Philippines, Vietnam plan to sign pact on strategic alliance
(Associated Press) - November 10, 2015 - 5:23am

MANILA, Philippines — An official says the Philippines and Vietnam plan to sign an accord next week to elevate their relationship to a strategic level, allowing them to deepen economic ties and maritime cooperation.

Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs spokesman Charles Jose said Tuesday that the accord may be signed on the sidelines of next week's Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Manila in the presence of President Benigno Aquino III and his Vietnamese counterpart.

Vietnam and the Philippines are among five governments at odds with China over contested territories in the South China Sea. But both have not characterized the proposed alliance as targeting Beijing.

Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario said last year such a partnership aimed to improve trade, investment and maritime cooperation, including search and rescue work at sea.

ACCORD ASIA PACIFIC ECONOMIC COOPERATION BEIJING CHARLES JOSE COOPERATION PHILIPPINE DEPARTMENT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS PHILIPPINE FOREIGN SECRETARY ALBERT PHILIPPINES AND VIETNAM PRESIDENT BENIGNO AQUINO SOUTH CHINA SEA VIETNAM AND THE PHILIPPINES
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