Viet Nam: New Guard, New Policy

New Guard, New Policy

The event marked the most sweeping change in the Vietnamese Communist leadership since the party's founding in 1930. At the Sixth Party Congress in Hanoi last week, three longtime stalwarts resigned because of "advanced age and bad health": General Secretary Truong Chinh, 79, Premier Pham Van Dong, 80, and veteran Politburo Member Le Duc Tho, 76. They are among the last members of the generation of leaders that defeated the French and the Americans on the battlefield. But they failed to reap the benefits of peace, leaving behind a legacy of 800% inflation, widespread unemployment and chronic shortages.

The congress named...

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