18 May 2016
During his last year in office, President Barack Obama showed an interest in settling a number of America’s old rivalries. The Iran nuclear deal and opening of diplomatic relations with Cuba both point to the White House’s desire to bury the hatchet.
At the same time, however, tensions have increased with Washington’s chief adversary in the Pacific, China. President Obama’s effort to stymie Beijing’s growing influence may lead to another historic reversal: the opening of arms trade with Vietnam.
The US placed a moratorium on selling weapons to Vietnam in 1975, but Hanoi has frequently urged Washington to reconsider. Now, citing Beijing’s actions in the South China Sea, Vietnam may finally get its wish.
… “This is one of the last vestiges of a bygone era,” Joseph Liow, a senior fellow at the Center for East Asian Policy at the Brookings Institution, told McClatchy. “The symbolism is more important than the shopping list.”
RSIS / Online
Last updated on 19/05/2016