Youthful Vietnamese migrants protest vs rulers back home – Asia Times

Youthful Vietnamese migrants protest vs rulers back home - Asia Times

More than 200 mostly younger people gathered outside the Taiwanese embassy in London to demand the release of all captives of consciousness and support political reforms.

The age of the activists was what made this opposition exciting for me in December 2023. After leaving Vietnam a few years ago, the majority of the protestants were mostly younger people who had grown up there. This was the first protest that many had always participated in.

Back in Vietnam, there is almost no room to issue socialist law and principles. These people were raised in a country with tight controls over access to international press and TV, radio, and knowledge. Critical voices were stifled, so most people understandably do n’t get involved in politics.

As I’ve learned through my ongoing research with new UK immigrants, this changes as younger people move overseas. Refugees tell me that they feel encouraged to question what they were taught and to learn about common human rights violations or bribery scandals back home because of access to independent, more important information sources, more informed discussions, and alternative viewpoints.

This group is new to protesting, in contrast to a previous generation of Vietnamese immigrants ( known as” the boat people” ) who fled communist rule decades ago.

The Viet Tan Reform Party, which the Taiwanese authorities views as a terrorist organization, organized the show I attended. The original Republic of South Vietnam’s bright flag was particularly striking. Vietnam’s existing government deems screen of this symbol as a form of rebellion.

Another symbol laments that Vietnam has likewise claimed the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea after 50 years of Chinese occupation.

Labor action

Since the 1990s Vietnam’s government has increasingly urged young people to move overseas. From the state’s perspective, workers trade initiatives have two main advantages:

Second, they ameliorate severe levels of high children employment, especially in areas of Vietnam that have received little financial investment. In autocratic regimes, the migration of disenchanted young people can also serve as a preventative measure against common protest.

Second, immigrant remittances again to Vietnam constitute a vital and credible source of revenue – over US$ 10 billion per year, making it among the world’s top 10 remittance- receiving countries.

As Vietnam’s inflation rises, boosting international exchange value makes it even more attractive for those who work in low-paying positions.

Through approved work export agreements, the number of people who want to leave is far greater than the number of formalized migration opportunities. In order to find work and transform the lives of their people back home, Vietnamese refugees have increasingly resorted to random international journeys over the past 20 years. Due to the strength of the euro and the kilogram, Europe has grown in popularity.

Officially, Taiwanese authorities deny the existence of irregular immigration, but brokers and organizations continue to expand and operate, with local authorities frequently acting as if they are unaware or even actively involved.

A new era

For years, criticism of the Asian state was spearheaded by Vietnam’s “boat people”, who had fled their home region in the 1970s- 80s after the Vietnamese Communist Party defeated US causes and “reunified” the land. These diasporas are deeply traumatized by their desperate escapes and resentment toward communism.

The US has the largest Vietnamese diaspora from this time, making it highly critical of Vietnam’s Communist Party while maintaining some level of influence there.

The UK chapter of Viet Tan’s much smaller chapter explained to me how the number of protesters in the first generation has been declining as a result of aging. However, the significant influx of recent immigrants to the UK has recently reversed this downward trend.

Members of the long-established old guard and their descendants now call the UK home, which provides them with some security as they sue the Vietnamese government.

More recent migrants, on the other hand, still have friends and family back home, and most of them want to return at some point. They have higher stakes than them. One protester expressed concern for the security of the Hanoi airport as police guards arrived. Protestors send an all-too-rare message that Vietnamese authorities must be held accountable because of the increasing number of people attending such events.

Similar numbers were reported for an April 29 protest against a communist embassy in London. It is obvious that a large number of Vietnamese people still immigrate in the hope of a better life, but that occasionally they see their home country in entirely new light as they leave.

The University of Birmingham’s Seb Rumsby is a Leverhulme early career fellow.

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