DoD Buzz | US Lifting Arms Embargo on Vietnam Is About Countering China

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South China Sea - Vietnam- China - map (200x200)US Lifting Arms Embargo on Vietnam Is About Countering China

Richard Sisk | May 23, 2016

In a historic move, the U.S. has fully lifted its arms sales embargo to Vietnam — a decision driven by the strategic goal of countering China in the Pacific region.

While making the announcement on Monday in Hanoi, President Barack Obama explicitly said the step “was not based on China or any other considerations. It was based on our desire to complete what has been a lengthy process of moving towards normalization with Vietnam,” The Washington Post reported.

But he later acknowledged that, like the U.S., Vietnam is concerned over China’s provocations in the South China Sea and, in what has become a refrain among top government officials, said the U.S. would “continue to fly, sail and operate wherever international law allows,” it reported.

Obama’s stop in Vietnam was widely seen as enhancing his so-called “Pacific pivot” in the rebalance of U.S. forces to the Asia-Pacific region to meet the rise of China and Beijing’s aggressive moves to assert sovereignty over the contested waters of the South China Sea. (Read More)


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