Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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US in talks with Vietnam on largest arms sale in history

The Biden administration stated it negotiated with Vietnam on the largest arms deal in history between the former Cold War adversaries to balance geopolitical competition with China, including in the Pacific.

According to a US official, the package, which may be drawn up next year, will end with the sale of American F-16 fighter jets to Hanoi, as Vietnam faces tensions with China in the disputed South China Sea.

“We have a very productive and promising security relationship with the Vietnamese and we do see interesting movement from them in some US systems, in particular anything that can help them better monitor their maritime domain, perhaps transport aircraft and some other platforms.”

He also noted that the deal is still at an early stage, and its exact terms have not yet been determined and may not go ahead. However, it has been a key topic of official Vietnam-US talks in Hanoi, New York and Washington over the past month.

Part of what we’re working on internally as the US government is being creative about how we could try to provide better financing options to Vietnam to get them things that might be really useful to them.

Washington is also considering special financing terms to help cash-strapped Hanoi break its dependence on cheaper Russian-made weapons, the anonymous source said.

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