As the U.S. steps back, Vietnamese wonder if China is taking control


Vincent Bevins


The Washington Post


August 26, 2017


Citizens of Vietnam have developed an unusual national pastime: Across the country and on social networks, people trade suspicions that their government is secretly giving in to an aggressive China. And lately, there has been plenty of fuel for their rumors. Some blame a visibly diminished U.S. presence for giving Beijing an opportunity to act behind the scenes. Many blame officials in Hanoi for putting economic cooperation or alleged communist solidarity above questions of national pride. Last month, when a valuable project overseen by the Spanish company Repsol was suspended without explanation, both theories abounded.