HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — The U.S. is boosting maritime security assistance to China's smaller neighbors amid rising tensions over disputed territories in the South China Sea and China's establishment of a new air defense zone over parts of the East China Sea.
Secretary of State John Kerry made the announcement today during a visit to Vietnam.
Kerry says the U.S. will provide an additional $32.5 million to help Southeast Asian nations protect their territorial waters and secure navigational freedom.
Kerry's visit to Vietnam, and a Tuesday stop in the Philippines, comes as tensions over conflicting claims to territory in the South China Sea have risen dramatically and many of China's neighbors are asking for help from Washington.
Both Vietnam and the Philippines are involved in disputes with China.