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Vietnam Hosts Naval Exchange with US Navy

23 April 2012

Vietnam kicked off a week-long naval exchange on Monday with three ships from the US Navy’s 7th Fleet amid percolating tensions in the South China Sea with China. No live-fire drills were planned, but the two sides were expected to practice salvage and disaster training as they have done in recent years. Vietnam, China, the Philippines and other nations have competing claims to islands in the South China Sea, which is believed rich in oil and gas deposits. Earlier this month, five Vietnamese Buddhist monks traveled to the Spratlys to teach Buddhism and defend their nation’s territorial claim.—AP