The U.S. has begun a cleanup operation in some parts of Vietnam in order to “be able to monitor what the Russians do” in those areas, said Ward Reilly, a member of Veterans for Peace.
“That’s the ulterior motive in this case”, Reilly said, noting that this comes exactly after Vietnam announced normalizing ties with Russian and allowing it to build some military bases for the Asian country.
Reilly made the remarks in an interview with the U.S. desk on Thursday.
He went on to say that if the U.S. concern is cleaning up that area, why would its ambassador to Vietnam say “the U.S. says protecting peace and freedom of navigation in the sea is in its national interest.”
The Vietnamese prime minister has recently said Cam Ranh Bay, 180 miles northwest of Ho Chi Minh city, would stand ready to service ships and submarines "from all countries". Russia is to help rebuild the port as part of an £1.3 billion defense deal signed earlier this year.
The move is one of a series of interlocking regional arrangements that are being put in place to counter China's growing might.
This is while, on Thursday, the U.S. and Vietnam began a long-awaited joint cleanup effort dubbed as the “Agent Orange”.