Why do Vietnamese Americans support Donald Trump? And why not?


Among Asian Americans, Vietnamese Americans stand out in one regard: Their support for Donald Trump. But younger critics are trying to change their minds.

Many Vietnamese Americans back Trump and organized rallies in his support

The Eden Center in Falls Church, Virginia, is a typical American strip mall, with more than 120 tiny restaurants, beauty salons and electronic retailers. Most of the stores in this mall are run by Vietnamese Americans. In the middle of the parking lot hang two gigantic flags — one American, and the other of South Vietnam, a country that ceased to exist with the fall of Saigon in 1975.   

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The War on Thanksgiving

TĐH: See my article on The History of the Thanksgiving Day (in Vietnamese) here >>/a>

Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn. pictured on Aug. 11 Minneapolis, Minnesota, criticized Sen. Tom Cotton’s speech on the Pilgrims. (Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)


Will Americans still be celebrating Thanksgiving 100 years from now?

This year marks the 400th anniversary of the Pilgrims’ arrival in America. The moment, which deserved wider recognition, was celebrated in an excellent speech by Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark.

“A great American anniversary is upon us,” Cotton said on Nov. 18. “Regrettably, we haven’t heard much about this anniversary of the Mayflower; I suppose the Pilgrims have fallen out of favor in fashionable circles these days. I’d therefore like to take a few minutes to reflect on the Pilgrim story and its living legacy for our nation.”

Cotton delivered a fitting tribute to the Pilgrims and their story of faith and perseverance, which is so intertwined with the Thanksgiving holiday and the values we cherish most.

The left is actively working to undermine the integrity of our elections. Read the plan to stop them now. Learn more now >>

Perhaps predictably, the speech was attacked by media outlets and Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., who hurled an ad hominem attack at Cotton on Twitter.

Of course, it was The New York Times editorial board that was so “terrified” of Cotton’s opinions that it slapped an apology on an editorial he wrote for it about riots and fired the editor responsible for publishing it to appease woke staffers.

Omar’s comment, as utterly unserious as it was, demonstrates the great crisis confronting modern Americans.

She is not alone in dismissing the Pilgrim story or Thanksgiving as a whole. Many of our elite institutions—and now, elected officials—have a knee-jerk reaction to attack or dismiss much of our hsitory.

Clearly, a steady drumbeat of woke ideologues in the media and on Twitter have convinced enough people to view the Pilgrim story as another example of oppressor against oppressed, of racist versus antiracist.

How did this happen?

It’s unclear what “actual history” Omar was referring to, but perhaps something akin to it is Howard Zinn’s “A People’s History of the United States,” a work often celebrated by her left-wing allies. In this book, Zinn created a dishonest, distorted, and ultimately shallow picture of the Pilgrim arrival in America.

As Mary Grabar, author of “Debunking Howard Zinn,” wrote for The Federalist in 2019, Zinn deconstructs the Pilgrims’ “first” Thanksgiving to advance his Marxist ideas of oppressors versus oppressed.

In these simplistic narratives, the Pilgrims are portrayed as wicked oppressors and the native people as angelic, oppressed victims. This is the narrative now being peddled in elementary schools around the country.

In her critique of Zinn-inspired literature used in Portland, Oregon, public schools, Grabar wrote:

It makes a cartoonish presentation of myriad people groups from the Bahamas and South America to New Mexico and New England. They are falsely oversimplified as universally peace-loving, Mother Earth-respecting, generous, and welcoming. All Indian tribes are lumped together as a mass of childlike people oppressed by the greedy capitalist explorers and settlers.

It’s no surprise that in 2020, Portland became an epicenter of Jacobin-like rioters, who targeted statues of George Washington and countless others while making absurd demands to abolish the police.

Here we see the fruits of a generation raised on Zinn.

While it is likely pointless to convince the vandals who attack statues and businesses that their views are misguided, we need to take the propaganda that has undermined our country and driven fellow citizens to lunacy and extremism seriously.

Thanksgiving is in the beginning stages of receiving the Columbus Day treatment. We can’t underestimate the threat of a few militant voices amplified by America’s elite culture-shaping institutions.

