Source: The Guardian

The US has lifted a decades-old arms embargo on Vietnam in a historic move that follows the country’s growing assertiveness against China’s influence in the region.

Speaking on a visit to Hanoi, Barack Obama said Washington had fully lifted “the ban on the sale of military equipment to Vietnam that has been in place for some 50 years”. Obama is the third American president – after Bill Clinton and George W Bush – to visit since the war ended in 1975.

“At this stage both sides have developed a level of trust and cooperation,” he added during a joint press conference with the Vietnamese president, Tran Dai Quang.

Quang said the end to the embargo was “clear proof that both countries have completely normalised relations”.

Despite a shared communist ideology, Vietnam is one of several countries engaged in a fierce territorial dispute with Beijing over islands and reefs in the South China Sea, a rout…

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