Pull and Push: Sino-Vietnamese Relations and President Xi’s Hanoi Visit

[ISEAS Perspective] Chinese President Xi Jinping paid a state visit to Hanoi on 12-13 November 2017 after attending the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting in Danang. In a sense, the visit was remarkable as it was President Xi’s second visit to Hanoi within two years. In November 2015, when Mr Xi paid his first state visit to Vietnam as China’s supreme leader, bilateral relations were just recovering from the May 2014 oil rig crisis which sent bilateral ties to a record low in more than two decades. The 2017 visit appears, at least on the surface, to reinforce the trend of strengthening ties. However, the strategic context and the dynamics of bilateral ties have undergone important changes over the past two years, making it difficult to gauge the visit’s true significance to bilateral ties as well as the regional strategic landscape. Continue reading “Pull and Push: Sino-Vietnamese Relations and President Xi’s Hanoi Visit”

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Making Deals: President Trump’s Visit to Vietnam

[ISEAS Perspective] 2017 has been an eventful and highly significant year for US-Vietnam relations. In May, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc became the first Southeast Asian leader to visit the White House under the Trump administration. Six months later, on 11-12 November, President Donald Trump paid a reciprocal state visit to Vietnam after attending the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting in Danang. Since Vietnam and the United States normalized ties in 1995, all American presidents have visited Vietnam during their term in office, but Mr Trump was the first to do so during his first year as president. Vietnam is also the first Southeast Asian country that Mr Trump has visited since his inauguration in February 2017. This is all the more significant considering that with President Barrack Obama’s state visit to Hanoi in May 2016, Vietnam has become the only Southeast Asian country since the end of the Cold War to receive two sitting US presidents in two consecutive years. Continue reading “Making Deals: President Trump’s Visit to Vietnam”

Vietnam’s New Wave of SOE Equitization: Drivers and Implications

[ISEAS Perspective] Over the past 30 years, the restructuring of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) has been a key component of Vietnam’s economic reforms under Doi Moi. Nevertheless, it remains largely a work in progress. Following the collapse of such major SOEs as Vinashin and Vinalines which had devastating impact on the economy, SOE reform has since 2011 resurfaced as an urgent task for the country. Continue reading “Vietnam’s New Wave of SOE Equitization: Drivers and Implications”

The Strategic Significance of Vietnam-Japan Ties

[ISEAS Perspective] The visit to Vietnam by Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko from 28 February to 5 March 2017 is a historical landmark in bilateral relations as it was the first visit by a Japanese monarch to the country. More notably, the visit took place just six weeks after Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s trip to Hanoi in January 2017. While Mr Abe’s visit focused on boosting bilateral economic, political and strategic ties, Emperor Akihito’s helped promote Japan’s “soft power” in Vietnam and contributed to the strengthening of social and cultural connections between the two peoples. The two sides have extolled the positive outcomes of the visits, with Vietnamese officials praising the relationship as being “stronger than ever before”. Continue reading “The Strategic Significance of Vietnam-Japan Ties”

Reviewing Vietnam’s Economic Reforms since the CPV’s Twelfth Congress

[ISEAS Perspective] Following the Communist Party of Vietnam’s (CPV) Twelfth Congress in January 2016, Vietnam’s National Assembly installed a new government led by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc in April. His government will run the country at least until 2021 when a new government will be appointed after the CPV’s Thirteenth Congress. One of the major mandates of Mr Phuc and his government until then is to strengthen Vietnam’s economic performance, and to oversee its economic restructuring towards a more sustainable and innovative growth model. Continue reading “Reviewing Vietnam’s Economic Reforms since the CPV’s Twelfth Congress”

Growing Fiscal Deficit Presents a Major Risk for Vietnam

[ISEAS Perspective] Vietnam’s fiscal position has deteriorated rapidly in recent years. For example, its budget deficit in 2015 increased 14 per cent to reach 256 trillion dongs (US$11.47 billion), equivalent to 6.1 per cent of its GDP (CafeF, 2016). The country’s increasingly precarious fiscal position has been identified by experts as an urgent matter that can generate potential risks for its long-term macro-economic stability (see, for example, Financial Times, 2016; VnExpress, 2015b). It also poses a considerable challenge for Vietnam’s new government in achieving socio-economic targets set by the recent twelfth congress of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV). If the fiscal imbalance persists or worsens, it will generate serious economic, political and strategic implications for Vietnam. Solving or mitigating the problem, however, will require not only sound economic policies but also political determination to embrace challenging reforms on the part of the CPV. Continue reading “Growing Fiscal Deficit Presents a Major Risk for Vietnam”

