India enhances presence in S. China Sea

Agreement between Vietnam and India causes a stir in China.

India enhances presence in South China Sea

Notwithstanding Chinese objections, India on Tuesday went ahead to enhance its presence in hydrocarbon-rich South China Sea and inked a pact with Vietnam for exploration in two additional oil and gas blocks besides deciding to step up cooperation in key areas of defence, security, trade and counter-terrorism.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Tan Dung held wide-ranging talks on important bilateral, regional issues and pitched for “freedom of navigation and commerce, and peaceful settlement of maritime disputes in the region”. The two sides also signed an agreement on extension of the contract for another oil project in South China Sea. With acceptance of two additional blocks, India has exploration projects in five Vietnamese blocks.

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