USA aircraft carrier approaches Vietnam for the first time since 1975

US Aircraft Carrier Visits Vietnam For The First Time Since The War

The U.S. avoided the potentially more provocative choice of having the Carl Vinson visit Cam Ranh Bay to the south, which is closer to the Spratly Islands, whose sovereignty is disputed among parties including Vietnam and China.

The USS Carl Vinson arrived in Vietnam Monday for a port call, marking the first time a USA aircraft carrier has visited the country in more than 40 years.

For the first time since the Vietnam War, a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier is paying a visit to a Vietnamese port, dramatically underscoring the growing strategic ties between the former foes at a time when China's regional influence is rising.

The Carl Vinson strike group will begin its four day port call in Da Nang Monday.

DANANG, Vietnam (Reuters) - A USA aircraft carrier arrived in Vietnam on Monday for the first time since the end of the Vietnam War, dramatically underscoring the growing strategic ties between the former foes at a time when China's regional influence is rising.

Cultural exchanges, including culinary and sporting activities, will take place between some of the United States military personnel on board and their Vietnamese counterparts.

For the last month, the Carl Vinson has been deployed in the South China Sea, one of the world's busiest shipping lanes.

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Determined to protect its claims in the South China Sea, Hanoi has emerged as the leading - if not lone - voice of resistance against Chinese maritime assertiveness.

China claims most of the South China Sea and has challenged traditional US naval supremacy in the western Pacific.

'We've met with numerous global entities. -Vietnamese relations have progressed.

The administration of U.S. President Donald Trump has taken firm stances against China in the security and economic arenas, including by calling for Beijing to address their trade imbalance. "I think we've helped create the environment that has allowed for the 70 years of growth".

"Vietnam has been deeply concerned about China's pugilistic and aggressive moves in the South China Sea", said John Kirby, a retired US Navy rear admiral and CNN military and diplomatic analyst. Danang saw heavy fighting during the war as the site of a major USA military base, but those gathered showed no sign of bearing a grudge. Since then, Chinese and Vietnamese troops have skirmished over ownership of islets in the South China Sea.

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". "But everyone needs their money".

The Filipino leader has refused to pursue a landmark 2016 worldwide tribunal ruling in Manila's favor over its competing claims with Beijing.

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But that legal victory has proved largely irrelevant to regional geopolitics.

Instead, he has cozied up to China and criticized the United States, a longtime ally.

India and Vietnam have officially agreed to enhance cooperation in three key areas, with leaders also issuing statements that the countries will work together to ensure freedom of navigation in the South China Sea and the Indian Ocean.

By reaching out to America, Vietnam hopes to strengthen its hand against China. Among other things, he announced a full lifting of the US' decades-old ban on weapon sales to Vietnam.

More broadly, Vietnam has rapidly expanded its naval capabilities, including the purchase of kilo-class submarines from Russian Federation and the development of its naval facilities in the highly strategic port of Da Nang.

China is now the de facto superpower in this region, and by far the most important trading partner for Vietnam.

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