Vietnam’s Alliance Politics in the South China Sea

Source: Le Hong Hiep, “Vietnam’s Alliance Politics in the South China Sea”, Trends in Southeast Asia, No.6, 2015.

Executive summary: 

– Vietnam has long maintained “no alliance” as a core principle in its foreign policy. However, as China becomes increasingly assertive in the South China Sea, there are indications that Vietnam is moving towards “alliance politics”, or efforts to forge close security and defense ties short of formal, treaty-bound alliances with key partners, to deal with the new situation. Continue reading “Vietnam’s Alliance Politics in the South China Sea”

Vietnam: The Global Economy and Macroeconomic Outlook

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Source:  Sanjay Kalra, “Vietnam: The Global Economy and Macroeconomic Outlook”, Journal of Southeast Asian Economies, Vol. 32/1 (Apr 2015).

Abstract: After almost a decade of high growth, Vietnam’s growth rate fell during 2011–13. Since 2001, the country has also experienced two bouts of high inflation, booms and busts in equity and real estate markets, and episodes of large capital inflows and outflows. Against the backdrop of the global economy, this paper provides an account of macroeconomic developments in Vietnam during 2011 to 2013, examines the imbalances that came to a head in 2011, the macroeconomic stabilization achieved during 2012 to 2014, and the outlook and challenges going forward. The paper concludes that successfully designing and implementing a broad set of policies — staying the course on macroeconomic stabilization, while accelerating the pace of structural reform significantly, and integrating into the global economy — will allow Vietnam to further advance the remarkable gains that it has already made in poverty alleviation and achieving its Millenium Development Goals.

Continue reading “Vietnam: The Global Economy and Macroeconomic Outlook”

Combating Corruption: Implications of the G20 Action Plan for the Asia-Pacific Region

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Source: Norman Abjorensen, Combating Corruption: Implications of the G20 Action Plan for the Asia-Pacific Region (Tokyo: Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, 2014)

Nepotism, Bribery, Patronage, Collusion… The list of categories in the murky sphere of corruption appears to be a bottomless pit. The obstinate prevalence of corruption has, for the longest time, been one of the most perturbing thorns in the flesh of nation states all around the globe. Especially in Asia, large parts of both the public and private sector are riddled with corrupt practices, gravely undermining efforts to expedite the conduct of ‘good governance’.

Continue reading “Combating Corruption: Implications of the G20 Action Plan for the Asia-Pacific Region”

Rules of origin, labour standards and the TPP

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Source: David Vanzetti & Pham Lan Huong, “Rules of origin, labour standards and the TPP”, paper presented at 17th Annual Conference on Global Economic Analysis, June 18-20, 2014, Dakar.

Abstract: Vietnam is in a process of active negotiations to participate in Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) — a free trade agreement among Pacific economies, including the United States but excluding China. The negotiations are considered of high priority for Vietnam, because the likely impacts are thought to be positive. Although the negotiations have not yet been completed, the three sectors to benefit most in Vietnam include textiles, apparel and footwear. However, Vietnam may face major constraints in maximizing TPP’s potential benefits due to restrictive rule of origin requirements. Furthermore, Vietnam may be obliged to improve its labour standards, for example by allowing freedom of association. The likely effects of these restrictions are quantified using a general equilibrium model.  Continue reading “Rules of origin, labour standards and the TPP”

China: Maritime Claims in the South China Sea

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Source: Office of Ocean and Polar Affairs, Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, U.S. Department of State

Date of publication: December 5, 2014

Introduction

This study analyzes the maritime claims of the People’s Republic of China in the South China Sea, specifically its “dashed-line” claim encircling islands and waters of the South China Sea. Continue reading “China: Maritime Claims in the South China Sea”

“The Virgin Mary is Going South”: Refugee Resettlement in South Vietnam, 1954–1956

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Source: Jessica Elkind, “The Virgin Mary is Going South”: Refugee Resettlement in South Vietnam, 1954–1956″, Diplomatic History, Vol. 38, No. 5 (2014), pp.987-1016.

