Vietnam’s ‘Putin’ Steers Country Away From China, Toward U.S. – 

BEIJING — Vietnam’s prime minister, a former child messenger for the Viet Cong, has spent his 10 years in power standing up to the Chinese and steering his country closer to the U.S.

Tipped as a strong candidate to become the head of Vietnam’s Communist Party at next week’s National Congress, Nguyen Tan Dung has already been dubbed his country’s “Putin.”

Image: Folks singers and dancers perform
Folks singers and dancers perform at a reception commemorating 60 years diplomatic relations between China and Vietnam in a hotel in Beijing on Tuesday. Eric Baculinao / NBC News

“No one in Vietnam has done a Vladimir Putin, who has served as prime minister and then president,” said Professor Carl Thayer, an expert on Vietnam affairs at the University of New South Wales at the Australian Defense Force Academy.

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