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The South China Sea is one of the most important trade pathways in the world. Its strategic economic importance and its geographic location at the confluence of several spheres of influence have rendered it one of the “world’s hotspots”. The South China Sea issue began as a territorial dispute over the sovereignty of the islands and sea territory involving China, five ASEAN countries including Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, Indonesia, and Taiwan. While the South China Sea has been the subject of disputes of sovereignty for some time, the conflict began to intensify when China established its nine-dash line in 2012 outlining its territorial claims in the body of water. China’s aggressive stance has prompted reactions from ASEAN countries as well as the US. The South China Sea is an area with relevance to U.S.’s national economic, strategic, security interests, so that increased tension within this area may threaten U.S.'s national interests. Vietnam is also aware that the United States is a superpower that shares concerns about China, as well as its influence in the region can play an important role in balancing power in the South China Sea Conflict. U.S presence help to contain China's aggressive actions, and multilateralization or internationalization of the South China Sea issues is also a contributing factor to control conflict. Therefore, the dispute in the South China Sea is a factor making a closer relationship between the U.S. and Vietnam. Vietnam and the United States established a Comprehensive Partnership in 2013, under which the two countries will strengthen and expand cooperation. In the future, U.S. - Vietnam cooperation will promote strong development, including sensitive fields, because of based on common strategic interests, including "sensitive" fields such as security and defense.

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Issue: Vol 3 No 3 (2019)
Page No.: 152-161
Published: Feb 28, 2020
Section: Research Article - Social Sciences

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Copyright: The Authors. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License CC-BY 4.0., which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

 How to Cite
Ha Trang, N. (2020). The South China Sea issue in U.S. - Vietnam relations under President B. Obama. Science & Technology Development Journal - Social Sciences & Humanities, 3(3), 152-161.

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