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>> President Obama making a high stakes visit to Vietnam and Japan this week, just as tensions with China ratchet higher over it's actions in the South China sea. Obama making the trip just days after two Chinese fighter jets buzzed a US spy plane over the busy waterway. That encounter coming a week before China scrambled jets over an American Navy ship near one of several islands Beijing is building up in the disputed area.
The incident's dashing hopes that the standoff with China might cool down. David Brunnstrom is following the story.>> Tensions over the South China Sea have spiked up actually quite considerably. There is concern certainly of, both by the United States and countries in the region. That in its pursuit of territory in the South China Sea, that China might try in some way to restrict free movement of ships and aircraft.
>> Obama's visiting including a group of seven summit in Japan offers a chance to push back as the US steps up its own military presence in the region. The South China Sea carries $5 trillion in ship trade each year. China's claim to most of it contested by the Philippines, Malaysia and Taiwan, as well as, Vietnam.
Obama's visit there could bring word on whether he'll lift a decades-old ban on US arms sales.>> Vietnamese really wanna see it removed, certainly for symbolic reasons if not immediately for practical reasons.>> But the highlight of the trip? Obama's historic visit to Hiroshima, the first by a sitting president since the US dropped the first atomic bomb at the end of World War II.
An apology not in the cards, but Obama is expected to use the moment as reminder of the need to resolve conflicts peacefully.