Vietnam Looks for Help in Standing Up to Beijing in the South China Sea

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Vietnamese Defense Minister Ngo Xuan Lich at the Pentagon, Washington, Aug. 8, 2017 (AP photo by Andrew Harnik).
U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Vietnamese Defense Minister Ngo Xuan Lich at the Pentagon, Washington, Aug. 8, 2017 (AP photo by Andrew Harnik).
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Vietnamese Defense Minister Ngo Xuan Lich’s visit to Washington in early August was just the latest sign of the remarkable progress made in security ties between the United States and Vietnam over the past decade. But it also underscored the limits of how much Hanoi is willing to cozy up to Washington today, and how unconvinced it remains of the Trump administration’s commitment to Asia. The trip exemplified Hanoi’s multidirectional foreign policy, which rests on maintaining strong relations with many outside partners to avoid dominance by any one, and of how that strategy is evolving to face the growing threat […]

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