U.S. Lifts Ban on Lethal Arms to Vietnam

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Bruce Czachor

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The U.S. says it is lifting its ban on sales of lethal arms to Vietnam.  This is a decision that is likely ruffling Beijing’s feathers and may lead to an escalation in tensions between China and its neighbors in the South China Sea.  

The move was announced by President Barack Obama during his visit to Hanoi on Monday.  This will open the way for Vietnam to import a variety of U.S. defense technology, especially maritime capabilities and hardware.  Scholars believe that Beijing would react negatively to any situation that would improve Vietnam’s ability to resist Chinese ambitions in the South China Sea.  This lift on arms sanctions will give Vietnam more domain awareness in the South China Sea as an effort to stand up to China’s more assertive ambitions in the disputed waters.  

Tensions are at an all time high in the region as China has reclaimed land in massive dredging operations where they have turned sandvar into islands equipped with airfields, ports, and lighthouses.  Beijing has also warned U.S. warships and military aircraft to stay away from these man-made islands.  

The lift on this lethal arms ban has caused serious tension between the United States, Vietnam, and China. Hopefully, no violence will break out between any of these nations in the near future.  

 

http://www.cnn.com/2016/05/23/politics/vietnam-arms-ban-south-china-sea/index.html

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