Labourers work at a construction site of a bridge as part of highway 5 in Hanoi, Vietnam. Photo: Reuters

As Vietnam hopes to start work on a US$382 million highway, government agencies have been arguing over the structure of the deal which will see most of its funding come from China. As Vietnamnet reports, while the Ministry of Transport is hoping to allocate US$304 million from China in exchange for using Chinese contractors and equipment, others have expressed concern regarding the dangers of using Chinese equipment, implying that there are issues relating to quality. The Ministry of Finance has suggested that the country should shop the project to other sources of capital, allowing access to better technology. While the debate exposes Vietnam’s longstanding ambivalence towards China, the Ministry of Transport reminds us that no other country has expressed interest in the project.