Phan Xuan Dung

Phan Xuan Dung

Graduate Research Assistant, RSIS

Phan Xuan Dung is a graduate research assistant at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technology University, Singapore. He is also a member of the US-Vietnam Next-Generation Leaders Initiative at the Pacific Forum.

A Ukrainian man stands in the rubble in Zhytomyr on 2 March 2022, following a Russian bombing the day before. (Emmanuel Duparcq/AFP)

Russian invasion of Ukraine poses geopolitical quandaries for Vietnam

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine puts Vietnam in a bind, as the crisis is likely to sharpen the rivalry between Russia, China and the US. This will strain Vietnam’s efforts to balance its relations with the three major powers and have implications for its key concerns such as the South China Sea dispute. It remains to be seen how Vietnam can leverage its long-held omnidirectional foreign policy to manoeuvre its way through the crisis.
US Vice President Kamala Harris (L) talks to Vietnam's Vice President Vo Thi Anh Xuan at the Presidential Palace in Hanoi on 25 August 2021. (Manan Vatsyayana/AFP)

Deepening US-Vietnam ties: Less geopolitics, more human security

Discussions about the bilateral relationship between Vietnam and the US typically centre on the geopolitical aspects. A more meaningful way of developing the relationship is actually in the field of human security.
A view of the Mekong river bordering Thailand and Laos is seen from the Thai side in Nong Khai, Thailand, 29 October 2019. (Soe Zeya Tun/Reuters)

Role of Vietnam in Mekong: A middle power in another US-China geopolitical battleground

Hanoi is applying its South China Sea playbook to the Mekong. It is putting effort into enmeshing all stakeholders while carefully balancing relationships with major powers interested in the Mekong. What does this mean for Southeast Asia and the region's relationship with China and the US? RSIS graduate research assistant Phan Xuan Dung examines how Vietnam can make a difference.