Potential Hot Spots: May 25, 2001


Vietnam's Defense Minister Pham Van Tra and Army Chief of Staff Le Van Dung were publicly reprimanded for "managerial responsibility". No details of their failings were given, but analysts are convinced that the two are being forced to retire when their terms expire in June. This seems to be part of a power struggle in which Party General Secretary Le Ka Phieu is fighting to stay in office. Increasingly, the country is in turmoil. Violence between lowland Vietnamese and ethnic tribal peoples in the Central Highlands continues. Economic entrepreneurs in the south are increasingly independent minded. A generation that knows nothing of the wars that ended in 1975 want prosperity and economic reform. --Stephen V Cole


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