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Strategic Insights 59 - Vietnam's strategic trajectory: from internal development to external engagement

By Le Hong Hiep

This paper by Le Hong Hiep analyses Vietnam’s strategic trajectory over the past two decades, with an emphasis on its relations with China and the US, its policies on the South China Sea dispute, and the implications for regional players.

The paper provides an overview of the rationales and mechanisms of Vietnam’s strategic policymaking. It then goes on to examine Vietnam’s relationships with China and the US, and examine the country’s position on the South China Sea dispute, in general as well as in relation to growing Chinese assertiveness.

Finally the paper discusses the implications of Vietnam’s strategic policy for the international community in general and Australia in particular.