US-Vietnam-China

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US-Vietnam-China

ตั้งหัวข้อ  ฅนไท on Thu Aug 12, 2010 1:48 pm


American fighter jets prepare to take off from the USS George Washington,
cruising waters about 320 kilometers (200 miles) off Vietnam's central coast
in the South China Sea on Sunday, Aug. 8, 2010.

An American warship docked Tuesday in central Vietnam where the former foes planned to conduct naval training in a sign of growing military ties amid new warnings from China for the U.S. to stay out of its backyard.

The USS John S. McCain's port call comes as the U.S. and Vietnam celebrate 15 years of normalized diplomatic relations following a bloody war that remains an open wound for many veterans. The two governments, while ideologically different, have embraced on a number of issues, including a recent stance against China's territorial claims over the South China Sea.

China on Tuesday told the U.S. and South Korean navies to keep out of the Yellow Sea, where it claims exclusivity.

The allies have planned another round of joint military war games following last month's drills in the Sea of Japan, which China also criticized.

The brief Chinese Foreign Ministry statement said Beijing had repeatedly "expressed our clear and firm position" on any maneuvers in the Yellow Sea, a move that would theoretically put Beijing within range of the ship's F-18 warplanes.

"We urge the relevant parties to take China's position and concern seriously," the statement said.

On Sunday, the U.S. Navy hosted a delegation of Vietnamese military and government officials on the USS George Washington, a hulking nuclear-powered aircraft supercarrier cruising in waters off Vietnam's central coast. Chinese military ships were seen shadowing the carrier in the distance.

"These waters belong to nobody, yet belong to everybody," Capt. David Lausman, commanding officer of the George Washington, said Sunday aboard the mammoth carrier that can carry up to 70 aircraft, more than 5,000 sailors and aviators and about 4 million pounds (1.8 million kilograms) of bombs. "China has a right to operate here, as do we and as do every other country of the world."

The U.S. has ratcheted up its military presence in the region in recent weeks, conducting large-scale joint military exercises with ally South Korea last month as a show of solidarity following the sinking of a South Korean navy warship in March that killed 46 sailors. North Korea was blamed for torpedoing the Cheonan, but it has denied any involvement and has repeatedly threatened war if punished.

Vietnam has been particularly vocal about the South China Sea. The country has grown increasingly closer to the United States, from trade and commerce to negotiating a controversial deal to share civilian nuclear fuel and technology that could allow Vietnam to enrich uranium on its own soil.

The USS John S. McCain's weeklong visit will involve search and rescue trainings along with cultural exchanges between the two navies. The guided-missile destroyer docked Tuesday in central Danang, once the site of a bustling U.S. military base during the Vietnam War, which ended April 30, 1975.

Some 58,000 Americans and an estimated 3 million Vietnamese were killed during the war.

Relations have thrived since the former foes shook hands in 1995. The U.S. is Vietnam's top export market and Americans were the country's No. 1 foreign investor last year. Two-way trade reached $15.4 billion in 2009.

Military ties have also grown since the first U.S. warship ship visited Ho Chi Minh City in 2003, including high-level defense talks and training.

In a statement from Washington, Sen. John McCain — for whose Navy veteran grandfather and father the American warship is named — said that Vietnam has become one of America's "most important and most promising partners in the Asia-Pacific region."

"In time, I am confident that, together, our two countries will add to the security, the prosperity, and one day, I hope, to the freedom of all countries and peoples in the Asia-Pacific," he said.

From AP

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Re: US-Vietnam-China

ตั้งหัวข้อ  sunny on Thu Aug 12, 2010 9:22 pm


File Photo: US destroyer USS John S. McCain
Following plans of massive joint military drills with Seoul in China's near waters, the United States is prepared for a new demonstration of military ties with Vietnam on Thursday, amid warnings from Beijing for the US to keep away from the region.

The US destroyer USS John S. McCain docked on Tuesday in central Vietnam for a four-day exchange program with the Vietnamese navy.

"On the 12th we will have the first ever training exchanges with the Vietnamese navy on damage control, emergency repair and fire fighting," Mike Morley, the ship's public affairs officer, was quoted by AFP as saying.

