USA aircraft carrier arrives in Vietnam for landmark visit

USA aircraft carrier arrives in Vietnam for landmark visit

The San Diego-based aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson will make a historic port call in Vietnam, the first time a ship of its size has visited that country since the end of the Vietnam War.

U.S. aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson arrives at a port in Danang, Vietnam on March 5, 2018.

The visit includes friendly basketball and soccer matches between U.S. sailors and locals, along with an orphanage visit and navy band concerts. The chemical has caused major health problems from many individuals who were exposed.

The two countries "have gone from former enemies to close partners", the US ambassador to Vietnam, Daniel Kritenbrink, said in a statement. The war killed 58,000 Americans and more than 3 million Vietnamese.

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 worldwide law". These events usually involve subject-matter exchanges in topics such as diving, salvage, undersea medicine and medical evacuations. The ships will be stationed in Vietnam for five days. Among other things, he announced a full lifting of the US' decades-old ban on weapon sales to Vietnam.

"This is a historic day and we are honored to receive such a warm welcome here", Rear Adm. John Fuller, the strike group commander, said in a statement.

In Vietnam, the United States sees an opportunity to join forces over a common problem and push back against China's growing influence in Asia.

The United States hasn't taken any official position on South China Sea territorial claims but conducts "freedom of navigation" operations in the waterways by sailing ships without notice through disputed areas.

Kirby said the carrier's arrival in Vietnam sent a clear signal.

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"We recognize that relationships never stay the same".

"They are anxious about where China is going, and they have wanted for years now to have a better relationship with the United States".

Separately from this week's mission, US officials have said American warships would continue sailing without prior notice close to the China-occupied islands and atolls, an aggressive way of signaling to Beijing that it does not recognize its sovereignty over those areas.

Vietnam Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Le Thi Thu Hang said the visit will "continue to promote bilateral relations within the framework of the two countries' comprehensive partnership and contribute to maintaining peace, stability, security, cooperation and development in the region". The first port visit to Vietnam following the war was by the cruiser USS Vandergrift in November 2003, which docked at Ho Chi Minh City on the Saigon River.

Several Danang residents said Monday that they welcomed the Navy's visit. In May 2017, Vietnam hosted a Japanese helicopter carrier in Cam Ranh Bay for what was called a humanitarian assistance and disaster relief drill.

"I'm very happy and excited with the carrier's visit", he said. Washington appears to be keeping that diplomatic card in reserve while gauging Beijing's reaction.

The Carl Vison, which is assigned to the Navy's 3rd Fleet, has been patrolling the Western Pacific after leaving its homeport of San Diego in January.

Around 5,500 sailors will set foot on vietnamese soil in the first visit by an American aircraft carrier since the v\Vietnam war. The Ronald Reagan began its Selected Restricted Availability maintenance period in January at Yokosuka Naval Base after completing its fall patrol late previous year.

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