Daily Archives

11 Articles

Posted by Worldkrap on

UN Report Warns Myanmar May Try to Expel Rohingya

A new report presented to the U.N. Human Rights Council accuses Myanmar of “institutionalized discrimination and long-standing persecution” of its mainly Muslim Rohingya population amid appeals by a government representative to the international community to support Myanmar “in its efforts to promote democracy and human rights.”

While Yanghee Lee, special investigator on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, acknowledged the new government has been in power for barely one year, she noted that there were a great many human rights violations that could not wait to be addressed and needed immediate attention.

Lee cited reprisals against human rights defenders and the suppression of voices of dissent through arrest and imprisonment as main concerns.  She said she had never “felt more anxiety over potential acts of retaliation and reprisal” than in Rakhine State during her visit to Myanmar in January.

Lee’s assessment follows another report issued by the U.N. human rights office on February 3, which documented acts of cruelty, by Myanmar’s security forces, triggered by the October 9 killing of nine police officers by armed men who attacked three border guard police facilities in Rakhine.

Rights officials say this unleashed weeks of retaliatory measures and gross violations by security forces, including mass gang-rapes, killings, and disappearances, prompting more than 66,000 Rohingya to flee northern Rakhine State to Bangladesh.

In her effort to investigate the issue of reprisals, U.N. investigator Lee said she went to Cox’s Bazaar in neighboring Bangladesh where she interviewed around 140 Rohingya.

“I heard allegation after allegation of horrific events like these – slitting of throats, indiscriminate shootings, setting alight houses with people tied up inside and throwing very young children into the fire, as well as gang rapes and other sexual violence.

“Even men, young and old, broke down and cried in front of me telling me about what they went through and their losses,” she said.

In response to the deadly attacks on October 9, Htin Lynn, Myanmar’s ambassador in Geneva, said, “Security forces had to launch operations to restore peace and maintain law and order in northern Rakhine State.  Such operations have now ceased.”

Investigator Lee expressed her disquiet about clearance operations, including the dismantling of people’s homes and a household survey in which, she said, those absent may be struck off the list facing what “could be the only legal proof of their status in Myanmar.”

She said this indicated that “the government may be trying to expel the Rohingya population from the country altogether.  I sincerely hope that that is not the case.”

She noted that there have been several commissions of inquiry and investigations set up to examine the situation of the Rohingya, but that none has proven to be “truly independent.”

“There is a need for a new set of investigations, which are prompt, thorough, independent and impartial, and this needs to happen soon, before the evidence is compromised.  Prompt, thorough, independent and impartial investigations are not only needed in Rakhine, but also in conflict-affected areas such as Kachin and Shan,” she said.

Lee noted that similarly serious violations to those in Rakhine have been reported in those states for years, often been overlooked and “also gone uninvestigated, with the situation in these areas worsening and still receiving little attention.”

Lee warned the conflict in Kachin and Shan states is escalating.  She said more than 10,000 people were forced to flee to China.  

Lee said she continued to receive reports of serious human rights violations committed by all parties to the conflict, including torture, inhumane and degrading treatment, sexual and gender-based violence, arbitrary killings and abductions, “all of which frequently go uninvestigated.”

Lee called on the government in Myanmar to reform and modernize its judiciary, executive, and legislative branches.  She said the country’s 1982 Citizenship Law, which stripped the Rohingya of their birthright, was discriminatory and needed to be overhauled.

She assured the Myanmar representatives who attended the council session that she had “absolutely no reason whatsoever to present a biased, one-sided report.”

She added, “I have every reason to present the situation to reflect the reality, even if some may not like what I have to say.”

Ambassador Htin Lynn was not persuaded.  He said his government could not subscribe to many of the recommendations in the report.

“Myanmar does not accept an idea of a Commission of Inquiry as we are seriously addressing the allegations nationally.”

He also dismissed the term “crimes against humanity,” saying it was based “on unverified and one-sided allegations.”

Posted by Ukrap on

У НАТО закликали Туреччину і Нідерланди до стриманості і взаємоповаги

Проявляти стриманість і взаємну повагу закликав Туреччину й Нідерланди генеральний секретар НАТО Єнс Столтенберґ.

