Wendell_MinnickrevWendell Minnickvia Flickr

China’s maritime actions are enticing Vietnam to edge closer to the US, writes Wendell Minnick in Defense News. 

The United States is taking advantage of Vietnamese angst over Chinese arrests of Vietnamese fishermen, threats against multinational oil companies operating in Vietnamese waters, increased naval exercises and the establishment of a submarine base on Hainan Island.Beijing appears to have abandoned its “smile campaign” toward Southeast Asia; Vietnam is responding accordingly, said Richard Bitzinger, a regional defense analyst at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Singapore.

Tension between the countries is likely to rise, later in the year, writes Minnick:

The United States and Vietnam are to hold their first military-to-military talks in the final quarter of this year. Vietnam could agree to send officers to advanced education courses in the United States, said Carl Thayer, an expert on Vietnam at the Australian Defence Force Academy in Canberra.

More background here.
Wendell Minnick is a speaker at the China Speakers Bureau. Do you want to share his thoughts on China as a military power, please get in touch.

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