Nguyễn Tấn Dũng

In this Vietnamese name, the family name is Nguyễn, but is often simplified to Nguyen in English-language text. According to Vietnamese custom, this person should properly be referred to by the given name Dũng.
Nguyễn Tấn Dũng
7th Prime Minister of Vietnam
In office
27 June 2006  7 April 2016
President Nguyễn Minh Triết
Trương Tấn Sang
Trần Đại Quang
Deputy Nguyễn Xuân Phúc
Preceded by Phan Văn Khải
Succeeded by Nguyễn Xuân Phúc
First Deputy Prime Minister of Vietnam
In office
29 September 1997  27 June 2006
Prime Minister Phan Văn Khải
Preceded by Phan Văn Khải
Succeeded by Nguyễn Sinh Hùng
Governor of the State Bank
In office
May 1998  11 December 1999
Preceded by Cao Si Kiem
Succeeded by Le Duc Thuy
Head of the Party Central Committee Economic Commission
In office
June 1996  August 1997
Preceded by Phan Diễn
Succeeded by Trương Tấn Sang
Member of the Politburo
In office
01 July 1996  28 January 2016
Personal details
Born (1949-11-17) 17 November 1949
Cà Mau, State of Vietnam
Political party Communist Party
Spouse(s) Trần Thanh Kiệm
  • Nguyễn Thanh Nghị
  • Nguyễn Thanh Phượng
  • Nguyễn Minh Triết
Military service
Allegiance  Vietnam
Service/branch People's Army
Years of service 1961–1984
Rank Major
Battles/wars Vietnam War

Nguyễn Tấn Dũng (/ŋwiʔən˧˥ tən˧˥ zuʔŋ˧˥/) (born 17 November 1949) is a Vietnamese politician who served as the Prime Minister of Vietnam from 2006 to 2016.[1][2] He was confirmed by the National Assembly on 27 June 2006, having been nominated by his predecessor, Phan Văn Khải, who retired from office. Since a party congress in January 2011, Dung has been ranked third in the hierarchy of the Communist Party of Vietnam, after State President Trương Tấn Sang and Defense Minister Phùng Quang Thanh.[3] Following the 12th party congress, he wasn't able to keep maintaining his post in the party and stepped down from his government position in May 2016.[4]

Early life

Dung was born in Cà Mau in southern Vietnam. He purportedly volunteered on his 12th birthday to join the Vietcong, doing first-aid, and communication tasks; he also worked as a nurse, and a physician. He was wounded four times during the Vietnam War, and was later ranked as a level 2/4 wounded veteran. As a Senior Lieutenant he was Chief Political Commissar of Infantry Battalion 207; as a Captain, he was Political Chief of Infantry Regiment 152, defending the southwestern border. As Major, Dung headed the Personnel Board of Kien Giang Province's Military Command.[5]

He attended the high-level Nguyen Ai Quoc Party School.[6] He was admitted to the Communist Party of Vietnam on 10 June 1967.

Armed forces

Dung reportedly joined the People's Armed Forces in 1961, serving until 1984. He fought in the south and in the west during the Vietnam War. He cited his desire for "national independence" as his reasons for fighting on the battlefield. During this time, Dung served in the Cambodian–Vietnamese War, which resulted in the Vietnamese occupation of Cambodia. During his service, he was wounded four times.[7]

Political career

Dung was admitted to the Communist Party of Vietnam on 10 June 1967.[8]

He was a protégé of conservative Lê Đức Anh and reformist Võ Văn Kiệt, leaders from both major factions in the party, which enabled him to become the youngest member of the Politburo in 1996.[9]

Dung previously served as permanent deputy prime minister (first deputy prime minister) from 1997-2006. He was also the governor of the State Bank of Vietnam between 1998 and 1999.

First term

Dung is the first senior Vietnamese communist leader born after the August Revolution in 1945 and the youngest Vietnamese prime minister (56 years old when he assumed the office). He is also a native southerner and remained in the southern region throughout the Vietnam War (he was only 5 when the country was divided in 1954). He was reelected to the post of prime minister on 25 July 2007.[10]

In August 2007, it was reported that Dũng displayed "remarkable enthusiasm for the Internet". The government had set up a form through which corrupt officials could be reported online. He held an online chat that was viewed by over 1,000,000 people where he answered some screened questions regarding thing from government control of the media to personal career tips. One youth asked how he could be Prime Minister someday, to which Dung replied: "Throughout my time following the Party and the Revolution, I always obeyed the assignments of the organization.”[11]

It was reported that Vietnam's post-war generation "is increasingly wired, as the Communist Party attempts to foster economic growth and high-tech skills". The government blocks politically oriented sites. There has also been talk of censoring blogs; it was noted that there is a fake Dung blog on which the language "mimics official jargon, but is subtly peppered with anti-communist barbs."[11]

Second term

On 26 July 2011, Dung was officially re-elected prime minister by the 13th National Assembly, winning 470 out of 500 votes. He lost out to Truong Tan Sang in the competition to lead the party's Politburo, or executive committee.[12]

In October 2011, it was reported that political dissidents in Vietnam were "facing a growing crackdown on their activities ... [s]ince the Communist party congress in January, the authorities have steadily ratcheted up the pressure on dissidents." Since 30 July, 15 religious activists had been imprisoned. One lawyer with deep family connections to the Communist party was sentenced to seven years' imprisonment "to the shock and outrage of large sections of the Vietnamese public." A Human Rights Watch report also detailed forced labour and torture throughout the country's drug rehabilitation centres. Australian Vietnam expert Carlyle Thayer said "Nguyen Tan Dung ... is decidedly not a reformer." Although the U.S. and India are developing closer ties to Vietnam, neither "has seen fit to pressure Vietnam on its rights record with any conviction or consistency."[13]

PM Nguyen Tan Dung on the Ho Chi Minh submarine,[14] 4 March 2014.