Vietnam in 2015: Challenges Persist amidst Hope for Change

[Southeast Asian Affairs 2016] The year 2015 marked the eighty-fifth anniversary of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) and the fortieth anniversary of Vietnam’s reunification under its rule. After almost thirty years of economic transformation, Vietnam has achieved considerable progress in terms of socio-economic development, but challenges to the country remain substantial as the economy has not regained full steam since the 2008–9 slowdown. Politically, the CPV has also been faced with a testing period. Its performance-based legitimacy has been undermined, while popular support declined due to widespread corruption as well as various socio-economic problems that cast doubts on the efficiency and accountability of the state and party systems. In terms of foreign policy, Beijing’s increasing assertiveness in the South China Sea presents a major challenge for the party. While seeking to maintain a peaceful relationship with its northern neighbour, Vietnam also needs to look into new options to deal with the rising China threat. Continue reading “Vietnam in 2015: Challenges Persist amidst Hope for Change”

Hai ứng viên miền Nam cho chức TBT?

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[BBC Vietnamese] Thủ tướng Nguyễn Tấn Dũng và Chủ tịch nước Trương Tấn Sang có thể là hai ứng viên hàng đầu cho chức Tổng Bí thư năm 2016, theo nhận định của khách mời bàn tròn BBC.

Trao đổi với BBC hôm 17/9 trong bàn tròn có chủ đề bàn về các chuyển động chuẩn bị nhân sự và đường lối cho Đại hội Đảng Cộng sản Việt Nam lần thứ 12, Tiến sỹ Vũ Cao Phan, từ Đại học Bình Dương, nói:

“Vẫn còn chức Chủ tịch nước cũng rất quan trọng. Chứ không phải chỉ là Tổng Bí thư.” Continue reading “Hai ứng viên miền Nam cho chức TBT?”

Việt Nam giữa ‘trận cờ vây’ của Trung- Nhật- Mỹ

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[Vietnamnet] LTS: Trong khuôn khổ chuyến làm việc của các nhà báo từ 14 nước vùng Châu Á – Thái Bình Dương đến làm việc tại 4 nước Mỹ, Trung Quốc, Philippines và Singapore về vấn đề Biển Đông. Phóng viên VietNamNet Hoàng Hường trò chuyện với hai nhà nghiên cứu chuyên ngành Quan hệ Quốc tế thuộc Viện nghiên cứu Đông Nam Á (ISEAS) của Singapore: TS Malcolm Cook (Canada) và TS Lê Hồng Hiệp (Việt Nam) về vấn đề Biển Đông, khu vực và tác động với VN.

Trung – Mỹ sẽ tiếp tục trò “mèo vờn chuột”

Quan điểm được CP Việt Nam nhấn mạnh nhiều lần “không dựa vào nước nào để chống nước thứ ba” trong vấn đề ngoại giao và tranh chấp Biển Đông. Với những gì đang diễn biến, chính sách này có những điểm nhấn đáng chú ý nào trong sự phát triển và bảo vệ chủ quyền của Việt Nam? Continue reading “Việt Nam giữa ‘trận cờ vây’ của Trung- Nhật- Mỹ”

Lịch sử thế giới trong sách giáo khoa Việt Nam

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[Kính Hòa – RFA] Nước Nga rầm rộ kỷ niệm ngày chiến thắng phát xít Đức cách đây 70 năm, thời kỳ mà nước Nga còn là một phần của Liên Xô. Bằng phương tiện truyền thông điện tử, người đọc Việt nam ngày càng có nhiều thông tin về những hành vi của nhà nước Liên Xô trước khi cuộc chiến tranh thế giới thứ hai bắt đầu. Nhưng những điều như vậy không được giảng dạy cho học sinh Việt nam, họ vẫn không biết những gì thực sự xảy ra. Sau đây là ghi nhận của Kính Hòa về vấn đề này qua ý kiến của một số chuyên gia cũng như giáo viên Sử học trong nước.

Continue reading “Lịch sử thế giới trong sách giáo khoa Việt Nam”