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Thayer China's Political Influence on Vietnam

Thayer China's Political Influence on Vietnam

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Published by Carlyle Alan Thayer
How Much Influence Does China Have Over Vietnam? Views by the US Ambassador January 2010 (Wikileaks)_ followed by three analyses, two written in March 2010 and the third in September 2011.
How Much Influence Does China Have Over Vietnam? Views by the US Ambassador January 2010 (Wikileaks)_ followed by three analyses, two written in March 2010 and the third in September 2011.

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Categories:Types, Research, History
Published by: Carlyle Alan Thayer on Sep 25, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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12/14/2014

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin10HANOI11 2010-01-27 02:55 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Hanoi 
VZCZCXRO8782OO RUEHCN RUEHDT RUEHGH RUEHHM RUEHPBDE RUEHHI #0011/01 0270256ZNY CCCCC ZZHO R 270255Z JAN 10FM AMEMBASSY HANOITO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0786INFO ASEAN REGIONAL FORUM COLLECTIVECHINA POSTS COLLECTIVERHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DCRHMCSUU/CDR USPACOM HONOLULU HIRHMFISS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DCRUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0057RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DCRUEHHM/AMCONSUL HO CHI MINH CITY 0418RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DCC O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 04 HANOI 000011SENSITIVESIPDISE.O. 12958: DECL: 2020/01/27TAGS:PREL PGOV PHUM ECON SENV MARR CH VM  SUBJECT: How much influence does China have over Vietnam'sinternalpolitics?
 
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REF: A) 09 HANOI 413, 417, 537; B) 09 HANOI 809, 823, 881C) 09 HANOI 672; D) 09 HANOI 897E) 08 HCMC 815, 596, 09 HANOI 805, 807, 926; F) 09 HANOI 1094G) HANOI 7; H) 09 HANOI 330, 899; I) 09 HANOI 927; J) 09 HANOI909CLASSIFIED BY: Michael Michalak, Ambassador; REASON: 1.4(B), (D)1. (C) SUMMARY: Animosity toward China, heartfelt andpervasive inthe most routine of times, appears to have taken on an addedurgency in the wake of sensitive border negotiations, protractedcontroversy over Chinese investment in bauxite mining projectsinthe Central Highlands, and China's imposition this summer of aunilateral "fishing ban" in the South China Sea. A wide rangeofcontacts, particularly in the Western-oriented intellectual anddissident community, insist that China wields an inordinate andgrowing sway over Vietnamese decision-making, with influencefelton issues such as the control of information on territorialdisputes; resource, environmental, and energy strategy; andpersonnel decisions in advance of Vietnam's 2011 Party Congress.Some insist that "pro-China" forces in the Vietnamese securityservices are behind the recent crackdown on political dissent,acting at the behest of Beijing. The reality is much moreprosaic.Given its proximity, size, and economic might, China remains apredominant consideration for Vietnam's leadership andnecessarilyconstrains options. Beijing does not, however, dictateVietnam's
 
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internal policies. END SUMMARY.The Panda's Long Paw--------------------2. (C) Over the past several months, Vietnam's Western-orientedintellectual, journalistic, and dissident communities haveratcheted up their criticism of China, taking particular aim atwhat they describe as Beijing's inordinate influence overVietnam'sinternal decision-making. Spurred initially by an unprecedentedbarrage of public/online opposition to Chinese involvement inbauxite development in the Central Highlands (ref A), criticswerefurther incensed by the PRC's enforcement this summer of itsunilateral "fishing ban" in the South China Sea. Concerns aboutChina's influence have been amplified in advance of the EleventhParty Congress in January 2011, with different members ofVietnam'sPolitburo whispered to be under Beijing's sway. This past year,General Secretary Nong Duc Manh, PM Nguyen Tan Dung, StandingSecretary Truong Tan Sang, National Assembly Chair Nguyen PhuTrong, Hanoi Party Chief Pham Quang Nghi, and propaganda czar ToHuy Rua have all been characterized -- variously andinconsistently-- as Beijing's man in Hanoi. These are not innocent,

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