CAMARADERIE AND BROTHERHOOD
China is watching its Communist neighbour’s more and more nearer relations with Washington with curiosity. After Biden’s go to, Vietnamese President Vo Van Thuong travelled to Beijing in October to satisfy with Xi. The Chinese language chief instructed him that the 2 international locations have developed a deep friendship of “camaraderie and brotherhood”, and that they need to regard the bilateral relationship as a precedence of their respective overseas insurance policies – a veiled reference, or a reminder maybe, of protecting ties sturdy, regardless of how a lot the US comes knocking.
Beijing has long-standing financial relations with Hanoi, however may do extra to deliver big-name Chinese language firms to take a position, Nguyen Quoc Cuong, a former Vietnamese ambassador to the US, instructed me from Hanoi.
“China is lagging behind another international locations, particularly the US, on this regard. Personally, I want to see huge names just like the Chinese language variations of Apple or Intel within the excessive tech house, and the digital financial system investing extra right here.”
However whereas utilizing financial incentives to realize political leverage could also be what the good powers try, it’s unlikely the technique might be that simple. Vietnam will proceed to be guided by a overseas coverage that has allowed it to strike relationships with international locations which are usually at odds with each other.
It’s not nearly managing the US and China, Lye Liang Fook, senior fellow on the Singapore-based ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute, instructed me.
“There’s a new upgraded relationship with Japan as effectively. This go to by Xi is one other indication of Vietnam’s delicate balancing act, but it surely additionally reveals how the nation has been been placing a wholesome equilibrium with the foremost powers.”