Secretary of State Clinton with Vietnam Foreign Minister Pham Binh

Minh, right, and Thailand Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul

at ASEAN-U.S. Ministerial Meeting in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, July 12.

The largely warm welcome for the 'U.S. return to Asia' is proving

rather disturbing to the Beijing authorities.



For Helping America Return to Asia, Vietnam will ‘Feel China's Pain’ (Huanqiu, People’s Republic of China)


Is Washington turning Vietnam against China by fanning the flames of their territorial dispute in the South China Sea? This strongly-worded editorial from China’s state-run Huanqiu warns Hanoi that it will suffer unless it reverses course, and that, ‘the only viable path for Vietnam is to coordinate with China to limit America’s strategic return to Asia.’




Translated By James Chen


July 18, 2012


People’s Republic of China – Huanqiu – Original Article (Chinese)

Defense Secretary Panetta with Vietnam Defense Minister General Phung Quang Thanh in Hanoi, June 4: What is Panetta doing meeting military leaders around the Asia Pacific? China thinks it knows - and is not pleased.


CHINA CENTRAL NEWS VIDEO [STATE-RUN]: Zhang Junshe, Senior Captain at the China Naval Research Institute, discusses how U.S.-Vietnam ties complicate the tug of war over territories in the South China Sea, June 3, 00:05:27RealVideo

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in Hanoi on Tuesday that the United States supports Vietnam's efforts to resolve the South China Sea issue, but also said that Vietnam needs to do more to protect human rights. She criticized Vietnam’s “continued detention of activists, lawyers, and bloggers, for the peaceful expression of opinions and ideas." A day earlier in Mongolia, she said, “We want people in Asian countries during the 21st century to be not only richer, but freer.”


Clinton's criticism and cajoling of the Vietnam authorities make the outlines of Vietnam’s developing strategic partnership with the United States quite clear. Bilateral relations between Hanoi and Washington are more like a marriage of convenience than a real partnership, and Vietnam will have to give up its current path of development if it wants to be able to count on U.S. support, turning ASEAN into another Philippines.

Posted by Worldmeets.US


Politically, Vietnam is like China in miniature, taking a gradual path to reform in order to achieve the highest possible rate of growth. Vietnam’s domestic political opposition is less active than China’s and has formed fewer ties to Western political elites.


However, the penetration of Western values is accelerating and will profoundly affect Vietnam’s emerging political landscape. Up to now, Vietnam has had little in the way of anti-government protests. The few that have occurred have most often been directed at China’s government rather than Vietnam’s. But that does not mean that the target of such demonstrations will not suddenly change.


The mainstream of Vietnam society generally favors China's model of development, and most people feel powerless in the face of the territorial disputes between the two countries. On the one hand, nationalist sentiment unifies Vietnamese society. On the other, it poisons political ties with China. Thanks to the growing nationalist mood, Vietnam is being pushed into the arms of America, which, while depicting itself as “protector” of Vietnam, also likes to politically reprimand Vietnam.


Vietnam is not a small country, with a population of 90 million. Subsequently, it seeks to maintain the strategic autonomy of a great nation. Since its independence from French colonialism, Vietnam has always required the support of big powers, lacking the capacity to deal with major crisis on its own.



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Hanoi would like to be vindicated in its choice of following China’s political model, but wants to use U.S. power as a counterweight to Chinese influence. For such a strategy to succeed, a balance must be struck between China, the U.S., and domestic political forces in Vietnam. Such a strategy cannot be sustained for long.


The only viable path for Vietnam is to coordinate with China to limit America’s strategic return to Asia. The territorial disputes between our two countries should not lead to outright hostility. Rather than being part of America’s strategy to contain China, Vietnam should become an Asian bulwark against U.S. interference in Asia.


Over the past two years, Hanoi, “kidnapped” by the territorial issue, has been a key party in facilitating America’s return to Asia. Hanoi must understand in no uncertain terms that the pressure Washington puts on China will fall on the head of Vietnam. If East Asia is overwhelmed by political turmoil, Vietnam will very likely be among its first victims



Huanqui, China: Confronting America Requires Wisdom and Stamina – Not Warships
Global Times, China: China Must Draw a Red Line Against U.S. 'Encirclement'
Global Times, China: Vietnamese Should Beware of U.S.' 'Suspicious Cozying Up'
Mainichi Shimbun, Japan: China 'Must Not Be Permitted' to Push Around Neighbors
Global Times, China: America ‘Disqualified’ as Global Human Rights Judge
Xinhua, China: Human Rights Record of the United States in 2011
Rodong Sinmun, North Korea: America by Far World’s Leading Human Rights Abuser
Yezhednevniy Zhurnal, Russia: Putin is Mistaken to Favor China Over the United States
Huanqiu, China: U.S. Should Keep its Nuclear Weapons Away from Koreas
Global Times, China: America ‘Disqualified’ as Global Human Rights Judge


China’s peaceful rise is the cornerstone of stability in Asia. During her speech in Mongolia on Monday, Clinton, without naming names, made a wonton attack on China's political system. This shows again that America’s “return to Asia” in not just military and economic, it entails a subtext of values as well.


Both China and Vietnam are already moving toward making their people not only richer, but more liberal as well. Hillary and her colleagues should save their slogans and instead prove to the world that they are able to lift the United States and the West out of the financial chaos created on Wall Street.


As America attempts to show its halo to the peoples of Asia, it certainly hopes that the Hanoi authorities have become its captives. Will Hanoi jump through the hoops designated by the United States?




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[Posted by Worldmeets.US July 18, 2:29am]


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