Vietnamese officials also want to protect trade with China, said Jonathan Spangler, director of the South China Sea Think Tank in Taipei.

“Sino-Vietnamese relations will remain volatile as they have in the past, but both governments will be constrained by their key interests,” Spangler said.

“For Vietnam, the free flow of trade with China will remain a top priority, perhaps second only to domestic political stability,” he said. “For China, maintaining its influence in regional affairs and preventing any regional consensus that would threaten its interests will continue to take precedence.”

https://www.voanews.com/a/festering-maritime-hostilities-push-china-vietnam-relations-to-new-low-/4014147.html

From interview transcript:

Like many governments, Hanoi has to perform a delicate balancing act in its relations with Beijing. Trade with its northern neighbor drives the Vietnamese economy, but diplomatic tensions threaten Vietnamese people’s livelihoods and domestic political stability.

Sino-Vietnamese tensions are not new. Vietnam has been affected by Chinese imperial domination for hundreds of years. The deadliest conflict in the South China Sea was a naval skirmish between the two countries in the Paracel Islands in 1974, and the most recent war in East Asia was between China and Vietnam in 1979. More recently, the standoff between them over a Chinese oil rig in waters claimed by Vietnam in May 2014 caused the greatest spike in South China Sea tensions in the past five years.

Sino-Vietnamese relations will remain volatile as they have in the past, but both governments will be constrained by their key interests. For Vietnam, the free flow of trade with China will remain a top priority, perhaps second only to domestic political stability. For China, maintaining its influence in regional affairs and preventing any regional consensus that would threaten its interests will continue to take precedence.