On Sunday, the aircraft carrier USS George Washington, which is scheduled to take part in military exercises with Seoul in the Yellow Sea soon and hence put the Chinese capital in its striking range, already hosted a delegation of Vietnamese military in the South China Sea.

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Re: US-Vietnam-China

ตั้งหัวข้อ  sunny on Thu Aug 12, 2010 9:26 pm

US-Vietnam naval training is thought to target China.

One Vietnamese newspaper says the USS John S. McCain's comes to celebrate 15 years of normalized diplomatic relations between US and Vietnam. However, a report from RTT News says USS John S. McCain's will conduct an unprecedented joint military drill with Vietnamese Navy.

Meanwhile, BBC says the US 7th fleet calls this joint military drill “a series of naval training activities”, as it focuses on non-battle maneuvers.

Chinese military experts analyze that Vietnam probably intends to intensify the current complicated situation in South China Sea through such a military drill , or Vietnam should deliver friendly signals to China to balance influences caused by the drill.

News Agency AFP quotes the commander of the USS John S. McCain that the training maneuvers are planned several months ago. However, AFP points out that this naval training is conducted in the background of intense relation between China and Vietnam due to disputes on the South China Sea.

Analysis from BBC points out this naval training will undoubtedly provoke China, which has disputes on the South China Sea with Vietnam. It says Vietnam seems to take a risk. Meanwhile, through this naval training, US intends to make a signal that it still has control in this region.

South Korean media analyze the two foes in the Cold War era are now in the honeymoon, because Vietnam has disputes on the South China Sea with China while US tries to counteract China’s expansion in the South China Sea.

According to sources from Vietnam, the arrival of USS John S. McCain demonstrates strategic significance for Vietnam, as China’s expansion has worried Vietnam.

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Re: US-Vietnam-China

ตั้งหัวข้อ  sunny on Thu Aug 12, 2010 9:29 pm

US median's hard-line approach towards China

The Wall Street Journal quotes an article from a former US representative in the UN. The article says China develops nuclear missiles with full strength while US and Russia reduce strategic nuclear weapons. It also says China doesn’t stand on the US side in the issue of economic sanctions on Iran. It points out the Obama administration should make strong response to China’s hostility if US doesn’t want to indulge China’s wildness.

US Los Angeles Times points out China, Russia, Turkey and India prevent US and the Europe from posing economic sanctions on Iran.

Financial Times quotes an article form the executive director from the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, saying the biggest problem US policy makers face now is how to protect US-led international orders from challenges of newly rising countries, especially China. The article says conflicts between China and US mostly focus on issues of regional waters, especial the South China Sea. The article points out the Obama administration lacks a “ strategic route map”. US needs to establish new geological relations and alliance in order that US-led orders are not destroyed by China.

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Re: US-Vietnam-China

ตั้งหัวข้อ  sunny on Thu Aug 12, 2010 9:30 pm

Vietnam intends to contain China with the help of US?

In recent years, Vietnam has expressed its tough stance on territorial issues in the South China Sea. Some Vietnamese officials and scholars write articles explaining strategic significance for the reefs occupied by Vietnam. International media think Vietnam is trying to internationalize and multilateralize disputes on the South China Sea and intends to contain China with the help of US.

According to Chinese experts, China expresses its wish of cooperation while it maintain its rights and interests in issues of South China Sea.

They point out Vietnam is playing a role of intensifying confrontation between China and US, as the relation between the two countries is getting more intense. They think Vietnam is taking a risk.

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Re: US-Vietnam-China

ตั้งหัวข้อ  sunny on Thu Aug 12, 2010 9:36 pm

No room for US to go its own way in the South China Sea

Last month, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the ASEAN annual forum suggested an international mechanism to solve the South China Sea issue, hinting at US involvement.

However, some members of ASEAN understand US cannot provide more help except military and security. They rely more on China in economy and trade.

Philippine Foreign Secretary Alberto Romulo on Monday told Washington to keep out of the regional issue, which also indicates this concern.

A Malaysian expert points out US cannot interfere in regional affairs without scruple. If so, US could make only troubles.

