Overview of Vietnam’s National Interests

In Vietnam’s policy discourse, the concept of national interests is sometimes used in distinction from the interests of particular social classes and sometimes in contrast to ideology. The discourse has witnessed in the decades following the Cold War’s end a steadily increasing emphasis on the national interest that implies that national interests should trump class interests and ideology if there is a conflict between them. This emphasis also gave rise to a broader sense of national interests understood as encompassing the needs for survival and development of the nation that are recognized and pursued by national leaders as the fundamental objectives of national policy. In this sense, national interests subsume ideological concerns and reflect the interests of both the ruling class and the nation at large. This chapter uses the term “national interests” in this broader sense.

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