Three Indian naval ships are paying a five-day visit to the central Vietnamese city of Da Nang as part of their efforts to bolster defense cooperation to maintain stability in the South China Sea.
According to the Times of India, the warships INS Sahyadri, INS Shakti and INS Kamorta carrying a total of 913 officers and sailors entered Tien Sa Port in Vietnam’s central city of Da Nang on May 21.
During the visit, the Indian crew will meet leaders of Da Nang’s People Committee and participate in several outdoor activities between two sides, including cultural exchanges, volleyball match, meeting with Vietnamese students, and tours around the city.
The Vietnamese and Indian navies will take part in a joint maritime exercise before Indian’s departure on May 25, according to Vietnamese daily Vnexpress.
The visit is reported to be part of a deployment of the Indian Navy’s Eastern Fleet to Southeast Asia and the northwestern Pacific.
According to the Diplomat, Vietnam and India have strengthened their existing defense relationship as part of their comprehensive strategic partnership in 2016, especially in light of China’s growing military assertiveness in the South China Sea.
Additionally, Indian defense minister Nirmala Sitharaman is scheduled to visit Hanoi in June to further boost bilateral military ties.
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