India and Vietnam signed a Joint Vision Statement on “India-Vietnam Defence Partnership towards 2030”
- Logistics agreements are administrative arrangements facilitating access to military facilities for exchange of fuel.
- It provides for logistical support and increasing operational turnaround of the military when operating away from India.
- The MoU is the first such major agreement which Vietnam has signed with any country.
- The implementation of the projects shall add substantially to Vietnam’s Defence capabilities.
- It will also push the Indian government’s vision of “make in India, make for the world”.
- It will significantly enhance the scope and scale of existing defence cooperation, at a time when China is flexing its muscles in the strategic Indo-Pacific region.
- Vietnam is an important partner in India’s Act East policy and the Indo-Pacific vision
- Historical roots:
- India and Vietnam, with historical roots in the common struggle against colonial rule and the national struggle for independence, share traditionally close and cordial bilateral relations.
- Mahatma Gandhi and Ho Chi Minh, regarded as the Father of Nation in India and Vietnam respectively, led people in their heroic struggle against colonialism in the two countries.
- Economic ties: In FY 2020-21, for India, Vietnam was the 15th largest trading partner globally and the 4th largest within ASEAN, following Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia.
- For Vietnam, on the other hand, India was the 10th largest trading partner globally.
- The year 2022 also marks fifty years of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
- India has also been providing assistance to Vietnam within the ASEAN framework.
- China Factor:
- China aggressively continues to encroach in the territories of the two countries.
- Hence, it is natural for both the countries to come closer with a view to restrain China from its aggressive actions.
- Bilateral military cooperation includes sale of military equipment, sharing of intelligence, joint naval exercises and training in counterinsurgency and jungle warfare.
- India also regularly deploys its warships for goodwill visits to Vietnamese seas.
- India is a favored spiritual destination for many Vietnamese because it is home to many famous Buddhist temples, including the Mahabodhi Temple in Bodh Gaya where the Buddha is said to have attained enlightenment.
- Both countries also have a regular exchange of youth delegations.
India can develop robust ties with states on China’s periphery such as Vietnam without giving China a veto on such relationships.
- Over the past few years, China is expanding its footprint in the Indian Ocean through its ‘Debt Trap Diplomacy’ and ‘String of Pearls Strategy’.
- India is now pursuing the Necklace of Diamonds Strategy:
- It strategy aims at garlanding China or in simple words, the counter encirclement strategy.
- India is expanding its naval bases and is also improving relations with strategically placed countries to counter China’s strategies.
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