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VietnamontheRoadtoGlobalIntegration: ForgingStrategicPartnershipsThrough InternationalSecurityCooperation

CarlyleA.Thayer

PapertoInternationalRelationsPanel FourthVietnamStudiesConference VietnamAcademyofSocialSciencesand VietnamNationalUniversity Hanoi,November2630,2012

VietnamontheRoadtoGlobalIntegration: ForgingStrategicPartnershipsThroughInternationalSecurityCooperation
Carlyle A. Thayer1 [in Proceedings of the 4th International Vietnamese Studies Conference]

Introduction
In1991theSeventhNationalCongressoftheVietnamCommunistParty(VCP)calledfor Vietnam to diversify and multilateralise economic relations with all countries and economic organizations... and become the friend of all countries in the world community,andstruggleforpeace,independenceanddevelopment.Inthemorethan twodecadessince1991Vietnamhasachievednotablesuccessinachievingthesegoals. Most foreign commentary has focused on Vietnams economic integration with the global economy and the development of Vietnams bilateral political relations with former foes. Little attention has been focused on the interrelationship between the economic and political goals, on the one hand, the defence and security goals on the other. ThispaperfocusesonthenewhierarchyinVietnamsforeignrelationsembodiedinthe termsstrategicpartnershipandstrategiccooperativepartnership.Particularattentionis paid to developments after the Eleventh National Party Congress held in 2011. The Eleventh Congress set the goal of expanding Vietnams international defence and securitycooperationasoneofitsmajorobjectives. Thepaperisdividedintotwopartsandaconclusion.Partoneconsiderstheeightstates that have already been classified as strategic partners: the Russian Federation (2001), Japan(2006),India(2007)PeoplesRepublicofChina(2008),RepublicofKorea(2009), Spain(2009),UnitedKingdom(2010)andGermany(2011).2Eachofthesecasestudies provides a brief overview of bilateral relations leading to the formal declaration of a strategic partnership, the main components of the strategic partnership, and defence cooperation. Part two examines the cases of three countries with whom Vietnam has comprehensive relations but has not yet formally established strategic partnerships Australia,theUnitedStatesandFrance.

Emeritus Professor, The University of New South Wales at the Australian Defence Force Academy, Canberra.Email:c.thayer@adfa.edu.au.RevisedJanuary30,2013.
2Vietnamhastwoothermorerestrictedstrategicpartnerships,onewiththeNetherlandsonclimate

changeadaptationandwatermanagement(October2010),andtheotherwithDenmarkonglobalclimate change,energy,environmentandgreeneconomicgrowth(November2012).OnJanuary21,2013,after thispaperwaspresented,VietnamandItalybecameformalstrategicpartners.

PartI.TheNewHierarchyinVietnamsForeignRelations
RussianFederation
FromStrategicPartnershiptoComprehensiveStrategicPartnership ThefoundationforVietnamscurrentstrategicpartnershipwiththeRussianFederation is based on their close bilateral relations since they exchanged diplomatic relations in 1950,andmoreparticularly,after1954whentheDemocraticRepublicofVietnamwas established in North Vietnam. Vietnam and the Soviet Union formed an alliance in all but name in November 1978 when they agreed to a twentyfive year Treaty of FriendshipandCooperation.3 TheSovietUnioncollapsedinlate1991andrelationswentintothedoldrums.In1994 the two sides reset their relationship on a more equal footing by signing a Treaty on PrinciplesofFriendlyRelations.ImportantdevelopmentstookplaceinAugust1998with thesigningofaJointStatementandinSeptember2000withanagreementtostepup cooperation between enterprises, and to promote economic, scientific, technical and cultural cooperation between Vietnamese provinces and their Russian counterparts. The most important bilateral mechanism is the decadesold VietnamRussia Inter governmental Committee for Economic, Commercial, Scientific and Technical Co operationwhichmeetsregularlytoreviewprogressandlayoutfuturecooperation. WhentheSovietUnioncollapsedin1991MoscowpressedVietnamforarepaymentof debtstotalingUS$1.7billion.Relationswerestrainedfornearlynineyearsasaresultof hagglingovertheconversionrateforVietnamsrubledebt.InSeptember2000,Vietnam finallyagreedtoacquititsdebtsoveratwentythreeyearperiodthroughacombination of hard currency payments, goods and services, and investment in joint enterprises. BilateralrelationswerefurtherstrainedwhenVietnampressedRussiatopayanannual rent of US $300 million for continued access to Cam Ranh Bay. Russia declined and withdrew. Once the debt issue was settled Moscow and Hanoi raised their relationship to a strategicpartnershipinMarch2001ontheoccasionofPresidentVladimirPutinsvisitto Vietnam.Thisagreementsetoutbroadrangingcooperationincludingthedevelopment of economiccommercial, scientifictechnical and investment ties, Russian support for thedevelopmentofVietnamsenergysectorandcooperationinchemistry,mechanical engineering, metallurgy electronics, agriculture, communications, science and technology,culture,andeducation.Article8providedformilitarycooperation;itstated, The two parties will strengthen their cooperation in military supplies to meet Vietnam'sandRussia'ssecuritydemandsandnottoopposeanythirdcountry. Since 2001, bilateral relations have been constrained by the poor state of the Russian
3

For background see: Ramesh Thakur and Carlyle A. Thayer, Soviet Relations with India and Vietnam, 19451992(Delhi:OxfordUniversityPress,1993).

economy. Prior to 2008 the strategic partnership had very thin underpinnings.4 Since then Russia has regained political stability and its economy has been bolstered by the development of vast oil and gas reserves. Russia now seeks to exploit the market opportunitiesinfastgrowingVietnamandthetransportlinksbetweenVietnamandthe RussianFarEast.Inbrief,thebearisback. There are eight major components of the strategic partnership: politicaldiplomatic, military equipment and technology, oil and gas cooperation, energy cooperation for hydroandnuclearpower,tradeandinvestment,scienceandtechnology,educationand training,andcultureandtourism. PoliticalDiplomatic. Political calculations play a role for both countries. Russias economic recovery has emboldened it to play a larger role in AsiaPacific affairs. Vietnam has acted as a bridge in Russias dialogue relations with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and a facilitator of Russian membership in the Asia EuropeMeetingprocessaswellasEastAsiaForum.Thetwocountriesexchangedvisits bystatepresidentsin2010. OilandGasCooperation.In1981,VietnamandRussiaformedVietsovpetro,anoiland gasjointventure.Cooperationinthisareahassteadilyexpandedtoincludeexploration, exploitation,transportandprocessingofoilandnaturalgas.Vietsovpetrohasexpanded its operations from southern Vietnams continental shelf to the Gulf of Tonkin and to Russia itself. Vietsovpetro has been Russias most profitable enterprise and the joint venture has been extended to 2030. Further, Vietnam and Russia have agreed to facilitatetheoperationsofotherjointventuressuchasRusvietpetro,Gazpromvietand Vietgazprom to expand oil and gas exploration and exploitation activities to third countries. Other Energy Cooperation. Russia also cooperates with Vietnam in building up Vietnams coal mining and hydroelectricity sectors. Russian equipment and specialists are involved in a number of hydroelectric projects in southern and central Vietnam. RussiahasagreedtogiveVietnamasoftloanofUS$10.5billiontobuilditsfirstnuclear powerplant,NinhThuan1. OnJuly27,2012,PresidentTruongTanSangmetwithhisRussiancounterpartPresident Vladimir Putin in the resort city of Sochi. The two leaders issued a Joint Statement raising their relations to a comprehensive strategic partnership. The Joint Statement upheld the status quo in the South China Sea by reiterating that territorial disputes should be resolved by peaceful means without the use of force or the threat to use forcebasedoninternationallawincludingtheUnitedNationsConventiononLawofthe Sea. Both also agreed to include regional security on the agenda of the East Asia Summit.
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ForaVietnameseoverviewconsult:VuDinhHoeandNguyenHoangGiap,HoptacchienluocVietNga: Nhungquandiem,thuctrangvatrienvong(Hanoi:NhaXuatBanChinhTriQuocGia,2008);.

EconomicRelations.PriortothecollapseoftheSovietUnion,Moscowprovidedmassive assistancetoVietnamincludingover300projectsandenterprises(mining,construction, agriculture, cash crops, chemical industry etc.). These projects and enterprises were built with Sovietmanufactured equipment and parts. This legacy has provided a basis for revived commercial cooperation especially Russias provision of spare parts and technical advice on modernization. Trade and investment are both growing but the overall figures are modest. Bilateral trade reached US $1.8 billion in 2009 with VietnameseexportsaccountingforUS$415million. In 2011, twoway trade grew slightly to US $2 billion. Both sides expect that twoway tradewillgrowto$5billionin2015and$10billionin2020.Russiarankstwentythirdon thetableofcountriesandterritoriesinvestinginVietnam. Negotiations are underway for a free trade agreement in goods, services and investmentwiththeRussia,BelarusandKazakhstanCustomsUnion.Russiancompanies are reluctant to accept letters of credit from Vietnam and many tariff and nontariff barrierswillhavetoberemoved. SecurityCooperation Military Equipment and Technology. Russian arms sales to Vietnam are perhaps the largest and most significant component of the strategic partnership. Vietnam's armed forcesaredependentonSovieterasparepartsandequipmentinsuchkeyareasas:air force, navy, armour and antiaircraft defence. Between 1993 and 2001 Russia sold to Vietnam Su27SK and Su27UB Flanker jet aircraft, four radars, two missile attack corvettes,andothermilitaryequipment. Since 2008, the Vietnam Peoples Army (VPA) navy has taken delivery of two Gepard class guided missile frigates and four Svetlyakclass fast patrol boats. The navy also procured forty Yakhont/SSN26 and some four hundred Kh35 Uran/SSN25 antiship missiles. The Yakhonts are the export versions of Onik and are part of the Bastion coastal defence system. VPA airdefences force took delivery of two batteries of S 300PMU1 surfacetoair systems, two hundred 9M311/SA19 Grison surface to air missiles,fourKolchnyaairdefencesearchradarsandthreeVERApassiveradiolocators. In 201012, the air force acquired twenty Su30MK2V combat aircraft armed with Kh 59MKantishipcruisemissiles;italsoprocuredonehundredR73(AA11Archer)short rangeairtoairmissiles.ThearmytookdeliveryoftwobatteriesoftheK300PBastion coastaldefencemissiles. TodaytheRussianFederationremainsVietnamslargestproviderofbigticketmilitary equipment and technology. Notable future acquisitions include six Kiloclass conventionalfastattacksubmarines(SSK),Vietnamslargestarmsprocurementpackage fromRussia.In2008,VietnamandRussiareachedanagreementinprincipleonthesale six Project 636M Kiloclass submarines. During 2008 Vietnams defense minister and state president made separate visits to Moscow to clinch the deal. In 2009 Russian industrysourceswentpublic.OnApril24,VladimirAleksandrov,thegeneraldirectorof

