U.S. discuss with Vietnam to provide defense maritime weapons in case of conflict with China 10106151

Defence & Security News - Vietnam / United States
 
U.S. discuss with Vietnam to provide defense maritime weapons in case of conflict with China.
America needs to provide Vietnam with more defensive weapons, U.S. Sen. John McCain said Saturday, May 30, 2015, as tensions in the Asia Pacific region heightened over China's expanding land reclamation projects in the South China Sea.
     
America needs to provide Vietnam with more defensive weapons, U.S. Sen. John McCain said Saturday, May 30, 2015, as tensions in the Asia Pacific region heightened over China's expanding land reclamation projects in the South China Sea. John McCain speaks in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, 29 May 2015. Photograph: Do Khuong Duy/Reuters
     
According to a senior U.S. official, Defense Secretary Ash Carter will meet with Vietnam officials in the coming days to discuss the U.S providing the defensive maritime weapons already allowed. Carter spoke at an international security conference here Saturday at the start of an 11-day Asia trip.

McCain, who also was attending the International Institute for Strategic Studies summit, wants to see a gradual removal of the U.S. ban, and said the U.S. should provide additional defensive weapons that could be used in case of a conflict with China. He added that the U.S. should continue its ban on weapons used for crowd control or to commit human rights abuses.

The U.S. last October partially lifted its ban on weapons sales to Vietnam to boost the country's ability to defend itself in the South China Sea. Only the sale of lethal maritime security and surveillance capabilities are allowed on a case-by-case basis, including boats and air assets based on an evaluation of Vietnam's needs. But the U.S. official said that to date no weapons have flowed to Vietnam.

Relations between the U.S. and Vietnam were normalized in 1995, some 20 years after the war's end. Washington approved non-lethal arms sales in 2006, and ties have since deepened further, particularly as the Obama administration has sought to expand U.S. engagement in Asia.
 
Vietnam has been pressing for the lifting on the U.S. ban, and officials there have argued that if the country can't buy weapons from the U.S., it could still buy from other nations. Russia is currently Vietnam's main source of armaments.
 

 

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