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That last sentence should be blown up and hung over the desk of every Vietnamese official involved in leading its still largely state-run economy into bankruptcy.

And the sleeping apologists down at Foggy Bottom, along with the misguided strategists at the Pentagon who are coddling Hanoi in order to curb the rise of China, would be strongly advised to take a long, cold look at what’s going wrong in Vietnam.

Roger Mitton is a former senior correspondent with Asiaweek and a former bureau chief in Washington and Hanoi for the Straits Times of Singapore.