• The training vessel of the Dalian Naval Academy arrived in Da Nang on Tuesday morning
  • The vessel carried officers and sailors on board
  • Chinese news service ECNS shared images from the goodwill visit

A Chinese naval ship reached Vietnam on Tuesday as part of a goodwill visit, amid growing tensions between the two countries over the South China Sea.

The arrival of the Qi Jiguang vessel comes just days after reports surfaced about a new confrontation between Chinese and Vietnamese vessels near the Vanguard Bank.

The training vessel of the Dalian Naval Academy arrived in Da Nang on Tuesday morning, following which the officers and sailors on board were welcomed by local government and military representatives, the South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported, citing China's state-run Xinhua news agency.

For the next two days, the officers will carry out goodwill exchanges with local hosts and also be part of friendly sports activities.

"During foreign port calls, [the crew] will visit foreign ships, colleges and training facilities, conduct open days, deck receptions and various cultural and sports activities, to deepen friendship with the people of the countries visited and present a good image of the Chinese navy," SCMP quoted Xinhua.

The Chinese news service ECNS also shared images from the goodwill visit.

Tensions between China and Vietnam have been ongoing over Beijing's claim of most of the South China Sea, one of the most important trade routes in the world. The Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei also have made claims in the region.

China's continuous building of military bases in the disputed islands of the South China Sea has also been a global concern.

Following the Vanguard Bank incident, Chinese social media account South China Sea Wave said in a WeChat post Sunday that more than a dozen vessels were involved in the encounter that was triggered after Vietnam expressed its plan to expand oil drilling operations in the disputed area.

However, there was no official confirmation regarding the incident, South China Morning Post reported at the time.

Last week, Vietnamese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Pham Thu Hang expressed his anger over activities in the South China Sea carried out by a Chinese research ship and the Philippine coast guard.

Those vessels were "violating the sovereign rights and jurisdictions of Vietnam," which was taking "appropriate measures" to defend its rights, Hang said, according to Reuters.

"Vietnam asks all relevant parties to respect Vietnam's sovereignty, international law, and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea while making practical and positive contributions to the maintenance of peace and stability in the South China Sea, as well as creating a conducive environment for the negotiations for a Code of Conduct for the South China Sea," she said, according to the Diplomat.

Pham also slammed the Philippines' recent placement of navigational buoys in disputed waters in the South China Sea, saying that her government "has sufficient legal basis and historical evidence to assert our sovereignty over the Paracel and Spratly archipelagos in accordance with international law."

A Chinese coast guard ship patrols in the disputed South China Sea on April 21, 2023