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How ‘big winner’ Vietnam walks the US-China rivalry diplomatic tightrope

This Week in AsiaPolitics

Amid US-China rivalry, ‘big winner’ Vietnam walks a diplomatic tightrope to avoid getting ‘caught in the crossfire’

Keeping both the US and China onside is becoming increasingly difficult for Vietnam as it elevates ties with Washington and eyes US armsAnalysts say Hanoi’s goals are largely economic, not political – but more meticulous planning may be needed if it’s ‘to have its cake and eat it too’VietnamMaria SiowPublished: 9:30am, 30 Sep, 2023Why you can trust SCMP

Vietnam has been making the most of the hardening geopolitical rivalry between its former mortal enemy and perennial northern neighbour.The United States and China both hosted Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh for high-level visits in recent weeks, as Vietnam has been profiting from increased trade with the world’s two largest economies – plus the spillover effects of their attempts to decouple.

Yet the Southeast Asian nation now risks being “caught in the crossfire” of intensifying US-China rivalry, analysts say, as despite “well-managed relations” that have allowed it to prosper and extract concessions from its top-two trading partners, its ever more precarious tightrope walk may eventually force it to pick sides.

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Joe Biden says US and Vietnam ‘deepening cooperation’

Joe Biden says US and Vietnam ‘deepening cooperation’Hanoi elevated its ties with Washington to what’s known as a comprehensive strategic partnership – the same level as its China relations – during a first-ever state visit to the country by US President Joe Biden last month. On a week-long return trip that also incorporated the 78th UN General Assembly in New York, Vietnam’s Chinh pushed for US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to support granting the communist country “market economy” status and help ease trade irritants such as anti-dumping duties.

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