Vietnamese enthusiastically welcome U.S. President Barack Obama and hope for stronger diplomatic and economic ties, and the lifting of an arms embargo. Diane Hodges reports.
Vietnamese line the streets to welcome U.S. President Barack Obama. The U.S. leader arrived on Sunday for a three-day visit aimed at cultivating a new partner to counter China's growing power in the region. The Vietnamese are also looking for a partner to counter China, especially in their dispute over control of the South China Sea, according to this woman. (SOUNDBITE) (Vietnamese) DUONG THI THUY HUONG SAYING: "I hope for more diplomatic support from the U.S., especially over the South China Sea issue. If we get the U.S. and its allies' support, we could be stronger at sea." The U.S. is also considering whether to lift an arms embargo on Hanoi, which has been in effect since the war between the two countries. There has been much excitement about Obama's arrival in a country with a young population enthusiastic about closer U.S. ties, and resentful of Vietnam's economic dependence on its unpopular neighbor China. But forging a new friendship with Vietnam could cost the U.S. good will with China, which resents any efforts to forge closer ties with its neighbors.