HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper says the United States is providing Vietnam with a surplus American ship for its coast guard.

Esper made the announcement during a speech Wednesday at the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam, a government university in Hanoi. He said it would be provided next year, but he gave no details on payment or exact timing.

Esper also was meeting in Hanoi with senior Vietnamese government officials. It is his first visit to the country since becoming defense secretary in July.

Vietnam is one of the most vocal critics of China’s sweeping territorial claims in the South China Sea and has accused Beijing of encroaching into its waters.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.