News / Asia

Vietnam Defends Foreign Policy, China Ties

Vietnam map
Vietnam map
Marianne Brown

Vietnam said Thursday that its foreign policy is aimed at protecting the country’s independence. The comment follows a letter from prominent members of the Communist Party to the country’s top leaders calling for political and economic reforms to end the country’s “reliance” on China.

Vietnam’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Thursday defended Hanoi’s foreign policy following a question related to an open letter from prominent members of the Communist Party that urged the country to end its close relationship with China.

Speaking at a regular press briefing in the capital, spokesman Le Hai Binh said Vietnam’s current policy aims to “protect the independence, reliance and diversification” of international relations.

He said the implementation of Vietnam’s foreign policy has “greatly contributed to heightening the position of Vietnam on the global stage as well as contributing to the development and depiction of the country,” said Hai.

Open letter

Earlier this week, around 60 prominent members of Vietnam’s Communist Party sent an open letter to the Central Committee - the party’s highest level - saying that Hanoi has paid a high price for conceding too much to China’s demands.

The letter came after weeks of diplomatic crisis, sparked in May when China deployed an oil rig in waters also claimed by Vietnam. Beijing removed the rig earlier this month to avoid an oncoming typhoon.

Professor Tuong Lai, advisor to two prime ministers, was one of the signatories of the letter to senior leaders.

He says the letter was different from previous ones because everyone who signed is a member of the Communist Party.

Diplomacy over the last few months has been tense between the two countries, especially after anti-China protests sparked riots in Vietnamese industrial zones in May, leaving several Chinese workers dead. China is Vietnam’s biggest trading partner.

The letter also included a recommendation for Hanoi to sue Beijing in the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea.

Implementing reforms

Tuong Lai said that by bowing to China, the Vietnamese people are losing confidence in the Party.

Another signatory is 69-year-old Pham Chi Lan, former deputy chairwoman of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and ex-member of the Prime Minister's Research Board. She still works as an advisor for several ministries.

She said Vietnam needs to integrate more with countries like India, South Korea, Japan and other countries in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, to escape reliance on China.

The country also needs to implement institutional reforms, she says. For instance, if the party still wants to develop a “market economy with socialist orientation,” as it does now, it will be difficult because the definition of this term is not clear.

Tuong Lai said the idea is not to overthrow the Communist Party, but to build it. But building means reform.

“If we keep it unchanged, the party will fall because people’s confidence is very low,” he says.

You May Like

Jihadist Assassin says Goal of Tunisia Murders Was Chaos

Abu Muqatil at-Tunusi’s remarks in a propaganda interview also cast light on attack on Bardo Museum More

Russia Denies License to Tatar-Language TV Station in Crimea

OSCE official says denial shows 'politically selective censorship of free and independent voices in Crimea is continuing' More

Kenyan Startups Tackle Expensive Remittances Through Bitcoin

Some think services could give Western Union a run for its money, though others say it’s still got a long way to go More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Steven from: Houston
August 11, 2014 9:57 PM
This is full of crap. Vietnam follows its big brother, China, for fear of losing political grip in the wind of change in 1989-1990 when communism around the world was collapsing. The Politicians look to protect their own interests and lining their own pockets. Sooner or later, if they continues to align with China, they will not only lose their position of power, but may also be their heads. Truth be told!

by: c tran from: orange
August 02, 2014 4:27 PM
Vietnam has serious issues and dilemmas, and it will be difficult for the govt to decide their moves. Side with their big neighbor and "red capitalist" brother china and lose their country. (Vietnam will or already is essentially a Chinese province) OR ally themselves with the USA and the civilized democratic world like Japan, Taiwan, south Korea and lose their communist party. So read our people's history and realize that our history enemy has always been China and let's give the people of Vietnam the basic human freedoms it deserves like ho chi minh said in his declaration of independence speech and stop pretending that China is a good of ours. Wake up Hanoi.

by: Frankie Fook-lun Leung from: Los Angeles
August 01, 2014 6:57 PM
Vietnam even after unification has been a troubling neighbour of China. Even when both of them were communist countries,and fighting the common enemy such as USA, Vietnam turned to Soviet Union for help too. When Vietnam attacked Cambodia under Khemer Rhouge, China sided with Cambodia. So, even in the last forty years, the relationship between Vietnam and China is not love. Above all, China started a war with Vietnam.

by: Gene Wheeler from: USA
August 01, 2014 2:53 PM
Know they won't what the United States tried to give them during the Vietnam war.

by: Lucky Luke from: USA
August 01, 2014 1:30 PM
Vietnam needs to root out graft and corruption in government system to gain people's confident. Corruption at all levels have been around for so long, it has grown into a way of life.
In Response

by: c tran from: orange
August 02, 2014 4:29 PM
Exactly

by: News from: US
August 01, 2014 9:04 AM
Can both communist and socialist be mixed?

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
For Obama, It's More Business Than Friendships With World Leadersi
X
Aru Pande
April 01, 2015 9:09 PM
The rift between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has put a spotlight on the importance of the American leader’s personal relationships with other world leaders and what role such friendships play in foreign policy. VOA's Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video For Obama, It's More Business Than Friendships With World Leaders

The rift between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has put a spotlight on the importance of the American leader’s personal relationships with other world leaders and what role such friendships play in foreign policy. VOA's Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video Buhari: Nigeria Has ‘Embraced Democracy’

Nigeria woke up to a new president-elect Wednesday, Muhammadu Buhari. But people say democracy is the real winner as the country embarks on its first peaceful handover of power since the end of military rule in 1999. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Abuja.
Video

Video Tiny Camera Sees Inside Blood Vessels

Ahead of any surgical procedure, doctors try to learn as much as possible about the state of the organs they plan to operate on. A new camera developed in the Netherlands can now make that easier - giving surgeons an incredibly detailed look inside blood vessels, all the way to the patient’s heart. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Latin American Groups Seek Fans at Texas Music Festival

Latin American music groups played all over Austin, Texas, during the recent South by Southwest festival, and some made fans out of locals as well as people from around the world who had come to hear music. Such exposure can boost such groups' image back home. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Stockton Community, Police, Work to Improve Relations

Relations are tense between minority communities and police departments around the United States following police shootings that have generated widely-publicized protests. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Stockton, California, where police and community groups are working toward solutions, with backing from Washington.
Video

Video Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedom

Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Report: State of Black America a 'Tale of Two Nations'

The National Urban League has described this year's "State of Black America" report as a "tale of two nations." The group's annual report, released earlier this month (March), found that under an equality index African Americans had only 72% parity compared to whites in areas such as education, economics, health, social justice and civic engagement. It’s a gap that educators and students at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College are looking to close. VOA's Daniela Schrier reports from the school.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials Underway in West Africa

Ebola has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people in West Africa. Since last summer, researchers have rushed to get anti-Ebola vaccines into clinical trials. While it's too early to say that any of the potential vaccines work, some scientists say they are seeing strong results from some of the studies. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More