In California, Vietnam PM calls for greater US role in East Sea

Thanh Nien News

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Vietnam's Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung shakes hands with US President Barack Obama at a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the US-ASEAN Leaders Summit in California on February 15, 2016. Photo: Duc Tam/VNA Vietnam's Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung shakes hands with US President Barack Obama at a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the US-ASEAN Leaders Summit in California on February 15, 2016. Photo: Duc Tam/VNA

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Vietnam's Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has asked the US to take a stronger role in preventing island-building and militarization in the East Sea, the government said on Tuesday.
Dung made the comments during a bilateral meeting with US President Barack Obama on the sidelines of the two-day US-ASEAN Leaders Summit in California, the government said on its website on Tuesday. The East Sea is also internationally known as the South China Sea.
"The Prime Minister suggested the United States have a stronger voice and more practical and more efficient actions requesting termination of all activities changing the status quo, especially large-scale construction of artificial islands, and termination of militarization,” the website said.
Vietnam’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs routinely opposes China's activities in the East Sea, including the construction of seven islands in Vietnam’s Spratly archipelago. 
Dung also suggested Washington fully lift a lethal arms embargo on Vietnam, which would be an “important way to strengthen political trust between the two countries," the government website quoted him as saying.
On the sidelines of the summit, Dung also held meetings with Indonesian President Joko Widodo and Thai PM Prayuth Chan-ocha.
He left California on Tuesday.

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