Over the past few days, Vietnamese friends and family in the home country as well as the international community have talked passionately about the protests in Vietnam re: the leasing of three major economic zones to the international community. The three zones include Van Don, Bac Van Phong and Phu Quoc . What Vietnamese fear is that the economic zones would be dominated and leased by its much bigger and hated neighbor, China. The signs include "No Leasing Land to China even for any time", "Leasing to China for 99 years? Don't even lease for 1 day!", among others.
Facebook's group messages have shown up with many arguments against the new law.
As a student of economics, I have my own opinion about free enterprise. I believe it would bring many benefit in uplifting the country to new financial prosperity. That the standard of living among the people would reach similar level of other middle class economy countries . However, I don't believe the current protest is about that issue.
Some arguments being put forth:
Even if you can't afford to wear pants, leave land for your children.
This argument seems to strike up images of naked children running the street armed with knives to protect their land against invasion.
Another protester suggest that:
Putting the Chinese in charge of economic zones and not being able to control what they do in those zones could potentially lead to situations where they can use those zones to plan to attack and invade Vietnam.
A third reason that I have heard:
Developing an economic zone could lead the Chinese to send their citizens into Vietnam. Those citizens would intentionally be asked to reproduce at maximize capacity. In 99 years when the lease is up, how do you actually force those people to move back to China. They, Chinese, are in fact Vietnam and Vietnam would in fact be Chinese and be absorbed by China.
Vietnam has always has a nationalistic view of itself outside of China. Independence of China and Chinese culture has been ingrained in the mind of the Vietnamese since the beginning of time (at least that was what I've been told).
As the international community can witness, the Vietnamese has been the most vocal and outspoken critic of China's militaristic expansion, especially in the Spratly group of islands. It will likely continue to remain skeptical and watchful of the Chinese's moves. Online platforms that provide communities such as Steemit, Discord, Telegram, Facebook, Twitter, and others provide the Vietnamese communities near and far a forum to express their desires and culture as a people. We get to participate in the conversation from anywhere in the world and let Vietnam knows that we support Her Resolve!
It's such a wonderful time to be Vietnamese.