News / Asia

Vietnam's Trade With China Flourishes Despite South China Sea Tensions

Daniel Schearf
Tensions between Vietnam and China resurfaced in July over disputed territory in the South China Sea. Despite the nationalist bickering, trade between the Asian neighbors continues to flourish. But unlike China, Vietnam has welcomed U.S. involvement in the dispute.

Despite nationalist tensions, business along the border of Vietnam and China is flourishing.
 
Officials in Lang Son Province say close to $3 billion in agricultural and electronic goods are traded every year with China.
 
"In the field of trading recently, as you know, it is happening normally, there are no obstacles," said Nguyen Van Chuong, director of the Tan Thanh customs office, who says trade is increasing annually by 20 percent. "Both sides create good conditions for the exchange of goods. You can see the trucks are passing very well now," he added.

  • Vietnam Navy ships barely visible inside Cam Ranh Bay (D. Schearf/VOA)
  • A worker in Vietnam watches busy Cam Ranh Port. (D. Schearf/VOA)
  • An officer stands by goods for trade at Tan Thanh Border Gate in Vietnam. (D. Schearf/VOA)
  • Trucks of silicate at Cam Ranh Bay Port, Vietnam. (D. Schearf/VOA)
  • Trucks of goods lined up at Tan Thanh Border Gate heading into China from Lang Son Province, Vietnam (D. Schearf/VOA)
  • Workers load woodchips on to a ship at Cam Ranh Bay Port, Vietnam. (D. Schearf/VOA)
  • A Vietnamese fishing boat in Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam. (D. Schearf/VOA)
  • A fishing boat from Vietnam cruises past Cam Ranh Port. (D. Schearf/VOA)



Vietnam allowed a series of rare public protests against China in July after Beijing made deals for oil exploration in territory Vietnam disputes in the South China Sea.

The Hong Ji ship from China gets coal at a port of the Cua Ong Coal Preparation Company in Cam Pha town, in Vietnam's northeast Quang Ninh province, September 21, 2010.

Beijing then announced an administrative capital to govern the areas also claimed by Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Taiwan.  
 
The tensions raised concerns among some traders, like Nguyen Viet Duc, that political problems could affect profits.
 
"My company’s relations with China are not so long," said Nguyen Viet Duc. "But since we've had relations, it's continuously developed. I hope, looking at the big picture, that the governments of both countries pay more attention to continue the traditional business relations and make better conditions for companies of both sides."
 
To temper China, Vietnam is welcoming U.S. involvement in the South China Sea -- including at its strategic Cam Ranh Bay, which houses an off-limits navy base.
 
U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta in June was the highest ranking American official to visit the bay, a former U.S. air base during the Vietnam War and later a Soviet base.
 
Vietnam re-opened the bay to service foreign navy ships in 2010 and Nguyen Ngoc Son, Vice Chairman of the Cam Ranh People's Committee, says its importance is growing.
 
"We can say that Cam Ranh bay is a place which has the potential to develop the economy, and, at the same time, to protect and to hold firmly our sovereignty in the sea and islands," said Nguyen.

Cam Ranh Bay opens toward the Paracel Islands, which China has controlled since clashes with Vietnam in 1974, as well as the Spratly Islands that both claim.
 
Officials say their focus is on developing a new port logistics service center to increase economic growth at the bay.
 
But, Vietnam also plans to station several Russian-built submarines there to improve its defensive capabilities, which could raise hackles from Beijing.

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

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