With China watching, India, Vietnam bolster Indo-Pacific connect, defence ties

Amid the continuing volatility around South China Sea and China’s growing clout, India and Vietnam have decided to deepen their coordination in the Indo-Pacific region and bolster their defence ties to shape an inclusive regional architecture.
Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang’s March 2-4 visit to India and his talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi have expanded the scope of comprehensive strategic partnership between India and Vietnam, and underscored the pivotal role of India-Vietnam relations in the mutating regional landscape. Two visits by Vietnam’s prime minister and president to India within weeks of each other have cemented Hanoi’s role as a pivot in New Delhi’s Act East policy.

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Amid South China Sea flux, India, Vietnam to step up maritime connect

With defence cooperation becoming a key pillar of their partnership, India and Vietnam have decided to engage more effectively in maritime cooperation against the backdrop of growing Chinese assertion in the South China Sea. In a bilateral meeting on January 24, ahead of the India ASEAN Commemorative Summit, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Xuan Phuc discussed ways to strengthen and expand their defence ties, with a special focus on the disputed waters of the South China Sea where China continue to construct artificial islands claiming historical rights.

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Vietnam envoy pitches for real code of conduct in South China Sea (Interview)

The Special Commemorative Summit is poised to open a new chapter in the history of India-ASEAN relations. With India and ASEAN emerging as the fastest growing region in the world, there are enormous possibilities for expanding and diversifying this mutually energising relationship across the spectrum.
In this interview with Manish Chand, Editor-in-Chief, India and World, Vietnam’s Ambassador to India Ton Sinh Thanh argues that given India’s close historical and cultural connections and its growing economy, India should play a bigger role in the extended Indo-Pacific region. To fructify this huge potential, enhancing connectivity will be a potential game-changer in taking India-ASEAN strategic partnership to new heights.
Amid the churn in the South China Sea, the Vietnamese envoy also pitches for a real and abiding enforceable code of conduct and argues that the sea of Southeast Asia is an open sea of all countries, including India.

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With China on mind, India’s Navy Chief steps up Vietnam connect

India’s Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba is on a five-day visit to Vietnam to step up defence and security cooperation with the South Asian nation which has emerged as a pivot of India’s Act East policy.
Given the fast changing geo-strategic dynamics in the Asia-Pacific region, marked by China’s increased assertiveness in the region, the Navy Chief’s visit is being watched closely in Beijing.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s landmark visit to Hanoi in September 2016 was transformational and placed the expanding India-Vietnam ties on a new footing. During his visit, the Indian leader pledged $500 million in Lines of Credit for a host of development and defence-related projects in the Southeast Asian nation.

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India, Malaysia unite against terror, bat for freedom of navigation

Ushering in a new phase in their reinvigorated partnership as key players in the emerging Asian order, India and Malaysia have signed seven agreements across the spectrum, and vowed to fight terror and radicalization of youth. In a message to China, the two countries decided to work proactively to promote freedom of navigation in the South China Sea, the site of territorial disputes between China and some Southeast Asian countries.
The agreements, some of which relate to recognition of each other’s educational degrees and palm oil production research, and the unmistakable focus on security cooperation, which followed talks between India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and visiting Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak in New Delhi on April 1, marked a qualitatively new high in relations between the two countries.
The most important among pacts inked in the presence of the two PMs was the proposed development of a urea and ammonia manufacturing plant in Malaysia and off-take of existing surplus urea from Malaysia to India. The project is expected to cost US$2 billion, with a capacity to produce 2.5 million tonnes per year and meant for catering to India’s market.
Above all, the Malaysian leader’s visit has imparted a new momentum to strategic partnership between the two countries. “We are leaders in the new emerging order in Asia and the world. Let us continue to work together to build a future based on stability, prosperity and understanding as the centre of the globe moves inexorably to East,” said Mr Razak in an article ahead of his visit to India.

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