Vietnam: Guns and Butter

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On April 3rd, Cam Ranh International Port (CRIP) hosted an erstwhile enemy. A group of Japanese naval ships docked at a port the country once occupied in World War II. The opening of CRIP signals Hanoi’s commitment to reconciling with former enemies in order to expand, not only its foreign policy aims, but its economic ones as well.

The most recent metrics coming out of Vietnam illustrate prevailing upward trends in both economic growth and military spending. Both trends are guided by Vietnam’s relationship with the two largest powers in the region: China and the United States. A new Prime Minister, Nguyen Xuan Phuc, will have the difficult role of managing these two relationships in order to maintain Vietnam’s prosperity and safety.

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