Philippine, Vietnamese navies boost ties in goodwill visit

MANILA, Philippines – A ship of the Vietnam People's Navy (VPN) docked at the Manila South Harbor on Saturday, April 8, for a goodwill visit to the country.

Delegates of the Philippine Navy (PN) vessel BRP Rajah Humabon escorted the VPN's ship Le Quy Don 286 to its berthing area.

On board were VPN Deputy Director Commodore Phan Van Van and 50 cadets, who are attending various events with their Filipino counterparts.

The activities include a shipboard tour, receptions, and a volleyball match.

The goodwill visit will be capped by a send-off ceremony, where a PN vessel will escort the VPN's ship to the vicinity of Corregidor Island.

The visit, set until Monday, April 10, aims to strengthen ties between the two navies. (READ: Can the Philippines and Vietnam be strategic partners?

In 2015, the Philippines entered a defense and maritime agreement with Vietnam. 

Both the Philippines and Vietnam are South China Sea claimants, locked in separate maritime disputes with China.

An arbitral tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands ruled against China in July 2016, saying it has no legal basis to "claim historic rights to resources" in areas within its so-called 9-dash line. China refuses to acknowledge the decision. –