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Filipino naval ship arrives in HCMC for four-day friendly visit

By Nguyen Quy   September 7, 2019 | 09:12 pm PT
Filipino naval ship arrives in HCMC for four-day friendly visit
The Philippines's offshore patrol vessel BRP Ramon Alcaraz docks in Ho Chi Minh City on September 7, 2019. Photo by Vietnam News Agency.
The Philippine Navy's offshore patrol vessel BRP Ramon Alcaraz docked in Ho Chi Minh City Saturday for a four-day official visit.

It has on board carrying 187 officers and crew members.

This is the third visit by a Philippine naval ship and is meant to strengthen friendship, cooperation and understanding between the two countries' militaries, Vietnam News Agency reported.

The visitors will make courtesy calls on city leaders and officers at the Navy High Command, engage in sports exchanges with officers and sailors at the Vietnam Navy Engineering College and visit Vietnamese naval ships.

BRP Ramon Alcaraz was first launched in 1968 and served for decades as U.S. Coast Guard cutter Dallas before being gifted to the Philippines in 2012.

In 2015 Vietnam and the Philippines entered into a defense and maritime agreement paving the way for the two countries to boost maritime security cooperation in the face of China's continuing military expansion in the region.

China claims almost the entire South China Sea, including waters close to Taiwan and Southeast Asian countries Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam. This has led to confrontations over the strategic trade route.

Also on Saturday South Korean destroyer Moon Mu The Great and logistics ship Roks Hwacheon docked at Tien Sa Port in the central city of Da Nang for a two-day visit.

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