Jul 13, 2014 4:56 PM GMT
NYT: The Vietnamese people cannot fight Chinese encroachment alone. Political isolation in a globalized world is tantamount to committing political suicide for Vietnam. And the key ally for Vietnam today is the United States — an alliance that the Vietnamese liberation hero Ho Chi Minh ironically always wanted.
The Vietnamese people have fought for thousands of years to maintain our culture and independence, in the shadow of a giant neighbor. But continuing blindness and stupidity have poisoned generations of Vietnamese leaders, even when their Chinese “comrades” blatantly started a border war in 1979 and invaded and occupied the Paracel Islands in 1974 and the Spratly Islands in 1988 — which for centuries both belonged to Vietnam. After the revolutions in Eastern Europe in 1989, Vietnamese leaders tried to protect Communism from an embarrassing demise in Southeast Asia. At a now-infamous meeting in Chengdu, China, in 1990, Vietnamese leaders signed agreements that made our country even more dependent on China — a betrayal of our interests and a national shame.
For personal gain, some Vietnamese have even become traitors, blindly toeing the Chinese line. They are reminiscent of the reviled 18th-century king Le Chieu Thong, the last ruler of the Le Dynasty, who died in exile in China. But the cowardice of Vietnamese leaders has never been so blatant as in the past 25 years. Vietnam’s government has put a so-called communist-socialist bond with China above national interests and the well-being of its citizens. Our leaders have regarded invaders as friends.