Columbus was once nearly universally admired in America, his holiday only questioned by an odd collection of left-wing radicals and, at an even early date, white nationalists who resented the celebration of a Catholic and Italian-born hero.

Now, the holiday has nearly collapsed. Even his statues are going undefended by the descendants of Italian immigrants who helped construct them.

Columbus may receive a revival someday, and I firmly believe the spirit of his holiday will. But for now, the radicals have mostly won.

Thanksgiving is much harder to cancel at the moment, but it is clear that leftists want it on the chopping block.

As I wrote in my book “The War on History: The Conspiracy to Rewrite America’s Past,” the real target here isn’t really the Pilgrims and Puritans, it’s the very heart of the Thanksgiving holiday, a holiday that—from its more modern origin in the 19th century—stands for faith, family, and patriotism.

All of these virtues are anathema to woke social justice warriors, who want to purge religion from the public square, obliterate the “Western-prescribed” traditional nuclear family, and redefine love of country as a mask for hatred of others.

This year’s Mayflower anniversary, as Cotton eloquently explained, is particularly noteworthy:

[T]he Thanksgiving season is upon us and once again we have much to give thanks for. But this year we ought to be especially thankful for our ancestors, the Pilgrims, on their four hundredth anniversary. Their faith, their bravery, their wisdom places them in the American pantheon.  Alongside the Patriots of 1776, the Pilgrims of 1620 deserve the honor of American founders.

As Cotton noted in his speech, prominent Americans of ages past have made speeches marking the centuries since the landing at Plymouth. Perhaps the most famous is by New England statesman Daniel Webster, whose Plymouth Oration of 1820—delivered on “Forefathers Day”—was one of the most important steps in turning the New England story into a national story.

Webster’s speech was both deeply conservative and “progressive” at the same time. He explained how the Pilgrim forefathers laid down the foundation, the building blocks of what would become a country attached to both self-government and religious liberty.

The Pilgrim experience of fleeing religious repression and inaugurating their newly founded community in the New World with a simple, 200-word Mayflower Compact affirming the rule of law set in motion the inertia for a people rooted in but diverging from their European origins.

However, Webster’s speech was not merely a celebration of the past. He called on his generation and the generations to come to perpetuate and extend what we had been given: the great gift of free government.

The speech was mixed with a general, genuine, and unquestionable love of country, with a specific demand for what needed to be changed—the abominable institution of slavery in particular.

It is perhaps a symbol of Webster’s triumph that it is a senator from Arkansas, a Southerner and not a New Englander, who delivered a great oration in celebration of the Pilgrims for the fourth-century mark in a republic where slavery has long been buried. 

In his own words, Cotton proudly declared:

Some—too many—may have lost the civilizational self-confidence needed to celebrate the Pilgrims … But I for one still have the pride and confidence of our forebears, so here today, I speak in the spirit of that cabin and I reaffirm that old Compact.

The future of our country, and the continuity of ideas and institutions that we should all be deeply grateful for, depend on Thanksgiving.

If we fail to cherish the special achievements of 1620, Americans a century from now will look forward through the lens of grievance and back with a feeling of contempt.

This war cannot be lost, or our country is lost.

Energy companies make a beeline for central Vietnam

By Dat Nguyen   November 23, 2020 | 10:50 am GMT+7 vnexpressEnergy companies make a beeline for central VietnamAn LNG tanker passes by the Strait of Singapore. Photo by Shutterstock/Igor Grochev.Several foreign and domestic companies have expressed interest in building multibillion-dollar liquefied natural gas power and storage plants in the central province of Khanh Hoa.

Four foreign firms, Millennium Group of the U.S., Sumitomo Corporation and J-Power of Japan and a venture between Vietnam’s Embark United and the U.S.’s Quantum, want to build plants in the Van Phong Economic Zone, province authorities said in a recent statement.

Millennium wants to build a 9,600-MW power plant and storage complex at a cost of $15 billion.

J-Power, which has been in the energy sector for 60 years, is eyeing a 3,000-MW, $3.2-billion plant that will be commissioned by 2025.

Embark-Quantum seek to build a 6,000-MW plant and storage complex on 300 hectares.