According to Chinese scholars, Southeast Asian countries have their vigilance in face of US inference in the issue of the South China Sea, which indicates there is no room for US to go its own way in this region.

Is US-Vietnam joint naval drill a dangerous game?

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Re: US-Vietnam-China

ตั้งหัวข้อ  sunny on Sat Aug 21, 2010 9:41 pm

What is Target of U.S.-Vietnam defense talk?


Deputy Minister of Defense, Lieutenant General Nguyen Chi Vinh.

Former foes Vietnam and the United States held their first ever defense talks on Tuesday.

"I was struck by the open and frank discussions that we were able to have even though this is the first time that this dialogue was held," Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Robert Scher told a joint news conference with Vietnamese Vice Defense Minister Nguyen Chi Vinh.

The talks came as the two countries celebrate the 15th anniversary of their normalization of relations after being enemies in the Vietnam War. Last week, an American warship, the USS John S. McCain, docked in Vietnam and the two navies conducted training exercises — a sign of growing military ties.


USS John S. McCain vessel landed at Tien Sa Port, Da Nang City on August 10.

The historical talk between America and Vietnam came just one day after the release of annual Chinese military strength made by Pentagon. Despite U.S. uses softened words in report this year, it highlights Chinese navy's growing presence in the South China Sea.

Agence France Presse analyzes the warming in U.S.-Vietnam military ties reflects America's unease over China's increased military might, which prompts active exchanges between Washington and Hanoi.

Vietnam denies the enhanced military cooperation with America aims at China. Nguyen Chi Vinh said, “This cooperation does not do harm to the interests of any other country.” He also expressed Vienam's goodwill to China in the news conference saying China's development benefits and secures its neighbors.

Although defense officials of America and Vietnam shied away from talking about their "concerns" on China in the news conference, do you think the U.S.-Vietnam defense talk is still targeting China?

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Re: US-Vietnam-China

ตั้งหัวข้อ  hacksecrets on Sat Aug 28, 2010 10:08 pm

Shifting Vietnam remains a partner, not a rival, to China
By Su Hao

Vietnam has been moving closer to the US recently, and conflicts between China and Vietnam in the South China Sea are moving from potential problems into serious ones.

As it grows its economy, Vietnam is looking for maritime interests for future development.

In order to strengthen its role in South China Sea and gain the power to bargain with China, Vietnam is in dire need of an external power that can offer support. The US is the best source. By chance, the US has been adjusting its strategy to strengthen the containment of China in Asia.

But we cannot simply define Vietnam as a nation that is confronting China due to its current pro-US tilt in foreign policy. As neighboring countries, China and Vietnam have built a strategic partnership and the bilateral relation is running on a sound base.

We should make full use of this sound foundation to enhance and promote the bilateral relations within a framework of friendly cooperation.

Facing a Vietnam leaning toward the US, we should try our best to rebalance its position. A Vietnam balanced between China and the US would be in China's ultimate interests.

In the past, we assumed that China and Vietnam could stand together to handle issues with the US because of our similar political systems. However, the reality contradicts with the assumption.

Although the US often criticizes Vietnam over problems of political democracy and human rights, it is not a big obstacle in US-Vietnam relations, and cannot prevent strategic coordination and cooperation between the two countries.

Vietnam has close economic ties with China. However, business conflicts go along with cooperation. In trade between China and Vietnam, one serious problem is that Vietnam has the unfavorable trade balance.

Vietnam attributes its slow economic recovery and development to the abundant cheap goods imported from China, and criticizes China for dumping goods into its market. In order to cater to increasing public demand and support construction, it has to import consumer and capital goods from aboard. And the best supplier is China.

There are structural contradictions between China and Vietnam. We should try our best to mitigate them and emphasize mutual needs.

One of the key issues in the national strategy of Vietnam is to gain the leadership of ASEAN by promoting regional integration within the organization. This is a basic strategic choice of it.

From the perspective of regional cooperation, Vietnam needs China, since China plays a prominent role in the process of ASEAN regional integration, and without China's support and coordination, the integration process will be very difficult to implement.

And from a security perspective, in addition to the traditional maritime sovereignty dispute, there are many other complex security issues that concern both China and Vietnam, such as non-traditional security issues.

