James Borton

James Borton is a recipient of a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship at Yale University. He is a freelance global journalist who writes for Asia Times, Asia Literary Review, Foreign Policy and The Washington Times. He recently edited Islands and Rocks in the South China Sea: Post Hague Ruling. He is also a nonresident fellow at the Stimson Center in Washington and a regular contributor to Geopolitical Monitor. James is now at work on a new book, Dispatches from the South China Sea.

The Case for Vietnam’s UN Human Rights Council Seat

cc Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh meets with religious leaders of Vietnam. Courtesy of VNA, modified

It’s complicated, but Vietnam merits seat on the UN Human Rights Council.

Environmental Volunteerism on the Rise in Vietnam

Biển đảo Việt Nam: Ra quân làm sạch bãi biển xã

Environmental volunteerism is taking center stage in Vietnam in the lead-up to World Environment Day.

UNCLOS Ratification Issue Looms over US-ASEAN Summit

cc Flickr Commander, U.S. Naval For, modified, https://flickr.com/photos/cne-cna-c6f/28426670287/in/photolist-KiY7GX-wLXNjq-dPy5yh-dJxsHz-ojkVxi-s2H7Yi-29yX8Pu-2fRkDom-TqpaWJ-TgTidy-q6TcyD-fbRCgK-KnSUHT-TgThEu-FzE9aE-FzEbqm-2brg4gs-2cnFqRE-7DDSLe-24mwEKY-23ELEEm-252hhct-234zbpy-r97wc3-9L9VqY-9He94p-PjAMjP-9J48ns-5tLA8H-2fyFVyt-bsHoQv-5tQXG5-otqzNQ-Tqpb1m-2fyFVEa-TqpbjN-ow8Esr-ow8d3m-ovMZtn-5tQXXN-ovhgDX-9vMZkY-oeUpop-D8ovLw-ouxfEv-oufCJF-owtLYj-oeMPVV-DxcmiY-2jcpVss

What better way for the U.S. to bolster a ‘rules-based international order’ than to join with the 162 other countries that have adopted the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)?

Climate Change Accelerating US-Vietnam Strategic Cooperation

Construction of a wind farm in Tra Vinh province. October 17 2021. Photo: Phuc Son - VNA

Vietnam projects to be one of the most hard-hit countries by climate change, prompting Hanoi to get serious about transitioning its economy.

The Greening of Vietnam and Environmentalism 2.0

Picture 1: Cleaning up plastic garbage at a river in Thua Thien Hue province - a program funded by USAID. Photo: Quoc Viet - VNA

Smart phones and social media are changing the way that Vietnamese people view – and advocate about – their environment.

US-Vietnam Trade Set to Rise as COVID-19 Recedes

cc Processing catfish for export in Dong Thap province (Credit: VNA)., modified

As the threat of COVID-19 wanes, Washington and Hanoi are set to pick up where they left off on deepening economic and security cooperation.

US-Vietnam COVID Cooperation Hits a Snag

Citizens in Phu Yen Province wait for their turn to get COVID-19 vaccine injections (August 2, 2021). Photo: VNA

Washington and Beijing are actively competing to bolster soft power via vaccine deliveries to Southeast Asia. Yet countries like Vietnam are still lacking jabs.

Vietnam Faces Watershed Moment ahead of COP26

Many roads are flooded in Ho Chi Minh City because the high tide is at its peak. Credit: Hong Giang - Vietnam News Agency. / Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh: Nhiều tuyến đường ngập s

For a sense of the stakes involved at the upcoming COP26 climate conference, look no further than Ho Chi Minh City’s fight against rising seawaters.

Vietnam Calls for Vaccines and Climate Change Action at UN

Chủ tịch nước Nguyễn Xuân Phúc phát biểu tại Phi

Hanoi is using its time atop the UN institutional structure to draw attention to two colossal non-traditional security threats to international society.

VP Harris Visit: Poor Timing in Washington’s Courting of Vietnam as Strategic Partner

Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III and Vietnamese Defense Minister Phan Van Giang enter conduct bi-lateral discussions at the Vietnam Ministry of Defense, Hanoi, Vietnam, July 29, 2021. Austin is on a week-long trip to reaffirm defense relationships and conduct bilateral meetings with senior officials in Vietnam, Singapore and Manila, Philippines. (DoD photo by Chad J. McNeeley), cc U.S. Secretary of Defense, modified, https://www.flickr.com/photos/secdef/51343158874/in/photostream/rg/licenses/by/2.0/

The Kabul-Saigon comparison touches a nerve in US-Vietnam reconciliation, and reinforces doubts over the level of US commitment to Southeast Asia.

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