Amidst Chinese claim over the South China Sea, the navies of India and Vietnam conducted a maritime exercise in the region on Wednesday.  In the exercise, the Indian Navy deployed guided-missile destroyer Ranvijay and guided-missile corvette Kora while the Vietnam Navy had pressed in its frigate VPNS Ly Thai To.  According to Indian Navy spokesperson Commander Vivek Madhwal, bilateral exercise was conducted to consolidate the strong bond shared by the two navies and would be another step towards strengthening India-Vietnam defence relations. The Indian naval ships Ranvijay and Kora had arrived at Cam Ranh on August 15.  While the harbour phase comprised of professional interactions between the two navies, the sea phase included helicopter operations, surface warfare exercises and weapon firing drills.  Regular interactions between the two navies over the years have improved their adaptability and interoperability. This has resulted in a massive escalation of the scale of professional exchanges.  Besides, during the exercise, Indian naval ships celebrated the country's 75th Independence Day in Vietnam. In June this year, India and Vietnam held a defence security dialogue. Besides, Indian naval ships have been frequently calling on Vietnamese ports.  Both countries have shared concerns over China’s expansionism as far as the South China Sea is concerned. Vietnam has a territorial dispute with China in the South China Sea while India has several oil exploration projects in the Vietnamese waters in the region.

from asianetnews

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