Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, beset by festering ties with China that have barred a bilateral summit since he took office, is overseeing an unprecedented expansion in ties with Southeast Asia as a counterbalance.
Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung’s government said a Chinese boat crew beat Vietnamese fishermen near a disputed island chain, the third reported clash between the neighboring countries in contested waters this year.
President Xi Jinping called for China to bolster its maritime forces while using peaceful means to settle disagreements, as the country seeks to balance its push for greater influence in Asia against its territorial claims.
China National Offshore Oil Corp. offered foreign companies oil and gas blocks that lie near waters also claimed by Vietnam and Japan as tensions flare among the countries over rights to resources in the area.
China will establish a military garrison on a disputed island in the South China Sea, part of an increased assertiveness in the resource-rich waters that’s straining ties with nations in the region and the U.S.
Talks between the presidents of Vietnam and China, their first meeting since China’s leadership change, will focus on bolstering economic ties even as tensions rise over disputed territory in the South China Sea.