What Does Vietnam Want from the US in the South China Sea?

The Diplomat

Despite seeking a balance between the superpowers, Vietnam desires more robust security ties with Washington.

Derek Grossman

By Derek GrossmanJanuary 04, 2021   

What Does Vietnam Want from the US in the South China Sea?
Sailors signal to an MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter as it hovers over the flight deck of the guided-missile destroyer USS McCampbell during a training exercise in the South China Sea, July 22, 2016.Credit: Flickr/U.S. Navy

As the incoming Biden administration formulates its South China Sea strategy, one regional partner that looms large is Vietnam. Over the last few years, tensions between China and Vietnam in the South China Sea have remained high, impacting fishing and natural resource exploration in disputed waters. While the Biden administration is likely to continue the positive momentum in bilateral ties, it is less clear what specifically Hanoi seeks from Washington to help it effectively deter Beijing.

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