Vietnam and Australia leaders agree to closer defense ties

AP News
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Posted: Mar 17, 2015 10:04 PM
Vietnam and Australia leaders agree to closer defense ties

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Vietnam and Australia have agreed to closer security ties during a meeting of the nation's prime ministers as Australia continues to balance its relationship with its biggest trading partner China and relations with other neighbors in the Asia-Pacific region.

Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung told reporters Wednesday that his Australian counterpart Tony Abbott had agreed to continue strengthening cooperation on security and defense in a range of areas.

China says it has historical claims to a huge swath of the South Sea China that overlaps with the claims of several neighbors including Vietnam, fueling concerns of a conflict.

Abbott said 120 Vietnamese military personnel would be trained in Australia under new cooperative measures and Vietnam would take part in joint military training exercises in Australia.