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satellite tracking

Intending to play a more proactive role in the Asia-Pacific region, India has decided to set up a satellite tracking and imaging centre in southern Vietnam that will give it access to pictures from Indian earth observation satellites that cover the region, including China and the South China Sea. The satellite tracking centre in Vietnam is being seen as part of India’s larger strategy to strengthen its presence by forging alliances with friendly countries to balance China’s growing assertiveness in the region.

Last year, when India had announced its decision to set up satellite centre, Beijing had reacted testily saying it amounted to stoking trouble in the region.

The growing bilateral ties between India and Vietnam have seen China issuing statements opposing India’s active involvement in the region as “external interference.” China had earlier objected to oil exploration by India in South China Sea after India’s oil giant ONGC had entered into an agreement with Vietnam.

The earth observation satellites have agricultural, scientific and environmental applications. According to security experts, improved imaging technology meant the pictures could also be used for military purposes. Vietnam has been looking for advanced intelligence, surveillance and new technologies as tensions continue to escalate with China over the disputed South China Sea.

According to Collin Koh, a marine security expert at Singapore’s S Rajaratnam School of International Studies “In military terms, this move could be quite significant. It looks like a win-win for both sides, filling significant holes for the Vietnamese and expanding the range for the Indians.”

China’s reaction

Reacting to this decision by India, recently a Chinese think tank had termed this move by India as an attempt to “stir up trouble” in the disputed South China Sea region to serve its own ends.  According to some Chinese analysts, India wants to cause trouble in the region to serve its own ends, which is to counterbalance China’s influence.

India has been consistently advocating freedom of navigation in the South China Sea and has reinforced this stance with joint statements on South China Sea with countries like US, Vietnam and Japan. This has rattled China, which believes disputes in the region should be resolved bilaterally and countries outside the region should not interfere in the regional disputes.

India has repeatedly denied any containment of China strategy and has been focusing on ramping up economic and strategic ties with Asia’s largest economy.

(Sridhar Ramaswamy contributed inputs for this article)

vietnam-modi

vietnam-india2HANOI: The Delhi-Hanoi maritime bonding is set to get stronger in days to come. Vietnam, the emerging dynamo of the Southeast Asia region, is closely watching the forthcoming visit of India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi to China and is expecting that the Indian leader will pitch for peace and stability in South China Sea, the site of conflicting territorial claims.

Vietnam has faced the brunt of the perceived Chinese assertiveness in South China Sea and has looked up to India, with its rising stature and formidable naval apparatus, as an anchor of stability in the maritime domain in the region.

“The Indian government has shown increased interest in protecting sea lanes of communication. We expect India will continue to support Vietnam and help it to cope up with instability in South China Sea,” Mr Le Van Nghiem, Director General, Directorate of External Information, told a group of visiting Indian journalists in the balmy Vietnamese capital.

“Many countries are reluctant to take up the issue with China. If India raises its voice (on South China Sea with Vietnam), it would be beneficial for both India and Vietnam and the region,” the Vietnamese official said. He was responding to a question by this writer on whether Vietnam expected Prime Minister Modi to take up the issue of South China Sea during his talks with the Chinese president next month.

However, instead of taking a confrontational stance vis-à-vis Beijing, the Vietnamese official stressed that Hanoi was hoping that improved relations between New Delhi and Beijing will be good for Vietnam and the region as well.

He also stressed that India’s OVL, the overseas arm of energy major ONGC Videsh Limited, has been carrying out oil exploration in areas claimed by China, indicating that the energy cooperation between the two countries will continue apace in the teeth of opposition by Beijing.

Mr Modi is set to visit China May 14-16, his maiden visit to Asia’s most powerful economy which is expected to scale up India-China relations in virtually all areas. China’s assertive postures in South China Sea, the contested water body which is claimed by five Southeast Asian countries, including Vietnam, has been a cause of concern for New Delhi, which has consistently pitched for freedom of navigation in the sea lanes of communication.

vietnam-navalUnder Prime Minster Modi’s watch, Vietnam has emerged as a key pillar of India’s Act East policy, with a string of high-profile two-way visits seen in the last few months. Signalling the intent for closer strategic embrace, India rolled out the red carpet for Vietnam’s prime minister in October 2014, a little over a month after President Pranab Mukherjee’s substantive visit to Vietnam.

vietnam-modiDuring Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung’s visit to India last year, Mr Modi had announced that India will quickly activate a $100 million Line of Credit that will enable Hanoi to buy four naval patrol vessels. These India-supplied vessels will help Vietnam to protect its sovereignty interests in South China Sea where it is locked into a bitter territorial spat with China.

