Vietnam, US warn against ‘use of force’ in South China Sea

The two countries want to send a message to Beijing, which claims almost all of this essential artery of world trade.



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American President Joe Biden alongside his Vietnamese counterpart, Vo Van Thuong, on September 11, 2023 in Hanoi.  (SAUL LOEB / AFP)

They stand together. Vietnam and the United States warned, Monday, September 11, against “threats or use of force” in the South China Sea, a message clearly addressed to Beijing, on the occasion of Joe Biden’s visit to Hanoi.

The joint statement, issued on the second day of the US president’s visit to Vietnam, also refers to the “freedom of navigation and overflight”but also to the need to guarantee trade “without restraint” as well as the “respect for sovereignty” in what has become one of the most tense areas on the planet.

Biden denies wanting to “contain” Beijing

Beijing claims almost the entire South China Sea, the navigation zone that constitutes a key artery of global trade, despite competing claims from the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei. A will that gives rise to constant tensions and very frequent incidents.

Joe Biden also defended himself on Sunday from wanting “contain” Or “isolate” Beijing, but its participation this weekend at the G20 summit in India, like its visit to Vietnam, is intended to demonstrate power at the gates of China. The American president intends to offer Asian countries his strategic support in the face of Chinese ambitions and also wants to boast, in Vietnam and elsewhere in the region, of the industrial opportunities offered by the United States, at a time when Beijing is facing economic difficulties.

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