Beijing, Hanoi Agree to Establish Naval Hotline to Resolve Emergencies in South China Sea

While the two nations have a history of sometimes-violent border disputes, China and Vietnam have emphasized the increasing importance of political and economic cooperation since normalizing relations in 1991. Nonetheless, Washington has tried to pry Vietnam and other Southeast Asian nations away from working with China.

Chinese and Vietnamese naval leaders have agreed to set up a naval hotline as part of a larger effort to defuse tensions in the South China Sea. This comes after their respective heads of state recently agreed to improve diplomatic and trade relations, too.

According to the Vietnamese defense ministry’s official People’s Army Newspaper, “the two sides agreed to enhance the sharing of information related to situations at sea and issues of mutual concern, study the possibility of setting up a hotline to connect the two navies, and maintain the joint patrol mechanism in the Gulf of Tonkin.”

Their meeting comes just days after Chinese President Xi Jinping and Vietnamese President Nguyen Xuan Phuc spoke on the phone, pledging to increase cooperation in a number of areas.

“The two sides must continue to use a strategic and long-term perspective to view the relationship between the two parties and two countries, to anchor China-Vietnam relations in the correct direction,” Xi said, according to a Chinese Foreign Ministry readout.

Xi said they should work to promote “high-quality synergy” between their bilateral “Two Corridors and One Economic…

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