Two Rival Nations Will Send Their Navies to a Disputed Island in June — For a Beach Party


Well, this is certainly a fun way to protest territorial aggression.

This week, Vietnam and the Philippines announced that their navies will hold a party on a South China Sea island in June. Sailors from the two countries are planning on getting together to drink some beer, listen to music, play volleyball and shoot the breeze. But while that might sound like a late spring break getaway, there is an important reason behind it: to intimidate China.

The party will be held on Southwest Cay, which is part of Spratly Islands — an area contested by the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, Taiwan and China. Though Vietnam and the Philippines have not always seen eye-to-eye in the past, the two countries are hoping that their united front will show that they are not afraid of Chinese aggression.

The background: The Philippines lost Southwest Cay island 40 years ago when Vietnamese troops seized it while the Philippine forces were off to party on another island. Both sides still claim the island as their own, but they are setting aside their differences for now.

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