The Mekong: troubled waters in autocratic lands
For the Mekong countries, including Thailand, Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia and Vietnam, 2018 was a big year both domestically and regionally. Key developments from last year will inevitably continue to shape the politics of the region in 2019. In terms of domestic affairs, the most worrying trend is the consolidation of autocratic power in almost all countries.
In Vietnam, the sudden death of president Tran Dai Quang in September 2018 created a huge power vacuum, which was filled by Vietnamese Communist Party (CPV) chief Nguyen Phu Trong.