INS Airavat carried medical supplied to Vietnam, India's strongest friend in South China Sea region 

New Delhi: India delivered 100 metric tons of liquid medical oxygen and 300 oxygen containers to Vietnam on Monday to help the country fight the coronavirus infection, officials said.

The supplies were transported to the Ho Chi Minh City port by Indian Navy ship INS Airavat.

"INS Airavat reaches Vietnam with Oxygen supplies. Indo-Pacific approach in practice," External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar tweeted.

Indian Navy Spokesperson Commander Vivek Madhwal said the ship, carrying 100 metric tons of liquid medical oxygen in five containers and 300 oxygen concentrators, reached the Ho Chi Minh City port on Monday.

He said the medical supplies were sent in accordance with the requirements projected by the Vietnamese government.

Last week, INS Airavat delivered medical supplies to Indonesia.

"As part of India's vision of SAGAR (Security and Growth for All in the Region), the Indian Navy has been proactively engaging with countries in the region and has been at the forefront of numerous humanitarian missions spanning the entire extent of the Indian Ocean," the official said.

The ties between India and Vietnam are on an upswing, particularly in the areas of defence and security.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and his Vietnamese counterpart Sr Lt Gen Phan Van Giang held extensive talks virtually last month during which they vowed to further enhance military-to-military cooperation.

Vietnam, an important country of the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations), has territorial disputes with China in the South China Sea region.

India has oil exploration projects in the Vietnamese waters in the South China Sea.

"The two navies cooperate in various areas, including a composite training programme in the fields of submarine, aviation and technical training, and regularly carry out joint naval exercises in the form of bilateral exercises," Commander Madhwal said.

"The current deployment of the ship aims to further strengthen the strategic relationship," he added.