Published: Wed, March 07, 2018
Entertaiment | By Kelly Sanders

US Aircraft Docked in Vietnam

US Aircraft Docked in Vietnam

A United States aircraft carrier has arrived at a Vietnamese port for the first time since the end of the Vietnam War more than forty years ago, according to media reports.

He was speaking about the growing influence of China across the region.

Smartphone-wielding locals gathered on high ground overlooking Danang Bay in central Vietnam to witness the arrival of the nuclear-powered USS Carl Vinson.

As a matter of national security doctrine, the fiercely independent Vietnam has adopted a "three no's" policy of non-alignment with one power bloc against another, non-hosting of foreign military bases on its soil, and non-alliance with and dependence on any external power. The U.S. aims for the two nations to overcome their past and greatly increase defense cooperation, according to a source familiar with the Defense Department.

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.

In January, the Defense Department labeled China and Russian Federation "revisionist powers" seeking to undermine the global order.

U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam Daniel Kritenbrink and Pacific Fleet Commander Adm. Scott Swift spoke about the importance of the Carl Vinson's visit to the foe-turned-partner. The carrier also stopped in the Philippines in February.

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In this handout provided by the U.S. Navy, the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) transits the Sunda Strait on April 14, 2017 in Indonesia.

Top leaders from both the United States and Vietnam discussed the possibility of an aircraft carrier visit past year in an effort to further relations.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters Friday that China hopes the "exchanges between [the us and Vietnam] would contribute to regional peace and stability in a positive and constructive way, instead of adding any unsettling factors". Washington appears to be keeping that diplomatic card in reserve while gauging Beijing's reaction.

The U.S., which is an extra-regional country, has been taking the side of China's rival claimants in the regional disputes.

USA carriers frequently ply the South China Sea in a rising pattern of naval deployments, and are now routinely followed by Chinese naval vessels, naval officers in the region say. Last year, the US transferred a decommissioned Coast Guard cutter to Vietnam and signed a three-year plan for defense cooperation.

The U.S. and Vietnam first announced in January that the USS Carl Vinson would be making a stop in Vietnam, and Hanoi's diplomats have been working to calm their Chinese counterparts ever since.

"During the war, I was scared when I saw American soldiers", said Tran Thi Luyen, 55, who runs a small coffee shop in the city. The carrier's arrival demonstrates the USA and Vietnam's strengthened military ties, and is likely welcome news to neighboring countries that are nervously eyeing China's military rise in the region.

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