HANOI — In lifting its ban on sales of lethal weaponry to Vietnam, the U.S. seeks to curb the growing Chinese presence in the South China Sea as Hanoi tries to strike a diplomatic balance between the Western superpower and a longtime Asian ally.
“More than two decades of normalized ties between our governments allows us to reach a new moment,” U.S. President Barack Obama said here Monday in a news conference with Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang.“Both countries have completely normalized relations,” Quang said, ushering in a new era of bilateral ties.
Beijing: For months, China’s visible construction of artificial islands and military facilities in the South China Sea has alarmed US officials and many of China’s neighbours.
What is happening under the water is also worrisome, several defence and security analysts say.
China has a growing fleet of nuclear submarines armed with ballistic missiles. The expansion of its claim on the South China Sea may be intended to create a deep-water sanctuary – known in military parlance as a “bastion” – where its submarine fleet could avoid detection. Continue reading
China for the first time will likely have subs equipped with long-range nuclear missiles later this year, part of an increasingly potent submarine fleet, a top US officer said Tuesday,
The head of US Pacific Command, Admiral Samuel Locklear, said the latest class of Chinese subs would be armed with a new ballistic missile with an estimated range of 4,000 nautical miles (7,500 kilometers).
“This will give China its first credible sea-based nuclear deterrent, probably before the end of 2014,” Locklear told the Senate Armed Services Committee.