In August 2012, the arrest of Nguyen Duc Kien, a local tycoon thought to be close to Dung,[15] sparked discussions about Dung's ongoing political battle with President Trương Tấn Sang.[16] Following these discussions, much of the anger about nepotism and poor economic management has been directed at Dung.[17]

At Central Committee meeting in October 2012, general secretary Nguyễn Phú Trọng, the head of the Communist Party announced Politburo agreed to propose the committee impose a form of discipline on it and consider discipline on a Politburo member (is thought Nguyễn Tấn Dũng), but the Central Committee decided to not take any discipline on the Politburo and one of its members – from the prime minister's mistakes in economic management issues, anti-corruption ...[18][19][20] Earlier the Central Committee decided to take the Central Steering Committee for Anti-Corruption away from Dung's control, and the committee is now controlled by the Politburo and the general secretary is chief of committee.

On 14 November 2012 Dung was told by a parliament member, Duong Trung Quoc, to resign for his mistakes in handling the economy. He said that it was time for the prime minister to take responsibility, not just apologise. The attack was unusual because it was made in front of TV cameras in parliament.[21]

Foreign relations

In 2009, Dung made a two-day visit to Russia, where he signed a multibillion-dollar arms deal.[22] In 2010, one deputy called for a no confidence motion against Dũng in response to a major management and financial scandal at the state owned Vinashin shipbuilding group.[23] At a party congress in January 2011, he was nominated for another term as prime minister.

On 12 April 2010, Dung attended a luncheon with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and other world leaders at the Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C.[24] On the same date he met Obama at the World Security Summit where he "spoke glowingly to American business leaders of Vietnam's economic growth – 7.2% per year over the last decade – and endorsed Obama's concerns about nuclear safety."[25]

In April 2012, Dung met with Japanese Deputy Prime Minister Okada Katsuya. He expressed his approval with the growing level of cooperation between Vietnam and Japan and they discussed moving forward. They talked about ways accelerate visitation and simplifying both entry procedures and exchange programs. Dung stated that Vietnam wants to cooperate further and learn from Japan's experience in social insurance and continue to increase Japanese official development assistance.[26]

Personal life

Dũng is married to Trần Thanh Kiệm and has three children:



  1. Vietnam: Foreign Policy and Government Guide International Business Publications, USA. – 2007 Page 8 "Vietnamese Government Communist state – general secretary Nông Ðức Mạnh – President Nguyễn Minh Triết – Prime Minister Nguyễn Tấn Dũng "
  2. Bruce M. Lockhart, William J. Duiker The A to Z of Vietnam, 2010, p.274
  3. "Nguyen Phu Trong elected Party Chief", Vietnam+, 19 January 2011.
    "Nguyen Phu Trong elected Party General Secretary", Nhan Dan, 19 January 2011.
  4. "Vietnam's prime minister looks set for exit as party leadership bid fails". Reuters. 26 January 2016. Retrieved 14 February 2016.
  5. "Nguyen Tan Dung re-elected Prime Minister". Vov Online. 26 July 2011. Retrieved 11 April 2012.
  6. "Biography of H.E. Mr. Nguyen Tan Dung". Lao Voices. Retrieved 11 April 2012.
  7. "FT Interview: Nguyen Tan Dung". Financial Times. 2 March 2008.
  8. Nhân Dân, "Nguyen Tan Dung elected new Prime Minister", 27 June 2006.
  9. "Vietnam's Search for Stability". The Diplomat. 25 October 2012. Retrieved 2 January 2013.
  10. "Vietnam's prime minister confirmed for new five-year term", Asia World]
  11. 1 2 "A Vietnam "War" in the Blogosphere". Time. 17 August 2007.
  12. "Mr. Nguyen Tan Dung was re-elected as the Prime Minister of Vietnam". Vietrade. 26 July 2011.
  13. Roasa, Dustin (25 October 2011). "Vietnamese Communist party steadily ratchets up the pressure". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 24 May 2012.
  14. Flag-raising ceremony for two first submarines held in Cam Ranh
  15. "Vietnam: the calm after the storm?"
  16. "Vietnam Mogul Arrest Sparks Stock Plunge as Tensions Surface"
  17. "In Vietnam, Message of Equality Is Challenged by Widening Wealth Gap"
  19. "UPDATE 1-Vietnam's ruling party chides leaders, signals reform". Reuters. 16 October 2012.
  20.|Vietnam PM escapes punishment despite censure
  21. "Vietnam Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung urged to resign". BBC. 14 November 2012.
  22. "Russia And Vietnam Sign Arms Deal"
  23. "No confidence' in Vietnam's PM"
  24. Farrell, John Aloysius (17 April 2010). "Vietnamese leader focuses on China, climate change". Global Post.
  25. "PM Nguyen Tan Dung meets Japanese Deputy PM". Communist Party of Vietnam Online Newspaper. 21 April 2012. Retrieved 12 June 2012.
  26. "Nguyen Tan Dung was given the World Leader in Peace, Security and Development award for his "exemplary leadership and contribution to the peace, security and development in Vietnam and Asia"". Boston Global Forum.
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Political offices
Preceded by
Phan Văn Khải
Prime Minister of Vietnam
Succeeded by
Nguyen Xuan Phuc
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