Just saw that Leon Panetta visited Vietnam.
As I mentioned at the bottom of my entry above, watch Vietnam. China is the becoming master of that region and regaining its former glory. China is what the US is concerned about and given the pressure in Japan to relocate US military bases it is high time to find new friends in the region. Why Vietnam? Because Vietnam hates China.
One of the most famous stories in Vietnam is of Emperor Le Loi doing battle with China.
Visit Vietnam and you'll see the name Le Loi all over the place.
Le Loi lived over 500 years ago but have things changed?
No, China invaded Vietnam's borders in 1979
Things have not changed.
I'll leave with a story. I was visiting the highlands of Vietnam where the Americans had a lot of CIA activity to recruit ethnic minorities. Therefore, foreigners can only visit with a government guide. I asked this guide if the Northern Vietnamese hated the Americans. His response was:
"Some people hate the Americans, some people love the Americans. Same same with the French, some people love them, some people hate them. But I tell you everybody, 100% hate the Chinese."
LOL. Take this with a big grain of salt but in Asia you have thousands of years of warfare, just like Europe and many of these memories die hard.
So what is a new nation such as America supposed to do when concerned with a rising superpower such as China? Well, "the enemy of the enemy is my friend."
Keep watching Vietnam.