A plan for countries to cooperate in patrolling the South China Sea is welcomed by Vietnam.
The plan would combine naval forces of Japan, Australia and India with the U.S. to patrol the waters. The proposal was made as China expands its territory and displays its military in the sea.
Vietnam is one of a number of countries in Asia which has land and sea lane disputes with China. The Vietnamese welcome a group of navies patrolling the sea.
Admiral Harry B. Harris Jr., the U.S. Pacific Command chief, proposed America and its allies take part in “navigation operations” in the South China Sea.
“We’ll continue to do them (the navigation operations),” Harris said Feb. 25 at a press conference.
China has built islands in the South China Sea on top of reefs. The building and military development on them worries Vietnam.
Social media user Vo Tan Hung of Vietnam told VOA that a coalition of naval power would make China “reconsider its aggressive moves in the contested waters if the coalition is born.”
Japan suggested a similar coalition of navies in 2007. The idea was dropped when the Chinese protested. Japan has disputes with China in the East China Sea.
Australia is considering the idea of the coalition. The positions of India and Japan are unclear, according to VOA.
FILE - Soldiers of China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy patrol at Woody Island, in the Paracel Archipelago, which is known in China as the Xisha Islands, Jan. 29, 2016.
As tensions climb in the South China Sea, the Vietnamese increased military spending and have received support. The Vietnamese strengthened military ties with the Philippines.
Two Japanese warships will dock in Vietnam next month, Vietnamese media reported. Tokyo and Hanoi agreed to a naval exercise last year.
I’m Jim Dresbach.
Trung Nguyen wrote this story for VOA News. Jim Dresbach adapted the report for Learning English. Kathleen Struck was the editor.
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Words in This Story
patrol – v. to go around or through an area especially in order to make sure that it is safe
reefs – n. long lines of rocks or coral or a high area of sand near the surface of the water in the ocean
contested – v. to make something the subject of an argument
warship – n. a military ship that has many weapons and is used for fighting in wars
dock – v. to bring a ship or boat into a dock