Vietnam to build 32 patrol ships amid China row

Vietnam to build 32 patrol ships amid China row

PanARMENIAN.Net - Vietnam plans to build 32 new coastal patrol vessels, boosting its maritime muscle and surveillance capacities amid an increasingly tense territorial dispute in the South China Sea with its far larger neighbor China, the Associated Press reported.

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung said the government would spend $540 million on the new coast guard and fishery patrol vessels.

The decision was made Thursday, July 3 according to a government statement released later the same day.

Vietnam and China have sparred for years over who owns what in the South China Sea but tensions escalated sharply in early May when Beijing deployed a large oil rig near the disputed Paracel islands.

Hanoi protested the deployment and has sent coastal patrol ships to try and shoo away the rig, which is protected by a large flotilla of Chinese ships. The ships have been unable to get close to the rig, and several have been damaged in collisions with larger, stronger Chinese vessels.

The Vietnam government says it hasn't deployed navy vessels anywhere near the rig.

 Top stories
The Boeing 777 travelling from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people on board vanished without trace in March 2014.
Turkey made the request under Article 4 of NATO's founding treaty, which allows countries to ask for consultations.
Speaking before the vote, PM Alexis Tsipras stressed that he was not happy with the measures that creditors had imposed.
"Turkey has taken and will continue to take all necessary measures against Islamic State," Davutoglu told a news conference.
Partner news