The Philippine's Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos Jr (left) and Vietnam's President Vo Van Thuong (right) attend a welcoming ceremony at the Presidential Palace in Hanoi on 30 January 2024. (Nhac Nguyen/AFP)

Philippine President Marcos Jr's visit to Vietnam: Creating a 'united front' over South China Sea issue?

President Marcos Jr’s overtures to Vietnam during his recent visit to Hanoi seem to indicate that ASEAN claimant states are starting to “gang up” on China. But the picture is not so clear-cut, says Chinese academic Peng Nian, when one considers Vietnam’s interests and relations with China.
Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos (centre) with Vietnam's President Vo Van Thuong (right) at Thang Long Imperial Citadel in Hanoi on 30 January 2024. (Nhac Nguyen/AFP)

Marcos’s visit to Vietnam: When Manila’s pivot meets Hanoi’s pragmatism

Vietnam and the Philippines have agreed to strengthen maritime cooperation in the South China Sea. Digging deeper, however, the two countries are taking distinct approaches in countering the Chinese coercion in the maritime area.
This handout picture provided by the Russian defence corporation Rostec on 24 November 2023 shows a Sukhoi Su-35S fighter jet at the grounds of an aviation firm in the far eastern city of Komsomolsk-on-Amur. (Handout/Russian defence corporation Rostec/AFP)

Will Vietnam turn to Russia or America for its new jet fighter?

Vietnam needs to upgrade its ageing fighter fleet. But it faces a list of less than optimal options. Will it go for Russian-made or US-made planes, in consideration of its current diplomatic ties with each?
Vietnam's President Vo Van Thuong (in blue tie and spectacles) arrives at Beijing Capital International Airport ahead of the Belt and Road Forum in the Chinese capital on 17 October 2023. (Parker Song/AFP)

Late to the party: Vietnam and the Belt and Road Initiative

Chinese-funded investments into Laos and Cambodia have transformed the geo-economic landscape in Vietnam’s immediate neighbourhood. This has caused Hanoi to give China’s Belt and Road Initiative another look.
Vietnam's Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh (centre right) bids farewell to China's President Xi Jinping (centre left) after their meeting at the Government Office in Hanoi on 13 December 2023. China and Vietnam pledged on 12 December to deepen ties during President Xi Jinping's first visit in six years. (Nhac Nguyen/AFP)

Xi Jinping in Hanoi: Courting Vietnam for a common destiny?

Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Hanoi presented an opportunity for Beijing to draw Vietnam closer into its sphere of influence, especially since Vietnam has recently upgraded ties with the US and Japan. However, Vietnam’s foreign policy will continue to strike a delicate balance between China and the West.
Vietnam's Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh (right) and the China's President Xi Jinping (left) wave to the media during their meeting at the Government Office in Hanoi on 13 December 2023. (Nhac Nguyen/AFP)

Vietnam’s firm but flexible balancing act between China and US

Evidently caught between the two major powers, Vietnam has shown adept skill at diplomacy in recent years, along with its soft handling of China and the US, allowing Vietnam to benefit from both sides even amid geopolitical conflict. Lianhe Zaobao associate editor Han Yong Hong takes us through how Vietnam uses "bamboo diplomacy" to develop and reassure its diplomatic relations.
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia Sergei Lavrov pays respects to President Ho Chi Minh at the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum in Hanoi on 6 July 2022. (Thông Tấn Xã Việt Nam (TTXVN)/Facebook)

Russia’s memory diplomacy is paying dividends in Southeast Asia

Russia is employing the selective use of history to further its goals in Southeast Asia. But amid the various reminders of Soviet or Russian involvement in Southeast Asia, there is the constant awareness that history can be written in a certain way by certain parties.
Rare earth oxide samples are seen at mining company VTRE in Hanoi, Vietnam, on 7 September 2023. (Francesco Guarascio/Reuters)

Vietnam’s rare earth ambitions: Economic and strategic drivers

Vietnam is seeking to develop its rare earth industry at a time when global demand for such minerals is increasing. Its motivations are not merely economic, but also strategic.
Vietnamese women dressed in traditional clothing, 1920s.

[Photo story] Within the walls of Vietnam’s imperial city

Historical photo collector Hsu Chung-mao shows us the scenes of times past of Vietnam’s imperial city of Hue. From the architecture influenced by China, to the struggles within, the four walls of the Citadel are brimming with history.