Vietnam, India agree on South China Sea exploration, Indian vessels for Vietnam navy

Vietnam and India agree to explore East Vietnam Sea or South China Sea for oil. The agreement will allow Indian ships to enter Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone. Moreover, India will help Vietnam boost its navy. Vietnam’s Primes Minister is currently in India for an official visit.

“We will quickly operationalise the $100 million Line of Credit that will enable Vietnam acquire new naval vessels from India. We have also agreed to enhance our security cooperation, including in counter-terrorism,” Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said.

“Vietnam highly appreciated India’s position regarding the East Sea issue and India’s continued cooperation with Vietnam in oil and gas exploration and extraction in the exclusive economic zone and continental shelf of Vietnam in the East Sea,” Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung said.

Both countries also upheld the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) and looks for an immediate formulation of Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC).

However, China stands firm. “China has indisputable sovereignty over the Nansha Islands and the adjacent waters. We have no problem with oilfield cooperation conducted by relevant countries in uncontested waters if such cooperation is legitimate and lawful,” its foreign ministry said.

“However, if such cooperation undermines China’s sovereignty and interests, we are firmly opposed to that.”

“At present, the situation in the South China Sea is generally stable. We hope relevant parties can do more things that are conducive to regional peace and stability in the South China Sea,” the Chinese foreign ministry added.