The paper examines Vietnam's foreign policy as it translates into strategies toward subregional cooperation in the Mekong Basin. Using transboundary water cooperation as an example, the article argues that Vietnam's prime motivation in Mekong River cooperation is economic development for performance legitimacy. Environmental issues are raised, but only in relation to powerful upstream countries, while Vietnam itself poses similar challenges to less powerful downstream countries. The need for performance legitimacy thus conveys all relevance to the economically oriented Greater Mekong Subregion, while the Mekong River Commission, a basin organization with a mandate to combine economic development with environmental considerations, is sidelined.
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