US Defence Secretary Mark Esper and Vietnamese Defence Minister Ngo Xuan Lich meet in Hanoi on November 20, 2019. Photo: AP
US Defence Secretary Mark Esper and Vietnamese Defence Minister Ngo Xuan Lich meet in Hanoi on November 20, 2019. Photo: AP

US gifts ship to Vietnam to boost patrols in disputed South China Sea

  • US Defence Secretary Mark Esper said the gift reflected a strengthening of US-Vietnam ties
  • He also vowed Washington would continue conducting freedom of navigation operations in the disputed waterway

US Defence Secretary Mark Esper and Vietnamese Defence Minister Ngo Xuan Lich meet in Hanoi on November 20, 2019. Photo: AP
US Defence Secretary Mark Esper and Vietnamese Defence Minister Ngo Xuan Lich meet in Hanoi on November 20, 2019. Photo: AP
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