AdmiralteiskieVerfi(AdmiraltyShipyard)inSt.Petersburg,announcedthathiscompany had been identified to execute a contract for six Improved Kiloclass Project 636 submarines.ThesubmarineswerepricedatUS$300350millionperunitorUS$1.82.1 billionintotal. TheformalcontracttopurchasethesixKiloswassignedinMoscowbytheRussianarms exporter, Rosoboronexport, and the Vietnamese Ministry of National Defense in December 2009. The signing was witnessed by President Vladimir Putin and Prime MinisterNguyenTanDung.AdmiraltyShipyardsbeganconstructionofthesubmarines withthefirstkeellayingceremonyonAugust24,2010.ThefirstKilowaslaunchedon August28,2012andthesecondonDecember28,2012.Bothareschduledfordeliverey toVietnaminAugust2013. The Kilos will likely be armed with heavy torpedoes (5356 or TEST 76) and antiship missiles (3M54E or 3M54E1). In July 2011, Russian industry sources confirmed that Vietnam will take delivery of the Novator KlubS (SSN27) antiship cruise missile, an advancedcapabilitywitharangeofaround300km.VietnamsDefenceMinistersaidin August2011thatheexpectstodeployamodernsubmarinefleetby20162017. TheRussiaVietnamsubmarinecontractalsoincludedprovisionsforinadditiontothe delivery of the six submarines crew training and the construction of an onshore maintenancefacility.InMarch2010,VietnamformallyrequestedRussianassistancein constructingasubmarineservicingfacilitiesatCamRanhBay.ThistotalcostoftheKilo purchase is now estimated at US$3.2 billion due to the costs of procuring armaments andtheconstructionofserviceandmaintenancefacilitiesatCamRanhBay.Russiaand VietnamplantocoproduceantishipcruisemissilesandVietnamisexpectedtoorder moreSu30Sukhoimultirolejetfighters. In October 2012, Senior Lt. Gen. Do Ba Ty, VPA Chief of the General Staff and Deputy MinisterofNationalDefencemadeanofficialvisittoRussiafordiscussionswithGeneral Makarov Egorovich, his counterpart. The two sides agreed to enhance cooperation in professionalmilitaryeducationandmilitarytechnology. Vietnam prefers a multipolar world as it seeks to develop relations with all the major powers. Developing a comprehensive strategic partnership with Russia is part of this largerstrategy.RussiadoesnotseektobalanceagainsttheUnitedStatessomuchasre establishitselfasamajorplayerintheAsiaPacific.

Japan
StrategicPartnership Japan and Vietnam formally established diplomatic relations on September 21, 1973. Vietnams bilateral relations with Japan rapidly evolved over the period 200406. In 2004 their foreign ministers agreed to a Joint Statement Toward a Higher Sphere of EnduringPartnership.Twoyearslater,onOctober19,2006,PrimeMinistersShinzoAbe andNguyenTanDungissuedaJointStatementTowardaStrategicPartnershipforPeace

and Prosperity in Asia.5 This document was comparatively modest and called for frequent highlevel visits, exchanges of views, and the establishment of a ministerial levelJointCooperationCommittee(JCC).TheJCCmetforthefirsttimeinMay2007. HighLevelVisits.PrimeMinisterAbepaidareciprocalvisittoHanoiinNovember2006. InNovember2007PresidentNguyenMinhTrietbecamethefirstVietnamesepresident to make an official visit to Japan. Triet held discussions with Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda.TheyissuedaJointStatementthatincludedafortyfourpointAgendaTowarda StrategicPartnershipbetweenJapanandVietnam.TheAgendawasdividedintoseven substantive areas of cooperation: exchanges, cooperation in policy dialogue, security and defence; comprehensive economic partnership; improvement of the legal system and administrative reforms; science and technology; climate change, environment, natural resources and technology; mutual understanding between the peoples of the twocountries;andcooperationintheinternationalarena. Point 4 of the Agenda addressed defence exchanges; it noted that the Politico Military/MilitaryMilitary Dialogues had promoted defence exchanges including staff talks and cooperation military education. The Agenda stated, the two sides express their willingness to further promote the defense relations by continued exchanges of militarydelegations,includinghighleveldefenceofficialsvisitsandnavalgoodwillvisits bytheJapanMaritimeSelfDefenseForce. On July 26, 2008 Japanese Foreign Minister Komura Masahiko attended the 2nd VietnamJapanJCCmeetinginHanoi. InApril2009,VCPSecretaryGeneralNongDucManhundertookafourdaytriptoJapan where he met with Prime Minister Taro Aso. The two leaders reaffirmed their commitment to the October 2006 declaration Towards the Strategic Partnership for Peace and Prosperity in Asia and the December 2007 Cooperation Programme TowardstheStrategicPartnershipbetweenVietnamandJapan.Itwasagreedthatthe JointCooperationCommitteewouldmeetannually.Thetwoleadersalsoagreedtohold a Strategic Partnership Dialogue at deputy foreign minister level and exchanges on securityanddefencebyseniorofficials.6 The VietnamJapan JCC held its third meeting in Tokyo on January 17, 2010. Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Gia Khiem was hosted by Foreign Minister KatsuyaOkada.Theagendaincludedstrengtheningeconomic,culturalandscienceand
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Foraconciseoverviewconsult:TsuboiYoshiharu,JapanVietnamStrategicPartnership,Papertothe 4th International Vietnamese Studies Conference, cosponsored by the Vietnam Academy of Social SciencesandVietnamNationalUniversity,Hanoi,Vietnam,November2630,2012.
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TakayukiOgasawara,TheProspectsforaStrategicPartnershipBetweenJapanandVietnam.AJISS Commentary,No.124,June16,2011,2.AJISSisaanacronymfortheAssociationofJapaneseInstitutesof StrategicStudies.

technology relations and cooperation in multilateral venues such as the Asia Pacific EconomicCooperationforum. PrimeMinisterNguyenTanDungmadeathreedayworkingvisittoTokyoinMay2009. Prime Minister Dung returned to Japan in late Octoberearly November 2011 on an official visit. He met with Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and the two issued a Joint StatementontheActionPlanundertheStrategicPartnershipforPeaceandProsperity inAsia.Thetwoprimeministersagreedtoconducthighlevelvisitsonanannualbasis, doubletwowaytradeby2020,andenhancecooperationinthefieldsofenergy,natural resourcesandclimatechange. In January 2013,newly reelectedPrime Minister Shinzo Abevisited Vietnamfirst in a threenation swing through Southeast Asia. Abe and Prime Minister Dung reiterated theiroppositiontochangingthestatusquointheSouthChinaSeabyforceandagreed todeepenbilateralsecuritycooperation.PrimeMinisterAbealsopledged$500million inloanstoVietnamtofinanceinfrastructureandconstructthermalpowerplants. EconomicRelations.JapanVietnamtwowaytradegrewsteadilyfromUS$8.5billionin 2005, US $10 billion in 2006, US $12 billion in 2007, to US $17 billion 2008. Trade slumpedduringtheGlobalFinancialCrisistoUS$12.2billionin2009beforerisingtoUS $16 billion in 2010. In 2009 Japan was Vietnams second largest trade partner after ChinaandsecondlargestimporteraftertheUnitedStates. Japan is the largest contributor of development assistance to Vietnam. In Fiscal Year 2009 Japan contributed US $1.56 billion. Japan was also the third largest investor in VietnamwithatotalregisteredcapitalofUS$16billioninvestedin735projects. InMay2008,JapanpledgedtoassistVietnamincarryingoutitsnuclearenergystrategy includingdraftingaLawonNuclearPoweranddevelopingitsfirstnuclearpowerplant. InDecember2008,VietnamandJapansignedtheVietnamJapanEconomicPartnership Agreement covering goods, services, investment, business environment improvement, labourandtechnicalcooperation.DiscussionsontheagreementbeganinJanuary2007 andwerecompletedinOctober2008afterninerounds. SecurityCooperation HighLevel Visits. The Chief of Staff of the Japan Ground SelfDefense Force, General TsutomiMori,visitedHanoionMarch6,2007fordiscussionswithhiscounterpart,the Chief of the VPA General Staff Lt. General Pham Hong Loi. The two sides discussed cooperation in exchanges of delegations, maritime salvage, search and rescue, and trainingininformationtechnology JapansDeputyDefenceMinisterNobuoKishivisitedHanoiinMay2009fordiscussions withDeputyMinisterforNationalDefenceLt.Gen.NguyenChiVinh.Thebilateraltalks focused regional security issues, bilateral defence cooperation, exchanges of military delegations,andsearchandrescueanddisasterrelief.InJanuary2010,JapansDeputy

Defence Minister Kimito Nakae held discussions with his counterpart, Lt. Gen. Nguyen ChiVinhinHanoi. JapansDefenseMinisterToshimiKitazawapaidanofficialthreedayvisittoVietnamin October 2010 coincident with the 1st Strategic Partnership Dialogue at deputy foreign minister level (see below) and the inaugural meeting of the ASEAN Defence Ministers MeetingPlus(ADMMPlus). OnSeptember15,2011,duringavisittoHanoibyGeneralShigeruIwasaki,ChiefofStaff oftheJapanAirSelfDefenseForce,JapanandVietnamagreedtocooperateintraining and exchanges in military aviation with a focus on air defence. General Iwasaki was hosted by Lt. Gen. Nguyen Quoc Khanh, Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the VietnamPeoplesArmy. In late September 2011, Deputy Minister for National Defence, Lt. Gen. Nguyen Chi Vinh, attended the 3rd JapanASEAN Deputy Defence Ministerial Meeting in Tokyo. General Vinh held bilateral discussions with his counterpart Deputy Defence Minister KimitoNakaeonthesidelinesofthismeeting. Vietnam Minister of National Defence, General Phung Quang Thanh, paid an official visit to Japan from October 2328, 2011 for a meeting with his counterpart Defense MinisterYasuoIchikawa.ChineseassertivenessintheSouthChinaSeawashighonthe agenda.ThetwoministerssignedaMemorandumofUnderstanding(MOU)toenhance defence cooperation including holding regular defence talks at deputy minister level, reciprocal ministerial visits, and exchanges between the JSDF and the VPA, and cooperationinhumanitarianassistanceanddisasterrelief(HA/DR).InNovember2011 Japan and Vietnam agreed to hold defence talks at deputy defence minister level. Agreement was reached during the fourday to Japan visit by Prime Minister Nguyen TanDunghostedbyPrimeMinisterYoshihikoNoda. In May 2012, General Shigeru Iwasaki, Chief of the Joint Staff of Japans SelfDefense Force visited Hanoi for discussions with General Do Ba Ty, VPA Chief of Staff. Their agenda included: promotingnationaldefencerelations,exchangesof highlevelvisits, hosting national defence policy dialogues, personnel training, information technology, militarymedicine,counterterrorism,andHA/DR. DefenceDialogue.JapanandVietnamheldtheir5thDiplomaticandDefenceDialogueat seniorofficiallevelinTokyoinNovember2008.InApril2010,JapanandVietnamheld their6thDiplomaticandDefenceDialogueatseniorofficiallevelinHanoi. In December 2010, Japan and Vietnam held their 1st Strategic Partnership Dialogue in Hanoi.JapansDeputyForeignMinisterKoroBessshowashostedbyhiscounterpart,Ho XuanSon.The2ndStrategicPartnershipDialoguewasheldinTokyoinDecember2011. NavalShipVisits.OnJanuary23,2007,JapanandVietnamconductedajointsearchand rescueoperationoffthecoastofDaNangincentralVietnam.JapanCoastGuardPatrol

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VesselYashimaPLH22participatedintheexerciseandpaidafourdayvisittoDaNang. Theexerciseinvolvedasimulatedrescueatseabyshipsandhelicopters.RearAdmiral Osanai, Deputy Director of the Japan Coast Guard, represented Japan while Lt. Gen. NguyenDucSoat,DeputyChairmanoftheNationalCommitteeforSearchandRescue, representedVietnam. ThreeJMSDFdestroyers,Yamayuki,MasuyukiandHamayuki,madeafivedaygoodwill visittoHoChiMinhCityfromMarch37,2008.

