Philippine, Vietnamese navies hold "interaction" activity in South China Sea
The Philippine Navy (PN) and Vietnamese Peoples Navy (VPN) conducted "interaction" activity in an island in the South China Sea or West Philippine Sea last Tuesday.
Lt. Cdr. Cecilio Gines, Naval Forces West (NWF) public affairs officer, said the Naval Forces West (NFW) successfully participated in the 5th PN-VPN Personnel Interaction 2019 hosted by Vietnam at Southwest Cay.
Southwest Cay or Pugad Island is a feature in Spratly that was previously occupied by the Philippines until in was seized by Vietnamese forces in 1975.
"The NFW Contingent arrived at Southwest Cay (Pugad Island) on 10 September 2019 and warmly welcomed by VPN Contingent headed by Senior Captain Nguyen Viet Thuan, Deputy Commander of Naval Region 4 Vietnamese Peoples Navy," Gines said.
"The activity includes a meaningful opening ceremony; a visit to the temple for the prayer of peace and tranquillity in the region; partaking of a sumptuous lunch; cultural exchanges; and sports interaction which aims to enhance friendly relations between the two navies," he added.
Gines said the activity was in accordance with the 2015 Joint Statement on the Establishment of a Strategic Partnership between the two countries "in promoting stable maritime security and safety regime and promote cooperation in pursuit of peace, security and stability in the West Philippine Sea."
The Philippines and Vietnam are among those Southeast Asian countries engaged in territorial disputes in the South China Sea. Robina Asido/DMS