The times they are a changing when it comes to relations between the US and Vietnam. The times are slowly converting the former adversaries into close allies against the Chinese menace growing on the horizons of Southeast Asia. This trend is described in a story from The Times of India titled: Why might Vietnam let US military return? China. Submitted by Jane Perlez | NYT News Service. For the last few years Vietnam has been seeking a lifting of the embargo against the sale of military lethal weapons to that country. A partial ban went into effect in 2014 but the Vietnamese want more.
President Obama has taken time out of his busy schedule of determining which public bathrooms a person regardless of physical sexual makeup may use. He is going to the far east to apologize to the Japanese for dropping nukes on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in the former all out war. On the same trip he will make a visit to our former adversary with a stop in Hanoi where Senator John McCain spent some time as a POW. It is expected by this writer that he will complete the lifting on all sanctions of lethal arm sales to the Vietnamese. Sources say the holdup is the former enemy’s less than good human rights record. Human Rights Watch describes Vietnam as one of the world’s most repressive governments.
It seems the Chinese have rained on this “make nicey nicey party” with their aggressive actions in the South China Sea. They are claiming full ownership of disputed islands in the Sea. They are the Paracels and Spratleys. The Chinese are converting them into military bases and hogging the recourses in the area included both rich fishing grounds and large petroleum reserves. In the new reality the US is considering lifting the ban on weapons sales to shore up the area and to hopefully prevent more wars in the area.
One of the prizes for the US lifting the arms sale ban is the right to use the large naval port of Cam Ranh Bay. So let’s see what our great leadership can come up with in this foreign relations conundrum.