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Kerry offers Hanoi aid in maritime dispute

Updated: 2013-12-17 07:16
By Zhao Yanrong ( China Daily)

US Secretary of State John Kerry offered assistance to protect Vietnam's disputed maritime borders with China in the South China Sea in exchange for more trade and security cooperation during a visit to the country on Monday.

On his first trip to Vietnam as the United States' top diplomat, Kerry was in the capital, Hanoi, on Monday seeking to assure the Vietnamese of the US commitment to freedom of navigation and the peaceful resolution of disputes, amid tensions with China over conflicting territorial claims in the South China Sea.

"Cooperation in the region should never be black or white. There is plenty of potential for all parties to seek common interests," said Qi Jianguo, China's former ambassador to Vietnam.

Kerry offers Hanoi aid in maritime dispute