US counters China in ending Vietnam arms embargo

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.

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