India7
StrategicPartnership Vietnams diplomatic relations with India date to the 1950s when India established Consulate General in Hanoi in 1954 and Vietnam opened a Consulate General in New Delhi(1956).FulldiplomaticrelationswereestablishedonJanuary7,1972.Since1982, India and Vietnam have managed their bilateral relations under the umbrella of the JointCommitteeforEconomic,Cultural,ScientificandTechnologicalCooperation.8The JointCommissiondrawsupanActionPlaneverythreeyears.Amajorstepupinbilateral relationstookplaceinMay2003whenthetwogovernmentsissuedaJointDeclaration onTheComprehensiveCooperationFrameworkbetweenIndiaandVietnam. InJuly2007,PrimeMinisterNguyenTanDungmadehissecondofficialvisittoIndiafor discussionswithhiscounterpart.Thetwoprimeministersconductedanindepthreview oftheirbilateralrelationswithaviewtodeepeningtheirpartnership.Theresultwasthe adoption of a 33point IndiaVietnam Joint Declaration on Strategic Partnership in November 2007. The Joint Declaration on Strategic Partnership mapped out cooperation in five major areas: political, defence and security cooperation; closer economic cooperation and commercial engagement; science and technology cooperation, cultural and technical cooperation and multilateral and regional cooperation. Economic Relations. Twoway trade between India and Vietnam rose from US $2.68 billionin2010toUS$3.9billionin2011.Bothsideshavesetthegoalofraisingtwoway trade to US $7 billion by 2015. Indian companies have invested a total of US $868 million. Of this amount, US $400 million is invested in Vietnams oil and gas sector, includingUS$225millionbyONGCVidesh(OVL)inblocksintheSouthChinaSea. HighLevelVisits.InNovember2008,PresidentPratibhaDevisighPatilpaidastatevisit to Vietnam and was received by President Nguyen Minh Triet. The two presidents agreed to enhance their strategic partnership by increasing cooperation in politics, 7Forbackgroundsee:RameshThakurandCarlyleA.Thayer,SovietRelationswithIndiaandVietnam, 19451992(Delhi:OxfordUniversityPress,1993).
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ThefourteenthmeetingoftheJointCommissionwasheldinHanoiin2009.

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economics, trade, investment, agriculture, information technology, health care, education,securityandnationaldefence. PresidentTruongTanSanpaidareturnvisittoIndiafromOctober1113,2011.Atthe conclusionofdiscussionsthetwopresidentsissuedaJointStatementthatnotedthere stillremainsconsiderablepotentialforcooperationandagreedtostronglyenhancethe comprehensivestrategicpartnershipbetweenthetwocountriesbasedonthekeypillars of politics, defence, security, economic, cultural and H.R.D. [human resource development] cooperation. During President Sangs meeting with Defence Secretary ShashiKantSharmaandMinisterofStateforDefencePallamRajuherequestedIndian assistance in four areas: submarine training, pilot conversion training to fly the Su30, modernization of Nha Trang port, and the transfer of mediumsized warships. Indian defence officials reaffirmed that India would continue to assist Vietnam in military training,humanresourcedevelopmentandinformationsharing. SecurityCooperation Political, DefenceandSecurityCooperation.TheNovember2007JointDeclarationon StrategicPartnershipsetoutsixareasforpolitical,defenceandsecuritycooperation: First, India and Vietnam agreed to inaugurate a Strategic Dialogue at vice ministerial betweentheirforeignministries.Priortothedeclarationonstrategicpartnership,India and Vietnam conducted their bilateral relations through the IndiaVietnam Joint CommissionandtheIndiaVietnamForeignOfficeConsultations. Second, the two sides agreed to continue the existing institutional frameworks for cooperation with a future emphasis on defence supplies, joint projects, training cooperationandintelligenceexchanges. Third, the two sides agreed to enhance contacts and exchange visits between their defenceandsecurityestablishments. Fourth, in light of shared maritime interests, the two sides agreed to enhance cooperationincapacitybuilding,technicalassistanceandinformationsharingbetween relevant agencies with a particular attention to security of sea lanes, antipiracy, preventionofpollution,andsearchandrescue. Fifth, the two sides resolved to strengthen bilateral cooperation to combat terrorism andtopromotecooperationincybersecurity.Sixth,thetwosidesagreedtocooperate to address nontraditional security issues including drug trafficking, natural disasters, climatechange,energysecurity,HIV/AIDS,avianinfluenzaandotherepidemics HighLevel Visits. On December 17, 2007 defense cooperation was stepped up as a resultofthevisitbyDefenseMinisterA.K.AnthonytoHanoi.MinisterAnthonymethis counterpart, General Phung Quang Thanh. The two ministers agreed to a MOU on defencecooperationcoveringnationaldefence,navy,airdefenceandtraining.Anthony announced India would transfer 5,000 spare parts to assist Vietnam in maintaining its

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PetyaclassshipsandthatIndiawouldsendateamtoVietnamtoassistintrainingfor UNpeacekeepingoperations.IndiaalsohasassistedVietnamdevelopitsantisubmarine warfare capabilities and provided professional military education and training to Vietnamese defence personnel. In September 2009, a total of fortynine Vietnamese officers attended courses sponsored by the Indian Navy and Army, and sixtyfour VietnameseattendedEnglishlanguagecourses. OnFebruary26,2008,AdmiralSureeshMehta,ChiefoftheArmyStaffCommittee,held discussions in Hanoi with Senior Lt. Gen. Nguyen Khac Nghien, Chief of Staff of the VietnamPeoplesArmy. In October 2009, a defence delegation let by Lt. Gen. Nguyen Thinh, head of the Defence Research Centre, visited India for discussions with the Defence Research and Development Organisation. General Thinh reportedly was interested in technical assistance in producing cruise missiles. In November 2009, Defence Minister General PhungQuangThanhvisitedIndia. Lt.Gen.PhamHongLoi,VPADeputyChiefofStaffhostedthevisitbytheChiefofthe IndianArmy,GeneralVijayKumarSinghtoHanoifromJuly2629,2010.GeneralSinghs agenda included cooperation in reciprocal language training, humanitarian assistance, searchandrescue,andsharingofexperiencesinUnitedNationspeacekeepingmissions. ThiswasthefirstvisitbyIndiasArmyChiefinfifteenyears. Defense Minister A. K. Anthony returned to Hanoi in 2010 to attend the inaugural meetingoftheADMMPlusheldinOctober.Duringhisvisitheheldbilateraldiscussions withhiscounterpart,GeneralThanh.ThetwoministersagreedtoimplementaMOUon defence cooperation including exchange visits, joint training in mountain and jungle warfare, naval ship repair and maintenance, and search and rescue. India agreed to assist Vietnam in training its forces for UN peacekeeping, establish a foreign language centre, and exchange information on their navies and air forces. Vietnam offered to providefacilitiestorepair,maintainandfuelIndiannavalships. Inmid2011ViceAdmiralNguyenVanHien,ChiefofNavalStaff,madeavisittoIndiato solicit assistance in constructing naval ships. Press reports indicated that private shipyards would be awarded contracts to produce Offshore Patrol Vessels and Fast Attack Craft. Hien received assurances that India would continue to train Vietnamese naval personnel and help Vietnam maintain Russian equipment. India also agreed in principle to sell Vietnam Brahmos antiship missiles and possibly Privthi surface to surface missiles.9 In September 2011, at the 14th meeting of the IndiaVietnam Joint Commission, External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh agreed to give greater content to bilateral relations in defence and security,
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SauravJha,Vietnam,IndiaBoostNavalTiestoCounterChina,WorldPolicyReview,July29,2012,38 39.

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including a Vietnamese request for Indian assistance in training naval crews for its futureKiloclasssubmarines. Defence Strategy Dialogue. On October 15, 2009, India and Vietnam held their 1st DefenceStrategyDialogueand4thPoliticalConsultativeMeetinginNewDelhiatdeputy foreign minister level. The two deputy minister discussed cooperation in political relations,economics,trade,investment,credit,oilandgas,scienceandtechnology,IT, communication,nationalsecurity,educationandculture. IndiaandVietnamheldtheir2ndDefenceStrategyDialogueand5thPoliticalConsultation in Hanoi in August 2011. The agenda included political relations, economics, trade, investment, culture and education, national defence and security, and training in advancedtechnologyandhumanresources. IndiaandVietnamheldtheir3rdDefenceStrategyDialogueatdeputydefenceminister level from November 2729, 2007. Deputy Defence Minister Vijay Singh hosted Senior Lt.Gen.NguyenHuyHieu.Thetwosidesdiscussedexperiencesincombatingterrorism, maritimesecurity,bordermanagementandcontrol,andtheincreasingroleofthestate andpoliticalandsocialorganizationsinsecurityaffairs.IndiaandVietnamheldtheir4th DefenceStrategyDialogueonOctober10,2008andtheir5thDefenceStrategyDialogue atdeputydefenceministerlevelinNewDelhifromJune2325,2010. The6thIndiaVietnamDefenceStrategyDialogueatdeputydefenceministerlevelwas held in Hanoi on September 14, 2011. Agreement was reached on continuing to exchange delegations and information, training and information technology. They also discussedmeasurestoboostcooperationbetweentheirnavies,airforces,infantryand defence industries. The most recent IndiaVietnam Defence Strategy Dialogue, the seventh, was held in New Delhi on September 28, 2012. Vietnam will host the 8th DefenceStrategyDialoguein2013. Naval Port Visits. Between 20082012, Indian naval ships made five goodwill visits to Vietnam.ThefirstvisittookplaceinApril2008whenIndiannavalships,INS Koraand INSKirpan,calledinatHaiphong.TheIndianshipswereledbyViceAdmiralR.P.Suthan, Flag Officer Commanding the Indian Eastern Naval command. Admiral Suthan was received by the VPA Deputy Chief of Staff, General Tran Quang Khue. A year later, in April 2009, two Indian naval ships made the second goodwill visit; INS Ranvir and INS Mumbai, paid a friendship visit to Haiphong. In MayJune 2010, two Indian ships, INS KulishandINSJyoti,madeathirdportvisittoHaiphong.InMay2011,twoIndiannaval shipsundertookthefourthvisit;INSDelhiandINSKirch,paidaportcalltoHoChiMinh CityledbyRearAdmiralH.C.S.Bisht,FlagOfficerCommandingtheEasternFleet.OnJuly 19,2011theINSAiravatcalledinatNhaTrangbeforeproceedingtoHaiphong(July25 28) for Indias fifth ship visit. In May 2012, two India naval ships, INS Shivalik and INS Karmuk,madethesixthfriendshipvisittoHaiphong,whiletheINSSudarshini,atraining ship,calledinatDaNanginlateDecember2012earlyJanuary2013.

