Mark Collins – A Hanoi/Washington Axis, or, as the Dragon-Facing World Turns (Canadian angle)

Canada at end of the post. Further to this July 2015 post,

The US and Vietnam: Containing China Together? A Visit to Washington

don’t you believe the nicely diplomatic President Obama (with video):

Obama lifts U.S. arms ban on Vietnam

In a joint news conference in Hanoi [May 23] with Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang, Obama said that the removal of the ban on lethal weapons was part of a deeper defense cooperation with the country and dismissed suggestions it was aimed at countering China’s growing strength in the region…

The reality:

US Lifting Arms Embargo on Vietnam Is About Countering China

More at Defense One’sD-Brief“:

Obama lifts arms embargo with Vietnam. President Obama announced this morning that the U.S. will end a decades embargo on the sales of lethal arms to Vietnam. From the NYT: “The United States has long made lifting the embargo contingent on Vietnam’s improving its human rights record, and recently administration officials had hinted that the ban could be removed partly in response to China’s buildup in the South China Sea. But Mr. Obama portrayed the decision as part of the long process of normalizing relations between the two countries after the Vietnam War.” More here.

What type of military equipment does Hanoi need? Maritime patrol [see end for one of those] and submarine-hunting aircraft, fighter jets and helicopters, Defense News reports

And at Foreign Policy’sSituation Report“:

Arming Hanoi. Tossing out 40 years of American policy, the Obama administration on Monday announced it was lifting an arms embargo on the communist government. “The decision to lift the ban was not based on China or any other considerations,” Obama said Monday while in Hanoi. “It was based on our desire to complete what has been a lengthy process of moving toward normalization with Vietnam.” FP’s Dan De Luce and Keith Johnson recently laid out what’s at stake in the policy change, and what might be on Vietnam’s shopping list.

In a note emailed Monday, IHS Jane’s defense analysts Jon Grevatt and Paul Burton write that “with the ban lifted in full, Vietnam is finally shedding Moscow’s influence [that’s going a bit too far–cf. India] and will be able to purchase land systems and a wider spectrum of military aerospace platforms and systems from the US that will support Vietnam’s efforts to modernise its military and to secure its territory.”..

By the way a Canadian firm has already sold maritime patrol aircraft to the Vietnamese navy:

Viking Air’s New Twotter Success Story

4) Vietnam air squadron makes debut

An amphibious DHC-6 Twin Otter Series 400 aircraft. Photo: Pham Quang [great paint scheme]

Interesting that almost no-one in Canada has noticed this sale.

Mark Collins, a prolific Ottawa blogger, is a Fellow at the Canadian Global Affairs Institute; he tweets @Mark3Ds


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