Vietnam’s Politburo Approved a Policy To Diminish Tensions with China


July 29, 2014 (LPAC)– A security specialist with knowledge of South East Asia, Zachary Abuza, provides a detailed view in the July 29 {Asia Times} of the internal Vietnamese political controversy sparked by Vietnam’s military response to China’s stationing of an oil rig in waters claimed by Vietnam, but actually controlled by China. The confrontation sparked anti-China riots in Vietnam, doing serious damage to Chinese companies and to China-Vietnam relations.

Although Abuza personally cheerleads for Obama’s confrontation with China, he reveals how more sensible minds in Vietnam stopped the insane confrontation.

A faction led by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, he says, pushed the hardline confrontation, promoting the same suicidal steps taken by the Philippines under Obama-puppet President Aquino — filing of a brief with the International Arbitration Commission; engaging in more multilateral military exercises with the US and Japan; negotiating a “comprehensive partnership” with the US; joining the TPP, and so on.

The moderate group, says Abuza, was led by Communist Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong, who “was much less willing to provoke Beijing or do anything that would further escalate tensions.” The de-escalation camp was joined by a number of key, high-level Politiburo members, and by President Truong Tan Sang, an economic reformer who is wary of conflict. The Minister of National Defense, Phung Quang Thanh, whom Abuza described as “cautious about reliance on the West,” eventually joined the majority and supported accommodation.

As a result, “the Politburo approved a policy to de-escalate tensions, and the arbitration case was dropped. Also, “Foreign Minister Pham Bình Minh canceled a well-publicized scheduled trip to Washington at the invitation of US Secretary of State John Kerry at the height of the oil rig tensions. A US presidential envoy did travel to Hanoi to meet with Minh, a much lower profile exchange than an official visit to Washington.”

Abuza whines that Vietnam’s reversal on confronting China will harm its efforts to join the TPP!

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