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India and Vietnam have convergent security interests not the least of which is to maximizetheirroomformaneuverindealingwithChinaandothermajorpowerswithin theirrespectiveregions,SouthAsiaandSoutheastAsia.IndiasrelationswithVietnam, aswithotherSoutheastAsianstates,providesabasisforalargerIndianroleinEastAsia ifnotglobally.VietnamsrelationswithIndiaenhanceitsdrivetoavoiddependencyon anyonemajorexternalpower.Bothsharemutualbenefitsinthedefenserelationship. Indiassaleofarms,equipmentandsparesenhanceVietnamsabilitytomodernizeits armedforcesandavoidcompletedependencyonRussia.

PeoplesRepublicofChina
FromStrategicPartnershiptoStrategicCooperativePartnership InMarch1999,asummitmeetingoftheleadersoftheChineseCommunistParty(CCP) andtheVCPadoptedasixteencharacterguidelinecallingforlongterm,stable,future orientated, goodneighborly and allround cooperative relations. In 2000, a summit meetingofstatepresidentsfromChinaandVietnamcodifiedtheirbilateralrelationsin aJointStatementforComprehensiveCooperationintheNewCentury.Thisdocument hasservedastheframeworkforlongtermstatetostaterelationsuptothepresent. In2006,inamajordevelopment,VietnamandChinasetupaJointSteeringCommittee on Bilateral Cooperation at deputy prime ministerial level to coordinate all aspects of their relationship. The Steering Committee meets on an annual basis alternating betweencapitalcities.10 In June 2008, following another summit of party leaders in Beijing, bilateral relations wereofficiallyraisedtothatofstrategicpartners,andayearlaterthiswasupgradedto a strategic cooperative partnership. As strategic partners China and Vietnam have developed a dense network of party, state, defence and multilateral mechanisms to managetheirbilateralrelations. Vietnam and China hold irregular summit meetings of their party leaders. These meetingsprovidetheopportunityforwiderangingdiscussionsandanimpetusforthe resolution of various outstanding issues. Partytoparty relations are cemented by the frequent exchange of party delegations from Central Committee Departments, administrative units, and specialists on socialist ideology. The VCP and CCP have also conductedaseriesofseminarsonideology. Partytoparty ties form an integral part of the bilateral relationship and provide a conduit of interaction unique to relations between socialist states. For example, in February 2011, immediately after Eleventh VCP National Congress, the new Secretary General, Nguyen Phu Trong, dispatched a special envoy, Hoang Binh Quan, to Beijing. QuanmetwithHuJintao,PresidentandGeneralSecretaryoftheCCP,andbriefedhim
10

ThefirstmeetingwasheldinNovember2006,thesecondinJanuary2008,thethirdinMarch2009and thefourthinJuneJuly2010.

15

ontheoutcomeofthepartycongress.QuanalsoextendedaninvitationtoHuandother ChinesepartyandstateleaderstovisitVietnam.Inreturn,Huextendedaninvitationto SecretaryGeneralTrongtovisitChina.11IndeferencetoChina,andinlightofChinese assertivenessintheSouthChinaSea,Trongmadethefirstvisit. InOctober2011,VCPSecretaryGeneralNguyenPhuTrongvisitedBeijingfordiscussions with his counterpart Hu Jintao. The Joint Statement issued after their discussions includedaparagraphonsteppedupdefencecooperationthatread: Fourthly,topromoteindepthcooperationbetweenthetwoarmies,increasecontact betweenhighrankingarmyleadersofthetwocountries;continuetoorganisegood strategic dialogues at deputy ministerial level; accelerate the establishment of a direct telephone line between the two defence ministries; increase cooperation in personneltrainingandexchangesbetweenjuniorofficers;conducttrialjointpatrols alongthelandborderataconvenienttime;continuetoholdjointnavalpatrolsinthe Gulf of Tonkin; increase cooperation in such fields as mutual visits by the two countriesnavalships.12 VCPPolitburomemberandSecretaryoftheVCPCentralCommittee,ToHuyRua,paid anofficialvisittoChinafromFebruary1420,2012attheinvitationoftheCCPCentral Committee. Rua held talks with Li Yuanchao, Politburo member and head of the CCP OrganisationDepartment,onpersonnelwork,cadretrainingandplanning.Theyagreed to step up cooperation between their two party Organisation Departments and share experience in human resource training to further strengthen the VietnamChina comprehensivepartnership.RuaalsometwithLeChangchun,permanentmemberof theCCPPolitburo. Statetostate relations are structured through the Joint Steering Committee. On September6,2011,ChinaandVietnamheldthefifthannualmeetingoftheirbilateral Joint Steering Committee in Hanoi. China was represented by State Councillor Dai BingguowhometwithhiscounterpartDeputyPrimeMinisterNguyenThienNhan. InDecember2011,VicePresidentXiJinpingmadeanofficialvisittoHanoiandmetwith allofVietnamstoppartyandstateleaders.Xisvisitwasprimarilyagettoknowyou visit as he is widely viewed as Hu Jintaos heir apparent. It was later revealed that Xi warnedeachoftheseniorVietnameseleaderswhomhemettokeep[their]distance fromtheUnitedStatesonthesensitiveissueofterritorialdisputesintheSouthChina Sea.13
11 12

ChinesepresidentvowstofurthertieswithVietnam,Xinhua,18February2011andChinasHuJintao invitesNguyenPhoTrong,VoiceofVietnamNews,19February2011. TuyenbochunghainuocVietNamvaTrungQuoc,VietnamNewsAgency,October15,2011,point 4(iv).


13

Kyodo,ChinawarnsVietnamnottocozyuptoU.S.onS.ChinaSeaissue:sources,Mainichi,January 21,2012

16

In February 2012, Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh made a fourday official visit to China for discussions with his counterpart Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi. The two ministersreviewedbilateralrelationsinallareasofcooperationanddiscussedmeasures to enhance their comprehensive strategic partnership in the future. Minh held a working session with Wang Jiarui, head of the CCP Central Committees International Liaison Department, to promote relations between the VCP and CCP. Minh was also accorded meetings with Zhou Yongkang, member of the CCP Politburo Standing CommitteeandStateCouncillorDaiBingguo. InSeptember2012,PresidentsTruongTanSangandHuJintaometonthesidelinesof the20thAPECSummitinVladivostok.Alsothatsamemonth,PrimeMinisterNguyenTan Dung and Vice Premier Xi Jinping took the opportunity of their attendance at the 9th ASEANChina Expo and the ChinaASEAN BusinessInvestment Summit in Nanning, Guangxitomeet.XiremarkedthatDungsattendanceshowthattheVietnameseParty andStateattachimportancetostrengtheningthecomprehensivestrategicpartnership between Vietnam and China. Xi also stressed, the Chinese Party, State and people attach great importance to the relations with Vietnam and are ready together with Vietnamtodeepentheircomprehensivestrategicpartnership.DunginvitedXitovisit Vietnamaftertheconclusionofthe18thNationalCongressoftheCCP. EconomicRelations.ChinaisnowVietnamslargesttradingpartnerwithtwowaytrade estimated at $36.9 billion in November 2012. China supplies Vietnam with machinery, refined oil and steel. In return, Vietnam supplies China with unrefined oil, coal and rubber. The single most important issue in the trade relationship is the imbalance in Chinasfavor.In2007,Vietnamhadatradegapof$9.1billionwithChina.Thisfigurehas continuedtorise.14Vietnamstradedeficitreached$11.6billionin2008,$11.1billionin 2009and$12.6billionin2010and$14.5billioninNovember2012. Chinastradesurplushasfiguredateveryhighlevelsummitinrecentyears.Partyand state leaders agree that efforts should be made to make it more balanced. But how? The structure of Vietnamese exports had changed little over the years and no major changeisexpectedinthefuture.Vietnamesedomesticmanufacturerscannotproduce quality goods that are competitive in the Chinese market place. Restricting Chinese importsisnotaviableoption. VietnamsmassivetradedeficitwithChinamustbeplacedinthecontextofVietnams current trade deficit of $19 billion with the rest of the world (2009). Vietnam needs continued access to markets in the United States where it has a $13.1 billion surplus (2011). VietnameseleadershavecalledforincreasedChineseinvestmenttomitigatethetrade imbalance.AlthoughChinahasresponded,thetotalamountofinvestment($3billion)is modestwhencomparedtootherforeigninvestors.BuiHongPhuc,formerAmbassador
14

PhamHuyen,VietnamdizzywithtradegapwithChina,VietNamNetBridge,December29,2010.

17

toChina,hassuggestedencouragingChinesebusinessmentosetupaproductionbase inVietnamtolowertheamountofimportsfromChina.15

15

PhamHuyen,InvitingChinesemanufacturerstoVietamWhynot?,VietNamNetBridge,February15, 2011.

DefenceCooperation

18

There are three major components to Vietnams security cooperation with China: exchange of highlevel visits, strategic defence and security dialogues, and naval port visits.ThissectionreviewsChinaandVietnamdefencecooperationsince2008. HighlevelVisits.VietnamsDefenseMinisterGeneralPhungQuangThanhvisitedChina in April 2010. In October 2010, the Chinas defence minister General Minister Liang Guanglie attended the inaugural ADMM Plus meeting in Hanoi. China agreed to join Vietnam as cochair of the ADMM Plus Expert Working Group on Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief. The Political Commissar of the VPA Navy, Tran Thanh Huyen,visitedBeijinginNovember2010.16 InApril2011,SeniorLieutenantGeneralGuoBoxiong,vicechairmanofChinasCentral Military Commission, visited Hanoi at the invitation of General Phung Quang Thanh, MinisterofNationalDefence.Lt.Gen.GuowasalsoreceivedbyPrimeMinisterNguyen Tan Dung and party Secretary General Nguyen Phu Trong. Prime Minister Dung proposedthetwosidestalkandseekfundamentalandlonglastingmeasuresthatboth sides are able to accept for the East Sea [South China Sea] issue17 The joint press communiquissuedaftertheconclusionofGuosvisitoutlinedanumberofcooperative military activities, including increasing the scope of joint naval patrols in the Gulf of Tonkin,butnomentionwasmadeoftheSouthChinaSea.18 InJune2011theChineseandVietnamesedefenceministersmetonthesidelinesofthe ShangrilaDialogueinSingaporeanddiscussedSouthChinaSeaissues. From September 1419, 2011, China hosted a visit by General Ngo Xuan Lich, head of the VPAs General Political Department and member of the Central Military Party Committee.19GeneralLichhelddiscussionswithhiscounterpart,LiJinai,whowasalsoa member of Chinas Central Military Commission. Their meeting focused on developing ties between the two militaries. Significantly General Lich was also received by Vice President Xi Jinping, the vice chairman of the Central Military Commission20 and heir apparenttothepostofstatepresidentontheretirementofHuJintaoin2013.
16

China,VietnamNeedtoEnhanceCooperation:SeniorChineseMilitaryOfficer,Xinhua,November23, 2010.
17 18

PartyLeadersMeetingwithChineseGeneral,VietnamNewsAgency,14April2011.

