Dec 8, 2015 | Source: The Washington Post
The fingers of both hands tightly intertwined, retired Maj. Gen. Le Van Cuong describes how Vietnam is overly dependent economically on its giant neighbor, China. Then, as he talks about the Transpacific Partnership, a U.S.-led trade deal involving a dozen Pacific Rim countries, the general’s grip relaxes, and his fingers pries themselves apart.
“The TPP is not just economic, it is also a political and security deal,” said Cuong, former head of the Ministry of Public Security’s Strategy Institute, arguing that it will help loosen China’s grip on his country. “It has more value for Vietnam than buying 10 submarines.”
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