Top Chinese diplomat to visit Vietnam this week
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Top Chinese diplomat to visit Vietnam this week

HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — A top Chinese diplomat will visit Vietnam this week after China’s deployment of a giant oil rig off Vietnam’s coast in May increased tensions.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Nguyen Hai Binh told reporters that Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi will meet with Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh at an annual bilateral event and the oil rig will be discussed.

Yang’s visit will be the highest-level meeting between the two governments since the rig was deployed on May 2.

Vietnamese officials have said the two countries have conducted more than 30 communications since the standoff and so far the two sides have accused each other of ramming vessels.

Minh and Yang spoke by phone in early May.