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Vietnam: 13 Generals To Visit China

Carlyle A. Thayer, C3S Paper No. 2057

It has just bee reported that thirteen Vietnamese generals are going to China? Why now?

ANSWER: Vietnam and China are getting serious about working out practical arrangements to reduce tensions over South China Sea disputes. Since Le Hong Anh’s visit there has been at least one Vietnamese mid-level party delegation to Beijing to discuss bilateral relations. China is pushing strongly for some joint development arrangement between their oil companies in disputed areas with any oil or gas to be pumped to Vietnam for processing.

Reports that a high-level Vietnamese military delegation is about to visit China signifies that both sides are getting down to brass tacks and addressing each other’s security concerns. Both sides will be seeking reassurance about keeping the military out of maritime disputes.

The backdrop is China change in diplomatic tack to a less confrontational approach in advance of the APEC summit.

Suggested citation: Carlyle A. Thayer, “Vietnam: 13 Generals To Visit China,” Thayer Consultancy Background Brief, October 16, 2014. All background briefs are posted on (search for Thayer). To remove yourself from the mailing list type UNSUBSCRIBE in the Subject heading and hit the Reply key.

Thayer Consultancy provides political analysis of current regional security issues and other research support to selected clients. Thayer Consultancy was officially registered as a small business in Australia in 2002. (Article reprinted with the permission of the author Carlyle A. Thayer, Emeritus Professor,The University of New South Wales at the Australian Defence Force Academy, Canberra email:

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