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India-Vietnam defense ties on upswing as both eye China

Countries aim to bolster South China Sea security with logistics pact

The INS Shakti, a fleet replenishment tanker of the Indian Navy, is seen docked in Singapore during a 2018 visit. New Delhi has inked a military logistics deal with Vietnam as it tightens ties in Southeast Asia.   © Reuters

NEW DELHI -- India and Vietnam are stepping up defense cooperation, aiming for an extra layer of security as China flexes its muscle in the South China Sea.

In June, the two countries inked a memorandum of understanding on mutual logistics support, enabling their militaries to use each other's bases for repair and replenishment of supplies. India's Ministry of Defense pointed out that this was a milestone for Hanoi, saying it was "the first such major agreement which Vietnam has signed with any country."

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