Vietnam Ignores China
Colonel Awadhesh Kumar, Veteran Special Forces
Indo Vietnamese bilateral trade is likely to touch Rs 150000 crores or $ 20bn by end of this Financial year notwithstanding the Wuhan virus. India is already among the top trading partners of Vietnam.
This has been the result of a joint commission established between the two countries in 2016 during the visit of the Indian Prime Minister to Vietnam. Trade ties will further expand in the field of oil exploration, Civil Nuclear Energy Projects, Space and cyber security and defence.
Apart from trade and commerce ties, India and Vietnam have come closer further with a new renewed emphasis on regional security. Both countries face a common threat from China which has been rising not only economically but has also been showing off its military might. No wonder a common strategic interest have led to the strengthening of ties between the two countries.
Vietnam now has started looking up to India as a strong friend which will stand with her during time of any type of crisis.
Two years back in Sep2018 Prime Minister Narendra Modi had visited Vietnam on his way to China for the G-20 summit. That visit was the first by an Indian Prime Minister in 15 years.
The significance of that visit was not missed by Vietnam, China, Japan, and the entire South East Asia. It had clearly shown that India was no longer hesitant to treat China in the same manner as it tries to treat India.
Modi made no secret of India’s willingness to be more proactive in the Indo-Pacific region in each and every field. By the visit it was asserted that India had been the peacekeeper in the area since thousand of years and so its presence can again bring peace, prosperity and stability in the entire area.
Next the President of Vietnam Tran Dai Quang visited India on completion of 45 years of diplomatic ties between the two countries. The visit comes just a month after the visit of PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc to attend the India-ASEAN Commemorative Summit and Republic Day parade along with other leaders of South East Asia.
It seems that after the two and half months face off between China and India at Doklam on Indo-Bhutan- Tibet tri junction,every one has realised that only one country can rein in China and that mantle will not be worn by Trump but only Modi.
Now has arrive THE GALWAN where a determined 16 BIHAR stunned the Chinese PLA and the whole world has seen the results.
Till now China has been building ports facilities (knowingly but falsely termed as Naval Bases by Chinese Media) in the Indian Ocean reason, sending its rickety naval ships in the name of anti piracy patrols, building Economic Corridor through Indian territory of Gilgit Baltistan, supplying nuclear materials and missiles to Pakistan, now India too should not be hesitant to do the same in Natuna Seas South of Chinese Coast.
India had earlier provided Vietnam with a Rs 650 crores soft credit loan for the procurement of defence equipment. It sold four offshore patrol vessels to Vietnam that are going to strengthen the country’s defences in the seas off Vietnam.
Last year Vietnam clearly gave out a message to China that now it possesses the Indian made Brahmos anti-ship cruise missiles against which Chinese Ships have no defences so far.
This strong partnership growing over the last few years is likely to grow stronger in the coming years. This strategic relationship between the two countries is likely to result in permanent Naval facilities for the Indian Navy in the Cam Ranh Bay and Tejas MK I adorning the colours of Vietnam Air Force.
Both the MEA and MoD must take full initiative to take the Indian Vietnam strategic relationship to next level.