US Defence Secretary Mark Esper with Vietnamese Defence Minister Ngo Xuan Lich meet in Hanoi last November. Photo: AP US Defence Secretary Mark Esper with Vietnamese Defence Minister Ngo Xuan Lich meet in Hanoi last November. Photo: AP
US Defence Secretary Mark Esper with Vietnamese Defence Minister Ngo Xuan Lich meet in Hanoi last November. Photo: AP
Mark J. Valencia
Opinion

Opinion

Mark J. Valencia

Why the US-Vietnam strategic alliance in the South China Sea is unlikely to last

  • The US and Vietnam are strange bedfellows, with no common culture, ideology, political system or world view, united for now by the ‘China threat’. But with US freedom of navigation operations challenging Vietnam’s claims along with China’s and no deep trust between the two, how long can the alliance last?

US Defence Secretary Mark Esper with Vietnamese Defence Minister Ngo Xuan Lich meet in Hanoi last November. Photo: AP US Defence Secretary Mark Esper with Vietnamese Defence Minister Ngo Xuan Lich meet in Hanoi last November. Photo: AP
US Defence Secretary Mark Esper with Vietnamese Defence Minister Ngo Xuan Lich meet in Hanoi last November. Photo: AP
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Mark J. Valencia

Mark J. Valencia

Dr Mark J. Valencia is an internationally known maritime policy analyst, political commentator and consultant focused on Asia. He is the author or editor of some 15 books and more than 100 peer-reviewed journal articles. Currently he is adjunct senior scholar at the National Institute for South China Sea Studies.