In the months following the 1954 partition of Vietnam, nearly one million people fled their homes north of the seventeenth parallel, hoping for better and more secure lives in the south. Many of those fleeing had served in the French colonial administration and were Catholics, and they feared political or religious persecution under Ho Chi Minh’s government. South Vietnamese and American officials actively encouraged and supported the migration, despite the fact that the influx of northerners presented immediate challenges both to the southern government and to the partnership between Washington and Saigon. Continue reading ““The Virgin Mary is Going South”: Refugee Resettlement in South Vietnam, 1954–1956”

Fraternal Support: The East German ‘Stasi’ and the DRV during the Vietnam War

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Title: Martin Grossheim, “Fraternal Support: The East German ‘Stasi’ and the Democratic Republic of Vietnam during the Vietnam War”, Cold War International History Project Working Paper #71, September 2014.

Introduction: 

In the post-war world, new linkages were established between the so-called “Second World” and the “Global South.” This working paper explores the role which the German Democratic Republic (GDR), or East Germany, played as a second-tier member of the socialist camp in the evolution of state socialism and state modernization in Vietnam. The paper analyzes the links that were forged between the secret service of a minor player in Cold War, the GDR, and the newly constituted intelligence service in the post-colonial Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRV). On a more general level, the paper highlights the role of the periphery and demonstrates the importance of middle- and small-powers in the history of the Cold War. Continue reading “Fraternal Support: The East German ‘Stasi’ and the DRV during the Vietnam War”

Perspectives on the South China Sea: Diplomatic, Legal, and Security Dimensions of the Dispute

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Authors: Murray Hiebert, Gregory B. Poling, Phuong Nguyen (editors)

Source: Center for Strategic and International Studies

Summary: The South China Sea is arguably one of the world’s most dangerous regions, with conflicting diplomatic, legal, and security claims by major and mid-level powers. To assess these disputes, CSIS brought together an international group of experts—from Australia, Canada, China, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Vietnam. This volume gathers these experts’ analyses to provide a diverse and wide-ranging set of perspectives on the region and to explore possibilities for future cooperation. Continue reading “Perspectives on the South China Sea: Diplomatic, Legal, and Security Dimensions of the Dispute”

Inflation dynamics and monetary policy transmission in Vietnam and emerging Asia

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Title: Inflation dynamics and monetary policy transmission in Vietnam and emerging Asia

Author: Rina Bhattacharya

Source: Journal of Asian Economics 34 (2014) 16–26

Abstract: This paper provides an overview of inflation developments in Vietnam in the years following the doi moi reforms, and uses empirical analysis to answer two key questions: (i) what are the key drivers of inflation in Vietnam, and what role does monetary policy play? and (ii) why has inflation in Vietnam been persistently higher than in most other emerging market economies in the region? It focuses on understanding the monetary policy transmission mechanism in Vietnam, and in understanding the extent to which monetary policy can explain why inflation in Vietnam has been higher than in other Asian emerging markets over the past decade. Continue reading “Inflation dynamics and monetary policy transmission in Vietnam and emerging Asia”

Explaining US Strategic Partnerships in the Asia-Pacific Region

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Author:  Prashanth Parameswaran

Source: Contemporary Southeast Asia, Vol. 36, No. 2 (2014), pp. 262-89.

Abstract: Since the mid-1990s, strategic partnerships have emerged as a new form of alignment between states, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region. Yet only recently has the United States begun to pursue such relationships, especially under the Obama administration which has signed new partnerships with Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia and New Zealand. As a result, the current literature does not yet include significant study on how the United States views strategic partnerships. This article attempts to fill this gap by exploring the emergence of strategic partnerships as a new form of alignment in US strategy in the Asia Pacific under the Obama administration. Drawing on the existing literature on alignment, government documents, as well as conversations with policymakers from the United States and Southeast Asia, it argues that Washington is pursuing strategic partnerships as part of a deliberate effort to both enlist target countries to share the burden in addressing challenges and to institutionalize its relationships in the Asia Pacific. It constructs an original three-part analytical framework to understand how US policymakers conceive, craft and evaluate strategic partnerships in the Asia Pacific and applies it to analyse the similarities and differences in US partnerships with Indonesia and Vietnam. Continue reading “Explaining US Strategic Partnerships in the Asia-Pacific Region”