Vietnam hosts US aircraft carrier for first time since war ended

06 March, 2018, 01:48 | Author: Essie Rivera
  • US carrier to make landmark visit to Vietnam the first since 1975

An American aircraft carrier made a port call in Vietnam on Monday for the first time since the war between the two countries ended in 1975, a visit geared to tip the diplomatic scales against an expanding China.

The carrier is scheduled to arrive Monday morning and anchor about two miles from the port city of Danang, which was a major USA base during the war.

During the visit, USA sailors will also participate in cultural and professional exchanges, including community service projects, sports competitions and receptions, according to a Navy news release. The 7th Fleet band will perform free concerts.

The visit of a United States aircraft carrier to Vietnam for the first time since the beginning of the Vietnam War is a powerful symbol of the growing strategic ties between the former foes. The chemical has caused major health problems from many individuals who were exposed. "Through hard work, mutual respect, and by continuing to address the past while we work toward a better future, we have gone from former enemies to close partners".

"By spoiling relations with China, Vietnam will get nothing".

Hailing the "dramatic progress" in that relationship, U.S. ambassador Daniel Kritenbrink said the visit underscored United States commitment to the region and to Vietnam in particular. These events usually involve subject-matter exchanges in topics such as diving, salvage, undersea medicine and medical evacuations. The ships will be stationed in Vietnam for five days. In May 2017, Vietnam hosted a Japanese helicopter carrier in Cam Ranh Bay for what was called a humanitarian assistance and disaster relief drill.

The visit, which is being billed by US officials as a historic chance to build relationships with the Vietnamese, is being interpreted as a message to Beijing as the USA seeks to bulk up its presence and influence in the South China Sea. While China has been objecting to India's oil exploration efforts in the South-China sea, the two sides agreed to continue cooperation in oil and gas exploration on land and in the continental shelf and Exclusive Economic Zone of Vietnam.

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Vietnamese diplomats and military officers have repeatedly stressed the country's independent foreign policy and its desire for broad foreign relations - hoping to maintain stable ties with China while standing up to it over the South China Sea, the sources said. The U.S. navy has staged activities in Vietnam for its Pacific Partnership humanitarian and civic missions in nine of the past 12 years.

The Vinson will mark the biggest United States military presence in the country since 1975 when it berths in Da Nang for a five-day stay.

Separately from this week's mission, USA officials have said American warships would continue sailing without prior notice close to the China-occupied islands and atolls, an aggressive way of signaling to Beijing that it does not recognize its sovereignty over those areas.

On Friday, a Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman said that she hoped that the visit can "play a constructive role for the region instead of making the regional countries feel anxious".

USS Carl Vinson is anchored at Tien Sa Port in Danang, Vietnam, Monday, March 5, 2018. Some 58,000 American soldiers and an estimated 3 million Vietnamese were killed in the war.

Under Trump, military cooperation with Hanoi has continued.



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