LiQiong,China,VietnamIssueJointPressCommuniquonCMCViceChairmanGuoBoxiongsVisitto Vietnam,Xinhua,17April2011.
19

DoancanbochinhtriquansucapcaonuoctathamTrungQuoc,VietnamTV,September18,2011 and Zhous Feng, Chinese defence official holds talks with Vietnamese counterpart, PLA Daily, September16,2011.
20

Pho chu tich Trung Quoc tiep doan quan su cap cao Viet Nam, Thanh Nien Online, September 18, 2011; Chinese vice president eyes enhanced relations with Vietnam, Xinhua, Beijing, September 16, 2011 and China, Vietnam pledge to enhance ties amid row in S China sea, Press Trust of India, September17,2011.

19

In October 2011, Defence Minister General Phung Quang Thanh accompanied party SecretaryGeneralNguyenPhuTrongtoBeijing(seeabove).GeneralThanhmetwithhis counterpart, Senior Lt. General Liang Guanglie, to review their bilateral defence relations.Theynotedthatsince2003thetwosidessignedfivedocumentsthatprovided thelegalbasisfordefencecooperationandrelationsbetweenthePLAandVPAhave become a pillar of the comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership between the twopartiesandstates.Theyalsoagreedthattheirtwoarmiesshouldexerciserestraint andcautioninspeechandactiontoavoidescalatingthe[SouthChinaSea]issue In April 2012, Senior Lt. Gen. Do Ba Ty, Deputy Minister of National Defence and VPA Chief of Staff, led a highlevel delegation to China at the invitation of Senior Lt. Gen. Chen Bingde, PLA Chief of Staff, to discuss future defence cooperation activities. General Ty proposed opening direct communication between their two defence ministries and effectively using the existing direct line between their two navies. The two generals noted that bilateral defence relations have become a pillar of the comprehensivestrategicpartnershipbetweenChinaandVietnam.GeneralTywasalso received by Vice president Xi Jinping; both are members of their countrys respective CentralMilitaryCommissions.Finally,GeneralTyvisitedtheShanghaiNavalBase(East SeaFleet)andShanghaiGarrison. Strategic Defence and Security Dialogues. Vietnam and China held their first Strategic Defence and Security Dialogue in Hanoi on November 27, 2010.21 Vietnam was representedbyDeputyDefenceMinisterLt.Gen.NguyenChiVinhwhohostedSeniorLt. Gen. Ma Xiaotian, PLA Deputy Chief of the General Staff. At the conclusion of the meeting both sides agreed to increase cooperation between their navies and border guards,promotemilitaryscienceresearchandtraining.Theyalsoagreedtosetupahot linebetweentheirrespectivedefenceministries.22 ChinaandVietnamheldtheir2ndStrategicDefenceandSecurityDialogueinBeijingon August28,2011underthecochairmanshipofSeniorLt.Gen.MaandLt.Gen.Vinh.The two deputy ministers reached agreement to accelerate cooperation in exchanging delegations, the early establishment of a defence hot line, and the expansion of both short and longterm training. Both also agreed to step up the dissemination of informationamongtheirarmedforcestoreinforcetraditionalfriendshipandpractical cooperation for mutual benefit. General Ma also agreed to share experience in UN peacekeepingwithVietnam. ThethirdVietnamChinastrategicdefencedialoguetookplaceinHanoionSeptember3, 2012underthechairmanshipofVietnameseDeputyMinisterofDefense,SeniorLt.Gen.
21

ChinaVietnamboostdefencecooperation.VoiceofVietnamNews,November28,2010;Vietnamese party, army senior officials meet with Chinese military delegation, Xinhua, November 28, 2010; and DefenceofficialsmeetindialoguewithChina,VietNamNews,November292010.
22

VietnamNewsAgency,ChinaVietnamboostdefencecooperation,VoiceofVietnamNews,November 28,2010.

20

Vinh,andChineseSeniorLieutenantGeneralMa.AccordingtoVoiceofVietnamNews (September3,2012): Duringthedialogue,bothsidesdiscussedregionalandglobalissuesthataffecttheir respectivecountriesnationalsecurityanddefence,aswellasplotsbyhostileforces thatthreatentheirrevolutionarycauses. Theyalsodiscussedmeasurestoboostmutualunderstandingandpromotedefence tiestoreaffirmthefinetraditionalrelationshipbetweenVietnamandChina,despite thedisputeintheEastSea,anddispeldistortedargumentsthatthreatenthe relationshipbetweenthetwocountries. Joint Naval Patrols and Port Visits. In November 1991, as Vietnam and China were normalizingtheirpoliticalrelations,aPeoplesLiberationArmyNavy(PLAN)JiangweiII guided missile frigate made the first visit by a Chinese warship to a Vietnamese port sinceunificationin1975.ThefrigatevisitedHoChiMinhCity.Nofurtherportcallswere madeuntilNovember2008.Subsequently,PLANshipshavemadegoodwillportvisitsin August2009,December2010,andApril2012.InJanuary2013,threePLANshipstwo guidedmissilefrigatesandareplenishmentshipstoppedinHoChiMinhcityforafive daygoodwillvisitaftercompletingtheirdeploymenttotheGulfofAden. In 2000, Vietnam and China reached agreement to delimit the Gulf of Tonkin and on fisheries.InApril2006,thenaviesofbothcountriescommencedjointpatrolsintheGulf ofTonkinandthirteenpatrolshavebeenconductedbetweenthenandJune2012.23The mostrecentjointpatrolsalsoincludedaSearchandRescueExercise(SAREX)between China and Vietnam and antipiracy exercises. In June 2009, in an historic first, two Vietnamese naval ships made a visit to Zhanjiang port in Guangdong province in Southwestern China. After the eleventh joint patrol was concluded, the Vietnamese shipspaidavisittoZhanjiang,Guangdong,VietnamssecondeverportcalltoChina.24

RepublicofKorea
StrategicCooperativePartnership Vietnam and the Republic of Korea established diplomatic relations on December 22, 1992.Seventeenyearslater,PresidentsNguyenMinhTrietandLeeMyungbakmetin Hanoi and agreed to raise their Comprehensive Partnership in the 21t Century to a Strategic Cooperative Partnership.25 The two presidents committed themselves to
23

MargieMason,VietnamandChinaholdjointnavalpatrolamidspat,AssociatedPress,June21,2011 andAgenceFrancePresse,China,VietnamholdjointseapatrolsneardisputedSpratlys,June23,2011. ChinaandVietnamhavealsoconductedsevenjointfisherypatrolsbetween2007andApril2012


24

VietnamesenavalshipsonfriendlyvisittoChina,QuanDoiNhanDanOnline,June22,2011;China, VietnamengageinJointnavalpatrols,PeoplesDailyOnline,June22,2011andVietnamesenavalships wrapupvisittoChina,QuanDoiNhanDanOnline,June27,2011.


25

Foranoverviewofthestrategiccooperativepartnership(doitachoptacchienluoc)see:NguyenHoang Giap, Nguyen Thi Que and Nguyen Van Duong, Quan he Viet NamHan Quoc Tu Nam 1992 Den Nay va TrienVongPhatTrienDenNam2020(Hanoi:NhaXuatBanChinhTriQuocGia,2011),62126.

21

stepping up contacts and visits by high and seniorlevel officials and to establish a strategicdialoguemechanismatdeputyforeignministerlevel.Thetwopresidentsalso identifiedthefollowingkeyareasforbilateralcooperation:politicsandsecurity,judicial and consular relations, economics, trade, investment, development cooperation, scienceandtechnology,environmentandcultureandeducation.Finally,itwasagreed tosetupajointworkinggrouptostudythepossibilityofaRepublicofKoreaVietnam FreeTradeAgreement. HighLevel Visits. President Truong Tan Sang paid an official visit to South Korea from November810,2011.Afterdiscussionswithhiscounterpart,PresidentLeeMyungbak, the two leaders issued a Joint Statement that promoted cooperation in the development of Vietnams nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, climate change, sustainablelowcarbongrowth,andeconomicdevelopment. PrimeMinisterNguyenTanDungvisitedSouthKoreatoattendthe2ndNuclearSecurity Summit. Dung held talks with his counterpart Kim Hwangsik on March 28. The two leadersagreedtocontinuereciprocalhighlevelvisits,toboostdiplomatic,securityand defencedialogues,developclosereconomiclinkagesthroughtradeandinvestment,and continue preparations for a Free Trade Agreement. They also agreed to cooperate in trade,industry,energy,constructionandscienceandtechnology. EconomicRelations.TwowaytradebetweenSouthKoreaandVietnamreachedUS$18 billion in 2011. South Korea ranks second among states and territories investing in Vietnam.SouthKorearegisteredUS$24billionincapitalinvestmentin3,000projects. The Republic of Korea also ranks second on the list of providers of development assistance to Vietnam. In 2011 South Korea earmarked US $215 million for various developmentprojectsinVietnam. SecurityCooperation HighLevelVisits.DeputyMinisterofNationalDefence,SeniorLt.Gen.NguyenHuyHieu, paidaworkingvisittoSouthKoreafromDecember1218,2009attheinvitationofthe Ministry of National Defense and Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA). General Hieu held discussions with Deputy Defense Minister Chang Sooman and the headofDAPA,ByunMookyun.GeneralHieualsovisitedtheDaewooShipbuildingand MarineEngineeringCompanyLtd.andLIGNex1CompanyLtd.,anaerospacecompany, toreviewagreementsalreadyunderway. South Koreas Minister of National Defense, Kim Tae Young, travelled to Vietnam in October2010toattendtheinauguralmeetingoftheADMMPlusandparticipateinan officialbilateralmeetingwithhisVietnamesecounterpart,GeneralPhungQuangThanh. ThetwoministerssignedaMOUondefencecooperationcoveringdefencetechnology, informationsharing,personneltrainingandcooperationbetweendefenceindustries. Other Exchange Visits. In May 2012, Vietnam hosted a visit to Hanoi by a delegation fromtheKoreaNationalDefenseUniversityledbyitsDirector,Lt.Gen.ShimYoungsik.

22

ThevisitingdelegationwasreceivedbyVPADeputyChiefofStaffLt.Gen.TranQuang Khue. In July 2012, Vietnam hosted a visit by the Chief of the Republic of Koreas Defense Security Command Army, Lt. Gen. Bae Deagsig. General Bae held meetings with the General Political Departments Security Defence Department and Viettel, the military runtelecommunicationsgroup.TheDeputyDirectoroftheVPA,Lt.Gen.LuongCuong, receivedGeneralBae. StrategicDialogue.VietnamandSouthKoreaheldtheir1stDialogueonDefencePolicies in Hanoi on June 28, 2010. South Korea was represented by the Ministry of National Defences Director of Foreign Policies, Cho Baesang; Vietnam was represented by the directorofitsDepartmentofForeignRelations,MinistryofNationalDefence. Vietnam and South Korea held their 1st Strategic Dialogue on Diplomacy, Security and NationalDefenceinHanoionApril26,2011.SouthKoreawasrepresentedbyitsFirst DeputyMinisterofForeignAffairsandTrade,ParkSukHwan;Vietnamwasrepresented byPermanentDeputyForeignMinisterPhamBinhMinh. OnMarch19,2012,VietnamandSouthKoreaheldtheir1stNationalDefenceStrategy Dialogue at deputy defence minister level in Hanoi. The meeting was cochaired by Deputy Minister of National Defence Lt. Gen. Nguyen Chi Vinh and Deputy Defence Minister Lee Younggeol. The deputy ministers agreed to hold the second dialogue in Seoulin2013. Naval Port Visits. Two Republic of Korea naval ships, the destroyer Chungmugan Yi ShushinandthelogisticshipHwaCheon,paidathreedayfriendshipvisittoHoChiMinh CityinSeptember2009.Thefollowingyear,theRepublicofKoreawarship,DaeYeong, paidagoodwillvisittotheportofHoChiMinhCityfromJanuary58.InOctober2012, thewarshipWangGoencalledinatHoChiMinhCitytomarkthetwentiethanniversary ofdiplomaticrelations. Coast Guard Interaction. A delegation from South Koreas Coast Guard paid a working visittoHanoifordiscussionswiththeVietnamMaritimePoliceinDecember2009.The twosidesdiscussedmanagement,informationsharing,antipiracy,transnationalcrime andsearchandrescue.

