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Vietnam and Australia deepen ties amid South China Sea tensions

Tan KW
Publish date: Sun, 04 Jun 2023, 08:25 PM
Tan KW
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HANOI, June 4 : Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and his Vietnamese counterpart met in Hanoi on Sunday to discuss a series of matters, from climate change to concerns over China's actions in the South China Sea.

"Today, Prime Minister Chinh and I discuss the future of our relationship and how we are now working together to address the challenges ahead, challenges of security, challenges of dealing with climate change," Albanese told reporters at a joint press briefing with Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh.

"It is through our people coming together that we unleash our best ideas and we forge our deepest bonds."

The Australian premier promised a $105 million support package to help the South-East Asian country to combat climate change, stimulate private investment in clean energy infrastructure and deliver assistance for Vietnam to develop its critical mineral sector.

The two leaders also spoke about the situation in the South China Sea, Albanese said, following an incident involving a Chinese vessel last week.

"The prime minister and I discussed our shared vision of an open, stable, secure, prosperous and resilient Indo-Pacific that is respectful of national sovereignty," the Australian prime minister said.

Last week, Vietnam accused a Chinese survey vessel and its escorts of violating its sovereignty amid a territorial dispute in the South China Sea.

Hanoi asked Beijing to withdraw the vessels from its exclusive economic zone and continental shelf in the South China Sea.

Australia and Vietnam established diplomatic relations in 1973.

Over the past 50 years, bilateral ties have grown stronger across several sectors including education, agriculture, security and trade.

Two-way trade reached almost $15.7 billion in 2022, up nearly 27% from 2021.

 - dpa

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