«Жвава дискусія завжди є невід’ємною частиною демократії. Але там має бути присутня й взаємна повага. Я закликаю всі країни-союзниці НАТО проявляти одне до одного повагу, зберігати стриманість і діяти зважено, щоб знизити напруженість і розрядити ситуацію», – заявив керівник Північноатлантичного союзу, коментуючи нинішнє дипломатичне протистояння Нідерландів і Туреччини, які є членами цієї військово-політичної організації. 

«Нині важливо зосередитися на тому, що нас об’єднує, перед викликами й загрозами, які постали перед державами НАТО, а також на адаптації альянсу, аби відповідно на них реагувати», – додав Столтенберґ.

Генеральний секретар альянсу підтвердив, що мав розмову і з керівництвом Туреччини, і з представниками уряду Нідерландів, але відмовився надавати деталі цих розмов. Водночас, він зауважив, що закликав обидві сторони «не зациклюватися на питаннях, які сіють розбрат».

13 березня Туреччина викликала посла Нідерландів в Анкарі, щоб офіційно висловити протест на видворення свого міністра і «непропорційне» застосування сили проти демонстрантів.

Протест з’явився після того, як влада Нідерландів видворила турецького міністра у справах сім’ї Фатму Бетуль Саян Каю і не дозволила сісти на території країни літаку з міністром закордонних справ Туреччини Мевлютом Чавушоглу.

Обидва міністри планували виступити на мітингах 12 березня на підтримку референдуму в Туреччині, планованому на наступний місяць, що збільшить владу президенти Реджепа Таїпа Ердогана.

12 березня поліція Нідерландів застосувала водомети і собак для розгону сотень демонстрантів, що протестували під консульством у Роттердамі.

Ердоган пообіцяв вжити заходів у відповідь проти Нідерландів, заявивши, що «нацизм на Заході живий».


Posted by Ukrap on

Столтенберґ: лише 5 країн НАТО витрачають на свою оборону необхідні 2 відсотки ВВП

Лише п’ять із 28 країн-учасниць НАТО витрачають на свою оборону необхідні два відсотки від внутрішнього валового продукту, заявляє генеральний секретар альянсу Єнс Столтенберґ.

«У 2016 році тільки п’ять держав-членів виділили два або більше відсотки ВВП на оборонні потреби, але цілком реальним є те, що всі держави можуть вийти на цей рівень», – заявив голова НАТО, презентуючи річний звіт про діяльність союзу за минулий рік. 

Згідно зі статистикою, ріст оборонних видатків у європейських державах НАТО минулого року вперше в історії склав 3,8 відсотка.

Доля США в бюджеті НАТО за 2016 рік склала 45,9 відсотка, тим часом, як доля європейських країн і Канади складає 54,1 відсотка.

Єнс Столтенберґ, зокрема зауважив, що «оптимістично виглядають можливості Румунії», яка готова до виходу на 2-відсотковий рівень вже цього року. Латвія і Литва очікують на такий самий крок у наступному році.

«Прогрес очевидний, але ще багато залишається зробити, бо досі немає справедливого розподілу витрат всередині нашого союзу НАТО», – заявив Столтенберґ.

Нова адміністрація США на чолі з президентом Дональдом Трампом закликали країни-союзниці НАТО збільшити зусилля для виконання своїх фінансових зобов’язань у рамках НАТО.

Posted by Ukrap on

Зубко: комісія виявила низку порушень у роботі шахти «Степова» на Львівщині

Віце-прем’єр-міністр Геннадій Зубко заявляє, що комісія виявила низку порушень у роботі шахти «Степова» у Львівській області.

«Зараз ми з’ясовуємо, як на шахті опинилося небезпечне обладнання, яким чином замість 450 кубометрів повітря, які повинні були бути в шахті, там було лише 120 кубометрів повітря. Ми з’ясовуємо, чому не спрацювала система оповіщення про небезпечну концентрацію метану», – сказав Зубко.

За його словами, в ході розслідування стало відомо, що шахта не мала дозволів на проведення робіт.

«Ми зараз проводимо перевірку, що під час вибуху на шахті не було дозволу на проведення небезпечних робіт всередині шахти», – сказав Зубко. 

2 березня о 12:46 на горизонті 550 метрів у 119-й лаві внаслідок вибуху сталося завалення гірської породи. На шахті працювали 172 гірники, на аварійній ділянці – 34. Загинули восьмеро людей. За попередніми даними, причиною став вибух метану, іскра спричинила пожежу.

