Diplomatic Briefing

Your exclusive news aggregator handpicked daily!

Archive for Vietnam

Newsline: Vietnam embassy warns of workers trapped in Africa

The Vietnam Embassy in Angola has advised Vietnamese to research carefully before going to Africa for work, following multiple reports of workers who could not leave. The embassy said it had received multiple requests for help from Vietnamese citizens being trapped in certain African countries, including the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia. (https://e.vnexpress.net/news/news/reports-of-vietnamese-workers-trapped-in-africa-embassy-4522898.html) The workers said they were in tough circumstances. Some said they were persuaded to come for construction work, with accommodations and meals covered, and a monthly salary of $1,500-3,000. But in fact, they were forced to work at casinos or karaoke parlors, had their passports seized by employers, or had their salaries delayed or reduced. Some were told to owe $8,000 of living costs and travel costs to Africa, and they would have to pay this money back if they want to return to Vietnam, or they would be reported to authorities. Many workers could not speak local languages, making it difficult for them to contact authorities for help. The embassy said it is trying to deploy citizen protection measures for the workers.

Newsline: Illegal migrants tried to ‘occupy’ Bangladesh Embassy in Hanoi

A group of 27 illegal Bangladeshi migrants tried to forcibly occupy the Hanoi embassy of Bangladesh in Vietnam on Tuesday. Disclosing this, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) in a Press Release on Monday said that these Bangladeshi nationals were lured by human traffickers to Vietnam. After it came to the notice of the Bangladesh embassy in Hanoi, it arranged for a repatriation flight for them on July 2. While eleven illegal immigrants took the flight back to Dhaka from Hanoi, 27 of them refused to return asking the government to pay the fare. These people went live on social-media making derogatory comments against Bangladesh. They are now threatening in the social media that if their demands are not met they will similarly occupy all Bangladesh embassies abroad. (http://www.newsonair.com/News?title=Illegal-migrants-tried-to-%E2%80%98occupy%E2%80%99-Bangladesh-Embassy-in-Hanoi&id=393158) The statement said that the Bangladesh government does not have a provision to pay for the airfare of returning illegal workers. According to the release, a certain quarter is trying to tarnish Bangladesh’s recent success in controlling human trafficking by threatening to attack Bangladesh missions abroad involving illegal Bangladeshi migrants. In the recently released US State Department report on Trafficking in Persons (TIP), Bangladesh has been upgraded to tier-2 for its efforts to check illegal migration from the country.

Newsline: Slovakia expels Vietnamese diplomat over abduction case

Slovakia said it had expelled a Vietnamese diplomat over a case involving the abduction of a Vietnamese businessman in 2017 from a Berlin street. In a final ruling on the case, a German court dismissed the appeal of the last suspect in the kidnapping of businessman Trinh Xuan Thanh, who had been seeking asylum in Germany at the time of his disappearance. Trinh was taken – via Slovakia – back to Vietnam, where he was tried and jailed for life in 2018 for violating state regulations and embezzlement. Slovakia’s foreign ministry said in a statement posted on its website late that it had informed Vietnam’s ambassador to Bratislava that one of his diplomats must leave the country within 48 hours. (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-slovakia-vietnam-kidnapping/slovakia-expels-vietnamese-diplomat-over-abduction-case-idUSKBN20019I) “Slovakia took this step in connection with the German court ruling. The ministry had flagged strong diplomatic consequences if the very serious suspicions of abuse of Slovakia’s hospitality are confirmed officially,” the ministry said. The ministry declined to comment further on the case. Vietnam’s embassy to Slovakia was not immediately available for comment.

Newsline: US embassy bails out performer detained in Vietnam airport over jewelry

Lil Jon has been known to rock some insane amounts of bling throughout his storied career. But it turns out his affinity for jewelry might not be as well known in other parts of the world. He had to call the US embassy when he was detained at an airport in Vietnam over his jewelry. The 48-year-old took to his Instagram story as he was held up at Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City. Jon also posted a photo of a group of airport security officials laying his jewelry out across a table for inspection. (https://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-7693833/Lil-Jon-calls-embassy-bail-hes-detained-Vietnam-airport-jewelry.html) But luckily, he was able to get in touch with the US embassy, who sent some people to vouch for him.

Newsline: Chinese diplomat had affairs and sold secrets in Vietnam

A senior Chinese diplomat stationed overseas who led a playboy lifestyle, fathered two children out of wedlock and had affairs with foreign agents has appeared in court on charges of leaking top state secrets. The Chinese cadre surnamed Zhang, said to be with a ministry responsible for technology, was hauled before a court to face charges for leaking top state secrets to foreign spies and was subsequently given a death sentence with a two-year reprieve. Zhang’s exploits and the betrayal of his country were revealed by state broadcaster China Central Television in a name-and-shame program aired during evening prime time. The program’s aim is to warn officials and the people that China was still “crawling with foreign spies” and that those posted overseas must stay vigilant against seduction and instigation. CCTV did not mention where Zhang was posted, but unverified posts circulating on WeChat and Weibo claimed he committed treason while working in Vietnam. (https://www.asiatimes.com/2019/11/article/chinese-diplomat-had-affairs-and-sold-secrets) There were also claims that his illegitimate children were kept hostage to force him to feed more secrets about China’s diplomacy, the domestic situation as well as the health records of state leaders to foreign agents.