After their meeting, the two leaders had called for “restraint” and “freedom of navigation” in the South China Sea,” and “agreed that freedom of navigation and overflight in the East Sea/South China Sea should not be impeded.” “The (leaders called on the) parties concerned to exercise restraint, avoid threat or use of force and resolve disputes through peaceful means in accordance with universally recognised principles of international law,” said the joint statement.

Unlike the previous Manmohan Singh government which followed the policy of “this far and no further” in its relations with Vietnam, Mr Modi has shown more diplomatic chutzpah, and is determined to push the envelope in expanding defence and strategic ties with the Southeast Asian country. This explains Hanoi’s enthusiasm about Mr Modi, which will be in fuller play when the Indian leader visits Vietnam later this year.

(Manish Chand, Editor-in-Chief of India Writes Network, www.indiawrites.org, was in Vietnam at the invitation of the Vietnamese government)

 

modi-vietnam

modi-vietnamThe Narendra Modi government is playing its own version of Chinese checkers as India pushed the envelope for ties with Vietnam by agreeing to supply naval vessels to Hanoi and underlined its strategic intent to spur the modernisation of the military infrastructure in the Southeast Asian country.

In defiance of Chinese objections, the prime ministers of India and Vietnam met in Delhi and decided to ramp up their defence and energy ties. Vietnam Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung’s visit to Delhi was advertised as predominantly focused on galvanising economic aspects of the relationship, but has ended up as delivering clear-cut outcomes in military and strategic spheres. After wide-ranging talks with his Vietnamese counterpart in New Delhi October 28, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that India will quickly activate a $100 million Line of Credit that will enable Hanoi to buy four naval patrol vessels. These India-supplied vessels will help Vietnam to protect its sovereignty interests in South China Sea where it is locked into a bitter territorial spat with China.

“Our defence cooperation with Vietnam is among our most important ones. India remains committed to the modernisation of Vietnam’s defence and security forces,” Mr Modi said after his talks with Mr Tan. The enhanced modernisation programme include expansion of training programme, joint exercises and cooperation in defence equipment. “We will quickly operationalise the 100 million dollars LoC that will enable Vietnam acquire new naval vessels from India. We have also agreed to enhance our security cooperation, including in counter-terrorism,” Modi said. “They expressed hope that the ongoing robust defence and security cooperation between India and Vietnam will continue to be strengthened through regular exchanges at high level,” said a joint statement after the talks.

This explicit articulation of India’s strategic intent to assist in the upgradation of Vietnam’s military stands out in stark contrast to thediffidence and ambivalence of the previous Manmohan Singh government which tended to follow the policy of “this far and no further” vis-à-vis Vietnam in deference to China’s sensitivities.

Significantly, India also conveyed to Vietnam that it was willing to supply Russia-aided BrahMos missiles to Hanoi, but that may have to wait till New Delhi manouevers its entry into the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR).

Churn in South China Sea

The ferment in South China Sea, the site of conflicting territorial claims by China, Vietnam and other Southeast Asian countries, also came up for discussions. The leaders called for “restraint” and “freedom of navigation” in the South China Sea,” and “agreed that freedom of navigation and overflight in the East Sea/South China Sea should not be impeded.”  “The (leaders called on the) parties concerned to exercise restraint, avoid threat or use of force and resolve disputes through peaceful means in accordance with universally recognised principles of international law,” said the joint statement.

Behind Delhi-Hanoi bonhomie  

vietnam-sushmaIndia’s proactive military and economic diplomatic engagement with Vietnam indicates that the Modi government is set to be more assertive in countering China’s designs in India’s immediate and extended neighbourhood. India has watched warily as China has deliberately expanded its economic and military footprints in India’s neighbouring countries. In blithe disregard of New Delhi’s sensitivities, a Chinese submarine docked in Sri Lanka’s waters  recently and China’s President Xi Jinping offered substantial military and economic assistance to Colombo during his visit to the island nation last month. Similarly, Xi Jinping’s visit to the Maldives underscored Beijing’s calculated strategy to deepen its forays into  India’s ambient neighbourhood.

