Vietnam plans to reopen to foreign navies the Cam Ranh Bay port facility formerly used by both the US and Russia, the prime minister said Saturday after a summit dominated by China’s territorial disputes.
“In the centre of the Cam Ranh port complex Vietnam will stand ready to provide services to the naval ships from all countries including submarines when they need our services,” Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung said in response to a reporter’s question, at the close of the East Asia Summit.
Countries will pay for services at the facility which will be developed with Russian assistance, Dung said.
The base in southern Vietnam was used by the United States navy during the Vietnam War, which ended in 1975. The Soviet Union and then Russia later used the facility, until Russia withdrew several years ago.
Vietnam and the US, which restored diplomatic ties 15 years ago, are both concerned about China’s growing military might and assertiveness in the South China Sea.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in Vietnam Saturday that Hanoi and Washington are “broadening our security exchanges”.
On Saturday the US and Russia were formally invited as members of the East Asia Summit in what analysts say is a blow to Chinese attempts to diminish US influence in the region.
With its core the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), EAS also includes Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand.