An American nuclear-powered aircraft carrier has docked at Danang, Vietnam, for the first time since the end of the war between the former foes, in what is viewed as a push by Washington to challenge Beijing’s presence in the disputed South China Sea.
In a highly symbolic visit, the USS Carl Vinson, which is home to 5,300 sailors, pilots and crew and 72 aircraft, arrived on Monday for a 4-day stay, giving the US a chance to flex its military muscle in the Asian country for the first time since the end of the Vietnam War in 1975.
Although no US aircraft carrier has been to Vietnam since the end of the war, other smaller American warships have made high-level visits as ties improved in recent years. Washington normalized relations with Vietnam in 1995 and lifted an arms embargo in 2016.
During their stay, US sailors will play friendly basketball and soccer matches with locals, hold navy band concerts and visit a center for victims of Agent…