This larger geopolitical calculation perhaps explains the decision of New Delhi to roll out the red carpet for Vietnam’s prime minister a little over a month after President Pranab Mukherjee’s substantive visit to Vietnam.

Taking a long-range view, the diplomatic-strategic establishment of both India and China needs to initiate a sincere dialogue on their conflictual interests in what is perceived to be each other’s sphere of interest in South Asia and Southeast Asia.

 

 

vietnam-india

vietnam-indiaLook East. Look West. The multifarious relations between India and Vietnam are deepening by the day and are branching out in new directions.  In many ways, it’s a perfect match between India’s Look East policy and Vietnam’s Look West policy as the two countries aim high to forge closer strategic, economic and energy ties in days to come. This confluence of interlinked interests will be reflected in the visit of India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to Vietnam August 25-26. This will be her first second  bilateral visit to a Southeast Asian country after a trip to Singapore and flurry of bilateral and multilateral meetings connected with ASEAN, ASEAN Regional Forum and East Asia Summit in Myanmar early August.

The relations between India and Vietnam have been exceptionally friendly, and virtually free of any dissonance or friction. The ties go back to the ancient Cham civilization when people from Orissa travelled to Vietnam and found a hospitable home there, mingling cultures, customs, language and beliefs. Built on robust foundations laid down by India’s first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru and Vietnam’s iconic leader Ho Chi Minh, the ties have grown exponentially over the years. Pandit Nehru travelled to Vietnam in 1954 to celebrate Vietnam’s victory in the famous Dien Bien Phu battle against the French forces.  This was followed by Ho Chi Minh’s visit to India in 1958. President Rajendra Prasad visited Vietnam in 1959.     The sense of the shared anti-colonial impulse and solidarity that shaped bilateral ties in post-independence years has now morphed into a multi-pronged strategic partnership, with the focus on development cooperation, sharing experiences in nation-building, expanding trade and investment and enhancing defence ties. High-profile visits have become increasingly frequent, with almost all top-ranking leaders of Vietnam visiting India and Indian leaders and ministers travelling to the Southeast Asian country over the years.

Energy and Synergy

Economically, one can see a new energy and synergy between Asia’s third largest economy and Southeast Asia’s emerging economy. Bilateral trade is estimated to be over $6 billion. The two sides are now looking to scale up bilateral trade to $15 billion by 2020. Vietnam is an attractive destination for hordes of Indian companies.  India has already 68 operational projects in Vietnam worth around $1 billion. Indian investments encompass diverse sectors, including oil and gas exploration, mineral exploration and processing, sugar manufacturing, agro-chemicals, IT, and agricultural processing. Vietnamese companies, too, are stepping up their footprints in India. Vietnam has three investment projects in India with total investment of US$ 23.6 million.   The top Indian investors in Vietnam include, among others, OVL, Essar Exploration and Production Ltd, Nagarjuna Ltd, KCP Industries Limited, Ngon Coffee Manufacturing, Venkateswara Hatcheries, Philips Carbon and McLeod Russell and CGL.  The single biggest investment by an Indian company in Vietnam is Tata Power’s mammoth project to build 1.8 billion Long Phu-II Thermal Power Plant in Soc Trang.

Energy cooperation is another promising area which is bringing the two nations closer. During the visit of General Secretary of the Communist party of Vietnam Nguyen Phu Trong to India in November 2013, Vietnam agreed in principle to grant Indian companies seven oil exploration blocks. The two sides are expected to sign a pact to formalize this cooperation soon. Off and on, China has protested against Indian involvement in oil and gas exploration in Vietnam on grounds that these blocks like in the disputed portions of South China Sea, which is claimed in entirety by Beijing. Vietnam has vociferously rejected China’s contention and asserted that they are in international waters.

Strategic Canvas

vietnam-india1Against the backdrop of the flux in the region, the strategic and defence ties between India and Vietnam have acquired a new force and dimension. Advocating a rule-based order and freedom of navigation, India has pressed for the resolution of the South China Sea dispute in accordance with the UN Laws of the Sea. This position was reiterated by India’s external affairs minister at India-ASEAN and ARF meetings in Myanmar. With maritime security on mind, India has provided Vietnam a $100 million credit line to purchase military equipment, part of its drive to help bolster Vietnam’s military infrastructure and its preparedness to deal with any external threat. The two sides are now looking to intensify strategic defence dialogues and joint naval exercises to expand the scope for maritime security cooperation. Besides, India and Vietnam see their growing relations as part of the larger drive for regional peace and stability. This is reflected in their close cooperation in a host of regional fora, including ASEAN, East Asia Summit, Mekong Ganga Cooperation, Asia Europe Meeting (ASEM).  “India and Vietnam want peace, prosperity, stability and development to the region.  India has in Vietnam as loyal and all-weather friend,” says Vietnam’s ambassador to India Nguyen Thanh Tan.