За фактом загибелі гірників на шахті «Степова» прокуратура Львівської області порушила кримінальне провадження за статтею про «порушення правил безпеки під час виконання робіт з підвищеною небезпекою». У Кабміні повідомили, що родинам загиблих виплатять по 500 тисяч гривень, постраждалим – по 75.

В уряді також створили комісію для розслідування трагедії, а також перевірки ситуації з безпекою на інших вуглевидобувних підприємствах України.


Posted by Worldkrap on

Refugees Surge into China as Myanmar Ethnic Border Conflict Escalates

Within earshot of mortar fire echoing from beyond a ring of hills, a sprawling relief camp in Southwestern China is swelling steadily after fighting erupted last week between a rebel ethnic army in Myanmar and government troops just across the border.

In a recent Reuters visit to the rugged area in southwestern Yunnan province, aid workers and those displaced expressed fears of a more violent and protracted conflict than a previous flare-up in the Kokang region in early 2015.

“Every day, more people come,” said Li Yinzhong, an aid manager in the camp, gesturing at the mostly Han Chinese refugees from Myanmar’s Kokang region trudging through the reddish mud earth around rows of large blue huts where they sleep on nylon tarpaulin sheets.

“We will look after them until they decide they want to go back.”

Blue disaster relief tents provided by the Chinese also dotted the terraced sugarcane, maize and tea terraces flanking the mountainous winding road to Nansan. The town, close to the Kokang region of Myanmar’s Shan State, is providing refuge for a stream of refugees that Chinese authorities estimate number more than 20,000.

The violence is a blow to efforts by Myanmar’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi, to reach a comprehensive peace agreement with Myanmar’s ethnic minorities, some of them in rebellions spanning decades.

The conflict is also fraying ties between China and Myanmar, which Beijing has hoped could be a key gateway in its multi-pronged “One Belt One Road” strategy to promote economic links between China and Europe.

Kokang has close ties to China. The vast majority are ethnic Chinese speaking a Chinese dialect and using the yuan as currency.

‘State of war’

The Kokang began fleeing when the rebel Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA) launched a surprise raid on Myanmar police and military targets in the town of Laukkai, resulting in the deaths of 30 people on March 6.

The Myanmar military has launched “56 waves of small and large clashes”, using cannons, armored vehicles and heavy weapons over the past two months, according to a statement published by the military on March 6 after the attack.

Rebel forces who lay historic claim to the Kokang region have attacked government troops with rocket-propelled grenade launchers and other military hardware.

In an “urgent notice” posted on Sunday on its official website, the MNDAA said the Kokang area was now in a “state of war” as fighting worsened.

On the Chinese side, paramilitary police have sent in battalions of reinforcements, mostly in readiness for disaster relief, according to Chinese officials who spoke on background.

Reuters saw seven Chinese armored personnel carriers moving west along the hilly road towards Myanmar and the relief camp sprawled across a muddy wasteland the size of 10 football fields.

The fresh unrest comes after fighting in early 2015 and in 2009 involving the MNDAA, both flare-ups displacing tens of thousands of people.

Ordnance has occasionally strayed into China, with five people in China killed in 2015 during a round of fighting then.

This time round, the door to a village house was blown out, and the upper floor of the Anran hotel in Nansan was shelled forcing its closure, according to local residents and one official. Reuters was unable to corroborate these accounts.

China has lodged “solemn representations” with Myanmar over its citizens put at risk by the conflict, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a regular news briefing on Monday.

“The Chinese will be very angry if it escalates to the level of 2015,” said Sino-Myanmar expert Yun Sun, a senior associate with the Stimson Center in Washington D.C.

Beijing wants the Kokang to be included in the comprehensive peace negotiations that Aung San Suu Kyi initiated last August, she said.

The military has blocked that, saying the rebels can only join if they lay down arms first.

“The Chinese actually tacitly and privately support the Kokang being included in the negotiations, but they can’t say that,” Sun said.

Unresolved peace

At around three in the morning on the day of the rebel raids, loud explosions and gunfire woke the Cao family, prompting them to flee at first light with few possessions.

“I was scared,” said Cao Junxiang, who fled in a convoy of four rudimentary, three-wheel farm lorries tethered to powerful motorcycles — joining a nearly 15-hour snaking exodus of jeeps, trucks, buses, carts and motorcycles bound for China.

“More than half the people [in my village] left,” he said, as others crowded around an open sitting area of a Chinese village house transformed into a makeshift refuge.

