The China Factor in U.S.-Vietnam Relations
CENTER FOR NAVAL ANALYSES ALEXANDRIA VA
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Bilateral relations between the United States and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam have evolved rapidly since ties were normalized in 1995. Memories of the war between the two countries have faded, while growing economic interactions and geopolitical developments are drawing the two countries closer together. The complex relationship both countries have with the People s Republic of China PRC has also served to strengthen U.S.-Vietnam ties. This paper examines the China factor in the relationship between the United States and Vietnam, and assesses the extent to which shared concerns over China drive and limit cooperation between the two countries. It begins with an overview of the current state of U.S.-Vietnam relations and looks at the numerous factors drawing the two nations closer together. It then examines China s importance to Vietnam as well as some of the sources of tension in their bilateral relationship that have led Hanoi to seek assistance and support from abroad. This paper concludes with an analysis of the likelihood of further U.S.-Vietnam cooperation, the possible forms that such cooperation may take, and the factors that may limit bilateral cooperation.
- Government and Political Science