US Navy's 7th fleet flagship makes port visit in Vietnam

The flagship of the US Navy's Seventh Fleet, USS Blue Ridge, and an American Coast Guard cutter docked in the central Vietnamese port of Cam Ranh on Monday. The vessels are on a five-day routine visit to Cam Ranh bay which is close to a vital waterway in the South China Sea.

Vietnam's state-run media say after a welcoming ceremony, the commander of the 7th fleet and ship officials paid a courtesy call to the local People's Committee. They reportedly agreed to further promote the friendship and comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries.

The US has become increasingly wary of China's presence in the South China Sea. Last year the US nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan made a port call in the central Vietnamese city of Da Nang.

Hanoi has been locked in a dispute with Beijing over ownership of islands in the South China Sea.