BEIJING (Sputnik) — Earlier in the day, Obama announced the decision to completely remove US restrictions on lethal arm sales to Vietnam, in force since 1984, at a press conference during his official visit to Hanoi.
"As a close neighbor to Vietnam, we welcome Vietnam developing friendly cooperation with other countries, including the United States. We hope that such relations will contribute to regional peace and stability," Hua said at a briefing.
Imposed in 1984 on Communist Vietnam, the US arms embargo was partially lifted in 2014 as relations between Hanoi and Beijing, the United States' main rival in the region, became strained due to a territorial dispute in the South China Sea. When Beijing deployed the oil platform Haiyang Shiyou 981 in the area contested by Hanoi in May 2014, Chinese factories in Vietnam were targeted by protesters.