Bac Pham

Bac Pham

Bac Pham has been reporting in Vietnam for nearly 20 years, working for numerous local and foreign publications including the Straits Times and The Diplomat. He has worked for Deutsche Presse-Agentur since 2008.

Latest from Bac Pham

China warns Vietnam to watch out for outside interference in South China Sea

Vietnam is likely to continue its pragmatic balancing act between the two powers, and remain a reliable partner to all, say analysts.

Vietnam is likely to continue its pragmatic balancing act between the two powers, and remain a reliable partner to all, say analysts.

11 Sep 2021 - 9:13PM
US VP Harris seeks strategic upgrade to Vietnam ties, calls for pressure against Beijing in South China Sea

US Vice-President Kamala Harris said Washington wants a strategic partnership with Hanoi but even as Vietnam pushes back against Beijing’s claims in the South China Sea, experts say it’d be loathe to provoke its neighbour.

US Vice-President Kamala Harris said Washington wants a strategic partnership with Hanoi but even as Vietnam pushes back against Beijing’s claims in the South China Sea, experts say it’d be loathe to provoke its neighbour.

28 Aug 2021 - 1:25PM
US defence secretary Lloyd Austin’s Vietnam visit to focus on maritime cooperation, distrust over wartime history

As the erstwhile enemies seek to deepen bilateral defence ties to tackle issues relating to the South China Sea, they are also expected to cooperate in identifying and recovering the remains of thousands of Vietnamese soldiers.

As the erstwhile enemies seek to deepen bilateral defence ties to tackle issues relating to the South China Sea, they are also expected to cooperate in identifying and recovering the remains of thousands of Vietnamese soldiers.

28 Jul 2021 - 10:46PM
Vietnam’s new PM a surprise, but won’t herald change in approach to US, China: analysts

Ex-intelligence agent Pham Minh Chinh was a dark horse candidate to head the government, observers say, but they expect him to maintain good ties with Washington while not excessively alienating Beijing.

Ex-intelligence agent Pham Minh Chinh was a dark horse candidate to head the government, observers say, but they expect him to maintain good ties with Washington while not excessively alienating Beijing.

7 Apr 2021 - 11:33AM
Vietnam’s Congress ends with focus on growth, graft fight and managing US-China ties

A resurgence of coronavirus in the country served to dampen proceedings, after Communist Party chief Nguyen Phu Trong was re-elected for an ‘unprecedented’ third term.

A resurgence of coronavirus in the country served to dampen proceedings, after Communist Party chief Nguyen Phu Trong was re-elected for an ‘unprecedented’ third term.

2 Feb 2021 - 10:43PM
Vietnam ramps up crackdown on dissent ahead of Communist Party congress

The harsh jail terms given to three journalists this week, including prominent activist Pham Chi Dung, are just the latest in a string of sentences handed out to critics.

The harsh jail terms given to three journalists this week, including prominent activist Pham Chi Dung, are just the latest in a string of sentences handed out to critics.

7 Jan 2021 - 10:59PM
Vietnam pins hopes on Japan to face down Beijing in South China Sea oil hunt

Analysts say China is likely to test Vietnam through maritime provocations if the energy ventures go ahead.

Analysts say China is likely to test Vietnam through maritime provocations if the energy ventures go ahead.

4 Jan 2021 - 8:05AM
South China Sea: Trump’s national security adviser heads to Vietnam, Philippines in last-gasp anti-China push

Robert O’Brien is expected to meet Vietnam’s PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc and national security officials in the Philippines, as part of a move aimed at cementing Trump’s legacy of countering Beijing in Asia, analysts say.

Robert O’Brien is expected to meet Vietnam’s PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc and national security officials in the Philippines, as part of a move aimed at cementing Trump’s legacy of countering Beijing in Asia, analysts say.

19 Nov 2020 - 9:40PM
As US pledges help in South China Sea, Vietnam wary of antagonising Beijing

The US signed an agreement with Vietnam to assist its fishing vessels against intimidation, but it’s unlikely to extend to military support at sea.

The US signed an agreement with Vietnam to assist its fishing vessels against intimidation, but it’s unlikely to extend to military support at sea.

29 Jul 2020 - 9:46PM
Philippines expresses ‘deep concern’ after China-Vietnam incident in South China Sea

The April 3 collision between vessels from China and Vietnam has upped the ante over discussions on a code of conduct in the waters, analysts say.

