Vietnam is fast emerging as an important middle power in Southeast Asia. It possesses substantial diplomatic, economic and defense resources that can make significant contributions to the goal of creating an ASEAN Community by 2015. At the same time, Vietnam faces formidable challenges and will have its work cut out for it in balancing relations between China and the U.S. Failure on any front could lead to a devaluing of Vietnam’s strategic role in regional affairs.

Strategic Posture Review: Vietnam

By , , Report

Contemporary Vietnam, officially known at the Socialist Republic of Vietnam (SRV), was formed in 1976 after a four-and-a-half decade armed struggle led by the Vietnam Communist Party (VCP) against French colonialism and U.S. intervention. When the war against France came to an end in 1954, Vietnam was partitioned, and North Vietnam became Southeast Asia’s first communist state, the Democratic Republic of Vietnam.

During the early years of the Democratic Republic, China was its chief provider of foreign assistance as well as its main model of development. For example, Vietnam carried out land reform in the mid-1950s and then reorganized the countryside into socialist agricultural producers’ cooperatives. ...

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