Bureau Chief, Vietnam
John's Feed
Oct 22, 2010

Petrovietnam: still has option on BP Vietnam assets

HANOI, Oct 22 (Reuters) – Vietnamese state oil group
Petrovietnam said on Friday it still has the option to buy the
offshore oil projects BP (BP.L: Quote, Profile, Research) this week agreed to sell to its
Russian joint venture TNK-BP (TNBPI.RTS: Quote, Profile, Research).

On Monday, BP announced that it had agreed to sell a
package of oil and gas fields in Vietnam and Venezuela to
TNK-BP for $1.8 billion as the London-based oil major raises
cash to pay for its Gulf of Mexico oil spill. [ID:nLDE69H0FW]

Oct 20, 2010

Vietnam 2010 trade gap seen at $13.5 bln-govt

HANOI, Oct 20 (Reuters) – Vietnam projected on Wednesday a
stubbornly wide $13.5 billion trade deficit this year despite
exports rising 19.1 percent, three times the initial target,
adding to pressure on authorities to further devalue the dong.

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, reading a report to the
opening session of the National Assembly, also forecast fourth
quarter economic growth of 7.2 percent, accelerating from
annual growth of 7.16 percent in the third quarter.

Oct 12, 2010

U.S., Vietnam ties blossom, but with constraints

HANOI (Reuters) – Ties between the United States and Vietnam are blossoming in the face of shared concern over China’s growing military muscle, but political differences will ultimately limit how far detente between the former foes can go.

Drawn together by political expediency and market forces, both states praise the speed with which political and economic ties have grown in the 15 years since diplomatic relations were normalized and the 35 years since the Vietnam War ended.

Oct 12, 2010

U.S. warns on territorial disputes but tiptoes on China

HANOI (Reuters) – U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Tuesday called on Asian-Pacific defense chiefs to avoid resorting to “force or coercion” to settle territorial disputes, in a veiled warning that appeared aimed at China.

He also said territorial disputes and maritime claims were a growing challenge to stability in the region.

Oct 11, 2010

U.S., China revive defence ties, lock horns on Taiwan

HANOI (Reuters) – U.S. and Chinese defense chiefs locked horns over U.S. arms sales on Taiwan on Monday as they met for the first time since Beijing lifted a freeze on U.S. military ties.

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates called the meeting with his Chinese counterpart, Liang Guanglie, constructive and accepted an invitation to visit China next year. But China said both acknowledged “problems and obstacles” in military relations.

Oct 11, 2010

China defence chief seeks to soothe regional tensions

HANOI (Reuters) – China sought to smooth over regional tensions stoked by its rising military profile on Monday, when the country’s defence minister held fence-mending talks with his U.S. and Japanese counterparts.

China’s growing military reach and vehement reaction to maritime territory disputes have sparked renewed concern among its neighbours, from Japan to Australia.

Oct 11, 2010

Japan “urges China to set up communication system”

HANOI (Reuters) – Japanese Defence Minister Toshimi Kitazawa on Monday urged his Chinese counterpart to set up a bilateral maritime communications system quickly following a row over disputed islands, Kyodo news agency said.

Kitazawa and Liang Guanglie met in Hanoi on the sidelines of a meeting of Asia-Pacific defense ministers, in the first top-level defense talks between the two governments since the dispute flared last month.

Oct 8, 2010

Vietnam defence talks to steer clear of controversy

HANOI, Oct 8 (Reuters) – Concerns over China’s maritime
ambitions are likely to remain muted at an Asia-Pacific defence
ministers’ meeting in Hanoi next week as participants steer
clear of friction to nurture a potentially useful new security
forum.

China, for its part, is likely to play nice at the defence
meeting and a summit in Vietnam later this month in an effort
to reassure its neighbours that it can be reasonable and
cooperative as the dust settles from an angry territorial row
with Japan.

Oct 8, 2010

Travel Postcard: 48 hours in Hanoi

By John Ruwitch

HANOI (Reuters Life!) – With its remnants of French-colonial architecture, lively ‘Old Quarter’ alleyways and streetside culinary culture Hanoi might just be Southeast Asia’s most charming capital city. It may be the oldest, too.

In October, the city entered party mode to mark the 1,000th anniversary of the founding of Thang Long, the settlement established by King Ly Thai To on the Red River in the year 1010 that has grown into a metropolis of 6 million inhabitants.

Oct 6, 2010

Vietnam-China row over detained sailors intensifies

HANOI (Reuters) – Vietnam has asked China for the unconditional release of nine fishermen detained last month near disputed islands, Vietnamese media reported on Wednesday, raising tension a week before regional defense ministers meet.

Chinese embassy officers in Hanoi told Vietnamese Foreign Ministry officials the sailors had broken the law by fishing with explosives and would be released with their boat only after the captain paid a fine, Vietnamese state media reported.