The April 3 collision between vessels from China and Vietnam has upped the ante over discussions on a code of conduct in the waters, analysts say.

16 Apr 2020 - 8:49PM
US navy aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt to visit Vietnam as South China Sea tensions simmer

The US has identified former foe Vietnam as a strategic partner in the resource-rich waterway, most of which is claimed by China.

The US has identified former foe Vietnam as a strategic partner in the resource-rich waterway, most of which is claimed by China.

4 Mar 2020 - 10:32PM
South China Sea: message for Beijing in Vietnam, Malaysia defence white papers

Defence White Papers by Malaysia and Vietnam went under the radar at first – but criticisms of Beijing’s actions in the South China Sea are slowly surfacing.

Defence White Papers by Malaysia and Vietnam went under the radar at first – but criticisms of Beijing’s actions in the South China Sea are slowly surfacing.

18 Dec 2019 - 2:00PM
Australian retiree’s 12-year jail term highlights Vietnam’s tightening grip on dissent

Retired baker Chau Van Kham has been sentenced to 12 years for ‘terrorist activities against the state’ in a trial that human rights campaigners say is part of a wave of repression.

Retired baker Chau Van Kham has been sentenced to 12 years for ‘terrorist activities against the state’ in a trial that human rights campaigners say is part of a wave of repression.

13 Nov 2019 - 6:32AM
‘I am sure he is dead’: In Vietnam, families contemplate the perilous journey of suspected Essex truck victims

Among the mourning are Nguyen Dinh Gia, 57, who received a call warning of his son’s death and asking for his sympathy.

Among the mourning are Nguyen Dinh Gia, 57, who received a call warning of his son’s death and asking for his sympathy.

29 Oct 2019 - 7:57PM
Vietnam gets a bite at the cherry as US farm exports find new market amid US-China trade war

American producers wrestling with the US-China trade war are being forced to offload meat and fruit at knockdown prices in countries such as Vietnam. Shoppers are delighted but local farmers are struggling to compete.

American producers wrestling with the US-China trade war are being forced to offload meat and fruit at knockdown prices in countries such as Vietnam. Shoppers are delighted but local farmers are struggling to compete.

21 Aug 2019 - 9:17PM
Vietnam’s plan for all students to speak English didn’t work – but its education system still shines

The country ranks ahead of Thailand and Indonesia in English proficiency, even though a government initiative to make all students learn the language has fallen short.

The country ranks ahead of Thailand and Indonesia in English proficiency, even though a government initiative to make all students learn the language has fallen short.

26 Feb 2019 - 11:13PM
For Vietnamese, the Trump-Kim summit is a celebration of the country’s post-war progress

Some 2 million civilians and 1.1 million North Vietnamese and Viet Cong fighters were killed in fighting between 1954 and 1975.

Some 2 million civilians and 1.1 million North Vietnamese and Viet Cong fighters were killed in fighting between 1954 and 1975.

25 Feb 2019 - 10:05PM
Here’s who wins and also loses in US-China trade war: Vietnam

Trump’s trade war is boosting Vietnam by driving Chinese firms south, but the rising labour costs this has caused are a mixed blessing. What’s more, a greater Chinese presence could put Vietnam in Washington’s crosshairs.

Trump’s trade war is boosting Vietnam by driving Chinese firms south, but the rising labour costs this has caused are a mixed blessing. What’s more, a greater Chinese presence could put Vietnam in Washington’s crosshairs.

20 Nov 2018 - 4:03AM
Is Vietnam’s new leader taking cues from China’s Xi Jinping?

Nguyen Phu Trong is the head of the Communist Party, the country’s president, and the head of its military – sound familiar?

Nguyen Phu Trong is the head of the Communist Party, the country’s president, and the head of its military – sound familiar?

27 Oct 2018 - 7:44AM
How Vietnam fell in love with John McCain

From a navy captain bombing Hanoi to an esteemed friend of the country, the late senator mirrors America’s complex relationship with Vietnam. But there’s more to McCain’s appeal in Vietnam – he was years ahead of his peers in rooting for friendship.

From a navy captain bombing Hanoi to an esteemed friend of the country, the late senator mirrors America’s complex relationship with Vietnam. But there’s more to McCain’s appeal in Vietnam – he was years ahead of his peers in rooting for friendship.

20 Sep 2018 - 11:27AM