Vietnamese Communists Call for Political Change

Bloomberg’s John Boudreau reports calls within Vietnam’s Communist Party for greater political openness to help the country break away from Chinese influence. South China Sea territorial disputes have strained relations, sparking bloody anti-Chinese riots in Vietnam this spring.

Sixty-one members of the Southeast Asian nation’s Communist Party, including a former ambassador to Beijing, urged in an open letter that the leadership “develop a truly democratic, law-abiding state,” allow for greater freedom of political speech and “escape” from its reliance on China.

[…] “The Party needs to get rid of Marxism-Leninism and get out of China’s orbit,” Chu Hao, former vice minister of science and technology and one of the letter’s three co-authors, said in a phone interview. “It is very high time for the party to make a thorough transformation.”

[…] “If Vietnam were to decide the strategic future of Vietnam requires a political opening to the West akin to what Myanmar has passed through in the past three, four years, a genuine opening up – not full democracy – if Vietnam were to do something like that, it would be an enormous strategic loss for China,” [Rand Corp.’s Scott] Harold said. [Source]