The recent events involving China’s bullying actions against Vietnam and the Philippines are troubling and should not be ignored. Judging from China’s unlawful actions and threatening rhetoric, we cannot wait for China to act reasonably. Being the “dominant regional naval power,” China will continue abusing its power in Southeast Asia. Vietnam cannot challenge China’s military superiority, but as individuals we can act productively instead of watch helplessly.
China is building up its naval forces and missile capability for a reason. As it stands now, Vietnam and its Southeast Asian neighbors cannot militarily stand up against China’s bullying tactics. What will happen in the future (next year) when China has the capability to deploy its aircraft carrier, long-range missile, and stealth fighter? Once it has a military capability, its voice will be more belligerent and it will not hesitate to use the arsenal at its disposal. (BBC: China Extending Military Reach)
We need to do something and to not stand idly waiting and hoping for a reasonable resolution. China’s strong-arm tactics have demonstrated it will not act reasonably. We should not delude ourselves and wait for a reasonable solution or for other countries to come to Vietnam’s aid. Given historical precedents, there’s little likelihood that China will relinquish its territorial ambitions in Vietnam and other Southeast Asian countries.
For the future of Vietnam, we cannot remain helpless on-lookers. Several members on One Vietnam Network have advocated boycotting “Made in China” products. By not spending the money on Chinese products we will be withholding money that is aiding our enemy. In effect, the money would deprive China the funds for its subversive activities in Vietnam. Where do you suppose China gets its money for those activities against Vietnam? I wonder when we buy Chinese-made products if maybe we are indirectly responsible for funding China’s fifth-column activities in Vietnam.
We three million Viet Kieus need to do our part to support Vietnam by acting now and by sustaining our commitment for as long as it takes. This is the time for us to lay aside whatever differences and divisions that exist among us and to unite our efforts and act as a coordinated group. We will not be alone in this endeavor. The Filipino people are calling for a “nationwide boycott of Chinese-made goods to respond to China’s ‘bullying.’” If we join them and get the momentum going we may gather more supports and affect a change. (CNN: Rivals Push to Rename the South China Sea.)
Boycotting Chinese-made products will not be easy since almost every product in the U.S. is made in China. The effort will require a lot of sacrifices from each of us. However, collectively, our efforts may make an effective impact on helping Vietnam. We should pass this idea on to as many people as we can to leverage the playing field against China.
No matter where we Viet Kieus have transplanted ourselves in the world, we are–whether we acknowledge it or not–still bound and defined by the roots that were seeded in Vietnam. Our small sacrifice and action in helping Vietnam is in effect a way of preserving our cultural identity. If we don’t act now, then when? If we don’t act for our Vietnam, then who will for us?
Submitted June 21st, 2011