Vietnamese Defense Paper Warns of “Interference” in Its Relations with Cambodia

Vietnam has raised concerns about “interference” and “division” in its bilateral ties with Cambodia in the recently released “Defense White Paper 2019”, with observers saying it was likely referring to Phnom Penh’s growing proximity to Beijing.

Vietnam’s defense ministry released the “Defense White Paper 2019” on November 25, with VOA Khmer obtaining a copy of the document over the weekend. The document provides a rare insight into the strategic thinking within the Vietnamese defense establishment, especially on geopolitical issues, like the South China Sea conflict, and regional ties.

In a section titled “National Defense Struggle”, the paper illustrates efforts to protect “special strategic” ties with Cambodia, and refers to potential challenges to its bilateral ties with Phnom Penh, though this is done using ambiguous language.

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