Foreign Policy & National Security

U.S. May Sell Military Technology to Vietnam, Senator Says

August 24, 2011
Bloomberg News

The U.S. Defense Department is examining whether the country will lift restrictions on the sale of military technology to Vietnam, Senator Jim Webb said at a press conference in Hanoi today.

The department and Vietnam’s Ministry of Defense have had “careful but positive” discussions on the issue, he said. The U.S. currently bans the sale of lethal weapons to Vietnam under an arms embargo in place since 1984.

The move would further enhance the military relationship between the U.S. and Vietnam amid escalating spats with China over energy resources in the South China Sea. Vietnam said this month it’s weighing whether to host a U.S. Navy medical center in a sign of warming ties between the former enemies.

Vietnam and the U.S. held non-combat exercises in Danang last month, building upon a series of military exchanges since 2003, when the first U.S. warship docked in the country since the end of the Vietnam war.

Vietnam received a second Russian-made warship last month, state-run newspaper Thanh Nien reported yesterday.