Vietnam’s Balancing between US and ChinaPosted: October 22, 2016
SCMP says in its report “Chinese navy ships make first port call at Vietnam’s Cam Ranh Bay amid South China Sea dispute” that weeks after two US warships’ first port call at Vietnam’s Cam Ranh Bay since normalization of relations between Vietnam and the US, three Chinese navy ships will make first port call at that strategic port of Vietnam.
Though SCMP exaggerates the tension between China and Vietnam due to their disputes over the South China Sea, it reflects in the report that the visit is official and quite friendly.
Like the Philippines, Vietnam has tried to seek US help in the disputes. However, the US has failed to give its ally the Philippines any meaningful support in enforcing an arbitration ruling entirely favorable to the Philippines. Disappointed, the Philippines has switched to China’s side. That makes Vietnam realize that it had better make balancing efforts between China and the US so that it may benefit from its close economic relations with China while getting some support and advanced weapons from the US to enable it to have better bargaining power in dealing with China.
Comment by Chan Kai Yee on SCMP’s report, full text of which can be found at http://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy-defence/article/2038971/chinese-navy-ships-make-first-port-call-vietnams-cam