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The Global Times slams lifting of arms embargo

An influential Chinese state-run newspaper yesterday slammed the lifting of a decades-old United States arms embargo against Vietnam, saying the move was aimed at Beijing and calling US President Barack Obama’s assurances to the contrary “a very poor lie” which exacerbated “the strategic antagonism between Washington and Beijing”.

An influential Chinese state-run newspaper yesterday slammed the lifting of a decades-old United States arms embargo against Vietnam, saying the move was aimed at Beijing and calling US President Barack Obama’s assurances to the contrary “a very poor lie” which exacerbated “the strategic antagonism between Washington and Beijing”.

The arms sales decision “was not based on China” but part of normalising ties with Vietnam, said Mr Obama on Monday.

The Global Times newspaper, published by the ruling Communist Party’s official People’s Daily, retorted yesterday that the move showed Washington’s willingness to relax standards on human rights for the sake of containing China.

The White House “is taking advantage of Vietnam to stir up more troubles in the South China Sea”, it said in an editorial which points to Beijing’s concerns about closer ties between its chief regional rival and its southern neighbour, in line with growing Vietnamese concern over Chinese moves to assert its maritime claims in the South China Sea.

Any attempt to enlist Vietnam in an effort to contain China “bodes ill for regional peace and stability, as it would further complicate the situation in the South China Sea, and risk turning the region into a tinderbox of conflicts”, said the English-language China Daily in an editorial yesterday.

Yesterday, Mr Obama said the US wants to help Vietnam acquire the capability to defend its sovereignty from countries that might try to “bully” it in contravention of international rules and norms.

“The international order upon which our mutual security depends is rooted in certain rules and norms,” said Mr Obama.

“No matter how large or small a nation may be, its sovereignty should be respected, and its territory should not be violated. Big nations should not bully smaller ones. Disputes should be solved peacefully,” he said, without mentioning China by name.

In Beijing, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said countries outside the region should respect regional countries’ efforts to safeguard regional peace and security.

She said China believed a country’s size should not be used as the only or main basis to determine if its position is justified.

“The key is whether the relevant party is sincere and determined in resolving disputes through joint efforts, negotiations, and consultations,” she said. AGENCIES

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