Communist party flexes muscles with abduction
The Vietnamese government’s daylight abduction of allegedly corrupt oil executive Trinh Xuan
Tranh from the heart of Berlin has thrown an upcoming free trade agreement between Vietnam and the EU into jeopardy and sparked a furious reaction from the German government.
Thanh had sought asylum in Germany after being accused of gross mismanagement during his tenure at Petro Vietnam. And while the move angered many in Europe, it likely played well with the domestic audience in Vietnam, said Anton Tsvetov, an Asian security analyst at the Centre for Strategic Research. “What is important for the Communist party, and for their legitimacy, is to show that the party is constantly clearing its ranks and not falling into the traps of capitalism and the market economy – that it keeps itself clean,” he said. “So I think this is an important part of that image-building domestically.”
Trinh Xuan Tranh sits on a park bench in Berlin