In short, while other commentators might believe that the prospects for U.S.-Vietnam relations would suffer, Vietnam’s leaders have learned from recent experience that the “China threat” is indeed very real, and that instead of ideology, a boost to GDP and exports, as well as a firm stance on sovereignty, might better serve their domestic legitimacy and regime security.
Truong-Minh Vu (PhD) is the director for the Center for International Studies (SCIS) at the University of Social Sciences and Humanities in Ho Chi Minh City. He is co-editor of the book “Power Politics in Asia’s Contested Waters – Territorial Disputes in the South China Sea” (Springer, 2016).
Nhung Bui is a PhD Candidate in the Politics Department at Princeton University and a research associate at the Center for International Studies (SCIS) at the University of Social Sciences and Humanities in Ho Chi Minh City. She works on media and nationalist propaganda in China and Vietnam.
Image: Flickr/Ash Carter