US aircraft carrier arrives in Vietnam

DANANG: A US aircraft carrier arrived in the central Vietnamese city of Danang on Sunday (Jun 25), AFP journalists saw, weeks after Hanoi protested against Chinese vessels sailing in its waters.

The USS Ronald Reagan’s port call in Danang comes as the US and Vietnam celebrate the 10th anniversary of their “comprehensive partnership”.

The aircraft carrier – part of the US 7th Fleet “supporting a free and open Indo-Pacific region” – arrived with two escort ships, the guided-missile cruisers USS Antietam and USS Robert Smalls, the American Embassy in Hanoi said.

US Navy officials disembarked and shook hands with their Vietnamese military counterparts in a brief ceremony on Sunday afternoon.

“More than 5,000 sailors aboard USS Ronald Reagan are eager to visit Danang and experience Vietnamese culture,” USS Ronald Reagan’s commanding officer Captain Daryle Cardone said in a statement.

Vietnam and the US share increasingly close trade links, as well as concerns over China’s growing strength in the region.

A Chinese survey vessel, multiple coast guard ships and fishing boats operated for several weeks in Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone in the South China Sea, prompting a demand that they leave from Vietnam’s foreign ministry.

The boats eventually departed in early June.

China most claims of the resource-rich waterway despite competing claims from other Southeast Asian nations including Vietnam, the Philippines and Malaysia.

“The visit gives that message that Vietnam is continuing to balance against China by improving its security relationship with the US, and with other outside powers,” Nguyen The Phuong, a PhD candidate in maritime security at the University of New South Wales Canberra, told AFP.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top