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Vietnam must sign on to the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the United States-backed comprehensive trade plan. The agreement would allow Vietnam’s economy to become fully integrated with the rest of the industrialized world, and with that would come the prospect of further democratization at home.

Equally important, the T.P.P., which involves 12 Pacific countries but not China, would realign geopolitical relations in the region and help stave off China’s expansionism in the South China Sea — an important contribution to the United States’s strategic rebalancing toward Asia.

Vietnam has nearly 3,500 kilometers of coastline fronting the South China Sea, a body of water vital to international trade.…  Seguir leyendo »