Sunday, February 16, 2014


Vietnamese activists in Hanoi
In a country where dissent and protest never occur unless there is official permission, this week, Vietnamese in Hanoi observed the anniversary of the bloody 1979 Sino-Vietnamese War. Vietnamese , especially veterans of that war, have long complained that their government has silenced any commemoration of their sacrifice; This apparently has now changed.

China conducted a massive cross-frontier invasion, ostensibly to punish Vietnam for its invasion and occupation of Khmer-Rouge led Cambodia. There were heavy casualties on both sides in the short border war, which saw China capture a number of towns. When Chinese troops withdrew, they conducted a scorched earth policy against territory that they had occupied.
 Chinese invasion of Vietnam
  The fact that the government allowed activists to place flowers at a temple site, sing patriotic songs, and chant Anti-Chinese slogans indicates that recent Chinese action in the South China Sea has angered Vietnam's leadership, who maintain territorial claims to both the Paracel and the Spratley islands chains. China invaded the Paracel Islands in 1974, and wrested them away from the South Vietnamese Government, and Chinese efforts to control the entire region has damaged the relationship between the two countries.

If anti-Chinese sentiment in Vietnam becomes more virulent, or a major armed confrontation in the South China Sea occurs, Vietnam could lose some or all of its lucrative international trade with China, and this would adversely affect your Country Risk assessment for Vietnam. Remember that China withheld Rare Earth elements from Japan, when there was a diplomatic row between them a while back. China could inflict some major damage upon the Vietnamese economy.

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