Dr. Alexander Vuving has published an article for The Diplomat titled, “Vietnam’s Approach to China: Bamboo Diplomacy with Neo-tributary Characteristics.

This article discusses China’s efforts in strengthening China-Vietnam relations and Vietnam’s use of bamboo diplomacy to keep China at arm’s length without coming across as an adversary. According to Vuving, Vietnam’s Communist Party chief, Nguyen Phu Trong, used bamboo as a metaphor to advocate for a foreign policy “that combines flexibility in tactics and firmness in principles, thus resulting in resilience.”

In his article Vuving analyzes the diplomatic relations between Vietnam and China, describing Vietnam’s position as walking a tightrope between the United States and China.

Says Vuving, “Vietnam has decided that it is in best interest not to side with either China or the United States.”

Dr. Alexander Vuving is a professor at the Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies. The views expressed in this article are his own and do not reflect those of DKI APCSS, the U.S. Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government.