New Delhi: Tensions over the South China Sea have increased after a Vietnamese envoy on Thursday said that it is likely to raise the issue in security talks with India.
Vietnam is now seeking India’s support to keep away Chinese shipping vessels that have been continuously entering its exclusive economic zone in the South China Sea. Reportedly, Chinese vessels have entered Vietnamese waters four times since July, with the latest intrusion of 28 Chinese ships on September 30.
Addressing the issue, Vietnam Ambassador to India Pham Sanh Chau said, “The situation is serious as Chinese vessels are still in Vietnamese waters. We’ve repeatedly told the Chinese side to withdraw all its vessels out of Vietnamese waters in order to respect international law.”
Announcing Vietnam’s intention to seek help from India’s intelligence and defence, Chau said, “India has responded positively to the situation (in south China sea). India has an interest in peace and stability in the region and Indian companies are operating at the moment in the region.”
Notably, India is one of the three only countries that hold a comprehensive strategic partnership with Vietnam.
“I think the new mechanism of security dialogue will strengthen relations between the two countries and include questions of security in Vietnam and India,” Chau said and added, “We call all countries inside and outside the region to contribute to peace and security. We welcome the contribution made by any country.”
The multiple intrusions have caused the Vietnamese government to raise furious protests demanding the withdrawal of all vessels from Vietnamese waters.
China claims sovereignty over the entire South China Sea region, a strategically placed maritime area situated on a crucial trade route, and has vast reserves of natural resources, with Brunei, the Philippines, Malaysia and Taiwan also claiming parts of the region.