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Hanoi will feel pain for helping US return

(Global Times)

10:07, July 12, 2012

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in Hanoi Tuesday that the US supports Vietnam's work in resolving the South China Sea issue, but also told Vietnam it needs to do more to protect human rights. She expressed her concerns over "the jailing of journalists, bloggers, lawyers and dissidents for peaceful expression."

Clinton's remarks have clearly outlined the direction of Vietnam developing a strategic partnership with the US. The bilateral relationship between Hanoi and Washington is more like a marriage of convenience. Vietnam has to give up its current path of development if it wants to be able to count on US support.

Politically, Vietnam is following the path of China, realizing rapid development by taking the road of gradual reform. Western values haven't deeply encroached into Vietnam. The influence of political opposition is much less active than it is in China.
An elite class politically allied with the West hasn't been formed in Vietnam. But such a trend is already being started before it deeply affects Hanoi's domestic political landscape.

Strong anti-government protests are rare in Vietnam now. A few sporadic incidents are seemingly all against the Chinese government. However, they may change their targets in the future.

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