United States President Barack Obama has said Washington supports Vietnam’s territorial claims against Beijing in the South China Sea and promised it greater access to security equipment.
Obama said in a speech in Hanoi that although the US is not a claimant in current disputes still it stands with its partners in upholding key principles like freedom of navigation, reports the Guardian.
Obama said that Vietnam will have greater access to the equipment they need to improve your security,” he said.
“Nations are sovereign and no matter how large or small a nation may be, its territory should be respected” Obama added.
Obama did not mention China by name but added that “Big nations should not bully smaller ones.”
The comments came a day after the US lifted a decades-old arms embargo on Vietnam.
Obama is the third American president to visit Vietnam since the end of the war in 1975. His three-day trip has been seen as an attempt to bolster Vietnam’s capacity.