China’s higher military profile is pushing Vietnam into the influence sphere of the United States, even though they have been fighting a war against each other in the past, says Wendell Minnick, Asia bureau chief of Defense News in AOL News.
“There are still bumps in the road in U.S.-Vietnam relations,” Minnick wrote in an e-mail. “There are still legacy issues with the older leaders of Vietnam who fought in the Vietnam War and still harbor anger at the U.S.”
“But the opportunities for Vietnam greatly outnumber the negatives, and it’s clear that many in the Pentagon see China’s aggressive moves in the South China Sea as a plus for better ties with Vietnam,” Minnick said. “The old saying still holds true: ‘The enemy of my enemy is my friend.'”
Both Vietnam and the U.S. had run-ins with China in the South China Sea last year.