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Chinese scholars have said that Vietnam is attempting to ally with other countries over the South China Sea dispute, a goal which suits India, which is aiming to increase its military presence in the region, according to the website of China's nationalistic tabloid Global Times.

India's INS Shivalik frigate arrived in Haiphong in northern Vietnam for a three-day visit on Tuesday.

Chinese scholars have said that Vietnam is attempting to ally with other countries over the South China Sea dispute, a goal which suits India, which is aiming to increase its military presence in the region, according to the website of China's nationalistic tabloid Global Times.

The visit of the frigate, which has a 6,200-tonne displacement, was praised by Indian media as a "brave move," as it passed through "disputed waters" claimed by China to reach the port. It will carry out a joint rescue operation exercise with Vietnamese ships, according to the paper. India is also reportedly training the Vietnamese navy to carry out missions in submarines and underwater operations and plans to sell Vietnam four patrol boats worth a total of US$100 million.

Wu Shicun, head of the National Institute for South China Sea Studies, condemned the visit, stating that the actions of both countries would do nothing to contribute to peace in the region on the eve of ASEAN's official meeting.

It is the second time the Indian navy's fleet has visited Haiphong since May 2012. The city is the third largest city in Vietnam and has the largest port in the northern part of the country. India has invested in many of the region's oil and gas resources, reported the India Express.

Tensions have risen between China and Vietnam over recent months after China deployed an oil rig to waters Vietnam claims as part of its excusive economic zone in May, leading to a stand-off between Chinese and Vietnamese ships and widespread anti-China protests and rioting in Vietnam.

Although Indian prime minister Narendra Modi's new government is strengthening economic ties with China, it has also made it clear that it will not compromise over territorial issues, and tensions have resurfaced between the two recently over a border dispute in Arunachal Pradesh.

In related news, India's indigenous destroyer the Kolkata-class D63 entered service recently. The Indian navy has published images of the ship during a sea trial.
(By: Want China Times)

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