Sunday, 19 August, 2018

Vietnam hosts US aircraft carrier for first time since war ended

US aircraft carrier to arrive in Vietnam for historic visit Vietnam seeks to pacify China as USS Vinson visit signals warming ties
| 06 March, 2018, 03:10

The San Diego-based aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson will make a historic port call in Vietnam, the first time a ship of its size has visited that country since the end of the Vietnam War.

The USS Carl Vinson is anchored at Tien Sa Port in Danang, Vietnam, Monday, March 5, 2018.

U.S. aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson arrives at a port in Danang, Vietnam March 5, 2018.

"And that's to promote security, stability and prosperity in the region". This is the first time a US Navy's supercarrier is visiting Vietnam in almost four decades since the war between the former rivals ended.

Kirby said the carrier's arrival in Vietnam sent a clear signal.

Vietnam has also urged its fellow ASEAN nations to take a stronger stance against China in the South China Sea, though the body has largely chosen not to forcefully challenge Beijing.

Vietnam and China have competing claims in the South China Sea, which has been of increasing concern to Hanoi.


Servicemembers will participate in cultural and professional exchanges during community service projects, sports competitions and receptions, a Navy statement said.

"It's a message to Vietnam, about how much we care about that relationship; it's a message to China, about what they're doing in the region; but it's also a broader message to everyone in the Pacific region, that the United States is here and we're here to stay", Kirby said. The first port visit to Vietnam following the war was by the cruiser USS Vandergrift in November 2003, which docked at Ho Chi Minh City on the Saigon River. The docking of the vast vessel, which can support up to 90 aircraft, will represent the largest U.S. military presence in Vietnam since the end of many years of bitter conflict and after the country was unified in 1975. Last year, Vietnam deployed six submarines purchased from Russian Federation to Cam Ranh Bay, but it can not oppose Beijing alone.

Derek Grossman, a senior defence analyst at the US RAND think-tank, said it was uncertain just how fast and how far Vietnam was prepared to go even as it sought to deter China in the South China Sea.

"The Philippines has just rolled over, China is continually militarising and if the U.S. doesn't maintain a presence in the region, Vietnam's got nowhere to hide", Thayer said.

Several Danang residents said Monday that they welcomed the navy visit.

"I'm very happy and excited with the carrier's visit", he said.

With a Northrup Grumman E-2 Hawkeye parked in foreground, USA navy personnel cool themselves on the flight deck of the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier anchors off Manila, Philippines, for a five-day port call along with guided-missile destroyer USS Michael Murphy, Saturday, Feb. 17, 2018. "Increased cooperation between the two countries in economic, diplomatic and military areas would serve as a counterbalance to Beijing's expansionism".

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