What’s Behind Vietnam’s Anti-China Protests?

A motorist looks at charred vehicles burned by protesters at a fire and police station in Binh Thuan province, Vietnam, June 12, 2018 (AP photo).
A motorist looks at charred vehicles burned by protesters at a fire and police station in Binh Thuan province, Vietnam, June 12, 2018 (AP photo).
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Last month, nationwide protests laced with anti-Chinese sentiment erupted in Vietnam in response to the government’s plans to offer long-term foreign leases in three special economic zones. More than 100 people were arrested in the demonstrations, which once again exposed a fundamental challenge for the Communist Party of Vietnam in managing public opinion over its relationship with China. This is hardly a new issue for Vietnam. Its giant northern neighbor dominated it for nearly a millennium of imperial Chinese rule, and they have fought multiple wars in more recent centuries. Given that long, contested history, along with its proximity to […]

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