(From Reuters)

China is happy to see Vietnam normalizing relations with the United States and hopes it benefits regional peace, China said on Friday as the United States considers lifting a three-decade-old arms embargo on Vietnam.

U.S. President Barack Obama (2nd R) shakes hands with Vietnam’s Communist Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong in Washington in this file photo

A debate within the U.S. administration on lifting the arms embargo is coming to a head amid preparations for President Barack Obama to visit Vietnam this month. The former enemies are increasingly partners against China’s growing territorial assertiveness in the South China Sea.

Vietnam says it would welcome the United States “accelerating” the lifting of a lethal arms embargo, which would reflect trust between the two countries and recognition of its needs to defend itself. The ban was eased in late 2014.

“From the Chinese government’s point of view, we are happy to see Vietnam develop normal relations with the relevant country,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang told a daily news briefing, when asked about the possible lifting. Read More

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