Vietnam Academy Of Social Sciences

Scientific conference “Positioning Vietnam in the foreign policy of the current great powers”.


On November 6th, 2019, at meeting hall 3D, the headquarters No.1A Lieu Giai, Ba Dinh, Hanoi, Institute of World Economics and Politics under the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences (VASS) held a scientific conference “Positioning Vietnam in the foreign policy of the current great powers”.

The conference was honoured to welcome Prof. Dr. Dang Nguyen Anh, Vice President of the VASS - Director of the Institute of World Economics and Politics attended and directed, Dr. Dang Xuan Thanh, Vice President of the VASS, with the presence of many delegates who are scientists, distinguished guests from relevant agencies, and the entire staff of the Institute of World Economics and Politics.

Prof.Dr. Dang Nguyen Anh gave an opening speech at the conference Dr. Dang Xuan Thanh spoke at the conference

Speaking at the conference, Prof.Dr. Dang Nguyen Anh warmly welcomed the attendance of all delegates, emphasized the importance of the conference and shared: “After 30 years of Doi Moi, Vietnam has recorded impressive achievements”. The economy has overcome the crisis, and since 2010 Vietnam has entered the ranks of middle-income countries with a high average annual growth rate.

In foreign relations, the stature, position and reputation of Vietnam in the international arena have been gradually improved, recognized and appreciated by the international community. Vietnam has strongly shifted from "active participation" to "proactively contributing to the building and shaping of multilateral institutions".

Besides, international friends are also very confident when choosing Vietnam as the venue for holding many important conferences on the regional and global scale. The North Korea–United States Summit held in Hanoi in late February 2019 is an important world event that attracts significant international attention. The successful organization of the summit, Vietnam has affirmed its considerable role as a mediator in the international arena.

However, when countries continue to adjust their foreign policy, the determination of Vietnam's role and position is very urgent, especially in the context of Vietnam's increasingly deep integration and realization. The country's development practice is also in need of a landmark push from foreign policy, to motivate domestic reform process and future socio-economic development. So, what do other countries think about Vietnam? How important is Vietnam's role in other countries?

Vietnam may not be the most important partner but an indispensable partner for nations. Is that true?

These were questions that have been suggested by VASS Vice President. He also wants to receive specific discussions from the delegates to recognize and evaluate the meaning, the urgency of the problem, contributing to enriching the reasoning system on international cooperation, foreign relations of Vietnam in the coming time.

Panorama of the conference
With that meaning, the conference has been listening to many presentations on issues such as (1) Positioning Vietnam in US foreign policy; (2) Vietnam in the current Chinese strategy; (3) Vietnam's position in the new foreign policy of China in the era of Xi Jinping; (4) Vietnam's position in foreign policy of the Russian Federation in the current period; (5) Vietnam in India's foreign policy; (6) Vietnam's position in the current foreign policy of Japan; (7) Vietnam's position in Korea's foreign policy and policy implications for promoting Vietnam-Korea relations; (8) Vietnam's position and large countries' strategies in the Asia-Pacific region; (9). Policies on alliances and associations of some great powers, and the choice of Vietnam; (10) About the strategic equilibrium in relations with major countries. Sharing the change in the strategic thinking of the United States, Dr Nguyen Ngoc Manh (Vietnam Institute of American Studies) said: "Since the end of 2017, the Trump Administration has come up with the "Free and Open Indo-Pacific (FOIP)" strategy with the main objective of curbing China, promoting US economic growth and maintaining maintain the US position in Southeast Asia in particular and the Indian Ocean - Pacific in general; making Vietnam and ASEAN placed at the centre of the Indo-Pacific strategy. Implementing this strategy, the Trump administration has concretized the contents of cooperation with countries in Southeast Asia based on two pillars of security and economy to expand influence and restrain China by using bilateral relations to shape its multilateral cooperation institutions. In particular, maritime security will become a pillar of cooperation in the field of politics - national defence, while projects of energy infrastructure cooperation will become a pillar of economic cooperation that ASEAN and Vietnam are evaluated as a potential cooperative market of the United States.
Assoc.Prof.Dr. Dinh Cong Tuan (the Institute for European Studies) spoke at the conference Dr Nguyen Ngoc Manh (the Vietnam Institute of American Studies) stated at the conference

Share the opinion about Vietnam in China's global and regional strategy, Assoc.Prof.Dr. Dinh Cong Tuan (Institute for European Studies) stated that China's global, regional strategy is to become a superpower, a world-leading nation in the middle of the 21st century. Therefore, Vietnam's role in this strategy is clear; although it is not too large, it has a strong impact on Vietnam. In the current period, Vietnam needs to adjust and determine how to deal with China's strategy. It is well adapted to the rise and the growth of China, clearly defining Vietnam's goals to ensure national security, continuous development, creating posture and force of diversification, multilateralisation of international relations, maintaining a peaceful environment for development, wisely putting national interests first in dealing with China.

Speaking at the conference, Dr. Dang Xuan Thanh emphasized that clarifying Vietnam's position in great powers' foreign strategy is an essential factor for Vietnam to have a more specific view on this issue. The results of the discussion are important scientific arguments that contribute to the assessment and marking foreign policy and international integration of Vietnam, aiming to ensure two main benefits: Firstly, security benefits (territorial sovereignty, political security…); Second, the benefits of economic development. To successfully complete these tasks, Vietnam needs to continue renovating and restructuring the economy to fully integrate into the global economy; promoting multilateral relations to balance with great powers as well as rely on ASEAN in its foreign policies.

Dr. Nguyen Binh Giang delivered closing remarks
Assessing the achieved results, Dr. Nguyen Binh Giang (Deputy Director of the Institute of World Economics and Politics) enthusiastically praised the exchanges and affirmed that the discussions, ideas would be quickly synthesized and formulated by the organizing committee into a report to add to the reasoning system, policy implications for Vietnam's development strategies, as well as opening new approaches for the next studies of the Institute of World Economics and Politics in the coming period.

Pham Vinh Ha

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