Next year marks 30 years since Vietnam adopted the "Doi Moi" or Renovation policies that led to the introduction of a market economy. The anniversary will coincide with a new top leadership team as the Communist Party chief, president, prime minister and chairman of the National Assembly are replaced. There will also be a generational change in the wider leadership as more than half the members of the politburo -- the top party body -- will step down.
The impending political shakeup matters more than most. Vietnam stands at a crossroads in terms of its relationships with the U.S. and China, and its role in the global economy. How those issues play out -- and the development of the market economy itself -- will be crucially affected by the emerging balance of forces.
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