Spain
StrategicPartnership Vietnam and Spain established diplomatic relations in July 1977. In December 2009, President Nguyen Minh Triet paid a state visit to Spain at the invitation of Prime MinisterJoseLuisRodriguezZapatero.Intheirdiscussionstheyagreedtoraisebilateral relations by establishing a Forward Looking Strategic Partnership. The two presidents then witnessed the signing of a Joint Action Program covering their bilateral relationship.

23

Vietnamese diplomatic sources provide two accounts of the origins of the Vietnam Spainstrategicpartnership.ThefirstaccountaversthatitwasPrimeMinisterZapatero who first raised the idea in his discussions with President Triet. Triet sought to be accommodatingandreadilyagreed.ThesecondaccountarguesthatVietnaminitiated theideaofastrategicpartnershipwithSpaininthehopethatitwouldinduceFranceto followsuit(seediscussiononFrancebelow). Economic Relations. Twoway trade was valued at US $1.4 billion in 2009. Foreign investmentfromSpaintotalledUS$21millionin2012andinvolvedseventeenprojects. SecurityCooperation OnSeptember21,2010,theSpanishStateSecretaryforNationalDefence,Constantino MendezMartinez,visitedHanoiwhereaMOUondefencecooperationwassignedwith Deputy Defence Minister Lt. Gen. Nguyen Chi Vinh. The MOU focused on cooperation between national defence industries and military education and training. Martinez visited Vietnams Navy Command, an indication of one possible area of future collaboration. In 2011, Vietnam purchased three Airbus Military C212 maritime patrol aircraft from Spain for use by it Maritime Police. Industry sources speculate that Vietnam might be interested in procuring the Airbus Military C295 to meet its antisubmarine warfare requirements.26 Subsequently, the VietnamSpain strategic partnership has languished because of Spainseconomicdifficulties.

UnitedKingdom
StrategicPartnership Vietnam and the United Kingdom (UK) established diplomatic relations on September 11, 1973. Thirtyseven years later the two countries issued a Joint Declaration establishing the VietnamUnited Kingdom Strategic Partnership. The strategic partnershipwassignedbyDeputyPrimeMinisterandForeignMinisterPhamGiaKhiem and Foreign Secretary William Hague during the formers visit to London. The Joint Declarationidentifiedsevenpriorityareasforcooperation:politicaldiplomatic,regional and global issues, trade and investment, sustainable socioeconomic development, education,training,scienceandtechnology,securityanddefence,andpeopletopeople exchange.MinistriesfrombothcountriesweretaskedwithcoordinatingspecificAction Plans for each priority area. According to defence industry sources, the strategic

26

LeithenFrancis,SENationsSeekImprovedASW,AEW,AviationWeek,February17,2012.

24

partnership agreement included cooperation among strategic industries including aerospace(BAESystems)anddefence.27 Economic Relations. Vietnam and the United Kingdom established a Joint Economic Trade Committee (JETCO) to manage their commercial relations. The fourth JETCO meetingwasheldinLondononNovember2010andthefifthmeetingwasheldinHanoi ayearlater.TwowaytradebetweenVietnamandtheUKwasvaluedatUS$2billionin 2010. British investors have provided US $2.5 billion to capitalize 131 projects in Vietnam. The UK is the largest investor in Vietnams finance, banking and insurance sector. The United Kingdom provides an estimated US $100 million in nonrefundable aidannually;itistheEuropeanUnionslargestcontributor. Political Consultations. Vietnam and UK conducted their 1st Political Consultation at deputy foreign minister level on January 13, 2009. They held their their 2nd Political ConsultationsatdeputyforeignministerlevelinHanoionApril6,2011.JeremyBrown, Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, was hosted by Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Quoc Cuong. The two deputy ministers discussed the implementationoftheir2011ActionPlanandpledgedtoraisetwowaytradetoUS$4 billionandUKinvestmentinVietnamtoUS$3billionby2013. SecurityCooperation StrategicDialogue.VietnamandtheUnitedKingdomheldtheir1stStrategicDialoguein LondononOctober26,2010.VietnamwasrepresentedbyDeputyForeignMinisterBui ThanhSon,whowasaccompaniedbyofficialsfromtheMinistriesofPublicSecurityand National Defence. The UK was represented by Foreign and Commonwealth Office Minister of State Jeremy Brown, who was accompanied by officials from the Home Office and Ministry of Defence. The agenda for this meeting included bilateral issues, defence cooperation, organised crime, counter terrorism and regional security. According to the joint communiqu issued after the Strategic Dialogue, the Ministers looked forward to closer defence cooperation, including more frequent exchange of delegations and the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on defence cooperation. Defence Cooperation. Vietnam and the UK signed a MOU on defence cooperation on November24,2011ontheoccasionofthethreedayworkingvisittoLondonbyDeputy Minister for National Defence Lt. Gen. Nguyen Chi Vinh. General Vinh met with Lord Astor of Hever, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of Defence. The MOU provides a frameworkfortheconductofbilateraldefencerelationsandcooperationincludingthe exchangeofviewsandinformationondefencerelatedmatters,exchangeofhighlevel delegations,defenceindustrycooperation,andtrainingandeducationforofficersand
27

JonGrevatt,UKandVietnaminkstrategicindustrialpartnershippledge,JanesDefenceWeekly, September13,2010.

25

technicalstaff.TheMOUalsoincludedsettingupaJointWorkingGrouponconducting researchondefencestrategyandmilitarytechnique. TheBritishAmbassadortoVietnam,AnthonyStokes,notedthattheMOUcoveredthree specific areas: politicaldefence cooperation, research, and military equipment supply. According to Ambassador Stokes, Vietnam and the UK will hold regular defence dialoguesatseniorlevel;healsounderscoredthattherewasscopeforBritainsdefence andsecurityindustrytosupplymilitaryequipmenttoVietnam.28 During Lt. Gen. Vinhs November 2011 working visit to the UK he visited the Royal College of Defence Studies. In May 2012, Lt. Gen. Vinh received a visiting delegation fromtheRoyalCollegeofDefenceStudiesledbyitsdeputycommander,MajorGeneral AndrewKennet. On March 28, 2012 Vietnam and the United Kingdom signed the 2012 Action Plan to furthertheirStrategicPartnership.TheActionPlanincludedaprovisionforsteppingup defence cooperation in training, defence trade and peace support operations.29 As a follow up to this agreement, Defence Under Secretary of State Lord Astor of Hever visited Vietnam in January 2013 to open a defence industry forum sponsored by the UKsTradeandInvestmentsDefenceandSecurityOrganisation.

Germany
StrategicPartnership Vietnam and the Federal Republic of Germany established diplomatic relations on September23,1975.VietnamandGermanyexchangedvisitsbytheirforeignministers in June 2011 to prepare for the historic visit by Chancellor Angela Merkel later in the year. Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle visited Hanoi on June 4. Deputy Prime MinisterandForeignMinisterPhamGiaKhiemvisitedBerlinonJune9.Hishost,Foreign MinisterWesterwelle,spokepositivelyabouttheprospectsforastrategicpartnership. Thirtysix years after the establishment of diplomatic relations, Germany and Vietnam raisedtheirbilateralrelationstoastrategicpartnershipaccordingtoaJointStatement issued in Hanoi on October 11, 2011 on the occasion of the twoday state visit by Chancellor Angela Merkel. Under the provisions of the Joint Statement, signed by ChancellorMerkelandPrimeMinisterNguyenTanDung,thetwosideswillincreasethe exchangeofhighrankingdelegationsincludinggovernmentandparliamentaryagencies, politicalpartiesandscientificandstrategicresearchinstitutes. In order to implement the Joint Statement Vietnam and Germany agreed to set up a strategic management group cochaired by a State Secretary from Germanys Federal
28 29

ThuyNgan,AmbassadorhopefulaboutVNUKcooperation,TuoiTreNews,December8,2011.

JonGrevatt,VietnamandUKagreedefencecooperationactionplan,JanesDefenceWeekly,March 29,2012.

26

ForeignOfficeandaDeputyForeignMinisterfromVietnamsMinistryofForeignAffairs. The strategic management group will convene under the framework of the ongoing politicalconsultationsbetweenforeignministries. Political Consultations. On February 8, 2010 Vietnam and Germany held their 2nd PoliticalConsultationatdeputyforeignministerlevelinBerlin.DeputyForeignMinister NguyenQuocCuongwashostedbySecretaryofStateForeignOfficeWolfRuthartBorn. Economic Relations. Twoway trade between Germany and Vietnam was valued at US $4.7billionin2009,adeclineofeightpercentfrom2008.In2009,Germaninvestment reachedatotalregisteredcapitalofUS$809millioninvestedin153projects.Germany pledgedtoprovidedevelopmentaidvaluedatUS$137millionin2010,adropofmore thantwentyfivepercentfrom2009. SecurityCooperation InOctober2004,VietnamandGermanysignedaMOUsignedoutliningcollaborationin defencerelatedscienceandtechnologyprogramsandmilitarymedicine.ThussenKrupp setuprepresentativeofficesinHanoiandHoChiMinhCity. OnSeptember9,2010,SecretaryofStateforDefence,RdigerWolf,visitedHanoifor discussionswithLt.Gen.NguyenChiVinhonextendingthe2004MOU.Thetwoagreed to future cooperation by defence industries and in military science and technology, military training, exchange visits at all levels, peacekeeping and dealing with the consequencesofwar. ExchangesofVisits.DeputyDefenceMinisterSeniorLt.Gen.NguyenThanhCungpaida working visit to Germany from March 1217, 2012. He met with Rdiger Wolf, State Secretary,FederalMinistryofDefence.GeneralCungwasbriefedontheorganisational structure,functionsandtasksofGermanysmilitaryjudicialsystem. InJune2012,HansChristianSchmidt,ParliamentaryStateSecretary,FederalMinistryof Defense,paidaworkingvisittoHanoifordiscussionswithSeniorLt.Gen.NguyenThanh Cung.GeneralCungsuggestedthatthetwocountriesshouldpromotetheexchangesof highlevel military delegations and cooperate in education and training, defence industry,andovercomingtheconsequencesofwarinVietnam.Mr.Schmidtresponded by pledging that Germany would assist Vietnam in education and training, defence industryandsharingnewdeminingtechnologies.

