New political leadership sworn in in Vietnam

Former prime minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc was sworn in as Vietnam's new president on Monday while Pham Minh Chinh became the new prime minister.

In the capitol Hanoi, the new president and prime minister were sworn in at Vietnam's National Assembly after the ruling Communist Party leader was elected for rare third term earlier this year.

Phuc, 66, was Vietnam's prime minister for the last five years, a period during which the country's economy thrived.
Chinh is 62 years old. He has held several high-ranking positions in the Ministry of Public Security and is the chairperson of the party's central organization commission.

The ruling Communist party elected Nguyen Phu Trong as its general secretary for another five-year term at a party congress earlier this year. Party rules limit the general secretary's tenure to two consecutive terms but the 76-year-old Trong apparently received an exception for his leadership in efforts to fight corruption and contain the coronavirus.

The Vietnamese economy steadily grew last year even as the coronavirus pandemic stalled the global economy.

On the diplomatic front, the country has an ongoing territorial dispute with China in the South China Sea.

The new leadership is expected to face challenges as tensions escalate between Washington and Beijing over China's activities in the region.