Vietnam

Chinese President Xi Jinping awarded the Friendship Medal to Communist Party of Vietnam General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong in a grand award ceremony in the Great Hall of the People, in Beijing, China, on 31 October 2022. (Xinhua)

China’s diplomacy in full swing after 20th Party Congress

Diplomatic activities appear to be back at full swing after the 20th Party Congress. Zaobao correspondent Yang Danxu notes that the visits by heads of states to China are driven by Beijing’s objectives of bringing its neighbours close, stabilising relations with Europe, and strengthening relations with developing countries. Will this help improve China’s relations and international image, especially amid the tense geopolitical background?
Superior EMS’s factory in the Vietnam-Singapore Industrial Park in Hai Duong province. It is using small modular machinery to automate its production lines. (SPH Media)

Can 'Made in Vietnam' replace 'Made in China'?

In this final of a seven-part Lianhe Zaobao-Business Times series on China and ASEAN, Lianhe Zaobao associate foreign news editor Sim Tze Wei travelled to Vietnam for a closer look at its economic rise, and whether “Made in Vietnam” can replace “Made in China”.
Workers assemble an electric car at the VinFast electric automobile plant in Haiphong, Vietnam, on 7 April 2022. (Nhac Nguyen/AFP)

Should Beijing worry about the exodus of manufacturing from China to Vietnam?

It appears that Beijing is losing some of its factory orders with MNCs and investors putting their bets on Vietnam. But maybe it is a win-win situation: as China moves to transition its economy to advanced manufacturing, countries like Vietnam with a young and relatively cheap labour force could fill the gap.
A woman walks pass the mural "No to war" by muralist Maximiliano Bagnasco in Buenos Aires on 5 March 2022. The mural is inspired by two war photographs from Ukraine and Vietnam. (Juan Mabromata/AFP)

The Russia-Ukraine war: Parallels and lessons for Vietnam

Vietnam’s nuanced approach to the Russia-Ukraine war and its refusal to single out Russia’s invasion suggest introspection in Hanoi over its foreign and defence policy calculations. Vietnam is well aware that a smaller state living next to a giant neighbour should not become a battlefield of great power conflict or depend on others for its survival. Learning from the experience of Ukraine, will it be able to strike a balance in its hedging between Washington and Beijing?
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.
A nuclear-powered Type 094A Jin-class ballistic missile submarine of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy is seen during a military display in the South China Sea, 12 April 2018. (Stringer/File Photo/Reuters)

China’s ‘hegemony with Chinese characteristics’ in the South China Sea

Though in word it professes to never seek hegemony or bully smaller countries, in deed, China behaves unilaterally and flexes its economic and political muscles for dominance in the South China Sea, says Indian academic Amrita Jash.
A motorist rides past a US aircraft displayed in the Vietnam Military History Museum in Hanoi, Vietnam, on 25 August 2021. (Nhac Nguyen/AFP)

Great power rivalry: Why Vietnam is not taking sides

Sokvy Rim explains why Vietnam still chooses to adopt a hedging strategy between the US and China, despite increasing fears of China’s aggressive moves in the South China Sea.
A television displays news about Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi's visit to Vietnam, at a street in Hanoi, Vietnam, 11 September 2021. (Stringer/Reuters)

What Vietnam and China want from each other amid strengthening Vietnam-US ties

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi paid an official visit to Vietnam on 10-12 September as part of Beijing’s efforts to reassert its influence on Vietnam and pull Hanoi back from its perceived ‘tilt’ towards Washington. Hosting Wang Yi provided Vietnam with an opportunity to address existing issues in bilateral relations and certain domestic concerns, especially to secure China’s support for the Covid-19 response. However, Vietnam-China relations are fundamentally constrained by strategic distrust over the South China Sea dispute. The intensifying China-US strategic competition is another challenge for Hanoi.
A journalist takes a picture of the national flag during a visit to the Museum of the Communist Party of China, in Beijing, China, on 25 June 2021. (Noel Celis/AFP)

The US has AUKUS. Where are China's alliances?

The formation of the AUKUS security pact involving Australia, the US and the UK will likely give the US and its allies greater strategic depth in the Indo-Pacific, says Wei Da. He believes that the containment of China has moved up a notch and China has to recalibrate its thinking accordingly. One way is to shore up its own alliances, which have traditionally neither been strong nor constant. What can China do about it?