HANOI, Vietnam — President Obama arrived in the steamy capital of Vietnam ahead of schedule on Sunday night to begin three days of meetings in hopes of luring yet another Southeast Asian country away from China’s tight embrace.
He was greeted on the tarmac by a young woman in a long yellow dress who handed him a bouquet of flowers. Several second-tier Vietnamese officials shook the president’s hand before he climbed into his limousine for a quick trip to his hotel after nearly 24 hours of travel. Quiet clusters of people on the dark streets watched his motorcade pass. Except for the small groups, the streets seemed to have been completely cleared.