Russia's Renewed Interest in Cam Ranh Bay Raises Chinese Concerns

Written by Henrik Rothen

Jun.22 - 2024 10:07 AM CET

Foto: Screenshot
Foto: Screenshot
Russia's renewed interest in Vietnam's Cam Ranh Bay raises strategic tensions with China.

Trending Now

Russia's interest in Cam Ranh Bay has stirred apprehension in China, according to Chinese journalists.

This development follows President Vladimir Putin's visit to Vietnam, marking a new chapter in Russian-Vietnamese relations.

The two nations have agreed to deepen their strategic partnership and expand cooperation across various sectors.

Chinese media outlet Sohu has reported on these developments.

A Strategic Visit with Far-Reaching Implications

Putin's visit to Vietnam has prompted discussions in Russia about the potential return to Cam Ranh Bay.

The bay, a crucial strategic asset in the South China Sea, belongs to Vietnam and boasts a port that has been used by American military forces and later leased to the Soviet Union and Russia.

Its deep-water facilities can accommodate large vessels, including aircraft carriers, and it sits at the intersection of significant maritime trade routes linking the Pacific and Indian Oceans.

Members of the Russian State Duma have highlighted that Cam Ranh Bay was once a key overseas base for Russia.

Financial constraints led to Russia's withdrawal, but recent discussions have revived the prospect of reestablishing a Russian presence.

Duma representatives noted that Vietnam did not favor Russia's departure and might be open to reconsidering the lease.

China’s Worries and the “Three No’s” Policy

China is particularly concerned about Russia's renewed interest in Cam Ranh Bay.

The bay's strategic importance makes it a coveted location for not only Russia but also the United States and China. Sohu's analysts pointed out Vietnam's adherence to its "three no’s" policy—no military alliances, no foreign military bases on Vietnamese soil, and no alignment with one country against another.

If Vietnam reconsiders this policy, it could trigger intense competition for control of Cam Ranh Bay, potentially pitting Russia against China as rivals rather than allies.