Home Contact Us
Search :
   

Southeast Asia - Articles

Print Bookmark Email Facebook Subscribe
#3536, 29 December 2011
 
Xi Jinping in Vietnam: Attempts at Reconciliation?
Amruta Karambelkar
Research Intern, SEARP, IPCS
email: amrutak@gmail.com
 

Xi Jinping, Vice President of People’s Republic of China paid an official visit to Vietnam from 20-22 December 2011. He met President Truong Tan San, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and other senior officials of the country. What does China and Vietnam expect out of this high level visit? Is China trying to mend ways with Vietnam? If so, will Vietnam respond positively?

During the visit China laid emphasis on strengthening strategic relationship with Vietnam. It promised economic assistance, increased bilateral trade and cooperation in education, youth affairs and health.  Vice President Xi said that China-Vietnam relations bear great strategic importance to both countries at this point of time. He hoped that the relations will continue to deepen under the motto “friendly neighbourliness, comprehensive cooperation, long-term stability and looking toward the future” and the spirit of “good neighbours, good friends, good comrades, and good partners.”  Xi Jinping hoped to take their strategic partnership to a new height on commonalities of ideology. Both sides agreed to increase high level visits and maintain close cooperation between two parties. A delegation of Chinese youth communist league visited Vietnam on a parallel. Leaders from both sides hailed role of youth in strengthening friendship between the two countries.

Vietnam would receive preferential credits worth US$300 million from China for development of infrastructure and towards other areas of cooperation. China Development Bank signed an agreement to lend US$ 200 million to Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV) for a period of five years.  Xi hoped the bilateral trade to reach US$ 60 billion by 2015.

This move is particularly significant. One, it comes when Vietnam’s economy is low; inflation rate is over 20 per cent and its market is losing attraction as an investment destination. Chinese monetary aid comes in dire need. No other country has come forward to rescue Vietnam’s economic woes. The move is of course strategically aggressive, given that in October the bilateral trade aimed an increase to US$25 billion, two months later, the target soars to more than a double.  China has demonstrated its economic might such that (and rightly) it can come to the rescue of its neighbours in a time of crisis.

As far as maritime issues were concerned, both sides agreed to resolve the disputes peacefully, by respecting legitimate concerns of both the countries on the basis of international law, (UNCLOS 1982) and the spirit of the Declaration of Conduct on the South China Sea (and implementing the agreement on basic principles that guide resolution of maritime disputes).  It was decided to instruct the government officials to strictly implement the consensus reached by leaders of both countries during Nguyen Phu Trong's visit to China in October. Nothing concrete came out on the issue.

The visit is significant given its timing. Relations between China and Vietnam were strained in recent time over the South China Sea dispute. China is now reaching out to its neighbour in order to ‘strengthening cooperation in complex and changing international situation’. It does so with carrots of economic assistance.  It may be reconsidering its policy of sticks towards its neighbour.  

The visit demonstrates China’s attempts at taking control of issues that falls within what it considers its region of influence. It seems alarmed by the developments and configurations that are occurring over and after the SCS issue. China is reaching out to its neighbours on one-to one basis, with a hope to strike bilateral deals, as it always wanted to.  In a larger perspective, the strategy seems to counter the US’ presence in Asia. This could be achieved by bringing individual ASEAN members to its side.  China is using its soft power skills to revive its relations with Vietnam. During this visit Xi Jinping   hailed socialism and historic ties with Vietnam. The rhetoric was ‘similar political system, therefore similar political goals.’  

Vietnam echoed Xi’s views. Truong Tan Sang, President of Vietnam stated that Vietnam will look at China as a great friend, as it always did. Prime Minister Nguyen showed commitment to deepen their ‘priceless’ relations by engaging in all fields and ‘educating younger generation about friendly neighbourliness and mutual support.’ With massive Chinese aid coming to their rescue, Vietnam seemed content to not discuss the SCS dispute with any definite outcome.

Vietnam is known to balance its relations. Following the SCS dispute in recent times, on the one hand there have been speculations of it seeking US and India’s support to strengthen its military; while at the same time it wants to maintain its relations with China It’s behaviour towards China (and other actors like the US and India) would be contingent on whether China adopts carrots or sticks. When China shows aggression), Vietnam seeks support from other sources for itself. Likewise it tilts to Chinese carrots with similar ease.  It appears that Vietnam is careful not to sabotage its ties with China amidst regional developments and new configurations.

