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The “same bed, different dreams” of Vietnam and China: how (mis)trust could make or break it

Hong Kong Nguyen-To, Quan-Hoang Vuong, Tung Ho and Thu Trang Vuong
Authors registered in the RePEc Author Service: Thu-Trang Vuong and Quan-Hoang Vuong

No 18-021, Working Papers CEB from ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles

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 culturaland political similarities but also diverge vastly in their national interests. This paper adds to the extantliterature 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 butis equally fragile due to the lack of trust on both sides. The mistrust or even distrust of Chinese subjectsrun 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.

JEL-codes: F50 F52 P21 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 24 p.
Date: 2018-06-04
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-sea and nep-soc
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