Challenges to Vietnam's State Capacity Essay

2242 Words Sep 26th, 2011 9 Pages
THREE MAJOR CHALLENGES TO STATE CAPACITY
FACED BY VIETNAM OVER THE LAST DECADE

State-building is an enduring process dating back from the 13th century. Since the emergence of modern states, there has never been a smooth and flat road for states’ development. States, ranging from strong to weak or from rich to poor, all have difficulties in every step of the progress. However, different states with a different history, society and nature will have to face up to different challenges, especially the challenges to state capacity which is a fundamental element of maintaining a state. Vietnam is not an exception. Being a developing country, the challenges to Vietnam’s state capacity are understandably numerous. Among those varied
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For as long as thousand years of history, these two neighbours have always had disagreements about territory. But during the last decade, the situation has worsened as both countries attempt to claim their sovereignty over the sea, especially the areas that include an important shipping route and other resources such as oil and gas deposits. The enduring disputes between Vietnam and China reached a peak with the Vietnamese government accusing a Chinese fishing boat of intentionally ramming its exploration ship in the South China Sea on the 27th of May, 2011. (Vietnam accuses China in seas dispute 2011). Since that moment on, there have been burning arguments and actions from both sides to affirm their own rights.

The disputes, emerging in recent years, have challenged the state capacity of Vietnam in two ways. The first problem comes from financial issues. To defend itself against the aggression of China over the territorial dispute, the Vietnamese government has had to invest a huge amount of money to upgrade its military capabilities. [ (Vu 2010) ] This is truly a difficult task as Vietnam has just experienced an economic crisis in 2009 and the economy is now in an instable condition. In the context of rising tensions on the South China Sea, Vietnam has to shift its spending priority into new projects. Instead of spending on economic development and improving living standards of its citizens, the national budget is now paid for

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