What Happened: Vietnam has released its first defense white paper in a decade, The Diplomat reported Nov. 26. The paper reaffirms the country's strategy of avoiding military alliances with other countries, not aligning itself against other nations and not permitting foreign military bases on its soil. At the same time, the document also outlines Vietnam's intention not to use force in foreign relations.
Why It Matters: The document reflects Vietnam's strategic rationale amid a changing regional security environment, particularly China's growing assertiveness in the maritime domain. The paper also emphasizes self-sufficiency as a key element of Vietnam's defense strategy as the country seeks to avoid military alliances to maintain its position as an independent power.
Background: Vietnam published its first defense white paper in 1998, followed by two additional versions in 2004 and 2009.