“Vietnam, India Stand Firm on China Row”

Via WSJ, news that India and Vietnam are still holding out against Chinese threats on the South China Sea:

China is embroiled in territorial disputes in the South China Sea with Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan. India’s ONGC, a state-owned oil and gas company, is planning to begin exploration next year at a block in waters claimed by both China and Vietnam.

Vietnam President Truong Tan Sang, who is meeting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi on Wednesday, is using one of his first trips abroad to rebuff China’s suggestions that ONGC’s plans amounted to a violation of Chinese sovereignty.

China has been involved in a number of angry exchanges and incidents at sea this year with Vietnam and the Philippines. Vice foreign ministers from China and Vietnam agreed during a meeting in Beijing to settle their disputes through “negotiations and friendly consultations,” the official Xinhua news agency reported Wednesday.

Still, Hanoi sees India as a strategic counterweight to China and both countries have been beefing up defense ties under a 2009 agreement.

In July, Indian officials say an Indian navy ship visiting Vietnam as part of this pact received a radio message warning that it was entering Chinese waters. China has dismissed India’s version of events as “groundless.”

For New Delhi, the growing ties offer potential access to stocks of energy in the South China Sea and are a way to project its growing strategic role in East Asia.

Both nations are hoping to boost trade in the coming years. Mr. Sang told PTI that he believed trade between the two countries could rise to $7 billion in 2015 up from $2.7 billion today.

I wonder if there are any efforts underway to get the other parties to the South China Sea conflict to join them.


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Filed under India, South China Sea, Vietnam

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