- The enemy of my enemy is my friend!
- Vietnam to get Japanese coastguard ships!
Vietnam’s vice defense minister says the country will take delivery of coastguard ships from Japan early next year, amid a territorial dispute with China in the South China Sea.“The process is developing very well and we are planning to receive the ships by early next year,” Nguyen Chi Vinh said on the sidelines of Asia’s security forum, the Shangri-La Dialogue, in Singapore.
He also said on Sunday that Japan helped train Vietnam’s coastguard. China and Vietnam are locked in long-standing territorial disputes in the South China Sea.
China claims sovereignty over almost the whole of the South China Sea, which is also claimed in part by Brunei, Vietnam, Malaysia and the Philippines. The waters are believed to hold vast reserves of oil and gas.
Vietnamese ships and Chinese vessels have recently also engaged in a series of skirmishes in the South China Sea over the Haiyang Shiyou 981 oil rig.
Tensions heightened in the region after Vietnam said a Chinese vessel rammed into and sank a Vietnamese fisher boat near the oil rig last week. China’s Xinhua news agency, however, said that the ship capsized after “harassing and colliding with” a Chinese fishing boat.
Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said at the forum on Friday that Tokyo was ready to provide Southeast Asian countries its “utmost support” in their territorial disputes with Beijing. The Vietnamese vice defense minister welcomed the support of Tokyo and Washington, saying that other countries should also “raise their voice stronger” about China’s actions in South China Sea.