Yao Xiao’er, the 49-year old head of the household, said she sent the farm vehicles across the border soon after hearing the first bursts of distant thudding. She eventually got nearly 100 relatives and friends to safety including a two-year-old toddler and a nonagenarian, half-blind, family matriarch, who was dozing on a tatty sofa.

One young mother with a baby strapped to her back said many refugees were seeking out odd jobs to make ends meet.

“We have no money so some of us cut sugar cane,” she said.

“We get around one yuan for every 20 sticks we chop, peel and uproot.”

A Chinese taxi driver plying the route between a Chinese airport in Lincang and the seedy frontier casinos of Myanmar’s Laukkai, said business was drying up. “No one is coming here anymore.”

Posted by Ukrap on

ЄС продовжив санкції за порушення територіальної цілісності України

Рада Європейського союзу 13 березня продовжила ще на півроку обмежувальні заходи, впроваджені Євросоюзом через порушення або загрозу територіальній цілісності, суверенітету та незалежності України. Вони діятимуть до 15 вересня 2017 року.

Ці санкції включають заморожування активів і заборону на в’їзд до ЄС 150 особам і 37 організаціям.

Рішення було ухвалене письмовою процедурою та наберуть чинності 14 березня, з моменту опублікування у Офіційному журналі ЄС.

«Оцінка ситуації не є підставою для зміни режиму санкцій. Список був переглянутий і Рада ЄС вилучила з нього імена двох померлих осіб. На даний момент ці обмеження стосуються 150 осіб та 37 організацій», – йдеться у повідомленні Ради ЄС.

Як повідомляє кореспондент Радіо Свобода в Брюсселі, з санкційного списку вилучили прізвища загиблих сепаратистів: Геннадія Ципкалова і Арсена Павлова («Мотороли»).


Ці обмежувальні заходи були впроваджені у березні 2014 року і востаннє продовжені у вересні 2016 року, як реакція Європейського Союзу на кризу в Україні. Вони включають з одного боку, економічні санкції, спрямовані на конкретні сектори російської економіки, чинні до 31 липня 2017 року. З іншого боку, це обмежувальні заходи у відповідь на незаконну анексію Криму і Севастополя, чинні до 23 червня 2017 року. 

Posted by Ukrap on

У Шотландії хочуть нового референдуму про незалежність у кінці 2018 чи на початку 2019 року

Перший міністр (голова регіонального уряду) Шотландії Нікола Стерджен заявляє, що пропонує провести новий референдум про незалежність перед виходом Великобританії з Європейського союзу.

Як заявила Стерджен 13 березня, вона хоче провести такий референдум наприкінці 2018-го чи на початку 2019 року.

Вона повідомила, що наступного тижня проситиме дозвіл шотландського парламенту на організацію референдуму.

За словами міністра, її спроби знайти компроміс через «Брекзит» зустріли «жорстку» відповідь з боку британського прем’єр-міністра Терези Мей.

«Мова партнерства повністю зникла», – сказала Стерджен про свої переговори з урядом Мей.

На останньому референдумі в 2014 році 55 відсотків виборців висловилися проти незалежності Шотландії.

Posted by Worldkrap on

Japan Plans to Send Largest Warship to South China Sea, Sources Say

Japan plans to dispatch its largest warship on a three-month tour through the South China Sea beginning in May, three sources said, in its biggest show of naval force in the region since World War II.

China claims almost all the disputed waters and its growing military presence has fueled concern in Japan and the West, with the United States holding regular air and naval patrols to ensure freedom of navigation.

The Izumo helicopter carrier, commissioned only two years ago, will make stops in Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines and Sri Lanka before joining the Malabar joint naval exercise with Indian and U.S. naval vessels in the Indian Ocean in July.

It will return to Japan in August, the sources said.

“The aim is to test the capability of the Izumo by sending it out on an extended mission,” said one of the sources who have knowledge of the plan. “It will train with the U.S. Navy in the South China Sea,” he added, asking not to be identified because he is not authorized to talk to the media.

A spokesman for Japan’s Maritime Self Defense Force declined to comment.

Taiwan, Malaysia, Vietnam, the Philippines and Brunei also claim parts of the sea which has rich fishing grounds, oil and gas deposits and through which around $5 trillion of global sea-borne trade passes each year.

Japan does not have any claim to the waters, but has a separate maritime dispute with China in the East China Sea.