Although the US is conducting military exercises with Vietnam in the name of maritime disaster relief at present, if there were a disaster at sea, the real and urgent help provided to Vietnam would be from China, not the US.

What's more, Vietnam faces the same challenges of drought and flood as China does. We could spare our attention to aid it at the same time solving our own problems.

Vietnam is an agricultural country and the second largest rice exporter in the world. Nevertheless, its agriculture is relatively underdeveloped.

As another agricultural country, China could provide valuable expertise in intensive cultivation to Vietnam. Cooperation with Vietnam in this aspect could be strengthened.

Vietnam's strategic thinking is based on challenging China, but has to depend on China out of real demands, which resulted in its ambiguous and contorted diplomatic attitude toward China. We should try to weaken the confrontation from other aspects.

The South China Sea dispute between China and the Vietnam is still manageable, and unlikely to lead to the breakdown of bilateral relations.

As the largest interested party and the most influential country in the dispute, as long as China keep calm, take the initiative and stick to the established policies to deal with the issue, the dispute will not grow beyond our control.

Su Hao is a professor of diplomacy in China Foreign Affair University

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Re: US-Vietnam-China

ตั้งหัวข้อ  hacksecrets on Fri Sep 03, 2010 11:25 pm


A soldier holds a rifle in front of a giant image of the late Vietnam's founder Ho Chi Minh during National Day celebrations in Hanoi on September 1. (Photo: Reuters)

Vietnam's Complicated Relationship with the US
By RICHARD S EHRLICH / ASIA SENTINEL

HO CHI MINH CITY — Cheap facsimiles of $100 bills waft in the tropical breeze, littering Ho Chi Minh City's sidewalks with Benjamin Franklin's face. Elsewhere in Vietnam, US President Richard M. Nixon has become a gritty fashion icon, giving politicized street cred to "urban wear" clothes.

Thirty-five years ago, victorious Communist North Vietnam's troops fought their way into South Vietnam's southern port of Saigon and renamed it Ho Chi Minh City to honor their dead, charismatic, wispy-bearded leader. Ho's ubiquitous portrait, however, now competes with symbols of America, one of his worst enemies. Today, on the chaotic streets of Ho Chi Minh City and the northern capital Hanoi, virtually anything linked to the US is prized, including iPhones, Pepsi, and made-in-Vietnam Converse shoes.

In short, it appeared during a recent visit to Ho Chi Minh City, on Vietnam's streets as well as its ministries, it is engaged in a forked relationship with the United States that can't just be described as love-hate. It appears more complicated than that. Three and a half decades years after the war ended, both countries are still trying to come to terms with the other. Despite Vietnam's feverish adoption of the US's cultural symbols, other American political landmarks—a free and unfettered press, universal suffrage—remain too difficult for the one-time Communist regime.

London-based Amnesty International and other organizations criticize Vietnam for an array of human rights violations. Last September, the Committee to Protect Journalists cited Vietnam for continuing interference and arrests of Web-based journalists and political bloggers. Reporters remain in jail for reporting on corruption and political harassment. Wary of allowing too much American-style freedom, the one-party government heavily censors the Internet and is now targeting online games.

"Game designers will be instructed to produce healthy online games relating to history and cultural traditions," the Vietnam News Service reported in August, outlining new measures issued by the Information and Communications Ministry.

Since diplomatic relations were established in 1995, “bilateral ties have expanded to the point where leaders on both sides describe each other as partners on a number of issues,” according to a study for the US Congressional Research Service by Mark E. Manyin that was published in July, eclipsing the horrors meted out by the Americans from 1965 to 1975. Those are now enshrined in museums that display grim evidence, weaponry, and portraits of devastated Vietnamese from a time when US soldiers called their burnt napalm victims "crispy critters."

"They decide on a water torture," says the caption of a black-and-white news photograph in The War Remnants Museum which documents five American soldiers, including one pouring a canteen onto a horizontal victim's cloth-covered head. "A rag is placed over the man's face and water is poured on it, making breathing impossible. Members of the 1st Air Cavalry use water torture on a prisoner in 1968."

