Vietnam’s strategic trajectory: From internal development to external engagement

[ASPI Strategic Insights] Vietnam has recently emerged as a key player in Southeast Asia. Strategically located at the heart of the Asia–Pacific region, Vietnam is home to a population of 88 million people and a promising economy that has registered an average annual growth rate of around 7% over the past decade. Since adopting the ‘Doi Moi’ (‘renovation’) policy in the late 1980s, Vietnam has also been pursuing an active and constructive foreign policy aimed at diversifying and multilateralising its external relations. Vietnam’s quest for deeper international economic integration and a greater political role has therefore brought the international community an opportunity to engage the once‑pariah state in building a peaceful, stable and prosperous regional order.  Continue reading “Vietnam’s strategic trajectory: From internal development to external engagement”

China’s “Cult of the Military”

[The Diplomat] Under Chinese Communist Party rule, the influence of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) on Chinese domestic politics has generally been carefully controlled, and Chinese generals today appear to enjoy a less privileged status than in centuries past, when they created and ruled states, or played a key role in helping emperors expand territory, maintain social order and suppress rebels. Continue reading “China’s “Cult of the Military””

Vietnam’s Tyranny of Geography

[The Diplomat] Some researchers liken China to a rooster, with Korea as its beak and Vietnam its leg. The analogy, while highlighting the strategic importance of Vietnam toward China’s well-being, especially in terms of security, also implies that Vietnam has long been living with the weight of China on its shoulder. The problem is that Vietnam can’t do much about it, even if it wants to. Continue reading “Vietnam’s Tyranny of Geography”

Law and the South China Sea

[The Diplomat] To help control potential armed conflicts in the South China Sea, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations has recently pressed China to conclude a Code of Conduct (COC) to replace the Declaration of Conduct (DOC) of Parties in the South China Sea that was signed between ASEAN and China in 2002. Continue reading “Law and the South China Sea”