News / Economy

    Vietnam Seeks to Step Out of China's Economic Shadow

    A vendor transports lychees for sale on the street in Hanoi, June 14, 2007.
    A vendor transports lychees for sale on the street in Hanoi, June 14, 2007.

    The lychee harvest is in full swing in Vietnam's northern Hai Duong province, but local officials say fewer Chinese traders have come to buy the sweet and juicy fruit this summer due to concerns about anti-China sentiment.

    Observers say tensions over a Chinese oil rig in disputed waters of the South China Sea are having a negative impact on the economic ties between the two neighbors.

    Pham Duc Tuan, a high-ranking official of Thanh Ha district, told VOA’s Vietnamese service that the move to diversify its trading partners is very important while Hanoi and Beijing continue their standoff at sea, causing every aspect of the bilateral relations to deteriorate.

    “It applies not only to lychee, but to other fruits as well.  It is riskier if we rely too much on any market.  If there is something unfavorable, it would have impacts on imports.”

    Fruits traditionally grown in the north and exported to China are reportedly piling up in markets in the south, with prices plunging in half as Vietnamese seek to curb their country's dependence on the Chinese market.

    To show support for farmers, calls on consumers to purchase local fresh fruits, one of Vietnam’s main exports to China, are inundating social networks.

    Vietnamese American economist Alan Phan, who has extensive business experience in both Vietnam and China, said China has dominated Vietnam’s economy, and it is a weapon that Beijing can use to its advantage.  

    “It is nearly impossible for Vietnam to be economically free from China.  Its export products over rely on cheap raw materials from China, so it is difficult to switch to other sources.  The incomes of Vietnamese are low, so they prefer inexpensive Chinese goods.”

    Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang was quoted by local media as saying this month that Vietnam should not let itself “depend on any nation in both economics and politics.”

    Economists have suggested that tensions over the oil rig could slow Vietnam’s 2014 growth rate.

    Beijing’s placement of the drilling platform sparked riots in Vietnam last month, leaving at least two Chinese workers dead and forcing Beijing to carry out mass evacuations of its citizens.

    According official statistics, China was Vietnam's largest trading partner with total two-way trade reaching over $50 billion in 2013.

    This report was produced in collaboration with the VOA Vietnamese service.

    You May Like

    Video How Aleppo Rebels Plan to Withstand Assad's Siege

    Rebels in Aleppo are laying plans to withstand a siege by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces in likelihood the regime cuts a final main supply line running west of city

    Scientists Detect Gravitational Waves in Landmark Discovery

    Researchers likened discovery to difference between looking at piece of music on paper and then hearing it in real life

    Prince Ali: FIFA Politics Affected International Fixtures

    Some countries faced unfavorable treatment for not toeing political line inside soccer world body, Jordanian candidate to head FIFA says

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments page of 2
        Next 
    by: tom from: Austin
    June 28, 2014 1:59 PM
    Recently acquired clothing at Wal Mart which was made in RVN. How ironic.
    In Response

    by: LiveFree from: US
    July 02, 2014 12:09 PM
    If we check the label before we buy, eventually Walmart will get the message and import from somewhere else.

    by: Tim from: Houston
    June 27, 2014 7:35 PM
    We all need to boycott China's products and stop dealing with this bully. Not only this helps reducing trade deficit with China, you stop financing China's defense to invade others and your country. Don't ever think that this will only happen to others. Xinjiang, Tibet, India, Russian, Mongol, etc .. have clearly show us China's invasion doesn't stop at sea. No one is safe!!!
    In Response

    by: Tony LE from: Australia
    June 29, 2014 4:35 AM
    Yes, China's expansion in the future will not be limited to South and East China Seas. Hawaii and US interests would also be at risk.
    Buying made-in-China equals financing this expansion!

    by: John from: MD
    June 27, 2014 11:54 AM
    For those who have never eaten a lychee "because they are exotic", this fruit is delicious. I love them, but here in the US they are hard to come unless you live in a sector like CA with a big Asian community, who know what really good things are. It wouldn't be "exotic" if we imported it more and sell it in supermarkets all over the country. Hey, if we get grapes from as far from Chile, what's the problem getting lychees? As far as I know,America had no oranges. They come from ASIA and they don't seem to be "exotic" now, right? Just trade and take that dumb "exotic" tag out of fruits. They can be harvested all over the world if farmers just get into it. Believe me, I would be a #1 lychee customer if they were to be found locally. I love them.
    In Response

    by: GoodGuy from: US
    July 02, 2014 12:04 PM
    I think you just found yourself a new business. Congratulation!
    In Response

    by: Jerry from: Usa
    June 29, 2014 2:18 PM
    I agree

    by: open your eyes VN from: USA
    June 27, 2014 11:51 AM
    Ok. let me serious. The Vietnamese people and its government need to take action. Vietnam is a great place to grown fruits, vegetables...etc. Why don't they grown their own food in which be all benefit for every living soul there? Importing food(poison) from China is a shame. The Chinese from over 2000 years wanted VietNam as China and it will NEVER change. So china has gotten Vietnam by the Throat. China don't want to help North Vietnam during the Vietnam war. They want to insert their own in the Vietnamese government. And now the government there are like little puppet. The people can't fight the Chinese invader, sadly their leader is corrupted and nothing but a dog of china. Bottom line the Chinese import of fruits consist of chemicals, and once eaten it will harm and kill you eventually. Sadly the vietnamese people know that... but i just don't understand.. why they still eating and consuming poison from China....*sigh
    In Response

    by: LiveFree from: US
    July 02, 2014 12:07 PM
    They never help Vietnam. Vietnam fought hard in VN war to unite the country, China wants VN to stay divided. It is easy for them to manage Vietnam that way, isnt it?

