A US aircraft carrier will visit Vietnam next year, the Pentagon said in a statement on Tuesday, in a sign of improving relations between the two countries. US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Vietnamese Minister of National Defense Ngo Xuan Lich agreed to the carrier’s visit in a meeting at the Pentagon on Tuesday, the statement said.
It is believed to be the first visit by a US aircraft carrier since the Vietnam War ended in 1975. President Donald Trump discussed the possibility of a US carrier visit with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc when the two leaders met in May at the White House, Vietnam’s government said at the time.
Relations between the United States and Vietnam have improved amid shared concerns about China’s expansive claims in the South China Sea.