Print Bookmark Email Facebook Subscribe
IPCS Columnists
Af-Pak Diary
D Suba Chandran
Resetting Kabul-Islamabad Relations: Three Key Issues
Can Pakistan Reset its Relations with Afghanistan?
The New Afghanistan: Four Major Challenges for President Ghani
Big Picture
Prof Varun Sahni
Understanding Democracy and Diversity in J&K
When Xi Met Modi: Juxtaposing China and India
Pakistan’s Tactical Nuclear Weapons: The Inevitability of Instability

Dateline Colombo

Asanga Abeyagoonasekera.
Sri Lanka: Making a Case for Change
Connecting Sri Lanka: Train to Jaffna
Stronger Democratic Values for a Better Tomorrow
Dateline Islamabad
Salma Malik
Burying the Past: A New Beginning for Pakistan and Afghanistan
India-Pakistan: Working Boundaries and Lines of Uncontrolled Fire
Of Inquilab and the Inquilabis
 
Dateline Kabul
Mariam Safi
Af-Pak: A Fresh Start
Can Afghanistan Become a "Perfect Place?"
Afghanistan: Political Crises After the Presidential Run-off
Dhaka Discourse
Prof Delwar Hossain
Bangladesh in Global Forums: Diplomacy vs. Domestic Politics
Bangladesh: Diplomatic Manoeuvres at the UNGA
Abe’s Successful Visit to Dhaka: Two Political Challenges

Eagle Eye
Prof Chintamani Mahapatra
Has President Obama Turned Lame Duck?
Modi-Obama Summit: Criticism for Criticism’s Sake?
Changing Global Balance of Power: Obama’s Response
East Asia Compass
Dr Sandip Mishra
Abe-Xinping Summit Meet: A Thaw in China-Japan Relations?
South Korea's Foreign Policy: More Rhetoric, Less Content?
India in East Asia: Modi’s Three Summit Meets

Himalayan Frontier
Pramod Jaiswal
The Future of SAARC is Now
China in Nepal: Increasing Connectivity Via Railways
India-Nepal Hydroelectricity Deal: Making it Count
Indo-Pacific
Prof Shankari Sundararaman
Modi in Myanmar: From ‘Look East’ to ‘Act East’
The ASEAN's Centrality in the Indo-Pacific Region
Myanmar's Political Transition: Challenges of the 2015 Election

Indus-tan
Sushant Sareen
Islamic State: Prospects in Pakistan
Pakistan: The Futility of Internationalising Kashmir
Pakistan: Why is Army against Nawaz Sharif?
Maritime Matters
Vijay Sakhuja
India and Maritime Security: Do More
Indian Ocean and the IORA: Search and Rescue Operations
Maritime Terrorism: Karachi as a Staging Point

Middle Kingdom
Srikanth Kondapalli
China and Japan: Will the Twain Never Meet?
Narendra Modi and Xi Jinping: Building a Closer Developmental Partnership
Nuke Street
Amb Sheelkant Sharma
US-Russia and Global Nuclear Security: Under a Frosty Spell?
India's Nuclear Capable Cruise Missile: The Nirbhay Test
India-Australia Nuclear Agreement: Bespeaking of a New Age

Red Affairs
Bibhu Prasad
Naxal Violence: Challenges to Jharkhand Polls
Naxalites and the Might of a Fragile Revolution
Six Thousand Plus Killed: The Naxal Ideology of Violence
South Asian Dialectic
PR Chari
Defence Management in India: An Agenda for Parrikar
Pakistani Taliban and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan: Implications for Asian Security
Obama’s New Strategy towards the Islamic State: Implications for India

Spotlight West Asia
Amb Ranjit Gupta
Islamic State: The Efficacy of Counter-strategies
War against the Islamic State: Political and Military Responses from the Region
The Islamic State: No Country for the Old World Order
Strategic Space
Manpreet Sethi
Global Nuclear Disarmament: The Humanitarian Consequences Route
Nasr: Dangers of Pakistan's Short Range Ballistic Missile
Uranium and Nuclear Power: Three Indian Stories

The Strategist
Vice Admiral Vijay Shankar
Of Lawrence, Sykes-Picot and al-Baghdadi
Strategic Estrangement: An Odd Bedfellow to Economic Engagement
The Islamic State Caliphate: A Mirage of Resurrection
Voice from America
Amit Gupta
China's Global Ambition: Need to Emulate Germany
Mid-Term Elections: So What If the US Swings Hard Right?
Modi’s US Visit: So Much Promise, Such Little Outcome