Newsline: Vietnam’s embassy says no confirmation of identity of 39 UK truck victims

Vietnam’s embassy in London said on Saturday it did not have official confirmation of the identity of the 39 people who died in the back of a truck to the east of London this week. In a statement, the embassy said its ambassador had spoken to Britain’s interior minister and was staying in close contact with the police as they work to identify the bodies. (https://news.yahoo.com/no-confirmation-identity-39-uk-165006562.html) “According to the Essex Police, the identification and nationality of the victims are still under investigation,” it said. “The Embassy of Vietnam and relevant UK agencies affirmed the willingness to exchange information and to coordinate in order to facilitate the identification of the victims.”

Newsline: North Korea’s Kim begins Hanoi trip by visiting embassy

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visited his country’s embassy in Hanoi on Feb. 26, a first outing on a visit to Vietnam, the highlight of which will be a summit with U.S. President Donald Trump. Kim entered the embassy shortly after 5 p.m. (1200 GMT) after he left the central Hanoi hotel where he is staying by limousine. (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-northkorea-usa-kim-outing/north-koreas-kim-begins-hanoi-trip-by-visiting-embassy-idUSKCN1QF15U) Kim arrived in Vietnam earlier in the day, after traveling from North Korea across China by train, for his second summit with Trump. They will try to reach agreement on how to implement a North Korean pledge, made at their first summit, in Singapore in June, to give up its nuclear weapons.

Newsline: Vietnamese Embassy in Egypt assists wounded tourists

The Vietnamese Embassy in Egypt has visited wounded Vietnamese tourists in a roadside bomb blast in the country and worked with local authorities to ask for measures to support treatment for the injured and facilitate Vietnamese citizens’ safe return. Three Vietnamese tourists and an Egyptian were killed in Egypt when a roadside bomb blast hit their tour bus near the world-famous Giza pyramids at 18:15 of December 28 (local time). There were 18 people on the bus at that time, including 15 Vietnamese tourists and three Egyptians, said the Vietnamese Embassy in Egypt. Of the 12 Vietnamese injuries, 10 are seriously injured and being treated in hospital, while two others with minor injuries were brought to the Embassy for care. Vietnamese Ambassador Tran Thanh Cong immediately visited the wounded victims at Al Haram hospital as well as the scene of the explosion. Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouli also visited the victims at the hospital. Ambassador Cong worked with Egyptian health and tourism ministers, asking them to take measures to support treatment for the victims and facilitate Vietnamese citizens’ return soon.


Newsline: US Ambassador’s Sudden Exit From Vietnam Was Totally Normal

The State Department is urging its staff to dispute an outspoken former ambassador’s claim that he was abruptly ordered to vacate his post in the midst of a disagreement over President Donald Trump’s effort to deport thousands of Vietnam War refugees who had lived in the U.S. for decades. A press guidance, which was distributed by the Department of State’s Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs and obtained by HuffPost, tells diplomats to portray Ted Osius’ departure from his post as U.S. ambassador to Vietnam as in line with departmental protocol ― and not as sudden and potentially politically motivated. Osius’ exit from Vietnam last year was hasty, and he called it “unnecessarily humiliating.” The guidance, issued Nov. 28, criticizes a New York Times article in which I reported Osius had been “removed” from his position and later resigned from the State Department. State insists in the memo that Osius “neither resigned from, nor was removed from, the position of U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam prematurely” and instead simply “concluded his three year tour as Ambassador.”


Newsline: Vietnamese woman kills herself at embassy in Kuala Lumpur

A Vietnamese woman died after she stabbed herself at the Vietnam Embassy here. Tran Thi Mai, 37, was believed to have gone to the embassy to enquire about her travel documents before the incident, which occurred at around 11.30am Monday (April 2). Dang Wangi OCPD Asst Comm Shaharuddin Abdullah said the police received a report from an embassy staff about the incident. “Our investigations revealed that the woman had gone to the embassy to settle matters on her travel documents,” he said when contacted. He said she was in discussion with the staff there when she lost her cool. “She got enraged and started shouting at the staff before she pulled out a knife from one of her pockets. “She stabbed herself in the chest and was rushed to Hospital Kuala Lumpur by one of her countrymen who was at the embassy at the time,” he said, adding that the woman succumbed to her injuries while receiving medical treatment.

Read more at https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2018/04/02/vietnamese-woman-kills-herself-at-embassy/