President Donald Trump shakes hands with Vietnam President Tran Dai Quang as his wife / Getty Images

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Once bitter enemies, the United States and Vietnam are increasing defense and intelligence cooperation in the face of growing Chinese maritime encroachment in the South China Sea.

US President Donald Trump has unveiled a program of using quiet diplomacy and behind-the-scenes discussions to block Chinese attempts to take over the South China Sea through a covert campaign of island-building and militarization. During his November 10-12 visit to Vietnam, Trump agreed to sharply increase security cooperation, including stepped-up military support and, surprisingly, intelligence cooperation.

The joint US-Vietnam statement outlines the new relationship. “The two leaders underscored that their two countries would deepen and gradually expand security and intelligence cooperation, enhancing information sharing and joint training on issues of mutual concern,” it said.

Read the entire article at Asia Times.

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