China-Vietnam relations

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.
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.
A screen shot from a video featuring Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China, awarding Nguyen Phu Trong, general secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam, the Friendship Medal of the People's Republic of China during a ceremony held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, on 31 October 2022. (Internet)

China-Vietnam party-to-party ties: A tie that binds

Vietnam appears to be drawing closer to the US with the recent upgrade in ties to a comprehensive strategic partnership. This development, however, should not be overestimated as Vietnam-China relations, especially party-to-party ties, remain strong.
People walk past a monument to Soviet state founder Vladimir Lenin and a coat of arms of the Soviet Union in a park in Moscow, Russia, 8 August 2023. (Maxim Shemetov/Reuters)

What US and China can learn from the Sino-Soviet Cold War

The most common analogy for the US-China rivalry is the Cold War between the US and the Soviet Union, but Malaysian academic Ngeow Chow Bing thinks that the Sino-Soviet rivalry in the 1960s could also offer a lesson or two for the US and China, especially in staying ideologically flexible and maintaining communication between competing nations.
A woman sails her boat to sell goods at a port in Danang on 24 June 2023. (Nhac Nguyen/AFP)

How the nine-dash line undermines China’s economic interests in Vietnam

China’s controversial nine-dash line claim to the South China Sea is creating problems for its businesses operating in Vietnam.
Sailors gesture on the USS Robert Smalls guided missile cruiser, which is part of the carrier group accompanying the US Navy's USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier, at Tien Sa Port in Danang, Vietnam, on 25 June 2023. (Nhac Nguyen/AFP)

Is Vietnam teaming up with the US against China?

While it seems that the port call of the USS Ronald Reagan in Vietnam recently signals a reinvigoration of US-Vietnam military cooperation, Vietnam will be circumspect in ensuring that it does not let the US interfere in its domestic affairs or jeopardise its relationship with China.
Vietnam's Communist Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong (C) walks with Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh (R) and National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue (L) as they attend the opening of the National Assembly's autumn session in Hanoi on 20 October 2022. (Nhac Nguyen/AFP)

Vietnam not veering closer to the US or China

It is not in Vietnam’s national interest to be overly dependent on China or the US. Hanoi is expected to continue to press ahead with efforts to build on its ties with the two major powers as part of its multi-directional foreign policy. There are, however, limits to both approaches. Given General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Nguyen Phu Trong's health situation, a physical trip to the US may not be feasible, and any diplomacy might have to be carried out long distance.
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?