Skip to main content

Vietnam Courts Closer Ties with Australia to Check China

https://www.voanews.com/a/vietnam-australia-closer-ties/4308280.html

Vietnam Courts Closer Ties with Australia to Check China

March 21, 2018 5:15 AM

Ralph Jennings

Prime Minister of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam Nguyen Xuan Phuc participates in a signing ceremony with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull at Australia's Parliament House in Canberra, Australia, March 15, 2018.

Share

See comments

TAIPEI, TAIWAN — 

Vietnam is edging closer to Australia as it seeks broader international help in checking China’s expansion in the disputed South China Sea.

On March 15, the two countries signed a strategic partnership to increase high-level dialogue, marking an upgrade to other partnerships in effect since 2009, the Australian foreign affairs department says. The partnership includes pledges to address “security threats,” and work together on “maritime policymaking.”

Australia and Vietnam reached the agreement as Vietnam seeks wider help in keeping the more powerful Beijing in check in the contested South China Sea. Australia is also looking for more inroads into Southeast Asia, where it has security and business interests.

“To the extent they’re both concerned about especially things like freedom of navigation and the East (China) Sea they have a shared interest with Vietnam in keeping the sea lanes open,” said Frederick Burke, partner with the law firm Baker McKenzie in Ho Chi Minh City.

Converging maritime interests

China and Vietnam dispute sovereignty over parts of a resource-rich sea that stretches across 3.5 million square kilometers from Hong Kong to Borneo. Taiwan and three other Southeast Asian countries have claims in the same sea.

Vietnam is pursuing friendships with multiple nations to protect fishing boats, offshore energy exploration and its sovereignty claims, analysts say.

“Vietnam has been looking for friends and support everywhere,” said Termsak Chalermpalanupap, a fellow with the ISEAS Yusof Ishak Institute Singapore. “It has been diversifying.”

Australia, a long-time U.S. ally facing its own problems with China, belongs to a quadrilateral alliance of Western-aligned countries including India, Japan and the United States.

Heads of state from that group met in Manila in November to discuss how to keep the sea open. Australia and Japan called then for a “rules-based order” and “respect for international law.”

Vietnam and India upgraded their strategic partnership last year, and in 2014 Japan agreed to sell Vietnam six maritime surveillance vessels. This month the United States sent an aircraft carrier group to Vietnam, the first visit of its kind.

South China Sea dispute

Sailors died in Sino-Vietnamese clashes at sea 1974 and 1988. In 2014, boats from China and Vietnam rammed each other after China let its chief offshore driller place on oil rig in the sea.

Beijing has upset its rival South China Sea claimants over the past decade by building up small, disputed islets for possible military use and passing coast guard vessels through waters near the other countries. Australia does not have a claim.

Australia might help the quadrilateral alliance monitor the South China Sea, said Stuart Orr, professor of strategic management at Deakin University in Australia. The Vietnam partnership “provides Australia with a closer physical presence and another source of information about the region,” Orr said.

But both Australia and Vietnam count China as their top trading partner, meaning they are likely to avoid confronting China at sea.

“I don’t think they’re going to pull up an aircraft carrier like the U.S. did last week,” Burke said.

Uncertain US role

Vietnam may be keen on Australia because it can’t tell what the United States will do in the South China Sea dispute, said Trung Nguyen, international relations dean at Ho Chi Minh University of Social Sciences and Humanities. U.S. President Donald Trump has not clarified a political and economic policy for Asia, scholars in the region say.

“With the (multicountry foreign) policy, Vietnam can build up some kind of counterbalance against China in the case of the absence of American presence in the region,” Nguyen said. “Even though Australia is a second-tier power, in some sense they can make up for the U.S. in some aspects when the U.S. is going back to an America-first policy.”

Australian business interests

Australia signed the partnership with Vietnam to try for tighter relations with the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations, analysts say. It sees the group of countries, including Vietnam, as key to pan-Asian security as well as a market for Australian companies.

