(Bloomberg) -- Vietnam’s new President To Lam is looking to gradually expand security and defense ties with the US, he said during a Thursday meeting with US Ambassador Marc Knapper in Hanoi.

Vietnam and the US should step up cooperation in areas such as cyber security, preventing terrorism and transnational crimes, Lam said, according to a statement on Vietnam’s government website. 

Vietnam last week demanded that a Chinese naval survey ship, the Hai Yang 26, stop “illegal” activities in Vietnam’s waters, according to a statement on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website, citing spokesperson Pham Thu Hang during a June 6 briefing. 

The president proposed the two nations further increase bilateral ties in areas such as trade and investment, according to the statement. Lam also sought continued US assistance to help Vietnam deal with climate change and the consequences of the war between the two countries.

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