Vietnam and China have much in common. There is no country more similar to China than Vietnam, and there is no country more similar to Vietnam than China. They share a Sinitic cultural background, communist parties that came to power in rural revolutions, and current commitments (China since 1978, Vietnam since 1986) to market-based economic reforms. Although the most recent war of both states was with one another, combat ended in 1991 and interaction has flourished since 1999. At present, together with the rest of the world, they both face a sharp increase in global economic uncertainty. What effects will global uncertainty have on the prospects for each country and on their relationship?
Clearly, in 2008 a massive change in the world economy began, requiring that a range of policies and attitudes be rethought. Both Vietnam and China will have to adjust their development strategies. Part of the adjustment is likely to include rethinking regional institutions as well as bilateral relationships.