Former Vietnamese Officials Urge Government to Move Away from China’s Orbit


Dozens of former high-ranking Vietnamese officials and prominent intellectuals continue to push for policy changes toward neighboring China as Hanoi makes final preparations for an upcoming party congress where personnel for the country’s top jobs will be selected.

In an open letter to the Communist Party Politburo last week, more than 100 people — including some who served on the now-defunct prime ministerial advising board — cited China’s massive artificial island-building spree in the South China Sea, which they called an “expansionism plot” in contested waters also claimed by Vietnam.

“China disregards international laws to step up its expansion over the South China Sea while using flowery words about peace and friendship [with Vietnam]. Not only does it blatantly encroach on Vietnamese territory, but also it causes instability to the region and the world,” read the letter, obtained by VOA’s Vietnamese Service.

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