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

Photogallery Americans Celebrate Thanksgiving With Feasts, Festivities

Holiday traditions include turkey dinners, 'turkey trots,' American-style football and New York parade with giant balloons More

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

With two years left in term, analysts say, president has less to lose by taking conversation on race further More

Video Italian Espresso Expands Into Space

When Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti headed for the ISS, her countrymen worried how she would survive six months drinking only instant coffee 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.
South Africa Sees Male Circumcision as Way to Reduce HIV Infectionsi
X
November 28, 2014 3:31 PM
South Africa remains plagued by AIDS despite massive government and NGO efforts on prevention and life-sustaining Anti-Retro-Viral programs. But the country has opened up another front to reduce new HIV infections: promoting circumcision. Emilie Iob reports for VOA News from a pioneering circumcision center in Orange Farm, Johannesburg.
Video

Video South Africa Sees Male Circumcision as Way to Reduce HIV Infections

South Africa remains plagued by AIDS despite massive government and NGO efforts on prevention and life-sustaining Anti-Retro-Viral programs. But the country has opened up another front to reduce new HIV infections: promoting circumcision. Emilie Iob reports for VOA News from a pioneering circumcision center in Orange Farm, Johannesburg.
Video

Video To Make A Living, Nairobi Street Vendors Face Legal Hurdles, Physical Violence

The Nairobi City Council has been accused of brutality in dealing with hawkers in the Central Business District - in order to stop them from illegally selling their wares on the streets. Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

Throughout the crisis in Ferguson, Missouri, President Barack Obama has urged calm, restraint and respect for the rule of law. But the events in Ferguson have prompted him to call — more openly than he has before — for profound changes to end the racism and distrust that he believes still exists between whites and blacks in the United States. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Online Magazine Gets Kids Discussing Big Questions

Teen culture in America is often criticized for being superficial. But an online magazine has been encouraging some teenagers to explore deeper issues, and rewarding their efforts. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky went to this year’s Kidspirit awards ceremony in New York.
Video

Video US Community Kicks Off Thanksgiving With Parade

Thursday is Thanksgiving in the United States, a holiday whose roots go back to the country's earliest days as a British colony. One way Americans celebrate the occasion is with parades. Anush Avetisyan takes us to one such event on the day before Thanksgiving near Washington, where a community's diversity is on display. Joy Wagner narrates
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.

All About America

AppleAndroid