More Friends, Fewer Enemies

International Dialogue, Peace, Vietnam | 04.04.2024

More Friends, Fewer Enemies

Vietnam bolsters a diverse set of strategic partnerships including the US, China, Russia and Japan. They are emblematic of Vietnam's balanced approach to foreign policy and its efforts to reject further polarization in the Indo-Pacific.

In December 2021, General Secretary Trong formulated this approach in a catchy slogan for the first time. He emphasized that throughout Vietnam’s history, independence, autonomy, and the safeguarding of national interests had always been “unchanging principles”. At the same time, the aim has always been to resolve conflicts at an early stage, thereby preventing wars. Building on Ho Chi Minh’s ideals, Trong said that the country’s foreign policy is imbued with the “identity of Vietnamese bamboo”, characterized by “strong roots, a firm trunk, and flexible branches”. With this, Trong coined the term “bamboo diplomacy”, which has since become part of official parlance.

Learn more about Vietnam's foreign policy in this article written by Stefan Mentschel, director of the Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung's Hanoi office.

More Friends, Fewer Enemies. How Vietnamese Foreign Policy Embraces the “Bamboo Diplomacy” Approach

Publication: This article first appeared in nd.aktuell in cooperation with the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation

Author: Stefan Mentschel

Translation: Juan Diego Otero and Hunter Bolin, Gegensatz Translation Collective

Date: 2024-04-04

Link: English version / German version

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