30 May 2014
The territorial row with Beijing in the South China Sea is nudging Vietnam closer to the US and its regional allies, Japan and the Philippines, analysts say.
But Hanoi has limited options as it attempts to focus international pressure on China without sabotaging the relationship with its giant neighbour, an important ideological and economic partner.
For years, Hanoi has been edging closer to Washington in order to counter Beijing’s increasing assertiveness in the South China Sea.
And with China’s deployment of a state-owned oil rig on Vietnam’s doorstep on May 1 – an act seen by Vietnam as serious violation of its sovereignty – analysts said Hanoi would be under pressure to review its relationship with Washington.
… Li Mingjiang, a professor at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore, said that in the short term, Vietnam and the US were likely to step up military cooperation. But in the long run, issues such as human rights in Vietnam would inhibit a deeper partnership.
“The only thing Vietnam can do now is to get closer to the US rhetorically, so as to exert more pressure on China,” Li said.
GPO / IDSS / RSIS / Print
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