PartII.PotentialStrategicPartners
Australia
BilateralrelationsbetweenAustraliaandVietnamdevelopedconsiderablebreadthand depth particularly in the decade of the 1990s after the resolution of the Cambodian conflict.In2008,VietnamapproachedAustraliaandsuggestedtheyformallyraisetheir bilateral relationship to strategic partners. Reportedly, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd

27

rejectedthetermstrategicpartnersasinappropriatefortworeasons.First,Rudddid not favour a term that was merely symbolic; he wanted it to have practical connotations.Second,Ruddfeltthatthetermstrategicshouldbereservedforclose allies,suchastheUnitedStates.30 In the end Australia and Vietnam agreed to characterise their bilateral relationship a comprehensive partnership.31 This was announced during the visit of VCP Secretary GeneralNongDucManhtoCanberrainSeptember2009.32DuringManhsvisit,Deputy PrimeMinisterJuliaGillardandDeputyPrimeMinisterPhamGiaKhiemsignedaJoint Statement formally establishing a Comprehensive Partnership.33 This statement highlighted six major areas of cooperation: political relations and public policy exchanges; economic growth and trade development; development assistance and technicalcooperation;defenceandsecurityrelations;peopletopeoplelinks;andglobal and regional agenda. The Joint Statement indicated that this declaration would be followedupwithanActionPlan. OnDecember17,2009,PrimeMinisterNguyenTanDungmetwithPrimeMinisterKevin Rudd in Copenhagen. During their discussions Dung suggested that Vietnam and Australia should formulate a program of action to implement the Joint Statement on ComprehensivePartnership.Ruddagreedthatbothshouldworkhardonaprogramof action so it could be signed in 2010. The Plan of Action to realize the Comprehensive Partnership for the years 201013 was agreed in October 2010. The AustraliaVietnam Comprehensive Partnership was composed of three pillars: political and security cooperation; economic cooperation; and peopletopeople cooperation through the greatbridgeofeducation.34 On October 11, 2010 Australia and Vietnam signed their latest MOU on defence cooperation. This agreement makes provision for enhanced practical cooperation in strategiclevel policy dialogue, joint military training and exercises, and humanitarian assistanceanddisasterrelief.ThisMOUfallsundertheframeworkofthe2009Australia VietnamComprehensivePartnershipAgreement.
30 31

UcVietthucdayquanhedoitac,BBCVietnamese,September7,2009.

Foranoverviewsee:CarlyleA.Thayer,TheAustraliaVietnamComprehensivePartnership,Paperto rd Beyond EastWest dialogues: Implications for Research and Knowledge Production, 3 International Conference on Engaging with Vietnam, cosponsored by Monash University; International Studies Department, University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Vietnam National University; Australian EmbassyinVietnam;andVietnamAirlines,Hanoi,Vietnam,December45,2011.
32

Secretary General Manh was accompanied by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, MinisterofPlanningandInvestment,andtheMinisterofIndustryandTrade.
33

AustraliaVietNamComprehensivepartnership,September7,2009. http://www.dfat.gov.au/geo/vietnam/comprehensive_partnership_vietnam.html.
34

Kevin Rudd, Australia and Vietnam: Partners in shaping our region for the 21 century, Speech to RMITUniversity,HoChiMinhCity,April13,2011.

st

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UnitedStates
The United States normalized diplomatic relations with Vietnam on July 12, 1995. Defencerelationsdevelopedslowlyoverthenexteightyears.35 DefenceRelations HighLevel Visits. In 2003 Vietnam and the United States agreed to exchange official visits by their defence ministers at three yearly intervals. In 2003 Defense Minster General Pham Van Tra visited Washington. In 2006 Secretary Donald Rumsfeld visited Hanoi.InDecember2009,DefenceMinisterPhungQuangThanhmadeanofficialvisitto WashingtonwherehelobbiedforaneasingofUSrestrictionsonmilitarysales.36 ThemostrecentministerialvisitwasundertakenbySecretaryofDefenseLeonPanetta in June 2012. The main purpose of these consultations was to review progress on the firstformalUnitedStatesVietnamMOUondefensecooperationreachedinSeptember 2011atthe2ndDefensePolicyDialogue(seebelow). At a joint press conference held after their meeting, Secretary Panetta noted in prepared remarks that the new U.S. defense strategy entailed developing the capabilitiesofourAsianpartners,suchasVietnamandtotrytotakethisrelationship to a new level. He noted that agreement had been reached to expand some very important cooperation in the five key areas outlined in the 2010 MOU. Secretary Panetta proposed establishing an Office of Defense Cooperation to meet these objectives. Panetta also revealed that he discussed how the United States and the ADMMPlusgroupcouldimprovethemaritimerightsofallnations. In his prepared remarks, Minister of National Defence General Phung Quang Thanh confirmedthatthebilateraltalksfocusedontheimplementationofthe2010MOU.He flagged future cooperation in addressing nontraditional security issues such as humanitarianassistanceanddisasterreliefandsearchandrescue.GeneralThanhalso noted a longstanding Vietnamese concern to elicit further support from the U.S. to addresslegaciesfromtheVietnamWar.ThiswasareferencetotheAgentOrangeand unexplodedordnancedisposalissues. Defence Policy Dialogue. The United States and Vietnam have been conducting an annual defence dialogue since 2004. This dialogue has evolved over time to include senior officials. In 2008 the dialogue was raised to a Political, Security and Defense dialogueinvolvingofficialsfromtheirrespectiveforeignaffairsanddefenseministries. Thisdialoguecontinuestobeheldannually.The5thU.S.VietnamPolitical,Security,and
35

For an overview see: Carlyle A. Thayer, The Prospects for Strategic Dialogue, in Catharin E. Dalpino editor, Dialogue on U.S.Vietnam Relations: Ten Years After Normalization (San Francisco: The Asia Foundation,2005),2630.
36

The October 2010 visit to Hanoi by the then Secretary of Defense Robert Gates was to attend the inaugural meeting of the ASEAN Defense Ministers Meeting Plus (ADMM Plus). It was not part of the formalexchangevisitsbydefenseministers.

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Defense Dialogue was held in Hanoi on June 20, 2012. It was cochaired by Deputy Foreign Minister Le Luong Minh and Assistant Secretary of State for PoliticalMilitary AffairsAndrewShapio. In August 2010, the USVietnam defense dialogue was upgraded to a Defense Policy Dialogue between officials at deputy minister level and the first meeting was held in Hanoi. Vietnam was represented by Deputy Minister of National Defence Lt. Gen. Nguyen Chi Vinh and the U.S. was represented by Robert Scher, Deputy Assistant SecretaryofDefenceforSouthandSoutheastAsia.Thetwosidesreachedagreementon military exchanges, training and collaboration in search and rescue and humanitarian assistanceanddisasterrelief.37 The2ndDefensePolicyDialoguewasheldinWashingtononSeptember,19,2011.The meeting was cochaired by Deputy Assistant Secretary Scher and Deputy Minister Nguyen Chi Vinh. The two signed an MOU on defence cooperation that included five priority areas: regular highlevel dialogues between defense ministries; maritime security; search and rescue; studying and exchanging experiences on United Nations peacekeeping;andhumanitarianassistanceanddisasterrelief. The United States conducts a strategic dialogue with Vietnam as part of official DOD engagement policy. The United States hopes to institutionalize defense cooperation across a number of areas and to habituate Vietnam into cooperating with the United States. In other words, the U.S. hopes to evolve the relationship from oneoff arrangements to regular activities that become a normal part of defense cooperation over time. For example, Vietnam restricts all foreign countries to one naval port visit eachyear.TheU.S.gentlyprodsVietnamtoliftthisrestriction. Ship Repair Agreement. In 2009, Vietnams Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung dramaticallyannouncedthatthecommercialrepairfacilitiesatCamRanhBaywouldbe opentoallnaviesoftheworld.TheU.S.wasthefirstcountrytotakeuptheoffer.The following year the United States and Vietnam signed a contract for the minor maintenance and repair of U.S. Navy Sealift ships. Five ships were subsequently repaired:theUSNSRichardE.ByrdunderwentvoyagerepairsinFebruaryMarch2010, August 2011,andJune 2012;theUSNSWalterS.Diehlin October 2011andtheUSNS RappahannockinFebruary2012. StrategicPartnership? This idea of Vietnam becoming a strategic partner of the United States was first mentioned in the 2010 Quadrennial Defence Review. Vietnam was listed alongside Indonesia and Malaysia as a potential strategic partner. This US term is much narrowerinmeaningthatthetermstrategicpartnerusedbyVietnam.
37

InAugust2011,theUnitedStatesandVietnamsignedtheirfirstbilateraldefenceagreement,a StatementofIntenttocooperateinhealth,andaprecursorforexchangesandresearchcollaboratinin militarymedicine.

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Sometime in 2010 Vietnam and the United States began diplomatic discussions on raising their bilateral relations to that of a strategic partnership. Vietnamese sources claimthattheideawasfirstraisedbySecretaryofStateHillaryClinton.WhenSecretary ClintonvisitedVietnamshestatedthatallthefundamentalsinthebilateralrelationship were in place to raise relations to the next level. But, she noted, Vietnams record of human rights violations remained a major impediment. Indeed, in late 2010 informed diplomaticsourcestoldtheauthorthatdiscussiononastrategicpartnershiphadstalled overU.S.insistencethataspecialchapteronhumanrightsbeincluded.Vietnamwanted humanrightstobesubsumedinachapterdealingmorebroadlywithpoliticalrelations.

France
VietnamandFranceestablisheddiplomaticrelationsatambassadoriallevelonApril12, 1973. According to Vietnams Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the two countries have conductedtheircontemporaryrelationshipundertheexpressiontraditionalfriendship, longterm,trustingandcomprehensivecooperationinthe21stCentury. The years 200405 were pivotal. In 2004, Vietnam hosted a visit by French President JacquesChirac;thefollowingyearFrancehostedavisitbyVCPSecretaryGeneralNong Duc Manh. During Secretary Manhs visit the two sides agreed to set up a highlevel CouncilforEconomicCooperationandDevelopment.InMay2005,FranceandVietnam heldtheir2nddialogueonregionalandinternationalsecurityanddefenceinParis.The first meeting of the Council for Economic Cooperation and Development was held in ParisinOctober2006. Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung visited France in October 2007 for discussions with Prime Minister Francis Fillon. Prime Minister Fillon paid a reciprocal threeday visit to VietnaminNovember2009fordiscussionswithPrimeMinisterDung. Economic Relations. Twoway trade between France and Vietnam was valued at 2 billionin2010.FrenchforeigninvestmenttotalledUS$2.38billionin187projectsasof October 2007. France also pledged to provide Vietnam with 1.4 billion in official developmentassistanceoverthe20062010period. DefenceCooperation VietnamandFrancesignedaDefenceCooperationAgreement(DCA)inDecember2009 during the working visit to Paris by Defence Minister General Phung Quang Thanh. General Thanh came to France at the invitation of his counterpart Defence Minister Herve Morin. The DCA reportedly included continued defence exchanges and French assistanceintrainingarmymedicalpersonnel.Thetwoministersagreedtoestablisha highlevel Joint Committee on National Defence Cooperation to implement these programsaswellasfutureFrenchassistanceinmodernisingtheVietnamPeoplesArmy and additional military training. During Thanhs visit Vietnam signed contracts for the purchase of an unspecified number of military helicopters and transport aircraft, air defenceradarandotherdefencetechnology.

