Comrades and Rivals: Vietnam-China relations and the legacies of the Vietnam War

By Edward Miller. In recent years, as disputes over power and sovereignty in the South China Sea have escalated, many commentators have invoked history to explain the growing tensions between China and Vietnam. For some, the contemporary crisis is merely the latest episode in an age-old pattern of enmity and distrust between the two countries. …

The forgotten peoples of Vietnam’s Wars

Written by Elliot Brennan. In the second half of the 20th century two of Indochina’s ethnic groups found themselves on the “wrong side of history”. Both supported the US forces in the Vietnam War and against communist insurgents. Both were left behind when the US withdrew, and both were persecuted in the decades that followed. For …

Sino-Vietnam Relations Before and After 1975

Written by James A. Anderson. The recent news of Hanoi purchasing a fleet of Russian-made Kilo-class submarines to assist in a potential future stand-off between the Vietnamese Navy and the greater forces of the PLA points to the long and complicated relationship between powerful northern (i.e. Chinese) and resilient southern (i.e.) Vietnamese regimes. Sino-Vietnamese relations …

Vietnam-ASEAN Relations: A Retrospective

Written by Ramses Amer. In 2015 Vietnam celebrates two major anniversaries. First, it is 40 years since war ended in Vietnam with the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975, which paved the way for the formal reunification of Vietnam the following year. Second, it is 20 years since Vietnam gained membership of the Association …

South China Sea Arbitration: Vietnam Makes Submission to Court

Written by Alex Calvo. The South China Sea is once again in the news, following Hanoi’s decision to join forces with Manila and make a submission to the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PAC), asking that it assert its jurisdiction, give “due regard” to Vietnam’s rights and interests in the Spratlys and Paracels, and in her …

External anxieties, internal self-reflection: The CPV regime’s confidence vote

Written by Huong Le Thu. A deficit of trust seems to be a common problem both on a regional and country-to-country level in East Asia. Within many Asian nations, society’s trust in governments is undergoing serious challenges. Protests have spread across the region: in Thailand months of protests finished with a military coup; in Taiwan …

Vietnam’s ‘silent service’ challenge

Written by Brian Benedictus. On May 28th at the Admiralty Shipyards in St. Petersburg, Russia, the last of six Kilo-class diesel electric submarines (SSK) purchased by the government of Vietnam, was laid to complete construction.  The vessels, for the People’s Army of Vietnam Navy (VPN) in 2009, are expected to become the capital ships of the PAVN upon their completion …

Vietnam’s Relations with China – A Multifaceted Partnership

Written by Ramses Amer. Vietnam’s relationship with China is of paramount importance for its development and security. Although much outside attention is focused on the disputes between the two countries in the South China Sea, the relationship is much broader and multifaceted than these disputes alone. The long historical interaction between the two countries is …

The uninspiring state of politics in Vietnam

Written by Adam Fforde. Vietnamese domestic politics have long been highly theatrical. This, naturally enough, has had both positive and negative consequences. Take the idea that Vietnam is one of those countries run by a Communist Party with a Politburo that decides stuff, issues orders and then everybody clicks their heels and toes the line. …

U.S.-Vietnam Defence Relations: Convergence Not Congruence

Written by Carlyle A. Thayer. Military-to-military relations between Vietnam and the U.S. developed slowly after the normalization of diplomatic relations in July 1995 mainly due to Vietnamese sensitivities and concern that defense relations might outstrip economic ties. In 2000, William Cohen became the first U.S. Secretary of Defense to visit Hanoi. The year 2003 proved pivotal. …