U.S.-Vietnam Relations: National Interests in the Southeast Asia Sea
If you’ve been keeping track of the recent happenings in Southeast Asia (which I assume you all do! Not.), you will definitely notice the sudden flourishing of U.S-Vietnamese relations. Why has America become so close to Vietnam lately? One of many reasons is the United States’ national interest in the South China Sea/Southeast Asia Sea.
China claims sovereignty over the entire Southeast Asia Sea, without credible historical evidence (see August 4, 2010), which causes problems since the sea is an important international trading route. If China were to successfully take control of the Southeast Asia Sea, the U.S., along with many other countries, would have to go through China in order to conduct trade with each other. This is not favorable for anyone, except China. For this reason, the United States has declared that the Southeast Asia Sea/South China Sea has become part of the country’s national interest.
U.S. Captain David Lausman, commander of the George Washington, says that the waters of the Southeast Asia Sea “belong to nobody, yet belong to everybody.” He also clarifies by saying that “China has a right to operate here, as do we and every other country of the world.”
Hopefully by now, the people of America have recognized the expansionist and predatory tendencies of the Beijing government. The Chinese government has taken over Tibet, Xinjiang, and even some bordering regions of India. Now they are trying to take the Paracel and Spratly Islands, lands that belong to Vietnam, although some of Spratly rightfully belongs to the Philippines, with the bigger ambition of controlling the entire Southeast Asia Sea.
Mr. Frederick Brown, a former consul-general of the U.S. military who served in Vietnam in the 1970’s, explains that America, along with Vietnam, is now trying to “resist China’s propensity to say, ‘what’s mine is mine, and what’s yours is also mine.'”
The U.S. finally recognizes the need to break the silence in the matter regarding the Southeast Asia Sea/South China Sea. As a result, the American military has been conducting joint exercises with the Vietnamese military, signaling their newly established relationship. Maybe in time, with the influence of a favorable ally and the guidance of a capable leader, the people of Vietnam would finally get to enjoy the basic rights and freedoms that we appreciate so much in the west.