BBC Chinese recently reported that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met with Vietnamese Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh on October 2. The United States decided to lift its embargo on the sale of weapons for naval defense purposes. The embargo on the sale of arms started in 1975 and has lasted nearly four decades. The U.S. government explained that this move was based on improvements in the human rights situation in Vietnam. Further expansion of the scope of lifting the embargo will depend on more improvements in the human rights area. U.S. officials denied any relationship between this announcement and the conflicts China is currently having with its neighboring countries in the South China Sea. The United States and Vietnam restored normal relations 20 years ago. The current annual trade volume between the United States and Vietnam is around US$20 billion.
Source: BBC Chinese, October 2, 2014