Golez: I have always espoused that Vietnam provides very good lessons in how to confront an aggressive neighbor with Vietnam’s long history of conflict and engagement with China. I cite the following excerpts from this article:
China is a bigger, richer, and more populous country, whose challenging behaviors threaten Vietnam’s interests. Consequently, Vietnam chose to balance against its neighbor. In 2013, some observers boldly announced Vietnam’s adoption of A2/AD strategy when the first of a six-strong fleet of Kilo-class attack submarines was delivered to Hanoi. Four years later, as the sixth and last submarine recently arrived at Cam Ranh harbor, what can be said of Vietnam’s conventional deterrence strategy?
"From a national defense perspective, area denial should be divided into two different slices: conventional and non-conventional threats. The Vietnam People’s Navy’s capabilities were boosted by the acquisition of six Kilo submarines. The Russian-manufactured model, with its midship positioned sonars and anti-detection tiles, is designed to track and neutralize enemy-vessels. This costly $2 billion acquisition (SIPRI) is aimed at countering conventional threats at sea and, in case of conflict, compensating for at least a limited period of time the clear asymmetry between the Vietnamese and Chinese navies. In other words, Hanoi upgraded its conventional deterrence by severely raising the cost of conflict at sea for any potential opponent.
"But A2/AD (Anti Access/Area Denial) still makes sense in the minds of the United States, Japan, or India. Hence the recent pouring in defense cooperation agreements and arms supplies destined at reinforcing Vietnam’s territorial sovereignty. The Pentagon provides training to Vietnam through its Maritime Security Initiative, designed to increase Southeast Asian nations’ maritime awareness. India might deliver Akash sol-air missiles to Vietnam in a move openly aimed at containing China, after having agreed to train Hanoi’s fleet of Sukhoi-30s."