Second session of the Vietnamese National Assembly to begin

The second meeting of Vietnam’s 15th National Assembly will convene today. The main agenda for today’s meeting will be Vietnam’s

Vietnam national assembly

Photo: Reuters

The second meeting of Vietnam’s 15th National Assembly will convene today.

The main agenda for today’s meeting will be Vietnam’s foreign policy strategy. Attendees are expected to discuss the future Hanoi’s ambiguous place amidst the rising US-China tensions in the Asia-Pacific. Due to Hanoi’s geopolitical importance, both Washington and Beijing want to pull Hanoi closer towards their them at the detriment of their contemporary. During the twenty-two-day sitting, Vietnamese legislators will debate the pros and cons of Hanoi’s potential partnership with either side.

During the short- to medium-term, Beijing will push to secure an exclusive maritime deal with Hanoi to avert Washington’s growing influence in the region. Hanoi in turn, will remain rather hesitant due to its concern over Beijing’s military aircraft undertakings in the disputed Spratyl islands. On the other hand, due to Washington’s shared concern regarding Beijing’s infringing naval expeditions, expect Hanoi to learn more towards a maritime cooperation with Washington. In this context, Washington is prepared to assist Hanoi’s maritime technology as a long-term check to Beijing’s regional ambitions. This will appeal to Hanoi as Washington will also help Hanoi claim valuable natural gas fields in the South China Sea that are also claimed by Beijing.

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