Japan wants to invite Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, who has pushed ties with China in recent months as he has criticized the old alliance with the United States, to visit the Izumo when it visits Subic Bay, about 100 km (62 miles) west of Manila, another of the sources said.

Japan’s flag-flying operation comes as the United States under President Donald Trump appears to be taking a tougher line with China. Washington has criticized China’s construction of man-made islands and a build-up of military facilities that it worries could be used to restrict free movement.

Beijing in January said it had “irrefutable” sovereignty over the disputed islands after the White House vowed to defend “international territories”.

The 249 meter-long (816.93 ft) Izumo is as large as Japan’s World War Two-era carriers and can operate up to nine helicopters. It resembles the amphibious assault carriers used by U.S. Marines, but lacks their well deck for launching landing craft and other vessels.

Japan in recent years, particularly under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, has been stretching the limits of its post-war, pacifist constitution. It has designated the Izumo as a destroyer because the constitution forbids the acquisition of offensive weapons. The vessel, nonetheless, allows Japan to project military power well beyond its territory.

Based in Yokosuka, near to Tokyo, which is also home to the U.S. Seventh Fleet’s carrier, the Ronald Reagan, the Izumo’s primary mission is anti-submarine warfare.


Posted by Worldkrap on

US Deploys Attack Drones to South Korea Amid Tension with North

The United States has started to deploy attack drones to South Korea, a U.S. military spokesman said on Monday, days after it began to deploy an advanced anti-missile system to counter “continued provocative actions” by isolated North Korea.

The drones, Gray Eagle Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) coming to South Korea are part of a broader plan to deploy a company of the attack drones with every division in the U.S. Army, the spokesman said.

“The UAS adds significant intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capability to U.S. Forces Korea and our ROK partners,” United States Forces Korea spokesman Christopher Bush said in a statement.

He did not say exactly when the drones would arrive in South Korea, officially the Republic of Korea (ROK).

North Korea has conducted two nuclear tests and a string of missile tests since the beginning of last year, despite the imposition of new U.N. sanctions.

Last week, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, said Washington was re-evaluating its North Korea strategy and “all options are on the table.”

The Gray Eagle is a remotely controlled attack drone made by U.S.-based General Atomics. They will be stationed at Kunsan Air Base, 180 km (112 miles) south of Seoul, Bush said, and would be permanently based in South Korea.

On March 7, the United States deployed the “first elements” of the controversial Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missile system to South Korea, despite angry opposition from China.

Once fully deployed in South Korea, a THAAD battery could theoretically use its radar to see and monitor activity beyond North Korea, deep into Chinese territory.

Russia also worries the deployment could compromise its security, and said it would lead to a stalemate on the Korean peninsula.

South Korea will hold a presidential election by May 9 after the impeachment and dismissal last week of its former president, Park Geun-hye, and policy on North Korea and the THAAD system are likely to be contentious issues in the campaign.

Posted by Worldkrap on

Wary of China, Duterte Tells Navy to Build ‘Structures’ East of Philippines

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the navy to put up “structures” to assert sovereignty over a stretch of water east of the country where Manila has reported a Chinese survey ship was casing the area last year.

The Philippines has lodged a diplomatic protest with Beijing after the vessel was tracked moving back and forth over Benham Rise, a vast area east of the country declared by the United Nations in 2012 as part of the Philippines’ continental shelf.

According to the Philippines, Benham Rise is rich in biodiversity and fish stocks.

China’s Foreign Ministry on Friday said the ship was engaged in “normal freedom of navigation and right of innocent passage,” and nothing more.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said Duterte’s instruction was to increase naval patrols in that area and put up structures “that says this is ours.” He did not specify what structures would be erected.

“We are concerned, they have no business going there,” Lorenzana told reporters late on Sunday.

Though he accepts China’s explanation, Lorenzana said it was clear that its vessel was not passing through the area because it stopped multiple times, for sustained periods.

Lorenzana last week said he was suspicious of China’s activities near Benham Rise and suggested they might be part of surveys to test water depths for submarine routes to the Pacific.

The issue was due to be discussed further at a national security council meeting on Monday evening, he said.

The issue risks disturbing ties with China at a time of rare cordiality between the two countries under Duterte, who has chosen to tap Beijing for business rather than confront it over its maritime activities and intentions in disputed waters.

