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This week the US and Vietnam began their first ever joint naval exercises in the South China Sea, to mark the 15th anniversary of normalization of bilateral relations.
The military presence of the US also came amid Vietnam's escalating tensions with China over a territorial dispute in those very waters. Some experts describe last month's Asian trip by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as a beginning of a more assertive US approach in the region.
So is the US Asian strategy meant to challenge China? Is the Obama Administration getting tougher on China?