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The Chinese government is not happy about U.S. President Barack Obama's decision to lift a decades-long arms trade embargo with Vietnam.
While Beijing claims it welcomes Vietnam's pursuit of normal and friendly relations with any country, there's a catch:
China Warns U.S., "If Korean or Vietnam Wars Are Replayed, We Must Defend Ourselves"
China's muted response today comes as a surprise to many who were privy to Beijing's much more aggressive threat last Friday…
That's when Liu Zhenmin, a vice minister in China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, stated his country was not afraid to repeat a Korean or Vietnam War.
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"The Chinese people do not want to have war, so we will be opposed to the U.S. if it stirs up any conflict," he said, reported Daily Mail UK last Friday. "Of course, if the Korean War or Vietnam War are replayed, then we will have to defend ourselves."
Mainstream media largely reported on Monday that the president's move should indeed be perceived as an indirect threat to China. The president stated that the United States and Vietnam have mutual concerns about maritime issues and the importance of maintaining freedom of navigation in the South China Sea.
President Obama also reminded the world that while Washington doesn't take sides on the territorial dispute, it does support a diplomatic resolution based on "international norms" and "not based on who's the bigger party and can throw around their weight a little bit more," reported FOX News this morning
Now that's a direct reference to China if we've ever heard one.
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- Daily Mail UK: China's Blunt Warning to America: 'We're Ready for Repeat of Korean War or Vietnam If U.S. Military Stirs Up Any Conflict in South China Sea'
- FOX News: U.S. Lifts Vietnam Arms Embargo in Move to Counter China