HANOI/BERLIN | | vietnamchina

HANOI/BERLIN (Own report) - Berlin has declared 2010 "Vietnam Year" and is currently intensifying its efforts to enhance its influence in this Southeast Asian nation. Following the German Development Minister's recent visit to Vietnam, an "Institute for German Law" will be founded in Hanoi, to support a rapprochement of the legal framework. A business symposium, featuring the former German Chancellor, Gerhard Schroeder as speaker, will also be held. A new "Alumniportal" will place Vietnamese German-speaking specialists, who have lived in Germany, at the disposal of German businesses. Germany is making these efforts not only because Vietnam's economy is growing in spite of the crisis, but also because of the legacy of rivalry between Vietnam and the People's Republic of China. Government advisors in Berlin consider that, in light of China's rise in power, China's southern neighbors were faced with the alternative: either submit to Beijing or form an alliance with another power, the latter being promoted by Berlin. more…

In Preparation

PHNOM PENH/HANOI/VIENTIANE/BERLIN | | vietnam

PHNOM PENH/HANOI/VIENTIANE/BERLIN (Own report) - Accompanied by a massive detachment of police, workers in Kampuchea, a low-cost production country for German clothing companies, protested against deplorable working conditions and the assassination of several trade union officials on May Day. According to the appeal distributed on the occasion of the "International Workers' Day" in Phnom Penh, this intimidation of shop militants must stop. Among those benefiting from the reprisals against labor representatives are numerous German companies, to which the government has guaranteed the lowest salaried production. According to praises heard in German business circles, of the 49 poorest nations of the world, Kampuchea has the "most open economy". In the second week of May (2007) the country's vice-prime minister will be in Berlin for talks with German company representatives. Critics accuse his party of being behind the murders of the trade unionists. Also in Vietnam, a second low-wage production location for German firms, May Day appeals call for protest against the working conditions and repression. The German economic activity is accompanied by efforts at gaining political influence, to use the states of the former colonial "Union Indochinoise," under Vietnamese leadership, as the southern spearhead against China. more…