US to provide Vietnam with coastguard ship to patrol S. China Sea – Esper

US to provide Vietnam with coastguard ship to patrol S. China Sea – Esper

The United States said on Wednesday it will provide Vietnam with another coastguard cutter, boosting Hanoi’s ability to patrol the South China Sea amid tensions with Beijing.

US Defense Secretary Mark Esper disclosed the decision during an address in Vietnam, which has emerged as the most vocal opponent in Asia of Beijing’s territorial claims in the South China Sea.

At a meeting with students at the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam, Esper said that China’s efforts “to assert illegitimate maritime claims threaten other nations’ access to vital natural resources… and increase the risk of conflict,” Reuters reports.

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