The 'Same Bed, Different Dreams' of Vietnam and China: How (Mis)Trust Could Make or Break it

TTU-ISR Working Paper 1802; Thanh Tay University (May 2018)

31 Pages Posted: 12 Jun 2018

See all articles by Hong Kong Nguyen

Hong Kong Nguyen

Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University, Students; Toan Viet Info Service

Quan Hoang Vuong

Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) - Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management; Phenikaa University

Tung Ho

Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences - Institute of Philosophy; Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University, Students

Thu-Trang Vuong

Vuong & Associates; Sciences Po, Students

Date Written: May 26, 2018

Abstract

The relationship between Vietnam and China could be captured in the Chinese expression of “同床异梦”, which means lying on the same bed but having different dreams. The two countries share certain cultural and political similarities but also diverge vastly in their national interests. This paper adds to the extant literature on this topic by analyzing the element of trust/mistrust in their interactions in trade-investment, tourism, and defense-security. The analysis shows how the relationship is increasingly interdependent but is equally fragile due to the lack of trust on both sides. The mistrust or even distrust of Chinese subjects run deep within the Vietnamese mindset, from the skepticism of Chinese investment, Chinese tourists, discrimination against ethnic Chinese, to the caution against Chinese aggression in the South China Sea. The paper forecasts that, despite the deep-seated differences and occasional mistrust, going forward, neither side would risk damaging the status quo even when tensions peak.

Keywords: Sino-Vietnamese Relations, Geopolitical Interdependence, Strategic Trust

JEL Classification: F50, F52, P21

Suggested Citation

Nguyen, Hong Kong and Vuong, Quan Hoang and Ho, Tung and Vuong, Thu-Trang, The 'Same Bed, Different Dreams' of Vietnam and China: How (Mis)Trust Could Make or Break it (May 26, 2018). TTU-ISR Working Paper 1802; Thanh Tay University (May 2018), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3185278 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3185278

Hong Kong Nguyen

Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University, Students ( email )

Beppu
Japan

Toan Viet Info Service ( email )

D4 Giang Vo
Ba Dinh
Hanoi
Vietnam

Quan Hoang Vuong (Contact Author)

Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) - Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management ( email )

ULB CP 145/01
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Brussels, Bruxelles 1050
Belgium
+32-2-6504864 (Phone)
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HOME PAGE: http://www.ceb-ulb.com/vuong-quan-hoang.html

Phenikaa University ( email )

To Huu road, Yen Nghia
Ha Dong district
Hanoi, Hanoi 100803
Vietnam

HOME PAGE: http://sites.google.com/site/vuongqh2019/

Tung Ho

Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences - Institute of Philosophy ( email )

1 Lieu Glai
Ba Dinh
Hanoi
Vietnam

Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University, Students ( email )

Beppu
Japan

Thu-Trang Vuong

Vuong & Associates ( email )

3/161 Thinh Quang
Dong Da District
Hanoi, 100000
Vietnam

Sciences Po, Students ( email )

28 Rue des Saint-Peres
Paris, Paris 75006
France

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