05 October 2016
Two American warships have called at Vietnam’s strategic Cam Ranh Bay for the first time since the two nations normalised relations 21 years ago, the United States Navy said yesterday.
Submarine support vessel USS Frank Cable and guided-missile destroyer USS John S McCain made the visit on Sunday as part of naval engagement activities between the US and Vietnam, the navy said in a statement. Other military sealift ships have visited in the past, it noted.
The visit is part of recent US efforts to enhance naval ties with Vietnam as it seeks to counter China’s assertiveness over disputed territory in nearby waters.
It came after the full lifting of a US embargo on trade in lethal arms with Vietnam in May as part of President Barack Obama’s strategic “rebalance” toward Asia.
“It sort of speaks to the growing substance of this US-Vietnam defence and security relationship,” said Mr Collin Koh, a research fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, who studies maritime security. “I think we have seen in more recent years that Vietnam is sliding more toward countries like Japan and the US for obvious reasons that China has risen and grown more assertive.”
IDSS / Online / Print
Last updated on 05/10/2016