Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, left, and Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc smile at photographers as they shake hands in Hanoi, Vietnam Saturday, Sept.3, 2016. (AP Photo/Hau Dinh)
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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi offered Vietnam a credit line Saturday of half a billion dollars for defense cooperation, giving a lift to a country rapidly pursing a military deterrent as discord festers in the South China Sea.India and Vietnam share borders and large trade volumes with China and have repeatedly locked horns with Beijing, over the territorial disputes in the Himalayas and the South China Sea, respectively.Both are also beefing-up of their defenses and in India's case, its defense industry, promoting heavily its supersonic BrahMos missile. India is keen to sell the missile to Vietnam and four other countries, according to a government note seen by Reuters in June.It was unclear if the latest loan included the $100 million India had previously made available to Vietnam for four yet-to-be-built patrol vessels in a deal agreed in late 2014 .
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