Several Vietnamese companies have also expressed interest in building LNG power and storage projects in the economic zone.

National utility Vietnam Electricity (EVN) has proposed a 6,000-MW plant, while the Vietnam National Petroleum Group (Petrolimex) has proposed an LNG storage complex with a capacity of three million tons a year.

A joint venture between four Vietnamese companies has sought to build a 1,500-MW plant.

Khanh Hoa authorities said they have earmarked 1,000 ha of land in the economic for LNG projects, and plan to ask the Ministry of Industry and Trade to add it to the national power plan for 2021-2030.

Vietnam’s government is drafting a new national power development plan for the next decade that will include 22 LNG power plants with a combined capacity of up to 108.5 GW, the first of which will be commissioned in 2023.Related News:

Vietnam Currency Investigation: Strategy and Policy Implications

November 2, 2020 CSIS

The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) on October 2 launched two investigations of Vietnam under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974, including one into alleged currency undervaluation. The president has repeatedly complained about Vietnam’s large trade surplus with the United States, and the USTR action is one of several launched by the administration targeting Vietnam’s currency practices. But the administration has also touted the growing security partnership with Vietnam, which shares U.S. anxieties about China, and the trade actions could run counter to the broader strategic alignment between Hanoi and Washington.

Q1: What is Section 301 and why is Vietnam being investigated?

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In latest China jab, US drafts list of 89 firms with military ties

Chinese and U.S. flags flutter near The Bund in Shanghai
Chinese and US flags flutter near The Bund in Shanghai, China, Jul 30, 2019. (Photo: REUTERS/Aly Song/Files)

23 Nov 2020 12:06PM(Updated: 23 Nov 2020 05:57PM)

WASHINGTON: The Trump administration is close to declaring that 89 Chinese aerospace and other companies have military ties, restricting them from buying a range of US goods and technology, according to a draft copy of the list seen by Reuters.

The list, if published, could further escalate trade tensions with Beijing and hurt US companies that sell civil aviation parts and components to China, among other industries.Advertisement

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China says it will respond to US admiral visit to Taiwan

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian attends a news conference in Beijing, China
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian attends a news conference in Beijing, China September 10, 2020. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins

23 Nov 2020 04:35PM(Updated: 23 Nov 2020 05:38PM) CNA

BEIJING: China will respond to the reported visit of a US Navy admiral to Taiwan and firmly opposes any military relations between Taipei and Washington, China’s Foreign Ministry said on Monday (Nov 23).

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US Navy admiral makes unannounced visit to Taiwan, sources say

FILE PHOTO: Flags of Taiwan and U.S. are placed for a meeting between U.S. House Foreign Affairs Co
FILE PHOTO: Flags of Taiwan and US are placed for a meeting In Taipei, Taiwan on Mar 27, 2018. (File photo: REUTERS/Tyrone Siu)

23 Nov 2020 08:56AM(Updated: 23 Nov 2020 09:52AM) CNA


TAIPEI: A two-star Navy admiral overseeing US military intelligence in the Asia-Pacific region has made an unannounced visit to Taiwan, two sources told Reuters on Sunday (Nov 22), in a high-level trip that could vex China.

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US provides missiles, renews pledge to defend Philippines

Philippines US
United States national security adviser Robert O’Brien (right) and Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr elbow bump after the turnover ceremony of defence articles at the Department of Foreign Affairs in Pasay City, Metro Manila, on Monday, Nov 23, 2020. (Photo: AP/Eloisa Lopez, Pool)

23 Nov 2020 04:21PM CNA

MANILA: President Donald Trump’s administration provided precision-guided missiles and other weapons to help the Philippines battle Islamic State group-aligned militants and renewed the United States’ pledge to defend its treaty ally if it comes under attack in the disputed South China Sea.

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Australia will not be deputy sheriff in US-China tensions, Morrison declares

By Rob Harris and Anthony Galloway

November 23, 2020 — 8.00pm

Prime Minister Scott Morrison says Australia’s pursuit of its national interests on the world stage has been wrongly interpreted as siding with the United States over China, declaring his government will not make a “binary choice” between the superpowers.