Regional Economy
Amita Batra
18th SAARC Summit: An Economic Agenda
Regional Economic Architecture: Is India Ready?
Looking East
Wasbir Hussain
India-China: Securitising Water

OTHER REGULAR contributors
Gurmeet Kanwal
Harun ur Rashid
N Manoharan
Wasbir Hussain
Rana Banerji
N Manoharan

Ruhee Neog
Teshu Singh
Aparupa Bhattacherjee
Roomana Hukil
Aparupa Bhattacherjee


 
Related Articles
Rana Divyank Chaudhary,
"Dialogue as Foreign Policy," 24 June 2013
Jayadeva Ranade,
"China, Tibet & Beijing's New Thinking," 24 June 2013
Rana Divyank Chaudhary,
"IPCS Discussion: China and its Internal Periphery," 8 March 2013
Shanta Maree Surendran,
"China, Gwadar and Sea Lanes of Communication: ‘Economic Offence’ or ‘Active Defence’?," 25 February 2013
Gunjan Singh,
"China’s Leadership Dilemma: Development or Environment?," 15 February 2012
Swaran Singh,
"China-India: Courting Closer Confidence," 8 February 2012
Teshu Singh,
"China and Thailand: Analyzing Xi Jinping’s Visit," 24 January 2012
Jayadeva Ranade,
"China-South Korea Presidential Summit: Fait Accompli?," 16 January 2012
Radhakrishna Rao,
"China in Outer Space: A Strategy for Global Supremacy?," 3 January 2012
Chok Tsering,
"China’s Presence in the Mekong," 31 December 2011

Browse by Publications

Commentaries 
Issue Briefs 
Special Reports 
Research Papers 
Seminar Reports 
Conference Reports 

Browse by Region/Countries

East Asia 
South Asia 
Southeast Asia 
US & South Asia 
China 
Myanmar 
Afghanistan 
Iran 
Pakistan 
India 
J&K  

Browse by Issues

India & the world  
Indo-Pak 
Military 
Terrorism 
Naxalite Violence 
Nuclear 
Suicide Terrorism 
Peace & Conflict Database 
Article by same Author
Phillipines and the MILF-GPH Peace Agreement

Vietnam: Gay Pride Parade

Shangri La Dialogue: Southeast Asian Dynamics

Censorship Struggle and Social Change in Vietnam

Indo-Vietnam Defence Relations: Strategically Responsive

Vietnam and the South China Sea: Hypothetical Scenarios

The Curious Case of Tata Steel in Vietnam

ADD TO:
Blink
Del.icio.us
Digg
Furl
Google
Simpy
Spurl
Y! MyWeb
Facebook
 
Print Bookmark Email Facebook Subscribe
Year 2014
 January  February  March  April  May  June  July  August  September  October  November  December
 2013  2012  2011  2010  2009  2008  2007  2006
 2005  2004  2003  2002  2001  2000  1999  1998
 1997
 
 

The Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies (IPCS) is the premier South Asian think tank which conducts independent research on and provides an in depth analysis of conventional and non-conventional issues related to national and South Asian security including nuclear issues, disarmament, non-proliferation, weapons of mass destruction, the war on terrorism, counter terrorism , strategies security sector reforms, and armed conflict and peace processes in the region.

For those in South Asia and elsewhere, the IPCS website provides a comprehensive analysis of the happenings within India with a special focus on Jammu and Kashmir and Naxalite Violence. Our research promotes greater understanding of India's foreign policy especially India-China relations, India's relations with SAARC countries and South East Asia.

Through close interaction with leading strategic thinkers, former members of the Indian Administrative Service, the Foreign Service and the three wings of the Armed Forces - the Indian Army, Indian Navy, and Indian Air Force, - the academic community as well as the media, the IPCS has contributed considerably to the strategic discourse in India.

 
Subscribe to Newswire | Site Map | IPCS Email
B 7/3 Lower Ground Floor, Safdarjung Enclave, New Delhi 110029, INDIA.
Tel: 91-11-4100 1900, 4165 2556, 4165 2557, 4165 2558, 4165 2559 Fax: (91-11) 41652560
Email:
© Copyright 2014, Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies.
        Web Design by http://www.indiainternets.com