China Seminar | 10 May 2018

Sino-Vietnamese Relations in the 21st Century: The View from a Changing Vietnam

Liam C. Kelley Liam C. Kelley

Sino-Vietnamese relations have often been depicted as being “timeless,” as a story of China’s desire to expand southward and of Vietnamese efforts to resist Chinese hegemony. The historical reality, however, has been much more complex, and the same is the case for the current relations between the two countries. This is particularly so given how dramatically Vietnamese society has changed over the past 20 years. This talk will attempt to illuminate this point by examining how the transformed Vietnamese society of today has dealt with various issues that Vietnam has had with the Chinese world, from the South China/East Sea dispute to the Formosa steel plant fish kill incident. The way that Vietnamese society reacts to these issues is changing and getting ever more complex. Liam Kelley is an Associate Professor of History at the University of Hawaii at Manoa where he teaches about Southeast Asian history. His PhD is also from UH Manoa, but in Chinese history. All of his scholarship in one way or another relates to the history of the complex relationship between Vietnam and China, from the culture of diplomatic relations in premodern times, to Sino-Vietnamese religious cults in the twentieth century, to the role of China in the history of Vietnamese nationalism.