Tuong Lai

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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 »

Vietnam’s Overdue Alliance With America

Ours is a small country. We Vietnamese cannot and must not entrust our future to anyone, but we urgently need strategic allies at a moment in history when our priority is to defeat our present-day enemy: China.

China’s move in May, to place an offshore oil rig on the Vietnamese continental shelf, and its arrogant statements in June, at an Asian security summit meeting known as the Shangri-La Dialogue, exposed China’s sea piracy to the world. These developments should alarm anyone in Vietnam who still clings to the myth of brotherly love between our nation and China.

We cannot fight Chinese encroachment alone.…  Seguir leyendo »

Last month, Vietnamese courts imposed heavy sentences on two patriotic students in their early 20s who had been charged with “speaking ill of China.” These charges touched the most sensitive nerve in the nation’s psyche — our patriotism and spirit of nationalism — and publicly exposed the government’s shady collusion with foreign aggressors.

Vietnam’s greatest tragedy is that the illusion of a common socialist ideology has been used by the Vietnamese government as an excuse to allow Chinese expansionism to run rampant and to stifle democracy, censor and suppress information, and psychologically terrorize its citizens. Earlier this week, the police in Hanoi broke up an anti-China demonstration and sent the organizers to jail.…  Seguir leyendo »