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

    New EU Asylum Rules Could Boost Rightists

    New regulations will seek to correct EU failures in dealing with migrant crisis, most notably inability to get member states to absorb a total of 160,000 refugees

    More Political Turmoil Likely in Iraq as Iran Waits in the Wings

    Analysts warn that Tehran, even though it may not be engineering the Sadrist protests in Baghdad, is seeking to leverage its influence on its neighbor

    Forced Anal Testing Case to Appear Before Kenya Court

    Men challenge use of anal examinations to ‘prove homosexuality’; practice accomplishes nothing except to humiliate those subjected to them, according to Human Rights Watch

    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.
    Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Rulingi
    X
    May 03, 2016 5:16 PM
    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Ruling

    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Painting Captures President Lincoln Assassination Aftermath

    A newly restored painting captures the moments following President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865. It was recently unveiled at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, where America’s 16th president was shot. It is the only known painting by an eyewitness that captures the horror of that fateful night. VOA’s Julie Taboh tells us more about the painting and what it took to restore it to its original condition.
    Video

    Video Elephant Summit Results in $5M in Pledges, Presidential Support

    Attended and supported by three African presidents, a three-day anti-poaching summit has concluded in Kenya, resulting in $5 million in pledges and a united message to the world that elephants are worth more alive than dead. The summit culminated at the Nairobi National Park with the largest ivory burn in history. VOA’s Jill Craig attended the summit and has this report about the outcomes.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Ethiopia’s Drought Takes Toll on Children

    Ethiopia is dealing with its worst drought in decades, thanks to El Nino weather patterns. An estimated 10 million people urgently need food aid. Six million of them are children, whose development may be compromised without sufficient help, Marthe van der Wolf reports for VOA from the Metahara district.
    Video

    Video Little Havana - a Slice of Cuban Culture in Florida

    Hispanic culture permeates everything in Miami’s Little Havana area: elderly men playing dominoes as they discuss politics, cigar rollers deep at work, or Cuban exiles talking with presidential candidates at a Cuban coffee window. With the recent rapprochement between Cuba and United States, one can only expect stronger ties between South Florida and Cuba.
    Video

    Video California Republicans Weigh Presidential Choices Amid Protests

    Republican presidential candidates have been wooing local party leaders in California, a state that could be decisive in selecting the party's nominee for U.S. president. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports delegates to the California party convention have been evaluating choices, while front-runner Donald Trump drew hundreds of raucous protesters Friday.
    Video

    Video Kurdish Football Team Helps War-Torn City Cope

    With the conflict still raging across much of Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, between the rebel PKK and the Turkish state, many Kurds are trying to escape the turmoil by focusing on the success of their football team Amedspor in Diyarbakir. The club is increasingly becoming a symbol for Kurds, not only in Diyarbakir but beyond. Dorian Jones reports from southeast Turkey.
    Video

    Video ‘The Lights of Africa’ - Through the Eyes of 54 Artists

    An exhibition bringing together the work of 54 African artists, one from each country, is touring the continent after debuting at COP21 in Paris. Called "Lumières d'Afrique," the show centers on access to electricity and, more figuratively, ideas that enlighten. Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, the exhibition's first stop.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora

    World Currencies

    EUR
    USD
    0.8643
    JPY
    USD
    105.91
    GBP
    USD
    0.6837
    CAD
    USD
    1.2584
    INR
    USD
    66.395

    Rates may not be current.