Call for free navigation in S China Sea

Deal signed to provide patrol vessels for Vietnam.

India, Vietnam call for ‘free navigation’ in S China Sea

Written by Abantika Ghosh

India and Vietnam sent out a stern message on Monday to “concerned parties” by reiterating that the “freedom of navigation in the East Sea/South China Sea should not be impeded”. Among the seven agreements India and Vietnam signed are a $100-million credit line for defence procurement for Vietnam — including patrol vessels — and a letter of intent between ONGC Videsh Limited and PetroVietnam for exploration of new oil blocks.

Though the joint statement by President Pranab Mukherjee and Vietnam President Truong Tan Sang did not name any country, this is the second instance in recent weeks that India has chosen to send a covert message to China from foreign soil. This is the fourth year of India’s strategic partnership with Vietnam.

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