US car­rier makes first visit in bud­ding Viet­nam friend­ship

China Daily (Latin America Weekly) - - World - By PAN MENGQI pan­mengqi@chi­ Carl Vin­son Carl Vin­son Carl Vin­son’s Carl Vin­son

The USS air­craft car­rier will set an­chor in Viet­nam’s coastal city Da Nang on Mon­day, the first time a US air­craft car­rier has vis­ited the coun­try since the end of the Viet­nam War in 1975.

Ac­cord­ing to Reuters, the four-day visit by the

and its con­tin­gent of 5,000 sailors and avi­a­tors has been deemed an op­por­tu­nity to en­hance the bud­ding friend­ship that has emerged be­tween the two for­mer foes.

The 95,000-met­ric-ton car­rier is ex­pected to an­chor 2 nau­ti­cal miles off the port of Da Nang. Cul­tural ex­changes, in­clud­ing culi­nary and sport­ing ac­tiv­i­ties, will take place be­tween United States mil­i­tary per­son­nel on board and their Viet­namese coun­ter­parts.

The visit will mark the big­gest US mil­i­tary pres­ence in the coun­try since 1975, Reuters re­ported.

Ruan Zongze, vice-pres­i­dent of the China In­sti­tute of In­ter­na­tional Stud­ies, said the his­toric visit is a pow­er­ful sym­bol of the grow­ing strate­gic and mil­i­tary ties be­tween the US and Viet­nam.

The ar­rives amid re­peated sig­nals from the ad­min­is­tra­tion of US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump that it is keen to fur­ther de­velop se­cu­rity ties with Viet­nam as part of a range of po­lit­i­cal and mil­i­tary re­la­tion­ships to coun­ter­bal­ance China, Ruan said, adding that US has sin­gled out of the air­craft car­rier USS Carl Vin­son China as its ma­jor strate­gic com­peti­tor in its Na­tional Se­cu­rity Strat­egy and Na­tional De­fense Strat­egy.

Teng Jian­qun, a re­searcher at China In­sti­tute of In­ter­na­tional Stud­ies, said the aim of US send­ing the air­craft car­rier to draw Viet­nam to its side pre­cisely meets with Viet­nam’s strat­egy to main­tain equidis­tant diplo­macy with China, Rus­sia and the US.

US mil­i­tary ties with Viet­nam have deep­ened since 2016, when for­mer pres­i­dent Barack Obama lifted the decades-old em­bargo on US arms sales to the South­east Asia coun­try.

Ac­cord­ing to Xin­hua News Agency, Tina Kaidanow, the US State De­part­ment of­fi­cial for po­lit­i­cal-mil­i­tary af­fairs, said ear­lier that US war­ships would main­tain their “free­dom of navigation” in the South China Sea.

Xin­hua said in an edi­to­rial that mat­ters con­cern­ing the South China Sea should be set­tled by ne­go­ti­a­tions among coun­tries in the re­gion, and those out­side of it should not med­dle in the name of so-called free­dom of navigation.


An F-18 Hor­net fighter jet pre­pares to take off from the flight deck on Feb 14.

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