The relations between China and Vietnam have always been turbulent despite the common socialist background. China is our major collaborative partner, while at the same time, our major geo-strategic challenge.

We did have a full normalisation of relations in November 1991, but at this moment the two countries remain in dispute again over territorial issues in the South China Sea. Some of the major China-related events this year include China’s complete disagreement with UNCLOS ruling and 1937CN Airport Hack.

Being a citizen with little or no interest in the country political scene, for the first time I notice the significant factions within the Communist Party after Pro-China leader Nguyen Phu Trong formally takes charge as the general secretary of the Communist Party for another 5 years while wondering whether Vietnam would be tilting toward China as Donald Trump has become US 45th President and the States officially announces its withdrawal from Trans-Pacific Partnership.

So I decide to start my Chinese Studies and draft some future plans of living in China for a few years, with a pure intention of exploring our closest neighbour country that shares not only land and sea borders but also many cultural, political and economic similarities. Besides, having myself discharged completely from all the AIESEC responsibilities, I am now free to take a strong political stand without risking the organisation’s operation in Vietnam (Of course I’m not going to have one until having a better understanding of our current single-party socialist republic framework and the country’s major diplomatic relations).

On a professional note, I believe taking a UX design job in China would be one of the greatest career challenge. Due to the unique way the Chinese internet has evolved (the Great Cyber Wall that blocks foreign services and the Strict Censorship on internet’s content), people are used to interacting with apps and websites in ways that can be totally alien to outsiders, and they can be easily overlooked by people who aren’t familiar with the culture. Reading the case study of WeChat – A China’s Integrated Internet User Experience is far from interesting when you know you can try out the app yourself and immerse in the living environment of users once you’re in China.

On a personal note, it’s just simple that I want to shorten the gap with TFBOYS and Jay Chou! While TFBOYS represents the post-2000 generation growing up entirely in an emergent powerful and cyber-connected China, Jay Chou is a symbol of the 90s and his music has accompanied me through my entire youth.