The United States hopes to reach agreement for another aircraft carrier visit to Vietnam this year and for such port stops to become a regular feature of the increasingly close relationship between the two countries, a senior U.S. defence official said on Wednesday.
The USS Carl Vinson stopped in Vietnam in March last year in the first such visit since the end of the American war in Vietnam in 1975.
“We very much hope we can reach agreement with our colleagues in Vietnam for a second aircraft carrier visit this year,” Randall Schriver, the assistant secretary of defence for the Indo-Pacific region, told a Washington think tank.
“We are discussing it with Vietnam right now. Our hope is that this can be a regular feature of the relationship. It would be a sign of a mature and a strategic relationship,” Schriver told the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
Schriver also said he hoped the United States would be able to make a second coast guard cutter available to Vietnam to help with maritime security work.
On Monday, the United States delivered six patrol boats worth $12 million to Vietnam’s Coast Guard.