Does the Vietnam – China Comprehensive Strategic Cooperative Partnership Make Sense?
VIETNAM STUDIES PROGRAMME WEBINAR
About the Webinar
After more than a decade of constant hostilities, Vietnam and China finally normalized their relations in 1991. The improvement in bilateral ties quickly gathered further momentum and the two countries concluded two important treaties on their land border and maritime boundary in the Gulf of Tonkin in 1999 and 2000, respectively. Bilateral economic cooperation also exploded, with China becoming Vietnam’s largest trading partner in 2004. In 2008, the upward trajectory of bilateral ties culminated in the establishment of a Vietnam – China comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership, the highest level of relationship that Vietnam has with a foreign partner. Since then, however, bilateral ties have been significantly constrained by the intensifying disputes between the two countries in the South China Sea. As China has become increasingly assertive in imposing its claims at the expense of Vietnam, especially by building and militarizing seven artificial islands in the Spratlys as well as by frequently intruding into Vietnam’s waters and harassing its economic activities, whether Hanoi’s “comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership” with Beijing still makes sense has become a valid question. This webinar will look into this question by reviewing the current state of Vietnam – China relations and analyzing the pull and push factors that have shaped the contours of bilateral ties over the past decade. It will also discuss the prospects of bilateral relations in the coming years, especially in the context of deepening US–China strategic competition.
About the Speaker
Bich T. Tran is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Antwerp, a fellow at Verve Research, and a non-resident fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Washington D.C. Her research interests include Vietnam’s foreign policy, Southeast Asian states’ relations with the major powers, and political leadership. Bich is the author of From ‘Rebalance to Asia’ to ‘Free and Open Indo-Pacific’: The Development of the U.S.-Vietnam Comprehensive Partnership (Asia Pacific Issues, 2019), Presidential Turnover and Discontinuity in the Philippines’ China Policy (Asian Perspective, 2019), and the co-author of Vietnam’s Post-Cold War Hedging Strategy: A Changing Mix of Realist and Liberal Ingredients (Asian Politics & Policy, 2018).
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