The geo–politics of Vietnam–US rapprochement

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[East Asia Forum] The General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam, Nguyen Phu Trong, is currently on an official visit to the United States. Later this year, President Obama is also expected to pay a return visit to Hanoi. The visits are among a series of notable events that mark the 20th anniversary of bilateral normalisation this year.

The development of bilateral ties between the two Cold War enemies over the past 20 years is impressive. The United States is currently Vietnam’s largest export market. In 2014, Vietnam’s US exports amounted to US$28.66 billion, accounting for almost one fifth of the country’s total exports. By 2014, the United States had also become the seventh largest foreign investor in Vietnam, with the stock of registered capital reaching more than US$10 billion. In terms of political and strategic ties, the two established a ‘comprehensive partnership’ in 2013. Continue reading “The geo–politics of Vietnam–US rapprochement”

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Dịch chuyển quyền lực trong nền chính trị Việt Nam

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[Nghiencuuquocte.netTrong những năm gần đây, quyền lực của Ban Chấp hành Trung ương Đảng Cộng sản Việt Nam đã gia tăng một cách đáng kể. Nếu tiếp tục, xu hướng này sẽ có nhiều tác động tới viễn cảnh chính trị của Việt Nam trong tương lai.

Sự gia tăng quyền lực của Ban Chấp hành Trung ương trở nên rõ ràng vào tháng 10 năm 2012, khi cơ quan này đảo ngược một quyết định trước đó của Bộ Chính trị nhằm kỷ luật Thủ tướng Nguyễn Tấn Dũng với lý do quản lý kém nền kinh tế. Sau đó, vào tháng 5 năm 2013, Tổng Bí thư Nguyễn Phú Trọng đã ủng hộ hai ông Nguyễn Bá Thanh và Vương Đình Huệ, lần lượt là người đứng đầu Ban Nội chính và Ban Kinh tế Trung ương, ứng cử vào hai vị trí trong Bộ Chính trị. Tuy nhiên, Ban Chấp hành Trung ương lại bầu cho hai ứng viên khác. Continue reading “Dịch chuyển quyền lực trong nền chính trị Việt Nam”

Power shifts in Vietnam’s political system

In recent years the power of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) has increased dramatically. If this trend continues, it may bear important implications for Vietnam’s political outlook.

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[East Asia Forum] In recent years the power of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) has increased dramatically. If this trend continues, it may bear important implications for Vietnam’s political outlook.

The Central Committee’s increasing power became evident in October 2012, when the Committee reversed an earlier decision by the Politburo to discipline Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung for his mismanagement of the economy. Then, in May 2013, General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong endorsed Nguyen Ba Thanh and Vuong Dinh Hue, who headed the Party’s Commission of Internal Affairs and Commission of Economic Affairs respectively, as additional Politburo members. But the Central Committee elected two other candidates. Continue reading “Power shifts in Vietnam’s political system”

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”

Defence cooperation underpins Vietnam–Russia push for renewed economic cooperation

[East Asia Forum] On 12 November 2013, Russian President Vladimir Putin paid an official visit to Vietnam. This was his second visit to a country in the Asia Pacific since he regained the presidency in May 2012, and is further evidence of the maturing comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries.

Vietnam’s close relationship with the Soviet Union and the Russian Federation, its main successor state, date back to the early decades of the Cold War. The relationship was strengthened during the 1960s and 1970s, culminating in the 1978 Bilateral Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation. The bilateral relationship suffered a lull after the Soviet collapse in the 1990s as Russia enacted a wholesale transformation of its economic system and a major foreign policy reorientation. But relations regained momentum in the post-Cold War era with the establishment of the Vietnam-Russia Strategic Partnership in 2001. The partnership was then upgraded to the comprehensive strategic level in 2012 to reflect the increasing depth and breadth of the relationship. Continue reading “Defence cooperation underpins Vietnam–Russia push for renewed economic cooperation”