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South China Sea disputes: Will Hanoi switch side and get closer to Washington?



The oil resources in South China Sea is again stirring up tension between Vietnam and China. US calls China's claim in South China Sea "completely unlawful". It makes us wonder if Hanoi will therefore get closer to Washington.

This photo was taken in Pakhoi (Beihai), located closer to the Vietnamese port of Haiphong than to the metropolis of Hong Kong, was China’s southernmost treaty port, opened in 1877. The French, for instance, who had a leading hand in the city’s foreign trade, managed their post offices in Pakhoi from their colonies in French Indochina. Due to its location on the northern shore of the Gulf of Tonkin, it played an important role in international trade between Southern China and Southeast Asia. The city used to belong to Guangdong Province, but after the Communist takeover of the country, Beijing decided to entrust the seaport city to Guangxi, which until then had been a landlocked province. It was again opened to Western trade and investment in the 1980s. Today, Beihai is a city of 1.5 million people and is still most famous for its fishing industry. In the photo, a boy is showing off his diving skills, while a man is fishing in the South China Sea.

© 2019 by Messmer and Chuang