US-Vietnam Naval Exercises: A Message to China

Two Vietnamese border-guard officers walk past a banner welcoming the port call by the US destroyer USS John S. McCain at Tien Sa port in the central costal city of Danang on August 10, 2010. (Hoang Dinh Nam/AFP/Getty Images)

Chinese claims to South China Sea have been met with fierce resistance by a US-Vietnam alliance.

“With China beginning to flex its muscles in the South China Sea, Vietnam and the United States are becoming ever closer partners,” says Jamie Metzl, Asia Society Executive Vice President.  “Although both countries are stating publically that their joint naval exercises are not addressed at China, it is quite obvious that they are."

This partnership, 35 years after the Vietnam War, is an attempt to warn China that it is not “the only big player" in town.

A warning that comes in response to China’s decision to establish new administrations in Paracels and Spratlys islands (located in South China Sea), which are, still disputed territories. "It is important for Vietnam (and) its partners to establish that they have an equal right to economic prosperity and peace within the region as well' declared Captain Ross Myers, commander of the George Washington’s air wing, speaking to the Associated Press.

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For more information, visit Asia Society’s Center on U.S.-China Relations