Vietnam’s South China Sea Disputes with China: The Economic Determinants

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Author: Le Hong Hiep

Source: The Korean Journal of Defense Analysis, Vol. 26, No. 2, June 2014, 175–191.

Abstract: This article seeks to provide an investigation of the influence of economic factors on the dynamics of Vietnam’s South China Sea disputes with China as well as the shaping of its related strategy. The article argues that since the late 1980s economic factors have contributed significantly and in different ways to the evolving dynamics of the bilateral disputes. Vietnam’s effective exploitation of the sea’s resources for economic development and China’s moves to counter such efforts have generated constant tensions in their bilateral relationship. Meanwhile, the growing economic interdependence between Vietnam and China is unlikely to provide pacifying effects on the disputes due to the asymmetrical nature of the relationship.

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