Lựa chọn của Bắc Kinh trong quan hệ với Việt Nam trước trận chiến lớn với Hoa Kỳ

Trung Quốc đang rơi vào tình trạng bất ổn ngoại giao khi các chuyên gia cho rằng Trung Quốc đang lên kế hoạch triển khai quân sự chống lại Việt Nam trên biển Đông.

The South China Sea has become a cauldron of tension with the US and China squabbling over its distribution. Trade and military presence are the two main motives behind the congested competition in the area. China has already tried to influence Australian foreign policy in the past, using businessmen's political donations to try and change Canberra's stance to being pro-Chinese ownership. Australia enjoys key strategic links with the UK as a member of the Commonwealth but also with the US, as troops regularly touch down for military exercises.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is an organisation maintaining cooperation between states on factors such as military, political, trade and alliance issues in the region, therefore playing a vital role over the South China Sea and China.

Beijing is trying to pressure Vietnam into halting its exploration of seas and resources in contested waters, but in July China sent fleets to the Vanguard Bank, an area that lies in the Vietnam economic exclusion zone.

Occupying the Vanguard bank would mean Chinese ships would no longer need to return to mainland China for refuelling and maintenance during journeys into the South China Sea.

It also means they can patrol much closer to the Vietnamese coastline and for longer periods of time.

In his article for the Asia Times, David Hutt outlines that the rising tensions between the countries could lead to a repeat of 2014 when a Chinese oil rig Hai Yang Shi You 981 moved into Vietnamese waters.

China's behaviour has not escalated the situation just yet, but increasing pressure on Hanoi has coincided with increased military spending by the Vietnamese government that could reach $7.9billion by 2024.

According to Derek Grossman, a defence analyst at RAND, China would most likely initiate any violence towards Vietnam first because Beijing sees the state as a beatable opposition and their “preferred warm-up fight".

Chinese and Vietnamese forces last came to blows in 1988 during a skirmish around the South China Sea’s Johnson South Reef, a clash that killed 64 Vietnamese soldiers.

That followed on a brief but bloody border war in 1979 where both sides lost thousands of soldiers.