China and Vietnam: The Politics of Asymmetry by Brantly Womack

By Brantly Womack

Of their 3 thousand years of interplay, China and Vietnam were via an entire diversity of relationships. all through a lot of these fluctuations the single consistent has been that China is often the bigger energy, and Vietnam the smaller. but China has infrequently been capable of dominate Vietnam, and the connection is formed through its asymmetry. The Sino-Vietnamese dating offers the right flooring for constructing and exploring the consequences of asymmetry on diplomacy. Womack develops his conception along side an unique research of the interplay among China and Vietnam from the Bronze Age to the current.

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Extra info for China and Vietnam: The Politics of Asymmetry

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The larger economy can be unified in its regulations, can be rationalized in its communications, and can suffer a smaller military burden, since the relative border area is reduced. 6 It is also the logic of common markets and regional trading systems. What of the structural problems of large size? 7 In domestic politics this could be expressed in federalistic devolutions of power or in tendencies toward regionalism. In foreign affairs, the larger country is less likely to be as quick and internally coordinated in its external actions.

World Bank, World Development Report 2003 (New York: Oxford University Press, 2003). P1: KAE 0521853206c01 16 CUNY214B/Womack 0 521 85320 6 November 30, 2005 China and Vietnam that of Thailand. The Gross National Income (equivalent to Gross Domestic Product [GDP], the final market value of domestic production) of China is roughly twice the per capita figure for Vietnam, while Guangdong has almost twice the Chinese national figure. Guangdong’s figure shows how rapidly economies can grow, since it was below the national average in 1980.

Without consideration of a deeper structure, the future can only be imagined as an extension of present facts. A structural analysis does not allow one to predict the future, but it can look for the context of the future that is hidden in the present and the past, and in the shape of the general situation. The second weakness of commonsense description is specific to situations of disparity. If we do not take the different structures and contexts of China and Vietnam into account, it will appear that a particular fact or event would have the same meaning for both.

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