    by: Trongnguyen from: Garden grove
    June 27, 2014 11:28 AM
    China going too far steal Pirate the aggressor harm to all World peace . I say to keep World Peace we need to Stop china invade and intrude attack china from all front

    by: Vincent Nguyen from: Garden grove
    June 27, 2014 11:22 AM
    China has no respect to all Nation by invade Vietnam Island In 1974 and another in 1988 and called it their territory now . Call the whole free World to protest china and boycott all china bad Product

    by: Karuna from: North America
    June 27, 2014 10:07 AM
    China has been using its economic might to coerce Vietnam and other ASEAN nations in order to achieve its expansionism ambitions in the East and SCS. China's 9-dash line claims are absurd and have to be contested at the world court. China is cunningly isolating and intimidating a few nations at the time. The end results are the same; all Asian nations within China's territorial claims including Malaysia, Taiwan, Indonesia and Brunei will be dealt with later after The Philippines and Vietnam. If these nations are wise, they should reduce their economic and political dependence with China, trade with other nations and form a strong alliance against China's belligerent and dangerous moves in the region.

    by: Bay Area from: USA
    June 27, 2014 8:47 AM
    China is FAKE, STEAL, ROB, CRUEL, and NO International LAW...The World should Boycott Made in China...
    China has a long history of selling shoddy/dangerous/poisonous products to the US. They have virtually no regulation and some of the food and other products sold to the US are contaminated, poisonous, dangerous or just plain bad for you. In supporting this boycott you are also supporting Made in The USA, as well as sending a message that we will not tolerate crappy, dangerous or toxic products imported from China. As long as people keep buying their inferior products, they will keep producing them. Time to vote with your wallets!

    by: TacoBueno from: North & South America
    June 27, 2014 8:46 AM
    Why US, Canada, Europe, South America are focus on China? China is big industrial trade for the world comparing to countries on population. Exotic fruits consume 2X to 3X in China than other country.
    In Response

    by: andy from: san jose ca
    June 27, 2014 11:24 AM
    china does not consume goods from Vietnam, she just bought and dump so the Vietnam economy replies on china, Vietnam should seek other source such as Japan, Europe, US to sell exotic fruits

    by: Lee Min from: China
    June 27, 2014 8:09 AM
    China is towering over Vietnam so the country has no easy way to step out of Beijing's shadow! NO WAY!
    In Response

    by: LiveFree from: US
    July 02, 2014 12:03 PM
    Where there is a will, there is a way. Never say NO WAY, son.
    Comments page of 2
        Next 

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    NATO to Target Migrant Smugglersi
    X
    Jeff Custer
    February 11, 2016 4:35 PM
    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video US Co-ed Selective Service Plan Stirs Controversy

    Young women may soon be required to register with the U.S. Selective Service System, the U.S. government agency charged with implementing a draft in a national emergency. Top Army and Marine Corps commanders told the Senate Armed Services Committee recently that women should register, and a bill has been introduced in Congress requiring eligible women to sign up for the military draft. The issue is stirring some controversy, as VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports from New York.
    Video

    Video Lessons Learned From Ebola Might Help Fight Zika

    Now that the Ebola epidemic has ended in West Africa, Zika has the world's focus. And, as Carol Pearson reports, health experts and governments are applying some of the lessons learned during the Ebola crisis in Africa to fight the Zika virus in Latin America and the Caribbean.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Illinois Voters Have Mixed Emotions on Obama’s Return to Springfield

    On the ninth anniversary of the launch of his quest for national office, President Barack Obama returned to Springfield, Illinois, to speak to the Illinois General Assembly, where he once served as state senator. His visit was met with mixed emotions by those with a front-row seat on his journey to the White House. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Heated Immigration Debate Limits Britain’s Refugee Response

    Compared to many other European states, Britain has agreed to accept a relatively small number of Syrian refugees. Just over a thousand have arrived so far -- and some are being resettled in remote corners of the country. Henry Ridgwell reports on why Britain’s response has lagged behind its neighbors.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Jordanian Theater Group Stages Anti-Terrorism Message

    The lure of the self-styled “Islamic State” has many parents worried about their children who may be susceptible to the organization’s online propaganda. Dozens of Muslim communities in the Middle East are fighting back -- giving young adults alternatives to violence. One group in Jordan is using dramatic expression a send a family message. Mideast Broadcasting Network correspondent Haider Al Abdali shared this report with VOA. It’s narrated by Bronwyn Benito
    Video

    Video Civil Rights Pioneer Remembers Struggle for Voting Rights

    February is Black History Month in the United States. The annual, month-long national observance pays tribute to important people and events that shaped the history of African Americans. VOA's Chris Simkins reports how one man fought against discrimination to help millions of blacks obtain the right to vote
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.

    World Currencies

    EUR
    USD
    0.8883
    JPY
    USD
    114.96
    GBP
    USD
    0.6869
    CAD
    USD
    1.3858
    INR
    USD
    67.855

    Rates may not be current.