Rows with China have usually been about the South China Sea, west of the Philippines, a conduit for about $5 trillion of shipped goods annually. China lays claim to almost the entire South China Sea.

While Duterte has been sanguine about ties with China, Lorenzana is more wary and has noted that Beijing’s fortification of manmade islands inside the Philippines’ 200 nautical mile exclusive economic zone has not abated.

Posted by Worldkrap on

Vietnam to Test Trump on Signing Solo Trade Pacts

Vietnam will test U.S. President Donald Trump’s openness to one-on-one trade deals as it starts nudging Washington for an eventual agreement to replace its role in the defunct Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP).

Official media outlets in Vietnam say Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc told an American business delegation last week he was ready to visit the United States, and that he hoped to meet Trump for a discussion about trade, among other topics.

Vietnam depends heavily on factory exports, which are about 19 percent of a $200 billion economy.

“A trade agreement with the U.S., a very large market, would certainly bring some benefits, that’s clear,” said Marie Diron, senior vice president at Moody’s Investors Service in Singapore. “It would be about, kind of about anchoring these export markets with a trade agreement in place.”

Trump is not expected to prioritize free trade deals in the short term, analysts say, but he may someday consider them. Trade deals usually obligate signatories to cut tariffs on each other’s good or services.  

US companies eye Vietnam market

Nguyen may have a chance at working out a trade deal with the United States because American firms selling products such as fast food, mobile phones and even insurance want more access to Vietnam’s fast-growing middle class.

More than one-third of the country’s roughly 93 million people will be middle class or higher by 2020, according to a Boston Consulting Group study.

“You would expect the direction of goods coming from Vietnam to the U.S. picking up more sharply than the other way around,” said Rahul Bajoria, a regional economist with Barclays in Singapore.

But, he said, “it could be the case there might be some pressure from the large [American] industrial manufacturers like the aircraft manufacturers or train companies. All of them may be much more interested in exporting to Vietnam.”

The United States is Vietnam’s top export market, giving the Asian country a trade surplus last year, with exports worth $38.1 billion and imports of $8.7 billion.

But in January, imports increased 14.6 percent, pointing to a possible soft spot in Vietnam for Western brands. American names such as Apple, Dell and Starbucks are easy to find in cities such as the financial center Ho Chi Minh City.

“The U.S. could export to Vietnam, to a market that’s growing so fast, with 90 plus million people who are very brand conscious, where Western brands have a very high reputation,” said Vojislav Milenkovic, analyst with the business advisory BDG Insights in Ho Chi Minh City.

“You can see this every day on the street. You can see that people are trying to save and to buy high-quality products from the foreign countries,” he said.

But Vietnamese consumers still earn just half of their counterparts in China, Diron said. “For some companies, that could be a hurdle,” she said. China’s market is also much larger that Vietnam’s.

End of TPP

Leaders in Hanoi had hoped the TPP would give them access to the U.S. market plus 10 other countries, including Japan. Trump withdrew the United States from the TPP in January, saying it would hurt the country.

Because of the size of the U.S. economy, Trump’s withdrawal made it effectively impossible for other countries to keep the TPP alive.

Trump said shortly after taking office he could consider one-on-one free trade agreements instead of regional ones.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has said he is open to the idea of a bilateral trade pact with the United States, and members of the U.S. Congress advocate an agreement with Britain.

In a phone call after his election in November, Trump told Nguyen he wanted to strengthen ties with Vietnam and that he was willing to meet in the United States.

In exchange for trade favors, Trump might ask Vietnam to support the U.S. presence in the South China Sea where the United States is trying to resist Chinese maritime expansion, said Oscar Mussons, international business advisory associate with the Dezan Shira & Associates consultancy in Ho Chi Minh City.

Vietnam may need to wait out most of Trump’s current term before getting any trade deals, Bajoria cautioned.

Any deal takes time to negotiate, he said, and the U.S. government may try first to build its relations with China, the world’s number two economy after the United States. “I don’t think there’s scope for an FTA over the next 12 months,” Bajoria said.

Since Trump was elected, Vietnamese leaders afraid that the TPP would die began looking instead to other trade deals.

An agreement reached with the European Union in 2015 is due to take effect next year if it clears hurdles in the European bloc’s parliament.

China is also keen to bolster trade ties, but Vietnam hopes to avoid dependence on the long-time political rival that’s known for unloading cheap mass-produced goods in Vietnam at prices lower than what local companies can charge.