The association covers about 630 million people, including fast-growing consumer markets such as Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam itself. Vietnam can “facilitate” Australia’s ties in the larger bloc, Nguyen said.

Australian firms sometimes bid on water management projects in Vietnam, Burke said. This month the budget airline Vietjet said it would launch flights between Ho Chi Minh City and the Australian city of Brisbane to help regional “integration and trade exchange.”

Trade between Australia and Vietnam in 2016 and 2017 reached $9 billion, making Vietnam Australia’s 15th largest trading partner.

On March 17 and 18, Australia hosted its first special summit with ASEAN with an eye toward “shared security challenges and securing greater opportunities for our businesses,” the Australian government said on an event website

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

SSG Commando Muddassir Iqbal of Pakistan Army

“ Commando Muddassir Iqbal was part of the team who conducted Army Public School operation on 16 December 2014. In this video he reveals that he along with other commandos was ordered to kill the innocent children inside school, when asked why should they kill children after killing all the terrorist he was told that it would be a chance to defame Taliban and get nation on the side. He and all other commandos killed children and later Taliban was blamed.
Muddassir Iqbal has deserted the military and now he is  with mujahedeen somewhere in AF PAK border area”
For authenticity of  this tape journalists can easy reach to his home town to interview his family members or   ISPR as he reveals his army service number”
Asalam o Alaikum: My name is Muddassir Iqbal. My father’s name is Naimat Ali. I belong to Sialkot divison (Punjab province), my village is Shamsher Poor and district, tehsil and post office  Narowal. Unfortunately I was working in Pakistan army. I feel embarrassed to tell you …

The Rise of China-Europe Railways

https://www.csis.org/analysis/rise-china-europe-railways

The Rise of China-Europe RailwaysMarch 6, 2018The Dawn of a New Commercial Era?For over two millennia, technology and politics have shaped trade across the Eurasian supercontinent. The compass and domesticated camels helped the “silk routes” emerge between 200 and 400 CE, and peaceful interactions between the Han and Hellenic empires allowed overland trade to flourish. A major shift occurred in the late fifteenth century, when the invention of large ocean-going vessels and new navigation methods made maritime trade more competitive. Mercantilism and competition among Europe’s colonial powers helped pull commerce to the coastlines. Since then, commerce between Asia and Europe has traveled primarily by sea.1Against this historical backdrop, new railway services between China and Europe have emerged rapidly. Just 10 years ago, regular direct freight services from China to Europe did not exist.2 Today, they connect roughly 35 Chinese…

CPEC Jobs in Pakistan, salary details

JOBS...نوکریاں چائنہ کمپنی میںPlease help the deserving persons...Salary:Salary package in China–Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in these 300,000 jobs shall be on daily wages. The details of the daily wages are as follows;Welder: Rs. 1,700 dailyHeavy Duty Driver: Rs. 1,700 dailyMason: Rs. 1,500 dailyHelper: Rs. 850 dailyElectrician: Rs. 1,700 dailySurveyor: Rs. 2,500 dailySecurity Guard: Rs. 1,600 dailyBulldozer operator: Rs. 2,200 dailyConcrete mixer machine operator: Rs. 2,000 dailyRoller operator: Rs. 2,000 dailySteel fixer: Rs. 2,200 dailyIron Shuttering fixer: Rs. 1,800 dailyAccount clerk: Rs. 2,200 dailyCarpenter: Rs. 1,700 dailyLight duty driver: Rs. 1,700 dailyLabour: Rs. 900 dailyPara Engine mechanic: Rs. 1,700 dailyPipe fitter: Rs. 1,700 dailyStorekeeper: Rs. 1,700 dailyOffice boy: Rs. 1,200 dailyExcavator operator: Rs. 2,200 dailyShovel operator: Rs. 2,200 dailyComputer operator: Rs. 2,200 dailySecurity Supervisor: Rs. 2,200 dailyCook for Chinese food: Rs. 2,000 dailyCook…