China, Vietnam tensions grow over rig
Communists not getting along? Vietnam better watch out since China is really its only friend.
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Vietnamese anger toward China is running at its highest level in years after Beijing deployed an oil rig in disputed waters as naval ships from both countries engage in a tense standoff near the rig off the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea.
The heightened tension comes less than a week after President Obama visit the region where he, in part, cultivated ties with countries in the area.
The Wall Street Journal reported that even prior to the standoff, Vietnam has been beefing up its military by investing in advanced military capabilities, with a special focus on its navy.
“Vietnam has ordered these [new capabilities] as a deterrent to China and to show, if push comes to shove, that they’d be able to give China a bloody nose,” said Ian Storey, a senior fellow at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, a Singapore-based think tank, told The Journal
The report said the country’s new submarine fleet, comprising six Russian Kilo-class submarines, will be the jewel in the crown of Vietnamese defense. But only two of the six boats have been delivered so far and will take some time to be fully operational.