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Huong Le Thu:
By Huong Le Thu - 21 Feb 2017
South Korea and Australia, being established middle powers and allies of the US, are facing the challenge of the changing nature of the cordial relationship with the Washington. Unlike the smaller players, they are in a position to take a more active role in shaping the regional order.
The current regional political constellation — in particular the trend of concentrating on domestic politics at the expense of regional matters — partially explains the weakening commitment to ASEAN across Southeast Asia. This contributes to an expectation for countries with strong regional agendas, like Vietnam, to step up.
It was in Hanoi that the US President Barack Obama announced a full annulment of the US arms embargo on Vietnam — a decision hailed as a symbolic milestone in the closure to the painful wartime past.
Economic policies beg for a major update from the implementation of the Doi Moi reforms in 1986. To ensure full integration into the global economy, including fulfilling expectations of the TPP, Vietnam need to do some serious adjustments.