Skip to content
Subscriber Only

Toasts Turn to Water Cannons in China, Vietnam Sea Spat

The crews from the Vietnamese and Chinese coast guards shook hands and took photos as they met last month, sharing platters of fruit and raising their glasses for a toast. Now, they are in a tense standoff in the South China Sea.

“The two sides were very happy and united,” Lt. Colonel Phan Duy Cuong, the operations assistant of Vietnam’s Coast Guard Command, said of the April 15 ceremony. “We toasted each other with wine. They went on our boat and we went on theirs.”