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ThesigningoftheDCAwasquicklyfollowedbythevisittoVietnambyLaurentBili,the copresidentoftheVietnamFranceJointCommitteeonNationalDefenceCooperation on March 12, 2010. Bili met with Deputy Defence Minister and Chief of the General Staff, Senior Lt. Gen. Nguyen Khac Nghien to review existing defence cooperation programsandtomapoutfutureactivities. Fourmonthslater,inJuly,FrenchDefenceMinisterHerveMorinpaidareciprocalvisit toVietnamfordiscussionswithhiscounterpartGeneralPhungQuangThanh.Thiswas the first visit to Vietnam by a French Defence Minister since 1954. Minister Morin agreedtoassistVietnammodernizeitsdefenceindustryincludingtechnologytransfers (reportedlyinammunitionupgrades).Francealsoagreedtoprovidetrainingcoursesto be conducted in Vietnam. Minister Thanh thanked Morin for French assistance in training army medical officers and support for army medical and defence equipment projects.ThanhbriefedMorinontheforthcominginauguralmeetingoftheADMMPlus. The two ministers also discussed cooperation between their three armed services (army,navyandairforce). Vietnam and France held the second meeting of the Joint Committee on National Defence Cooperation in Paris from November 2122, 2011. This meeting discussed exchanges of military delegations, training, research in defence strategy, military technique,andcoordinationatmultilateralforums.Franceagreedtostudyaproposal byVietnamforaMOUonDefenceCooperationonthemodelVietnamhadsignedwith othercountries.DeputyMinisterofNationalDefenceLt.Gen.NguyenChiVinhledthe Vietnamese delegation. Lt. Gen. Vinh also held discussions with the French Defence Minister Gerard Longuet, Chief of Defence Admiral Edouard Guillaud, the State Secretary for the Ministry of Defence, and the heads of several strategic research institutes. In February 2012, the French Chief of Defence Staff, Admiral Edouard Guillaud, paid a threedayvisittoVietnamwherehemetwithSeniorLt.Gen.DoBaTy,VPAChiefofthe GeneralStaff.GeneralTysuggestedcontinuingtheexchangeofofficersatalllevelsand solicitedFrenchassistanceintheareasofsearchandrescue,health,marinepoliceand environmental issues. The two leaders reached agreement on military exchanges and visits (especially junior officers in the navy and air force), cooperation in military educationandtraining,militaryequipmentsalesandannualmeetingsoftheVietnam FranceJointCommitteeonNationalDefenceCooperation. NavalShipVisits.InJune2008,theFrenchNavycommandandreplenishmentoilerVar paidafivedayofficialvisittoNhaRongport,HoChiMinhCity.TheCommanderofthe FrenchForcesintheIndianOceanaccompaniedtheship.Twoyearslater,inJune2010, the French Navy command and supply ship, Somme, made a port call to Da Nang captained by Vice Admiral Bruno Nielly, Commander of the Indian Ocean Maritime Division.ThemostrecentFrenchportcalltookplaceinMarch2012whenthefrigate, Vendmiaire, made its fourth visit to Vietnam when it stopped in the port of Ho Chi MinhCityforfivedays. StrategicPartnership?

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Asnotedinthediscussion,VietnamhopedtoenticeareluctantFranceintoastrategic partnership by first establishing a strategic partnership with Spain. Fleeting public references indicate that the idea is still being mulled. For example, on July 26, 2010 duringthecourseofanofficialvisittoVietnam,FrancesDefenceMinisterHerveMorin wasquotedbyVietnamsMinistryofForeignAffairsasaffirmingthatFrancewantsto develop the strategic partnership with Vietnam and is ready to share experiences in security and defence On May 4, 2011, Vietnams Minister for Culture, Sports and Tourism, Hoang Tuan Anh, affirmed that Vietnams leaders always look forward to establishingastrategicpartnershipwithFrance.TheseremarksweremadetoDeputy PrimeMinisterandMinisterforForeignandEuropeanAffairsAlainJuppeduringAnhs visittoParis.VietnamsMinistryofForeignAffairsnotedatthattime,theFrenchleader welcomedandsignalleddeterminationtorealisetheidea.

Conclusion
ThispaperisapreliminaryanalysisofVietnamseffortstoforgestrategicpartnerships withstatesthatitconsidersmajoractorsregionallyandglobally.Areviewoftheeight states that Vietnam has designated strategic partners includes three of the five permanentmembersoftheUnitedNationsSecurityCouncil(RussianFederation,China andtheUnitedKingdom)andmajorpowersinEastAsia(Japan,SouthKorea),SouthAsia (India)andEurope(SpainandGermany). In reviewing the eight official statements on strategic partnerships it is obvious that each bilateral relationship has its own characteristics. There does not appear to be a singlemodelortemplatethatfitsalleightstrategicpartnerships.Takeforexamplethe following indicators: the length of diplomatic relations, the presence of a large Vietnameseexpatriatecommunity,economicties,andmajorpowerstatus. ThelengthofdiplomaticrelationsvariesamongVietnamsstrategicpartnersfromChina and Russia in 1950 to India, Japan, United Kingdom, Germany and Spain (197277) to SouthKoreain1992. Russia and Germany are home to a large expatriate Vietnamese community but the otherstrategicpartnersarenot. All of Vietnams strategic partners are members of the Group of 20 except Spain. The extent of economic relations as measured by twoway trade, direct investment and development assistance ranges widely. China, South Korea and Japan are among Vietnamslargesttradingpartners(withtwowaytradeof$36.9billion,$18billionand $16 billion respectively in 2011), while twoway trade with other strategic partners is more modest (ranging from $1.4 to 3.9 billion). With the exception of Spain, Vietnam anditsotherstrategicpartnershavecommittedthemselvestoincreasingtwowaytrade inthenextfiveandtenyears. Vietnam has developed strategic partnerships with three of the major powers as determined by their status as permanent members of the United Nations Security

33

Council China, Russia and the United Kingdom. Vietnam is currently negotiating strategicpartnershipswithFranceandtheUnitedStates. Vietnam has developed strategic partnerships with most of the major powers in East and South Asia, such as China, Japan, South Korea and India but not Australia, and Europe,suchasGermanyandtheUKbutnotFrance. What is a Strategic Partnership? A formal strategic partnership is first and foremost a politicalstatementthatVietnamhasestablishedacomprehensiverelationshipwithits partner.Thiscanbemeasuredbythelargenumberofareasforcooperationspecifiedin strategic partnership agreements. It is important to note that while there is a considerable area of overlap in areas of cooperation mentioned in the strategic partnership agreements there are also specific areas of cooperation unique to each country. Vietnam and South Korea raised their comprehensive partnership to a strategic cooperativepartnershipin1999.InthecasesofthePeoplesRepublicofChinaandthe Russian Federation, their strategic partnerships with Vietnam were raised to Strategic Cooperative Partnership and Comprehensive Strategic Partnership in 2009 and 2012, respectively. Inadditiontomappingoutareasofcooperation,Vietnamanditsstrategicpartnershave established highlevel mechanisms to oversee the development of their bilateral relations: Russia Intergovernmental Committee for Economic, Commercial, Scientific andTechnicalCooperation;JapanministeriallevelJointCooperationCommittee;India Joint Committee for Economic, Cultural, Scientific and Technological Cooperation; China ministeriallevel Joint Steering Committee; United Kingdom Joint Economic TradeCommittee(JETCO);andGermanystrategicmanagementgroup. What were the major developments in international defence cooperation with Vietnamsstrategicpartnersaftertheeleventhpartycongress? RussianFederation.VietnamsdefencecooperationwithRussiawasoverwhelmingly focusedonthedeliveryofbigticketmilitaryplatforms(Su30aircraftandtheKilo class submarines) contracted earlier, and the purchase/coproduction of weapons systems to go with these platforms (airtoair and antiship cruise missiles). In addition,VietnamcontractedRussiatotraincrewsandbuildservicefacilitiesforits Kiloclasssubmarines.InJuly2012,VietnamandtheRussianFederationraisedtheir strategicpartnershiptoacomprehensivestrategicpartnership. Japan.VietnamandJapansignedaMOUondefencecooperationmainlyfocusedon strategic dialogue, highlevel visits, defence exchanges between the VPA and the JSDFandcooperationinHA/DR. India.VietnamentereddiscussionwithIndiaontheprocurementofOffshorePatrol Vessels and Fast Attack Craft and naval personnel training, including submariners. Thetwosidesinitiateddiscussionsaboutthesaleofantishipandsurfacetosurface missiles. At the 6th bilateral Defence Strategy Dialogue the two sides agreed to

34 continue to boost triservice cooperation and to continue to exchange delegations andinformation,cooperateinmilitarytrainingandinformationtechnology.

China. Territorial disputes in the South China Sea appear to have been compartmentalized from their broader bilateral relationship, including bilateral defence relations. China and Vietnam continued to exchange highlevel defence delegations and hold strategic dialogues. Joint patrols in the Gulf of Tonkin were expandedtoincludesearchandrescueandantipiracyactivities.Vietnamesenaval shipsalsomadetheirsecondgoodwillportcalltoChina. Republic of Korea. Vietnam and South Korea explored cooperation between their national defence industries, including shipbuilding. Vietnam and South Korea held their1stStrategicDialogueonDiplomacy,SecurityandNationalDefenceinHanoiin April2011andtheir1stNationalDefenceStrategyDialogueinHanoiinMarch2012. Spain. Spains economic crisis apparently led to a hiatus in bilateral defence cooperationin2011and2012. United Kingdom. Vietnam and the UK signed a MOU on defence cooperation in November 2011 covering the exchange of highlevel delegations, defence industry cooperation, and professional military education and training. A Joint Working Group was set up under the MOU to conduct research on defence strategy and military technique. Future defence cooperation will focus on military training, includingforpeacesupportoperations,anddefencesales. Germany.InOctober2011,GermanyandVietnamagreedtoraisebilateralrelations to that of strategic partners. Future defence cooperation activities will include: exchange of highlevel delegations, professional military education and training, defenceindustry,andnewdeminingtechnologies. Italy. In January 2013, Vietnam and Italy issued a Joint Statement raising their bilateral relations to a formal strategic partnership. Under point six of this agreement the two sides agreed to update and expand the MOU on defence cooperation signed in November 2000 between their two defence ministries. They also pledged to establish the VietnamItalyDefenceandSecurityMechanism atan appropriatelevelandtoenhanceexchange,discussionandsharingofinformation between delegations at various levels and between the strategic defence research agenciesofthetwocountries.Thealsocommittocooperateinthedefenceindustry field. Vietnam is currently negotiating strategic partnerships with France, Singapore, Indonesia,ThailandandtheUnitedStates.

Insum,Vietnamsstrategicpartnershiparrangementshaveledtotheexchangeofhigh leveldefenceofficialsandstrategicdialoguesonregionalandglobalissues;cooperation in professional military education and training; cooperation between national defence

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industriesincludingtechnologytransferandcoproductionofweaponsandequipment; interaction between armed forces personnel including goodwill naval port visits and joint patrols; and most importantly, the acquisition of military equipment, major platformsandweaponssystems.