20 - 1 - 2018 | 6:19
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Vietnam wins U.S. defense pledges as tension with China grows

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Vietnam has won the promise of a visit from a U.S. aircraft carrier and deeper defense cooperation from the United States as strains show with China over the disputed South China Sea.

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U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told Vietnamese counterpart Ngo Xuan Lich in Washington on Tuesday that a strong defense relationship was based on common interests that included freedom of navigation in the South China Sea.

"The Secretary welcomed Vietnam's engagement and growing leadership in the Asia-Pacific region," a statement from the Pentagon said.

The defense ministers agreed on a visit by a U.S. aircraft carrier to Vietnam next year - the first such visit since the Vietnam War ended in 1975. President Donald Trump discussed the possibility of a carrier visit with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc when they met at the White House in May.

Read more at Reuters

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