Vietnam Must Reassess South China Sea Strategy

Vietnam Must Reassess South China Sea StrategyChinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Hanoi this week comes at a time when Beijing’s efforts to change the status quo in the South China Sea through the construction of manmade islands has raised tensions across the region. Only Beijing sees the “nine-dash line” it uses to advance its claim to 90 percent of the…

Vietnam Eyes Greater International Integration

Vietnam Eyes Greater International IntegrationFor the first time since Vietnam opened up to the world in the late 1980s, the country’s trajectory could shape the geopolitics of Southeast Asia in significant ways. What that trajectory ought to look like has been a topic of intense discussion among Vietnamese leaders in recent months, as the country gears up for the…

Threat Rises of Another Viet-China War

Threat Rises of Another Viet-China WarThe risk of a military confrontation between China and Vietnam is rising over a long string of issues, according to Joshua Kurlantzick, a Senior Fellow at the US-based think-tank the Council on Foreign Relations, who points out that the previous half-dozen years have led to a growing arms race in the region that is exacerbating…

Following the leaders in Vietnam

Following the leaders in VietnamThe Vietnam Communist Party (VCP) is scheduled to hold its next national party congress reportedly in early 2016. There are signs, however, that consensus has not been reached on a number of issues including the South China Sea and relations with China and the selection of Vietnam’s future leadership. This could result in a rescheduling of the…

Vietnam, US Agree to Dance, if Not to Boogie

Vietnam, US Agree to Dance, if Not to BoogieA wave of euphoria – there is no lesser word for it – swept over Vietnam last week, triggered by a collective perception that, yes, Hanoi and Washington have truly buried the hatchet, some 40 years after People's Army tanks rolled into Saigon, 20 years after the two nations reestablished diplomatic relations. Communist Party General…

The Unsteady Path to US-Viet Relations

The Unsteady Path to US-Viet RelationsPrime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan will return to Tokyo a satisfied man after opening the doors for greater involvement of his country in global security affairs. Although the extent to which Japan will contribute remains to be seen, the new US–Japan defense guidelines have nevertheless been described as “transformative.” Predictably, China has taken issue…

40 Years After US Exit From Saigon

40 Years After US Exit From SaigonAs Vietnam and the US mark the 40th anniversary of the end of their bitter war on April 30, it’s surprising how far the two countries have come in normalizing relations. To be sure, there are still areas where ties could be deepened, particularly in military-to-military interaction.  The US is held back by concerns about human…

Canadian Legislation Annoys Hanoi

Canadian Legislation Annoys HanoiA bill introduced in the Canadian Senate to commemorate the struggle that began for refugees on the day Vietnam fell to the communists is generating friction between Hanoi and Ottawa. Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has written directly to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper to register his concern over the measure, which would declare April…

Vietnam’s Communists Conjure with the Internet

Vietnam’s Communists Conjure with the InternetThe leaders of Vietnam’s Communist Party are groping for answers on whether Facebook is a mortal threat to the party’s grip on power or if it is a new opportunity to communicate with the country’s 90 million citizens. As the party begins a highly political year, with a possibly momentous Party Congress on the horizon),…

Change Coming in Vietnam?

Change Coming in Vietnam?Vietnam faces a highly political year in 2015. Inside and outside its Communist Party, elite attention is riveted on the likely outcomes of the party congress that will convene in January 2016. Political decisions are monopolized by the party, by law Vietnam’s only political party and “the force leading the State and society”. Current leaders…