Chinese naval squadron docks on four-day visit to Vietnam

By VnExpress   May 8, 2017 | 02:59 pm GMT+7
Chinese naval squadron docks on four-day visit to Vietnam
A squadron of three ships of China People's Navy, including Xiang Tan, Zhou Shan and Chao Hu, arrived at Cam Ranh International Port in October 2016. Photo by Vietnam News Agency

Relations between the two countries remain cordial despite differences over the flastpoint waters.

A Chinese naval squadron arrived at a southern port in Vietnam last Saturday to begin a four-day visit aimed at promoting military ties between the two countries.

The port call by two Chinese ships in Ho Chi Minh City is being made before Vietnam's State President Tran Dai Quang makes his first official visit to China later this week.

The Chinese squadron, carrying more than 500 sailors, includes the guided missile destroyer 150/Chang Chun and the guard missile cruiser 532/Jing Zhou, and is being led by Rear Admiral Shen Hao, deputy commander of the East Sea Fleet, VietnamPlus reported.

Chinese officers will make courtesy calls to authorities in Ho Chi Minh City and other units of the Vietnamese navy during the visit, which is expected to enhance their bilateral comprehensive strategic partnership.

China's navy makes regular port calls in Vietnam as relations between China and its southern neighbor remain cordial, despite differences over the South China Sea, known as the East Sea in Vietnam.

Last Thursday, Vietnam voiced its concern over the complicated developments in the troubled waters at a meeting between a regional bloc and the U.S. On the same day, Hanoi also protested against China's unilateral fishing ban in disputed waters, which it has been issuing every year since 1999 despite opposition from Vietnam and other countries in the region.

On May 11, Vietnam's State President Tran Dai Quang is scheduled to start a 5-day visit to China, Vietnam's foreign ministry said in a statement.

The Vietnamese leader will also join one of the biggest international summits in Beijing with representatives of 110 countries to discuss China’s “One Belt, One Road” initiative on May 14.