Outdoors sit captured US weaponry including an F-5A jet fighter, A-37 light attack aircraft, M-41 tank, a UH-1H Huey and a CH-47 Chinook helicopter, alongside other pieces. The museum's gift shop sells what looks like US soldiers' metal identification "dog tags" including one issued to B. P. McKenna, serial number B407854 USN, a Protestant with A-Positive blood.

Vietnamese forgers have made a fortune reproducing the tags and selling them to tourists since the 1990s, so it is difficult to determine their authenticity. Genuine or not, their sale at The War Remnants Museum, and at the nearby Ho Chi Minh Museum, symbolizes how Vietnam regards booty linked to the US military's defeat.

Around the corner from The War Remnants Museum, however, a shop boldly calls itself The Death, and showcases Goth-themed shoes, dresses and handbags, indicating a younger generation's different attitude toward the West. The Death shop's sign on Le Quy Don street, in inexplicable broken English, reads: "bitchy me passion over you."

Within sight of Death's door is the former South Vietnamese President's Palace—now Reunification Palace—where the war's final showdown occurred. But that US failure to protect an ally is largely ignored by today's Vietnamese who eagerly watch Hollywood's newest films, subtitled in Vietnamese, including "Inception" at the MegaStar Cineplex in Hanoi, and "Salt" playing at Ho Chi Minh City's Dong Da theater.

While an increasing number of Americans now refer to "Vietnam" as shorthand for the US military's confusion, quagmire and countless killing of innocent people in Afghanistan, the one-party regime in Hanoi is looking toward Washington to improve commercial, cultural and military ties.

Today, the US buys most of Vietnam's exports, and Americans are the biggest investors in the country. In 2009, two-way trade topped more than US $15 billion.

Whatever the rhetoric emanating from the war museum, Vietnam continues to seek a closer embrace, having applied for acceptance into the US General System of Preferences, participating in negotiations for a bilateral investment treaty with the US and working towards membership in the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership, a trade group the US is also considering joining.

And, 15 years after the two countries normalized relations, they conducted joint naval exercises in the strategic South China Sea for a week during August. In what has to be considered a symbolic gesture for both countries the destroyer USS John S. McCain, named for the father of the 2008 Presidential candidate who spent five-and-a-half years in a Hanoi prison after his plane was shot down over North Vietnam, was also allowed to dock in central Vietnam's former US-occupied port of Danang.

America is influencing Vietnam in other ways.

"Many students like to learn English, and it is the number one foreign language which we want to know, so that we can get a good job and progress," said Tu, a young waitress at a new but empty middle-class restaurant. "The second favorite language for young Vietnamese is Japanese, but it is too difficult," she said.

Many Vietnamese, meanwhile, worship dead ancestors by performing a Chinese-influenced ritual of burning small, paper, look-alike items—such as tissue-thin dollhouses, clothing patterns and other symbolic necessities. Believers say the smoke rises to heaven, where deceased family members can grab the goods to make life easier in the afterworld.

In recent years, many Vietnamese have chosen locally-printed facsimiles of $100 US currency notes, sold in funeral shops. The practice is so popular that unburnt fake $100 bills, apparently blown away during spontaneous curbside rituals, occasionally appear underfoot on sidewalks, amid other debris.

The late, disgraced President Nixon is also wedged into modern Vietnam's pop culture. Step inside Mai's, a trendy gallery on Dong Khoi street—which links the colonial French-built Catholic Notre-Dame Cathedral and the Opera House. Designer Mai Lam offered a new, bulky, olive green US army overcoat with a large embroidered American flag on its back, partially obscured by the vividly stitched face of Mr. Nixon wearing a black suit and tie while speaking into a microphone, angry and defiant. Price: $3,500.

"Her much celebrated vintage US army flak jackets, beautified for urban wear with embroidered Buddhas and embellished with precious stones [are] a poignant healing symbolism for someone who has suffered during the war," Mai's Facebook page said. Other distressed fashions bear a portrait of Ho Chi Minh.

Richard S Ehrlich is a Bangkok-based journalist who has reported news from Asia since 1978. His web page is http://www.asia-correspondent.110mb.com

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