Knowledge Partnership

What imparts solidity to the India-Vietnam relations is a burgeoning development partnership, underpinned by IT, education and collaboration in frontier areas of science and technology. To spur the economic resurgence of Vietnam, India has provided lines of credit of around $165 million for a host of infrastructure projects.  With its proven strengths in knowledge industries, India has played a pivotal role in setting up a host of capacity building institutions, including the setting up of IT training centres, English language training centres and entrepreneurship development institutes. India’s assistance in setting up Rice Research Institute in Vietnam enabled that country to become the world’s leading rice-exporter and helped usher in a green revolution in the Southeast Asian country, says Aftab Seth, a former ambassador of India to Vietnam.

With most of Vietnam’s population young and restless to carve their destiny on their own terms, India has offered scholarships to hundreds of Vietnamese students annually under Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) programme. In recent times, IT has emerged as an important fulcrum of knowledge-based partnership between the two countries. India has agreed to help set up the Indira Gandhi High-tech Cyber Forensic Laboratory in Hanoi and a Vietnam-India English and IT Training Centre at the National Defence Academy of Vietnam. Top IT bellwethers, including NIIT, APTECH and Tata Infotech, have opened more than 80 franchised centers spread all across Vietnam.  In November last year, India gifted a high-power supercomputer to Vietnam.

Cultural Connect

With the first direct flight between Delhi and Ho Chi Minh City set to take off in November, people-to-people contacts, travel and tourism are poised for an upswing. Vietnam is home to around 1500 Indians. India is set to open a Cultural Centre in Hanoi later this year. The old linkages of the Cham civilization between India and Vietnam will acquire a new resonance, with the Archaeological Survey of India embarking on a conservation and restoration project to refurbish centuries-old Hindu temples at the UNESCO heritage site of My Son in Vietnam.

New Horizons: The Way Ahead  

Blending IT, education, Buddhism and strategy in its intricate tapestry, the relations between India and Vietnam have effortlessly blended the ancient and the modern to forge a robust contemporary partnership. In the days to come, the only way for the Delhi-Hanoi relationship is to go up, opening new vistas and opportunities for a mutually invigorating and empowering partnership.

(Manish Chand is Editor-in-Chief of India Writes Network, www.indiawrites.org, a portal and e-journal focused on international affairs and the India Story)

Watch Video: India and Vietnam: Old friends, New Vistas

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ID38Hy0-Gc&list=UU-wttYGdvP8Roy8mh8VbzKw

vietnam-envoy1

India’s multifaceted ties with Vietnam are poised to acquire greater strategic and economic weight. The visit of India’s External Affairs Minister to Vietnam August 25-26 is set to impart a fresh momentum to this burgeoning partnership, bound by a confluence of strategic, economic and energy interests. Sushma Swaraj’s trip will set the stage for the state visit by  in September.

H.E.Mr. Nguyen Thanh Tan, AmbassadorIn this exclusive interview with Manish Chand, Editor-in-Chief, India Writes Network (www.indiawrites.org), Vietnam’s ambassador to India Nguyen Thanh Tan speaks about Vietnam’s expectations from the forthcoming visit by India’s foreign minister, the growing knowledge partnership between India and Vietnam and predicts an all-round acceleration in bilateral ties in days to come.

(Excerpts from the interview)  

Q) Excellency, India’s External Affairs Minister, Sushma Swaraj will be travelling to Vietnam August 25-26. It will be the first bilateral visit from India to Vietnam after a new government was formed in New Delhi over two months ago. What are Vietnam’s expectation from this important meeting?

A) We look forward to welcoming her in Vietnam. The visit is very important because it is the first to Vietnam by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to Vietnam after the new government was formed in Delhi. This is a confirmation of India’s policy towards Vietnam — a very loyal friend since the two countries gained independence.

