Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Faculty of Law, Humanities and the Arts


This thesis investigates the cooperation and competition between a global power (the United States) and a regional power (China) in Southeast Asia from 1991 to 2015. The research explores the interests of the US and China, focusing on how collective benefits can be maximised so as to meet the national interests of Vietnam. By means of an empirical analysis of American, Chinese and Vietnamese foreign policy through extensive interviews with ASEAN politicians and diplomats, this thesis argues that, contrary to some accounts, Vietnam is not forging closer ties to the US to counter-balance the rise of China. Rather, the thesis argues that Vietnam has adopted a steady policy of power balancing. This is in accordance with recent Vietnamese foreign policy, which is based on diversity and multilateralism.

FoR codes (2008)

160606 Government and Politics of Asia and the Pacific, 160607 International Relations, 210302 Asian History



Unless otherwise indicated, the views expressed in this thesis are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Wollongong.