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Trump’s US investment ban aims to cement tough-on-China legacy

The Guardian

Move is latest chapter in deteriorating relationship with Beijing and improvement under Joe Biden is unlikely

Donald Trump

Foreign policy analysts believe Trump wants to leave a tough-on-China legacy while simultaneously conducting a ‘scorched earth’ policy on his way out of the White House. Photograph: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Helen Davidson in Taipei @heldavidson Mon 23 Nov 2020 10.52 GMT

Donald Trump has banned US investment in a further 89 Chinese companies, and reportedly sent a navy admiral to Taiwan, as he seeks to secure a tough-on-China foreign policy legacy.

Multiple media outlets have reported plans by the Trump administration for a series of confrontations with China before Biden’s inauguration on 20 January, and the moves were largely expected. Foreign policy and political analysts believe Trump wants to leave a legacy of being tough on China, while simultaneously conducting a “scorched earth” policy on his way out of the White House.

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USS Barry returns to the South China Sea

By: Lt.j.g. Samuel Hardgrove, USS Barry, cpf.navy.mil

Posted November 21, 2020

USS Barry (DDG 52) transits waters of the Taiwan Strait, Nov. 20. (U.S. Navy/MCSN Molly Crawford)

SOUTH CHINA SEA – After conducting its fourth routine transit through the Taiwan Strait this year, Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Barry (DDG 52) returned to South China Sea, Nov. 21, to conduct maritime security operations and promote peace and stability in the region.

“A continued presence in the South China Sea is vital in maintaining a free and open Indo-Pacific,” said Cmdr. Chris Gahl, Barry’s commanding officer. “The freedom of all nations to navigate in international waters is critically important. Barry’s transit of the Taiwan Strait yesterday ensured the right and instills the confidence of all nations to trade and communicate in the South China Sea.”

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In Singapore, one single person may be counted as a crowd

Singapore activist in court over one-man ‘smiley face’ protest

Jolovan Wham is facing charges under Public Order Act after posing for a photo with his placard in March.

Jolovan Wham is being charged for an offence under the Public Order Act for holding a placard with a smiley face outside a police station on March 28 [Jolovan Wham/Handout via Reuters]
Jolovan Wham is being charged for an offence under the Public Order Act for holding a placard with a smiley face outside a police station on March 28 [Jolovan Wham/Handout via Reuters]

23 Nov 2020 Al Jazeera

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Vietnam premier, US national security adviser talk bilateral ties

Sunday, November 22, 2020, 14:51 GMT+7 tuoitrenews

Vietnam premier, US national security adviser talk bilateral ties
Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (R) and United States National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien are pictured at their meeting in Hanoi on November 21, 2020. Photo: Vietnam Government Portal

Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and United States National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien discussed the two countries’ bilateral relationship in Hanoi on Saturday.

The meeting was convened within the framework of O’Brien’s visit to Vietnam on November 20-22, which is conducted on the occasion of the two nations’ 25th anniversary of diplomatic ties.

The relationship has seen comprehensive and practical development, which significantly contributes to regional and global security, peace, cooperation and development, PM Phuc said at the talk.

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What does the ‘rescue’ of Vietnam Airlines reveal?

22/11/2020    15:07 GMT+7 vietnamnet

The national airline of Vietnam finally saw “the light at the end of the tunnel” when the National Assembly agreed with the Government’s proposal for solutions to help Vietnam Airlines overcome difficulties caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

In the resolution of the 10th session, the 14th National Assembly approved two options. Firstly, the State Bank of Vietnam refinances and extends no more than two times for credit institutions (excluding those under special control) to allow Vietnam Airlines to borrow additional capital to serve production and business activities.

Thấy gì qua cuộc ‘giải cứu’ Vietnam Airlines
A Vietnam Airlines flight from Alaska brought Vietnamese citizens back to their home country in May. Photo: Ted Stevens Anchorage Airport, Alaska

At the same time, Vietnam Airlines is allowed to offer additional shares to existing shareholders to increase its charter capital. The Government will assign the State Capital Investment Corporation (SCIC) to buy shares in Vietnam Airlines on behalf of the Government under the right to buy shares of state shareholders in the mode of transfer of rights to buy. This investment is rated in Group A projects.

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