Modi's Pledge to Modernise Vietnam's Defence Leaves China Fuming

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In a first significant military transfer to Vietnam at a time when it is embroiled in a territorial dispute with China, India has decided to sell four naval patrol boats under a $100 million line of credit.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi held dialogue with his counterpart Nguyen Tan Dung, who is on a two-day visit to India. Relations between Vietnam and China soured over boundary dispute. China says it has sovereignty over essentially all of the South China Sea, which is a crucial maritime route and is also believed to hold huge oil and gas deposits.

Mr Modi and Premier Dung called for 'restraint' and 'freedom of navigation' in the South China Sea.

In May, Beijing moved a deep-water oil rig into waters claimed by Hanoi, prompting a months-long high-seas standoff and triggering deadly anti-China riots in Vietnam. The rig was removed in July.

Vietnam staunchly opposes China's ongoing efforts to develop airstrips and military bases on the island chains it controls in the South China Sea.

China has previously criticised India's cooperation with Vietnam in the oil and gas sector, saying its exploration activities off the Vietnam coast are illegal.

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Diplomatist Magazine was launched in October of 1996 as the signature magazine of L.B. Associates (Pvt) Ltd, a contract publishing house based in Noida, a satellite town of New Delhi, India, the National Capital.

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