US offers new assistance to Vietnam to boost maritime security
HANOI (Reuters) - The United States on Monday offered fresh financial assistance to Vietnam to boost maritime security on its borders, which comes as regional tension grows with China over territorial claims in the South China Sea.
On his first visit to Vietnam as Secretary of State, Mr John Kerry said the United States intended to provide up to US$18 million (S$22.6 million) in new assistance to Vietnam "to enhance the capacity of coastal patrol units to deploy rapidly for search and rescue, disaster response, and other activities".
Mr Kerry said the funding would also be used to buy five "fast"patrol boats for Vietnam's coastguard in 2014.
He made the announcement following talks in the capital, Hanoi, with the leaders of the communist country.