Vietnam has said it wants to be able to buy weapons from the United States and that regional powerhouse China should not be alarmed.
China has begun building a school on the contested Paracel islands, state media reported, as the Asian giant further asserts its claims in escalating territorial disputes in the South China Sea.
The United States warned has China against any move to declare a new air defence zone over parts of the South China Sea including disputed islands.
China will set up new civilian patrols with a 5,000-tonne vessel in the disputed South China Sea, state-run media said on Tuesday.
In a move that could exacerbate tensions with its neighbours, China has announced plans to allow tourist cruises to disputed islands in the South China Sea, also claimed by Vietnam.
Chinese Vice-Premier Li Keqiang has re-assured that his country is committed to properly resolve the South China Sea issue with Vietnam.
Day in Pics: 3rd May
Showbiz World - May 3, 2015
Major earthquake rattles Nepal, India