The way Vietnam has handled COVID-19 has highlighted this country of 97 million. With just over three-hundred cases and no deaths reported, Vietnam is positioned to have one of the best pandemic response records globally, despite the fact it shares a border with China. Observers have begun looking for “lessons to be learned” from Vietnam, calling it the “coronavirus-fighting champ of the world.”
However, there’s more than meets the eye. Vietnam’s apparent success is built on an extensive system of surveillance and control that “few other countries have, or want to have.” Here, Censorship has reached unprecedented levels. And the most marginalized are bearing the brunt of these increasingly abusive policies.