Vietnam-China Relations

Vietnamese Protesters

Vietnamese Protesters

When the crisis between China and Vietnam started last May, some experts believe back then that the bilateral relations had been compromised. The crisis took back the Vietnam-China relations into a worst possible crisis since the 1979 border war. However in the recent events, Beijing and Vietnamese officials are now working into trying to strengthen their ties and forget the oilrig crisis. During the oilrig crisis there was a physical confrontation between Chinese and Vietnamese civilian law enforcement vessels. Such event incited violence in Vietnam wherein the people conducted anti-China riots, evacuation of Chinese workers from Vietnam, a decrease of Chinese people going to Vietnam and even the Vietnamese government threatening China to taking legal action in the international court.

Vietnamese foreign security officials attending conference in Beijing

Vietnamese foreign security officials attending conference in Beijing

In trying to repair its relations to Vietnam, Chinese officials had sent out special envoys and even opened up bilateral channels of communications among various governmental agencies that were greatly affected by the incident. The concerns of Vietnamese officials are appeasing the sentiments of its citizens and the prevention of damaging bilateral relations. During the visit of State Councilor Yang Jiechi to Hanoi, the media focused on the remarks about the territorial disputes in South China Sea. Such remarks symbolize how China would want to prevent the possibility of worsening the dispute against other countries. In fact Yang’s visit is a signal that China would want to maintain its relations among countries involved in the dispute. There was also a confidential behind-the-scenes discussion by representatives of Chinese and Vietnamese communist parties.

At the time wherein the 13 member high level Vietnamese military delegation visited Beijing last October 16, Chinese and Vietnamese media reported greater details on the substance of the exchanges. Such coverage could be an effect of the peaceful atmosphere in the bilateral meetings. Vietnam and China used past diplomatic solutions in repairing their strained relationship. In the coverage of the media, it emphasized on the remarks of Lt. Gen Fan Changlong, Vice Chairman of the Central Military Commission, who said that China has always been friendly and cooperative towards Vietnam. Unlike South Korea who just merely dismissed calls of Vietnam comfort women activists to obtain an apology from their government, China has in fact showed its efforts in trying to repair its relations with Vietnam.

Images by BasPhoto and talkVietnam