Q) This visit will be followed by the visit of India’s President Pranab Mukherjee to Vietnam. These are two high-profile visits in quick succession. What is the message here? Do you see the India-Vietnam relations moving onto a higher trajectory?

A) Both India and Vietnam enjoy strategic partnership.  President Pranab Mukherjee will be visiting Vietnam soon after Prime Minister Modi took office. It is a confirmation by the Indian government towards India’s Vietnam policy. And our leaders are looking forward to the president’s visit.  We hope that both countries discuss issues relating to bilateral relations.  Both the countries will also exchange views on regional situations as well international issues. Both visits take place within a short period of time. The first visit by the external affairs minister will be preparatory to the visit of India’s president to our country.

Q) India-Vietnam economic relations have been growing by the day. Bilateral trade is hove

Trade India_Vietnam

ring around $6 billion. The two countries have set an ambitious plan to scale it up to 15 billion USD by 2020. Are we on course to achieve this target? In what areas is Vietnam looking for investment from India?

A)    Trade and commerce cooperation between India and Vietnam have been in a good shape. The trade volume increased rapidly in 2010, when it was only 3.4 billion USD; last year it was $6.2 billion. It is feasible that both the countries may reach $7 billion at the end of 2015, and met the target set by our leaders. By the end of 2020, bilateral trade may reach $15 billion.

Q) How do you look at the evolving energy cooperation between the two countries?

A) During the visit to India by General Secretary of the Communist Part of Vietnam in 2013, both countries agreed that Vietnam will offer more oil gas blocs to India in the South China Sea. During the visit of India’s president to Vietnam, we hope that some MOU regarding cooperation in this field will be signed. This will of course improve cooperation with India to explore and exploit oil and gas. Last year, TATA got a project worth $ 1.8 billion to build a thermal power station in Soc Trang province. It is called Long Phu 2 thermal power project. It is a very big project. And TATA is working very hard to fulfil the contract and very soon we will start the project. In 2018, the project will be put into operation. Other companies, too, have a good chance to do business and invest in Vietnam. We encourage more Indian investments in our economy.

Vietnam OilQ) China has objected to India’s investment in Vietnam’s energy sector. What do you think of China’s reservations and threats?

A) In the past few years, China has been saying that the oil and gas blocks are in a disputed area; actually, that is totally wrong. Because most block numbers: 128, or 127 are inside the Exclusive Economic Zone of Vietnam. And other blocks we want to offer India are also inside our territory. So we don’t attach much importance to the claims by China. Vietnam will give India oil blocks inside its territory. Based on strategic cooperation and friendship, we will always find good blocks to offer to our Indian friends.

Q) Capacity building and development cooperation are important facets of India-Vietnam partnership. How do you look at cooperation in these areas?

A) India offers Vietnam 150 scholarships a year. India also offers around 10 scholarship under the Mekong-Ganga programme. India is a very good destination to send our officials to study, especially in the IT field. India also provides a good chance to learn administration for Vietnamese officials to improve their knowledge in the field of management. For the past few years we have used almost all these scholarship to send our students, or send our officials to study in India, and we continue to move in this direction. This year we have already made use of more than 100 scholarship offered to our officials. We find that studying in India is very good and effective. And we hope this continues. During 2012, our vice-premier, His Excellency Nguyen Thien Nhan, visited India and both sides decided to set up a working group on education and scientific technology cooperation between Vietnam and India.  The group had two rounds of talks; it was very effective. Vietnam will make use of India’s experience in training officials and more officials from Vietnam will come to India to study.

Q) Defence cooperation between India and Vietnam have shown an upswing.  In this context, India offered a line of credit worth $100 million to buy defence equipment. How do you look at the future of defence cooperation? And what are Vietnam’s expectations? 

A) Defence cooperation between Vietnam and India were set up a long time back. First, we started posting the defence attaché in each country’s embassy, and then we signed the MOU on defence cooperation with the other country. The two countries have set up the Strategic Dialogue at the level of vice-minister of defence. For the past few years such cooperation has been strengthened and developed, and we find that India is very generous in its help to train Vietnamese officers of the navy, the air force and the infantry. We send a lot of officers to study in India, and the knowledge they get here is also good for Vietnam.

With regard to the credit line, the $100 million is good for Vietnam at this moment. We have used it to buy vessels from India, we know that Indian patrolling vessels are also very good. And given Vietnam’s long coastal line, we are keen to get more Indian vessels and Indian ships, apart from the imports from other countries in the region. Our capacity and strength has been bolstered.

