One of the great bed-blockers of global politics, Le Duc Anh, has finally died. He suffered a cerebral hemorrhage at the sprightly age of 98 last year and spent most of the previous 12 months in and out of hospital, meaning there was no shortage of teams hoping to break their Duc on Anh.
He first joined the military in his early 20s, eventually rising to the role of Colonel-General. He saw active service or oversaw combat in the August Revolution, the Vietnam War and the fighting with the Khmer Rouge in Kampuchea. Becoming president of Vietnam in 1992, soon after the collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe, his reign was typified by an increase in presidential powers to ward off creeping Westernism, and a stronger relationship with China than his predecessors. A stroke in 1997 seemingly marked his dance card, but it took a further 22 years for the reaper to finally lead him off the floor.