5th Floor, Woodrow Wilson Center

President Obama in Hanoi: Vietnam-U.S.-China Relations in Transition

Podcast available

Event Co-sponsors

Podcast (Audio only)

President Obama visited Vietnam in late May of 2016, against the backdrop of growing uncertainty in the South China Sea. Vietnam-China relations are steeped in 2,000 years of shared culture and deep distrust. Like its Southeast Asian neighbors, Hanoi must balance its relationship with China and the United States with increasing care. It is a party to the Trans Pacific Partnership, but is also a founding member of the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. While Vietnam values its economic relationship with the PRC, it prefers an enhanced American regional security role to the prospect of Chinese military dominance. Panelists assessed President Obama’s Vietnam trip and discussed how Vietnam’s response to Chinese and American competition and cooperation in the region will affect the American rebalance.

This event is part of the Wilson Center’s Weighing the Rebalance Series, a joint effort of the Asia Program and the Kissinger Institute on China and the United States.

Moderator: Sandy Pho, Program Associate, Kissinger Institute on China and the United States


  • Hung M. Nguyen

    Nonresident Senior Associate, Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Marvin Ott

    Asia Fellow
    Adjunct Professor, Johns Hopkins University; Former Professor of National Security Policy, National War College and Deputy Staff Director, Senate Select Committee on Intelligence
  • Yun Sun

    Co-Director, East Asia Program and China Program Director, Henry L. Stimson Center
  • Sandy Pho

    Senior Associate