Daring China? India-Vietnam ties strengthen over oil exploration

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New Delhi, Oct 29: In a virtual challenge to China, India signed a pact with Vietnam to participate in two more oil exploration blocks in the Vietnamese waters in the South China Sea. In fact, India is already a part of exploration in three other blocks, taking the total number to five.

Although Vietnam offered five more blocks recently, India chose only two of them. On top that Vietnam also extended the lease of participation by India in a separate oil block.

Meanwhile, China was not happy with the development and it hit back immediately after the agreement. It said that it will oppose any kind of exploration in the South China Sea if its sovereignty and interests are undermined.

In the given agreement, India promises to provide four offshore patrol vessels and naval vessels to Vietnam under a $100 million defence line of credit, which is likely to be operationalised soon. For trade diversification, India has also offered $300 million to Vietnam. Aiming at China at a joint press conference yesterday, both India and Vietnam agreed freedom of navigation and overflight in the South China Sea should not be impeded".

OneIndia News

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