I wanted to share a couple of recent news articles I thought were excellent in terms of giving a really balanced picture of what is happening in Vietnam.
First off this piece from (Twitter’s very own) Mike Ives. Government’s seizing land is always going to be an emotive subject but I’ve bemoaned, for some time now, a lack of explanation from the state. That’s the problem with a state controlled media, sometimes it’s easier to limit coverage than to actually explain. I can’t begin to imagine how much effort it must have taken to bring absolute balance to this piece.
Along the same lines this fantastic piece by Robert Kaplan in The Atlantic offers an incredibly exhaustive overview of modern Vietnam and its diplomatic role in the region. Reading both pieces side by side it feels like the balancing act required to run this country is almost impossible to comprehend.
What worked best about both is that they were written with obviously an incredible amount of research and valued facts rather than just targetting the usual bogeymen. In contrast, a much briefer example perhaps, but the crow-barred in reference to communist Vietnam in this report of a horrific accident just seemed odd and it’s hard to know what it’s suggesting.
Balance doesn’t make one side right or the other side wrong. Balance doesn’t make the worst excesses forgivable. But balance does give us the chance to make our own minds up. Just as there two sides to every story, there are also various agendas.