As Vietnam assumes the ASEAN chair for 2020, its geopolitics are increasingly defined by how it manages Chinese aggression in the South China Sea.
Two years ago, the European Commission warned Vietnam for not fulfilling its international obligations on tackling illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing. Two years on, the country has made clear it will no longer tolerate rogue actors that threaten fish stocks.
Vietnam blocks cinemas from showing ‘Abominable’. As China wrestles control of the global cultural narrative, the decision will be the first of many.
As droughts and flooding in the Mekong River basin become harsher and more frequent due to the effects of climate change, coal and hydropower may no longer be viable development paths for the region.
ASEAN’s universities are struggling to compete. But the same forces that are pushing them to the brink can pull them to safety.
China is trying to manipulate international dispute resolution mechanisms to sew confusion and further its economic interests in the South China Sea. Its diplomatic and military activities are pushing the region closer to the brink of conflict.
The new EU-Vietnam free trade agreement (FTA) shows the EU will look past human rights violations to push a trade agenda. But as FTAs with ASEAN states don’t offer the EU the same economic benefits, it’s unlikely the bloc will pen more in the near future.
Merchants in Vietnam don’t like credit cards, and they are not alone. Vendors across the world are refusing to serve credit card customers.
The new EU-Vietnam free trade deal may prompt manufacturers to move operations from Thailand to Vietnam. Thailand will likely look to other markets to compensate.
In 2016, a Taiwanese steel plant in Vietnam dumped toxic pollution into the ocean, destroying local livelihoods and incurring millions of dollars of environmental damage. Now seven thousand of these Vietnamese fishermen and their families are taking the Formosa Group to court.