Deals With the Free World, It’s a Great Thing!
As you may know, Vietnam has made some pretty productive moves this past week. During the meeting of East Asian ministers, Vietnam struck new deals with Japan, Russia, and the United States. Being an optimist, I’d hope to see more deals like these made in the near future.
The business benefits of these agreements are clear, international investments, jobs, etc. What I really like about these agreements is Vietnam’s willingness to cooperate with the democratic countries. Officials from all sides hint at further improvements in multilateral relations, and that is a great thing.
I’m not naive enough to believe that these deals alone could make Vietnam democratic overnight. However, I am idealistic enough to suggest that these new deals are taking Vietnam in a positive direction. Any type of cooperation with a free and democratic country is good in my opinion.
That being said, I am not completely convinced. Yes, things look good right now, but this is only the start of it. Though China’ grip on the VCP seems to be slipping, they still hold considerable influence within the Party, and that makes things highly unpredictable.
At this point, my opinion about the Vietnamese government can go either way. They’ve taken positive steps in moving the country forward, but the old problems still remain. Only when the Party starts talking freedom of expression, association, and religion will you see my approval.