(U.S Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class LA Walker)

US to Give Vietnam Another Coast Guard Cutter Amid Rising Tensions in South China Sea

Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said Wednesday that Vietnam will receive a second coast guard cutter from the United States sometime next year, bolstering that nation’s capability to push back against China’s maritime antagonism in the South China Sea.

“This ship represents another concrete symbol for our strengthening relationship,” Esper said during a speech to a group of students at the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam in Hanoi. “Not only does this cooperation enhance the security of Vietnam and the broader region, but it also builds trust and mutual respect, which creates harmony between our people.”

The Vietnam Coast Guard received the first cutter in May 2017. The decommissioned U.S. Coast Guard Hamilton-class cutter Morgenthau was originally commissioned in 1969.

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