Power shifts in Vietnam’s political system

Nguyen Sinh Hung, chairman of the National Assembly, Nguyen Xuan Phuc deputy prime minister and Pham Quang Nghi, Communist Party chief for Hanoi, attend a ribbon cutting ceremony next to a statue of Vietnam's former emperor Quang Trung during a ceremony marking the 226th anniversary of a celebrated military victory against China, in Hanoi on 23 February 2015. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Le Hong Hiep, ISEAS

In recent years the power of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) has increased dramatically. If this trend continues, it may bear important implications for Vietnam’s political outlook. Read more…

China’s nine-dash line still infringes international law

A Chinese government ship trails a Vietnamese Coast Guard vessel with reporters aboard in the South China Sea on July 15, 2014. (Photo: AAP)

Authors: Huy Duong, and Tuan Pham, UNSW

Suggestions that China could claim historic fishing rights within the nine-dash line misinterpret international law. While Sourabh Gupta’s arguments, outlined in a recent Forum article, relating to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) Articles 62 and 123 have been disputed elsewhere, we argue that his argument regarding Article 56 is also incorrect. Read more…

Vietnam catches the Korean wave

Members of South Korean K-pop band Tara perform during a concert held at Hanoi's My Dinh stadium on 29 November 2012. Seventeen South Korean pop bands performed at the concert held to mark the 20th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between South Korea and Vietnam. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Pham Quang Minh, VNU, Hanoi

An endless line of water that starts from a shallow stream, grows into a big river, and then flows into the ocean. That’s how Vietnam’s former deputy prime minister, Vu Khoan, described the progress made by Vietnam and South Korea in 2012, as they celebrated the 20th anniversary of the establishment of bilateral relations. Read more…

Vietnam needs to focus on productivity in its next wave of reforms

This picture taken on 22 January 2015 shows a farmer harvesting cabbage in a field in the suburbs of Hanoi. Vietnam's economy grew 5.98 percent in 2014, the highest for three years, despite a festering banking crisis and damaging anti-China riots, authorities said in December. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Vu Minh Khuong, NUS

Since the launch of bold economic reforms in 1986, Vietnam has transformed itself from an impoverished and isolated economy into one of the fastest-growing and most open economies in the world. But it should not be complacent. It must undertake decisive and bold productivity reforms to reignite transformational prosperity in the coming decades. Read more…

Vietnam to continue playing the diplomatic field

Members of an honour guard change shifts in front of the National Convention Center where Communist Party members have gathered for an official meeting marking the party's 85th foundation anniversary in Hanoi on 2 February 2015. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Min Van Pham, VNU

Vietnam has recently upped its diplomatic efforts to strengthen relations with major powers by signing comprehensive and strategic partnership agreements. The underlying diplomatic philosophy is to create interdependent relations with as many major powers as possible, while avoiding taking sides. Read more…

Vietnam’s careful dance with the superpowers


Author: Phuong Nguyen, CSIS, Washington DC

US–Vietnam military relations have improved remarkably in recent years but talk of an enhanced alliance between Washington and Hanoi overlooks important geopolitical and historic nuances. Defence relations between the two countries turned a page in the early 2000s, when both countries moved beyond the legacy of the Vietnam War. Both countries began to actively explore new ways to work together. Read more…

Vietnam’s moderate diplomacy successfully navigating difficult waters

Chinese State Councillor Yang Jiechi (L) and Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung (R) attend a meeting in Hanoi on June 18, 2014. Beijing's top foreign policy official began talks with Vietnamese leaders in Hanoi on June 18 over China's stationing of an oil rig in disputed waters, which sent the two countries' relations plunging to their lowest point in decades. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Thuy T. Do, ANU

Vietnam’s diplomacy saw many successes in 2014, but also faced many challenges.

In early May, the country saw the worst maritime tension with China since their 1988 naval clashes in the South China Sea (SCS). Read more…