US aircraft carrier arrives in Vietnam

US aircraft carrier arrives in Vietnam

On March 5, US aircraft carrier Carl Vinson and two other warships of the US Navy entered the Vietnamese port of Danang. This signals that the rise in China's influence and economy, which is bringing together countries who were previously foes and creating huge changes in the areas geopolitical landscape.

The USS Carl Vinson will make a 4-day port call to the central city of Danang for a highly symbolic trip that will include a visit to a center for victims of Agent Orange, the toxic defoliant sprayed over large swathes of land by the US during the war. Vietnamese leaders agreed to the four-day port call during President Donald J. Trump's visit to the country past year.

For the first time since the Vietnam War, a us navy aircraft carrier is paying a visit to a Vietnamese port, seeking to bolster both countries' efforts to stem expansionism by China in the South China Sea.

China claims sovereignty over nearly all of the South China Sea, where more than $5 trillion of goods are shipped each year through some of the world's busiest waterways.

"Even as it moves forward with the US, Vietnam has been engaging China over South China Sea tensions", said Le Hong Hiep, a Vietnam expert at Singapore's ISEAS Yusof Ishak Institute.

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The United States and Vietnam normalized relations in 1995.

The visit was made under an invitation of the US Embassy in Vietnam.

The nuclear-powered carrier will anchor off the port city of Danang, where United States combat troops first landed in the war, making this a highly symbolic location.

Since 2009, Vietnam has sent officials to visit the US's aircraft carriers when they went through the global waters near the country's coast.

The former Coast Guard cutter Morgenthau was transferred to Vietnam past year, becoming the largest ship in the nation's fleet.

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The Vietnamese leader was quoted by the Asian Age; "We reaffirm our close collaboration to support India to further its relations and multi-faceted connectivity with ASEAN attaching high importance to the maintenance of security, maritime safety and freedom of navigation and over flight, settlement of disputes by peaceful means on the basis of global law".

They also engaged in exchanges with the crew members to enhance mutual understanding in the spirit of the bilateral Comprehensive Partnership and as an effort to maintain peace, stability, cooperation and development in the region and the world. Some 58,000 American soldiers and an estimated 3 million Vietnamese were killed in the war.

Several Danang residents said Monday that they welcomed the Navy's visit.

Huynh Quang Nguyen, a taxi driver, echoed the sentiment.

In October 2016, two US ships - the submarine tender USS Frank Cable and destroyer USS John S. McCain - also visited Cam Ranh Bay.

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"I'm very happy and excited with the carrier's visit", he said. "Increased co-operation between the two countries in economic, diplomatic and military areas would serve as a counterbalance to Beijing's expansionism".

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