Vaccine

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.
Vietnam police officers inspect authorised travel documents of commuters at a checkpoint during the first day of the extended lockdown in Hanoi, Vietnam, 6 September 2021. (Stringer/Reuters)

Vietnam is balancing China-US rivalry with deft statecraft, but for how long?

Vietnam-US relations have continued to flourish even as China continues to express its displeasure and concerns. How has Vietnam maintained the balance between its ideological cohesiveness with China and pragmatic ties with the US? Is Hanoi taking a big risk by developing a deeper relationship with Washington while antagonising its giant neighbour?
A woman receives the Sinovac Covid-19 coronavirus vaccine in Denpasar, Indonesia's Bali island on 2 September 2021. (Sonny Tumbelaka/AFP)

Has China done well in its vaccine diplomacy in Southeast Asia?

China has supplied 190 million doses of its homegrown vaccines to Southeast Asia. However, although there has been sporadic support, perceptions of Chinese vaccines among the public in the region largely trend negatively, suggesting a non-linear relationship between China’s vaccine diplomacy and its soft power in the region. ISEAS researchers Khairulanwar Zaini and Hoang Thi Ha discuss the complex factors affecting vaccine hesitancy in six Southeast Asian countries — Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
A woman rides a scooter along a street decorated with Vietnamese national flags ahead of Vietnam's National Day celebrations in Hanoi on 1 September 2021. (Nhac Nguyen/AFP)

Vietnamese still favours the US despite Afghanistan spectre

Many observers have drawn parallels between the US’s chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan and memories of the “fall of Saigon”. But Vietnamese reactions to US Vice President Kamala Harris’s recent visit there shows continued favourable sentiments towards the US.
A nurse shows vials of the Sputnik V vaccine, 19 August 2021. (Orlando Sierra/AFP)

Vaccine diplomacy in Southeast Asia: Russia trails far behind China and the US

For a country that was first off the blocks, Russia has a long way to go if it wants to catch up with China and the US in the game of vaccine diplomacy.
Staff members spray disinfectant at a school ahead of the new semester in Bozhou in China's eastern Anhui province on 23 August 2021. (STR/AFP)

Is China taking policies to the extreme to achieve zero-Covid?

After a month of tough restrictions following a Delta variant outbreak, China reported this week zero new locally transmitted Covid-19 cases. Since the pandemic started, it has stuck with a zero-Covid strategy. In fact, even contemplating living with the virus is often seen as submitting to the ways of the West. NUS academic Lu Xi asks: As some local officials take zero-Covid policies to extremes to submit good report cards, will ordinary folk suffer the most?
This photo taken on 8 August 2021 shows a child being given a nucleic acid test for the Covid-19 coronavirus in Nantong, in China's eastern Jiangsu province. (STR/AFP)

Singapore health experts: China the best positioned country to aim for zero-Covid

The world seems divided on whether to aim for zero Covid-19 infections, or to treat it as endemic and live with it. Zaobao’s Shanghai correspondent Chen Jing notes that amid a resurgence of infections, experts believe that China is well-placed to aim for zero cases, albeit with some trade-offs.
Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin (left) greets Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff General Cirilito Sobejana (right) as Philippines Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana (centre) looks on at Camp Aguinaldo military in Manila on 30 July 2021. (Rolex Dela Pena/AFP)

US and Southeast Asia need to cultivate common interests and understanding

Compared to China, the Biden administration has been slow off the blocks in the game of winning friends and influencing people in Southeast Asia. It has its work cut out for it.
Health workers wait for their turn as Vietnam starts its official rollout of AstraZeneca's Covid-19 vaccine for health workers, at Hai Duong Hospital for Tropical Diseases, Hai Duong province, Vietnam, 8 March 2021. (Thanh Hue/Reuters)

Why the Vietnamese embrace US vaccines but shun Chinese ones

The public reactions to the arrivals of Covid-19 vaccines to Vietnam — one from China, the other from the US — underscore a geopolitical dilemma for the country.