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    A US Aircraft Carrier Will Make a Rare Vietnam Port Call as Countries Compete for Favor in SE Asia

    A US Aircraft Carrier Will Make a Rare Vietnam Port Call as Countries Compete for Favor in SE Asia

      — An American aircraft carrier was due to make a port call in Vietnam on Sunday — a rare visit by one of the U.S. Navy's biggest ships that comes as and Beijing both step up efforts to bolster ties with Southeast Asian .

    The USS Ronald Reagan, a nuclear-powered Nimitz-class aircraft carrier, was scheduled to arrive in Da Nang on June 25 and stay through June 30, making use of a port that was modernized and expanded by the United States during the war in Vietnam, the country's Foreign Ministry announced.

    It will be only the third such visit by an American aircraft carrier since the end of the hostilities.

    The visit comes about a month after a Chinese navy training ship made its own port call in Da Nang as part of what it called a goodwill tour that also took it to Thailand, Brunei and the .

    Japan's largest destroyer, Izumo, made a port call in Vietnam over the past week, following exercises in the South China Sea with the Reagan, among other American ships.

    “Recently, Vietnam has received visits from naval vessels from different countries, and this time it will be a visit from the USS Ronald Reagan,” Vietnam's VnExpress online newspaper quoted Foreign Ministry spokesperson Pham Thu Hang as saying.

    “This is a normal friendly exchange for the sake of peace, stability, cooperation and development in both the region and the world.”

    China is Vietnam's largest trading partner. But,…

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