Vietnam, Philippines to jointly patrol East Sea

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Vietnam and the Philippines agreed to strengthen sea patrols in the East Sea at a meeting of their army chiefs in Hanoi on Wednesday (September 28).

Bilateral defense relations had seen "good developments" but much cooperation potential remained to be tapped, said a joint statement after the meeting between Lt Gen Do Ba Ty, Chief of the General Staff of the Vietnam People's Army, and Gen Eduardo San Lorenzo Oban, Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

The two countries agreed to step up exchanges, set up a hotline, share intelligence information, organize joint rescue drills and discussed several other issues of mutual interest.

Ty thanked the Philippines for the recent release of 122 Vietnamese fishermen and for its navy's help in rescuing 12 other fishermen at sea on September 1.

He also expressed sympathy for the losses caused to the Philippine people by recent storms.

Oban hailed Vietnam's socio-economic, defense, and security achievements.

He also met with Defense Minister General Phung Quang Thanh the same day.

Both countries opposed China's aggressive actions in the East Sea recently, including the obstruction of Vietnamese seismic survey vessels well inside Vietnam's exclusive economic zone.

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