January 20, 2011
Lines of division in Vietnam
By The Hanoist
According to local observers, the two most powerful figures entering the conclave were Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and CPV standing secretary Truong Tan Sang. Dung has controlled the levers of government for the past five years and his policy of favoring large state-owned enterprises, which were placed under the remit of the prime minister’s office, gave him unprecedented control over the economy.
But he was also heavily criticized for backing a massive bauxite mining scheme in the Central Highlands region and mishandling Vinashin, the bankrupt state-owned shipping company with debts that reached 5% of gross domestic product (GDP). Sang has been in charge of the CPV on a day-to-day basis in a role akin to chief operating officer. He coordinated the party’s personnel, ideological and other key functions. Some Vietnam watchers believe Sang quietly nurtured the public criticisms against Dung. Continue reading