Vietnam: Upping the Stakes in the South China Sea

Issue & Policy Briefs June 22, 2011, No. 72

Recent controversies between Hanoi and Beijing in relation to the South China Sea suggest that tensions in the region are rising. Vietnam is displaying a new resolve in relation to Beijing. This indicates that China’s growing economic power is a concern for the Southeast Asian capitals, and that Hanoi is attempting to take the lead among ASEAN states in challenging Beijing in relation to the South China Sea. Development of the dispute is partly linked to the position of the U.S., who promises to remain a regional power but is unlikely to want to clash with China over the South China Sea.

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