Bitexco Financial Tower in Ho Chi Minh CityQ) How important is India to Vietnam’s aspirations to become a bigger economy, a bigger player in the region?

 

A) Vietnam is a member of ASEAN, and ASEAN has an FTA with India. And we are now going to sign an FTA in goods and services, which is very important. Having signed the FTA, it has eased sending good and commodities to Vietnam. When the FTA on services is signed it will also be easier to bring in other services to the country. Vietnam welcomes India’s good and commodities; one of the fields we are looking at now is textile industry. During the 80s we imported a lot of textile from India for large industries. Now Vietnam is also a good place to produce garments; we export to America and other places. We need materials. And India can be a good source in the coming years. I read an article and it says that India, by 2020, will export around 300 billion USD of textile; and Vietnam should be a good market for India also.

India is also a good market for goods from Vietnam, especially electronic item that you see in the market.  In Vietnam there are a lot of joint ventures between Vietnam, Japan, South Korea, China, Taiwan, the products are good and they are available in the Indian market. We want to see that India has the chance of importing more and more products from Vietnam.

Another good news for us is that from November 5, Jet Airways will start the first direct flight between Delhi and Ho Chi Minh City. It will stop over at Bangkok for one hour only. Vietnam is also a good destination for Indian tourists. I read an article in an Indian newspaper that said that Indian tourist go to Thailand for a holiday, and when they come back they also purchase electronic items in Bangkok. I can say that the economic market is cheaper in Vietnam when compared to Thailand. Also the custom facilities in Vietnam are also easy. With a direct flight we can see that tourism cooperation between India and Vietnam will be expanding. As more commodities from India comes to Vietnam, and more commodities from Vietnam comes to India, our trade volume will be $ 10 billion very soon.

Dance India-VietnamQ) Vietnam and India have been culturally close as well. How do you see cultural contacts between the people of India and Vietnam moving forward?

A) Since you mentioned culture, I must say that Vietnam has many nice places for Indian tourists, like the Ha Long Bay, which is a world heritage site. People who travel to Ha Long Bay say that they want to visit Vietnam again.  When you are in Ha Long Bay, you can hire a boat and enjoy one night out at the sea. You can have fresh food; catch fresh fish and cook it on the boat. The weather is very nice, and the view is beautiful. And I think it’s suitable for Indian tourists. I think Indian people should visit Vietnam because there is very long history of cultural cooperation between the two countries.  There are a lot of Indian heritage sites in Vietnam; just 20 kilometres from Nha Thang city there are Indian temples. If you visit that area you can see more than ten temples, and people in that area follow cultures that is similar to what you have in in India.

In Ho Chi Minh City there are a lot of Indian restaurants, you can enjoy Indian food there. During the 80s and 90s, Vietnam’ people enjoyed Indian films, which were available on our TV and also shown in cinema halls. But I don’t know why for the past 10-20 years we see very few Indian films in Vietnam’s market; we need to find the reason why. Vietnamese people find Indian films very interesting. We can see Indian songs, music and also Indian tradition. It is also our duty to reintroduce Indian films in Vietnam in the next few years.

Q) Besides bilateral issues, India and Vietnam also engage closely on regional and global issues. How do you see the security cooperation between the two countries?

A) Vietnam has always emphasised India’s role in the region. We need Indian balance in the region. Cooperation between India and Vietnam in the area of defence has been on for a long time. Indian naval ships anchor in our ports yearly, and that’s very good. We also see Indian role in ARF. Your minister gave a good speech in Myanmar last week, and we also see that with the balance of India to the region the balance of force will be maintained. That is very important. The other thing is that India and Vietnam have the same position on issues in the region. When something happens in the region your position is clear. A week ago your minister of external affairs reconfirmed your position to the region, that you support peaceful solution to all the disputes in the area. You also support the safety of the sea lanes of communication, and the resolution of issues in accordance to international law, especially the 1982 Law of the Sea. India has rejected the use of force to solve problems in the region. I think that position is very important, it is the same position as that of Vietnam. India and Vietnam want peace, prosperity, stability and development to the region.  In the coming days, we will continue to support India’s Look East policy. When the Look Easy Policy is carried out India makes an active contribution to peace, prosperity and development in the region. India has in Vietnam as loyal and all-weather friend.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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