- Vietnam’s main geopolitical goal is to maintain autonomy
- Global players dominate the region’s geopolitics
- Hanoi will balance relations between the U.S., China and Russia for maximum leverage
Vietnam is a medium-sized country seeking a maximum degree of autonomy in a region where the interests of big global powers intersect. Competition between the United States, China and – uniquely for Vietnam among Southeast Asian nations – Russia dominates the country’s geopolitical strategy. Vietnam will calibrate its relationships to keep each of these powers at arm’s length, with their actions determining which dials Hanoi twists, and how far.