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A New Chapter Opens in Asia - Better Relations with a Former Foe

United States(US) President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam has confirmed a better relation with an old foe. The visit has opened new chapter for greater western influence in southeast Asia at a time when China is flexing its new found strength and claiming large swaths of sea and land territory.

The better US-Vietnam partnership, cemented by the announcement from the US that it has ended an arms embargo against Vietnam, could become a security stabilizer for both Vietnam and other southeast Asia nations that are worried over Chinese actions on the South China Sea.

A renewed friendly relationship between Washington and Hanoi could also strengthen Vietnam's negotiating arm with China in respect to its sovereignty. Two years ago China placed a deep sea oil drilling rig off the Vietnamese coast and kept it there for sometime despite complaints from Hanoi. Anger against China resulted in attacks against alleged Chinese businesses in Vietnam.

However, with the present visit of President Obama to the communist country and with the lifting of the US arms embargo, Vietnam is more secure today at the outset of a new relationship with one of the stalwarts of democracy, the United States of America.

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