pacific forum History of Pacific Forum

Advancing US-Vietnam Cooperation in the South China Sea: Towards a Stable, Rules-based Order in Southeast Asia



Virtual Event


November 24, 2020 (US) | November 25, 2020 (Asia)

Session 2 of the U.S.-Vietnam Indo-Pacific Conversation Series
View the Event Recording on YouTube 


Trang Pham Ngoc Minh
Vietnam National University, Ho Chi Minh City

Alexander Vuving
Professor, Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies

About the Event

Strategic trends in the South China Sea are likely to move Washington and Hanoi towards greater alignment, not less. Central to maritime security challenges in Southeast Asia is the blatant disregard for existing international rules and norms. This begs important questions: What are innovative ways to counter efforts geared at weakening the authority and standing of existing international rules and norms in the waters of Southeast Asia and beyond? How should Washington and Hanoi better coordinate maritime approaches, both at the policy and operational levels, that safeguard freedom of the seas? And how should Washington support Vietnam’s lawful exercise of sovereign rights within its EEZ, such as fishery and hydrocarbon resource exploration?

About the Speakers

 width=Trang Pham Ngoc Minh is a lecturer at Faculty of International Relations, University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Vietnam National University, Ho Chi Minh city. She teaches international law and law of the sea. Her research focuses include South China sea disputes, and ASEAN. She was a research fellow at the International Tribunal for Law of the Sea (ITLOS) in 2015, and at New York University in 2019.


 width=Dr. Alexander L. Vuving is a professor at the Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies. He joined APCSS in July 2008 from Tulane University, where he taught courses on International Relations, International Security, China and the World, and a field seminar in International Politics. Prior to Tulane, Dr. Vuving was a Research Fellow and an Associate of Harvard University’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the Kennedy School of Government. He was also a Visiting Research Fellow at the Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore. Dr. Vuving spent his formative years in Vietnam, Hungary, France, and Germany during times of dramatic changes—the wars in Indochina, the collapse of communism, and the European unification. These events have helped shape much of his professional curiosity.

Dr. Vuving’s research interests cut across International Relations, Comparative Politics, and Historical Sociology. His major areas of research range from functional topics such as the Sources of State Behavior, the Making of Grand Strategic Change, and the Workings of Soft Power, to regional issues such as Asian Security, the Rise of China, and Vietnamese Politics. He has published in major scholarly journals and presented at leading universities and think tanks around the world.

This series is held with support from the US Consul General Ho Chi Minh City.

 width=       width=