#AceWorldNews – UNITED STATES (Washington) – October 03 – The United States is moving toward selling arms to Vietnam for maritime security, further advancing a process that has turned a once-bitter enemy into a strategic partner.
‘ Lockheed Martin P-3 Orion maritime surveillance planes ‘
Secretary of State John Kerry made the announcement in a meeting Thursday with visiting Vietnamese Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.
“This policy supports Vietnam’s efforts to improve its maritime domain awareness and maritime security capabilities,” she told reporters.
She did not name the specific types of weapons being considered, but news reports say Vietnam has expressed interest in buying Lockheed Martin P-3 Orion maritime surveillance planes.
Shared concerns about Chinese assertiveness in East Asia, particularly in the South China Sea, has driven Washington and Hanoi closer together in the generation after the Vietnam War.
Some the biggest supporters of that move are U.S. veterans of the eight-year conflict who are now in high positions, such as Kerry and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who was a “guest” of Hanoi for five years as a prisoner of war.
John Kerry supports the move to supply arms to Vietnam.