US defense secretary broadens cooperation with Vietnam

Jul 28, 2021, 9:56 AM | Updated: 10:01 pm
U.S Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Vietnamese Defense Minister Phan Van Giang stand for a photo...

U.S Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Vietnamese Defense Minister Phan Van Giang stand for a photo in Hanoi, Vietnam, Thursday, July 29, 2021. Austin is seeking to bolster ties with Vietnam, one of the Southeast Asian nations embroiled in a territorial rift with China, during a two-day visit. (Nguyen Trong Duc/VNA via AP)

(Nguyen Trong Duc/VNA via AP)

HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin met his Vietnamese counterpart on Thursday to deepen cooperation in security and pandemic recovery, after Washington vowed support for Southeast Asian nations embroiled in territorial rifts with China.

Vietnam and the Philippines, Austin’s next stop, are among China’s fiercest opponents in the territorial disputes in the South China Sea, where Beijing has ignored neighbors’ protests and has constructed several islands equipped with airstrips and military installations.

Vietnam has previously accused China of obstructing its gas exploration activities off its southern shores, and the Philippines routinely protests the presence of Chinese fishing and coast guard ships in its exclusive economic zone. Malaysia and Indonesia have also complained about China’s activities in parts of the South China Sea that Beijing claims virtually in its entirety.

In Hanoi, Austin and Vietnamese Defense Minister Phan Van Giang discussed cooperation in resolving the legacies of the war that ended in 1975, including the continuing searches for American MIAs, removal of land mines and the decontamination of the powerful defoliant dioxin Agent Orange used by U.S. troops during the Vietnam War, according to Vietnam’s Defense Ministry.

They also discussed non-traditional security cooperation in natural disaster relief and COVID-19 assistance.

Austin’s visit comes as Vietnam is in the grip of a coronavirus surge, with Hanoi and half of the country in lockdown.

The U.S has donated 5 million doses of the Moderna vaccine, part of the 80 million doses that Biden pledged to lower-income nations around the world.

Austin arrived from Singapore, where he gave a speech on Tuesday saying he was committed to a constructive, stable relationship with China, including stronger crisis communications with the People’s Liberation Army.

He repeated that Beijing’s claim to the South China Sea “has no basis in international law” and “treads on the sovereignty of states in the region.” He said the U.S. supports the region’s coastal states in upholding their rights under international law, and is committed to its defense treaty obligations with Japan and the Philippines.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

DUNMORE, Pa. (AP) — Four teenagers have been charged with a plot to attack a Pennsylvania hig...
Associated Press

4 accused of plotting school attack on Columbine anniversary

DUNMORE, Pa. (AP) — Four teenagers have been charged with a plot to attack a Pennsylvania high school in 2024, on the 25th anniversary of the massacre at Colorado’s Columbine High School, authorities said. A 15-year-old girl and 15-year-old boy are charged as adults and two other teenagers face juvenile charges in the plan to […]
1 day ago
FILE - In this Sept. 24, 2021, file photo President Joe Biden speaks about the COVID-19 response an...
Associated Press

Biden risks losing support from Democrats amid DC gridlock

NEW YORK (AP) — President Joe Biden is losing support among critical groups in his political base as some of his core campaign promises falter, raising concerns among Democrats that the voters who put him in office may feel less enthusiastic about returning to the polls in next year’s midterm elections. In just the past […]
1 day ago
India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the 76th Session of the U.N. General Assembly at Uni...
Associated Press

India’s Modi targets neighbors at UN, but not by name

NEW YORK (AP) — Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi didn’t directly mention Pakistan or China in his Saturday speech to the United Nations General Assembly, but the targets of his address were clear. He called upon the international community to help the women, children and minorities of Afghanistan and said that it was imperative the […]
1 day ago
Seraphine Warren poses for a photo in her home in Tooele, Utah, on Sept. 23, 2021, with a rug made ...
Associated Press

Petito case renews call to spotlight missing people of color

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — In the three months since 62-year-old Navajo rug weaver Ella Mae Begay vanished, the haunting unanswered questions sometimes threaten to overwhelm her niece. Seraphine Warren has organized searches of the vast Navajo Nation landscape near her aunt’s home in Arizona but is running out of money to pay for gas […]
1 day ago
FILE - In this March 2, 2019, file photo, Kim Yo Jong, sister of North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un a...
Associated Press

Kim’s sister: NKorea willing to talk if Seoul shows respect

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — The powerful sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said Saturday that her country will take steps to repair ties with South Korea, and may even discuss another summit between their leaders, if the South drops what she described as hostility and double standards. The comments by Kim Yo […]
1 day ago
FILE - In this March 2021 photo provided by Pfizer, a technician works on a line for packaging prep...
Associated Press

COVID-19 vaccine boosters could mean billions for drugmakers

Billions more in profits are at stake for some vaccine makers as the U.S. moves toward dispensing COVID-19 booster shots to shore up Americans’ protection against the virus. How much the manufacturers stand to gain depends on how big the rollout proves to be. The Biden administration last month announced plans to give boosters to […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

...
IQ Air

How Poor Air Quality Is Affecting Our Future Athletes

You cannot control your child’s breathing environment 100% of the time, but you can make a huge impact.
...
Swedish Health Services

Special Coverage: National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

There are a wide variety of treatment options available for men with prostate cancer. The most technologically advanced treatment option in the Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform.
...
Marysville Police Department

Police Opportunities in a Growing, Supportive Washington Community

Marysville PD is looking for both lateral and entry level officers. Begin or continue your career in law enforcement for a growing, supportive community.
Courtesy of JWatch Photography....
Experience Anacortes

Summer Fun Activities in Anacortes

With minimal travel time required and every activity under the sun, Anacortes is the perfect vacation spot for all ages.
...
By Alaska Airlines

Calling all football fans: follow Russell on the road

Take your Northwest spirit that we’re known for on the road this season with Alaska Airlines.
...
By Marysville Police Department

Police Opportunities in a Growing, Supportive Washington Community

Marysville PD is looking for lateral and entry level officers. Begin or continue your career in law enforcement for a growing, supportive community.
US defense secretary broadens cooperation with Vietnam