30 October 2014
Vietnam’s recent, and significant, investment in military hardware is aimed at coping with a changing strategic environment. But will it make any significant difference in balancing against China’s military might in the South China Sea?
Over the last ten years, Vietnam has been especially focusing defence investment in its air and naval capability. This has included the purchase of Su-30MK2 fighter bombers, Project 636 submarines, as well as several types of surface vessels and missiles. These purchases may reveal Vietnam’s inclination towards an anti-access and area denial (A2/AD) strategy aimed at preventing foreign access or activities in its territorial waters. But in the face of the superior Chinese military power, Vietnam’s military procurements appear inadequate for pursuing an A2/AD strategy and may not achieve their intended goal.
…Dr Wu Shang-Su is Research Fellow at the Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
IDSS / RSIS / Online
Last updated on 30/10/2014