a trainee diplomat at the North Korean embassy for more than one year and he also worked as an interpreter, according to the sources. Using his fluent Vietnamese, he lured Doan Thi Huong into the plot to kill Jong-nam while the latter was waiting to board a flight to Macau at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (KLIA2) on Feb 13, according to Yonhap. The Vietnamese woman and Indonesian Siti Aisyah allegedly smeared banned chemical weapon VX nerve agent on Jong-nam’s face. They have been charged with murder but they claim they were told that the act was a prank on a reality show. Ji Hyon is among four North Korean suspects who left Malaysia on the day Jong-nam was murdered and they are believed to have returned to Pyongyang. Interpol has issued a red notice to track down and arrest them.


Newsline: Chinese embassy deals with complains of vulgar scribbling by Vietnamese

China has taken up with Vietnam the issue of vulgar scribbling by Vietnamese border staff on the passport of a Chinese woman over the nine dash-line, which represents Beijing’s claims on almost all of the disputed South China Sea. A Chinese woman surnamed Zhong from south China’s Guangzhou, who visited Vietnam on July 23, said the Vietnamese border staff asked her to hand in passport while crossing through a border post and wrote offensive words on it, state-run People’s Daily Online reported. Chinese Consulate-General in Ho Chi Minh City said the embassy is currently dealing with the issue, the report said. Zhong’s passport was handed to Vietnamese border staff when she was entering the border at Tan Son Nhat International Airport. “The border staff kept my passport for around three minutes and afterI got it back, I saw ‘F….you’ was scribbled on two pages where nine-dash line is printed,” Zhong said expressing disappointment at Vietnamese civil servants’ conduct. The incident follows an international tribunal’s striking down of China’s claims over the South China Sea on July 12 in response to a petition by the Philippines. Besides the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan have counter claims over the area. All new Chinese passports issued from 2012 feature Chinese map printed with nine-dash line on page 8, 24 and 46. The offensive scribblings were written on page 8 and 24 of Zhong’s passport. The Vietnam embassy in China has declined to comment, the report said. The Chinese passports also carry China’s official map claiming Arunachal Pradesh. India began countering it with a stamp of Indian official map on passports of Chinese applying for Indian visas.


Newsline: Vietnam detains activists after anti-China outside Philippines embassy

Scores of activists were detained in Vietnam’s capital on Sunday as they gathered to protest against China after it rejected a recent international ruling that dismissed its claims to much of the South China Sea. Activists had used social media to call for protests in Hanoi on Sunday in the wake of this week’s ruling by the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in The Hague which found there was no legal basis for Beijing’s claims to vast swathes of the South China Sea. The case was brought by the Philippines but the ruling has been a boon for other regional countries like Vietnam who also have competing claims to the strategic sea. Authorities in the capital Hanoi were ready for protests on Sunday. Plainclothes security forces were out in force, blanketing much of the city centre and keeping a close eye on any crowds that might be gathering, an AFP reporter on the scene said. Later in the day a group of nine activists held a brief rally outside the Philippines embassy. One held aloft a banner that read: “Thank you Philippines. You have a brave government.” Beijing lays claim to virtually all of the South China Sea, putting it at odds with regional neighbours the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan, which also have partial claims. At least three Chinese nationals were killed in 2014 when rioting broke out in Vietnam after Beijing sent an oil rig into contested waters.


Newsline: Vietnamese Embassy allegedly intervened in citizens’ arrests in Cambodia

Cambodia’s immigration police have rejected claims made in Vietnamese state media that the Vietnamese Embassy in Phnom Penh had protected scores of Vietnamese from arrests and deportation. Cambodia’s authorities dismissed these reports as groundless.


Newsline: Vietnam’s Embassy in Ukraine has urges authorities to clarify raid against Vietnamese nationals

The Vietnamese Embassy in Ukraine has urged the host country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs to quickly work with relevant agencies to clarify the unwarranted raid and property confiscation of Vietnamese citizens in Odessa city on May 23. Head of the Vietnamese Foreign Ministry’s Consular Department Lý Quốc Tuấn said that the embassy has consecutively met with representatives from the Ukrainian ministry and requested them to take all necessary urgent measures to protect the legitimate rights of the overseas Vietnamese in Odessa. The embassy also dispatched a delegation to work with the Vietnamese Association in Odessa to count the confiscated properties and help Vietnamese expatriates report the incident to local authority, he added. The Vietnamese people were told to keep calm and avoid riots. Russian and Ukrainian television reported that some 200 overseas Vietnamese protested in front of the Odessa regional prosecutor’s office on May 24 against the Kiev tax staff and Ukrainian general prosecutor for raiding their houses on May 23 without necessary documents, and seizing at least US$500,000 and other valuables.