Vietnam’s Alliance Politics in the South China Sea

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Source: Le Hong Hiep, “Vietnam’s Alliance Politics in the South China Sea”, Trends in Southeast Asia, No.6, 2015.

Executive summary: 

– Vietnam has long maintained “no alliance” as a core principle in its foreign policy. However, as China becomes increasingly assertive in the South China Sea, there are indications that Vietnam is moving towards “alliance politics”, or efforts to forge close security and defense ties short of formal, treaty-bound alliances with key partners, to deal with the new situation.

– The need for such a shift in Vietnam’s China strategy became more relevant after the 2014 Haiyang Shiyou 981 oil rig crisis displayed the limitations in Hanoi’s hedging strategy. It deepened Vietnam’s perception of China as a serious threat and highlighted the irreconcilability between its twin goals of maintaining good relations with China and protecting its interests in the South China Sea. Continue reading “Vietnam’s Alliance Politics in the South China Sea”

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Việt Nam theo đuổi liên minh đối phó Trung Quốc: Tại sao và nên như thế nào?

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[Nghiencuuquocte.net] Sự kiện Trung Quốc hạ đặt Giàn khoan Hải dương 981 trong vùng đặc quyền kinh tế Việt Nam cùng với những hành động hiếu chiến đi kèm đã làm biến đổi quan hệ Việt – Trung nói riêng và môi trường chiến lược của Việt Nam nói chung. Theo đó, đã đến lúc Việt Nam cần đánh giá lại bản chất quan hệ Việt- Trung cũng như định hướng chính sách đối ngoại để ứng phó với những thay đổi trong quan hệ song phương cũng như môi trường chiến lược.

Cụ thể, gần đây có một số các nhà quan sát đã lập luận rằng trong tình thế hiện nay, đã đến lúc Việt Nam cần phải từ bỏ chính sách đối ngoại trung lập, không liên kết để chuyển sang chính sách chính trị liên minh, nhằm nâng cao vị thế chiến lược và khả năng mặc cả với Trung Quốc, qua đó bảo vệ tốt nhất lợi ích quốc gia của mình. Bài bình luận này sẽ đi sâu thảo luận một số khía cạnh của vấn đề này, đặc biệt là lý do tại sao Việt Nam cần theo đuổi chính trị liên minh,  những thách thức mà Việt Nam phải đối mặt khi đi theo phương hướng đó, cũng như gợi ý một số bước đi cụ thể nhằm hiện thực hóa lựa chọn này. Continue reading “Việt Nam theo đuổi liên minh đối phó Trung Quốc: Tại sao và nên như thế nào?”

Vietnam’s South China Sea Disputes with China: The Economic Determinants

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[Korean Journal of Defense Analysis] This article seeks to provide an investigation of the influence of economic factors on the dynamics of Vietnam’s South China Sea disputes with China as well as the shaping of its related strategy. The article argues that since the late 1980s economic factors have contributed significantly and in different ways to the evolving dynamics of the bilateral disputes. Vietnam’s effective exploitation of the sea’s resources for economic development and China’s moves to counter such efforts have generated constant tensions in their bilateral relationship. Meanwhile, the growing economic interdependence between Vietnam and China is unlikely to provide pacifying effects on the disputes due to the asymmetrical nature of the relationship. Continue reading “Vietnam’s South China Sea Disputes with China: The Economic Determinants”

South China Sea disputes have global ramifications

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[ABC Radio] China says it has moved a controversial oil rig from its original position in the South China Sea where its ships are clashing with Vietnamese vessels.

When a Vietnamese fishing boat sank close to the oil platform earlier this week, already heightened tensions were raised still further.

All ten crew were rescued but both countries accuse the other of aggression. Continue reading “South China Sea disputes have global ramifications”

[MA] Sau “981” Trung Quốc sẽ làm gì?

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[PL TPHCM] Tiếp sau vụ ngang nhiên hạ đặt giàn khoan Hải Dương 981 trái phép vào vùng biển Việt Nam, Trung Quốc sẽ tiếp tục những bước đi lớn hơn.

Việc Trung Quốc (TQ) triển khai giàn khoan Hải Dương 981 là một bước đi có tính toán của nước này trong việc hiện thực hóa tham vọng khống chế biển Đông của mình.

Sau 981 sẽ là gì? PGS-TS Trần Nam Tiến (Phó Giám đốc Trung tâm Nghiên cứu biển Đông – Trường ĐH KHXH&NV TP.HCM) và ThS Lê Hồng Hiệp (nghiên cứu sinh (NCS), ĐH New South Wales, Úc) có một số trao đổi với Pháp Luật TP.HCMxung quanh vấn đề này. Continue reading “[MA] Sau “981” Trung Quốc sẽ làm gì?”

Oil rig incident means Vietnam–China relations face a new test

[East Asia Forum] The current face-off between Vietnam and China over the latter’s installation of its deep-water oil rig Haiyang Shiyou 981 deep within Vietnam’s claimed exclusive economic zone (EEZ) is probably the biggest test for their bilateral relations since normalisation in 1991. Continue reading “Oil rig incident means Vietnam–China relations face a new test”

China’s new wave of assertiveness in the South China Sea

[The Strategist/ The National Interest] Since 1 May, China has deployed the Haiyang Shiyou 981 floating oil rig off the central coast of Vietnam for an exploratory mission. Vietnam has been infuriated as the rig has been parked well within Vietnam’s lawful Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), just 120 nm from its maritime baseline. It has also caused widespread concerns across the region. Continue reading “China’s new wave of assertiveness in the South China Sea”

[MA] Vietnamese Take to Streets to Protest China Oil Rig

[Bloomberg] Vietnam’s communist government allowed thousands of citizens to protest in the nation’s biggest cities to denounce a Chinese oil rig placed in contested waters that has led to clashes between ships from the two countries.

About 1,000 people marched in Ho Chi Minh City streets while hundreds gathered in a public square in front of the Chinese embassy in the capital city of Hanoi as police officers watched without interrupting. There were smaller protests in Danang and Hue in central Vietnam, Tuoi Tre newspaper reported. Protestors carried signs and banners, sang and chanted to protestChina’s exploration offshore. Continue reading “[MA] Vietnamese Take to Streets to Protest China Oil Rig”

[MA] China continues SEA charm offensive

[The Straits Time] On Monday night, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang stopped by a small shop in Ha Noi. The shop, which was about to close for the night, stayed open for its VIP customer.

As Li bought some tea, he asked the shop owner not to give him a discount and said that “we are making a fair trade”.

The exchange, which the Chinese state media highlighted with several photos of an affable-looking Li in the shop, gave a sideways glimpse of China’s latest efforts to soften its image and win over its neighbours anew.

In recent years, the region has grown leery of the country’s assertiveness and territorial ambitions, particularly in the resource-rich South China Sea – a sentiment which Beijing has tried to soothe in the past two weeks. Continue reading “[MA] China continues SEA charm offensive”

South China Sea disputes strain Vietnam–China relations

[East Asia Forum] Since 1991, comprehensive Vietnam–China relations have developed but remain constrained by the South China Sea (SCS) disputes.

What makes the disputes highly relevant for future bilateral relations is that they have proven intractable, leaving the possibility of an eventual solution a matter of almost infinite uncertainty.

The intractability of the disputes is rooted in their complicated nature as well as setbacks in possible settlements. Continue reading “South China Sea disputes strain Vietnam–China relations”