(VIETNAM, LANKAPUVATH) – For the first time since the end of the Vietnam War more than four decades ago, a US Navy aircraft carrier has arrived in the country.
The USS Carl Vinson anchored two nautical miles off the port city of Danang, which was a key battleground during the war that ended in 1975.
“Our nations’ relationship has reached new heights in the past few years, and the USS Carl Vinson’s port visit to Vietnam is a reflection of that,” said US Pacific Fleet Commander Adm. Scott Swift.
Publicly, the United States has portrayed the four-day visit by the Vinson and its contingent of 5,000 sailors and aviators as a historic opportunity to enhance the budding friendship that has emerged between the two former foes.
But it’s far from a standard port call.
Analysts say the visit by the 95,000-ton carrier to Vietnam is a clear shot at Beijing, designed to counter China’s aggressive island building and militarization in the South China Sea.