South China Sea, defence cooperation: India, Vietnam draw 3-year highway map to improve ties


pti-Deepika S


New Delhi, Dec 21: India and Vietnam on Monday inked seven agreements to increase bilateral ties in defence, nuclear power and a number of other different sectors, and vowed to spice up sensible cooperation within the Indo-Pacific within the backdrop of accelerating considerations over rising Chinese language army assertiveness within the area.

At a digital summit with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Prime Minister Narendra Modi described Vietnam as an necessary companion in India’s Indo-Pacific imaginative and prescient in addition to for its Act East coverage, and mentioned peace, stability and prosperity within the area was the widespread purpose of either side.

Within the wake of rising army muscle-flexing by China within the South China Sea area, the 2 leaders particularly reaffirmed the significance of sustaining freedom of navigation and overflight within the South China Sea, whereas pursuing the peaceable decision of disputes in accordance with worldwide regulation with out resorting to ‘risk or use of drive’.

Secretary (East) within the Ministry of Exterior Affairs Riva Ganguly Das mentioned at a media briefing that there was a robust convergence of views between the 2 leaders in selling coordination to fight terrorism in all its types and manifestations, together with cross-border terrorism, terror financing networks and secure havens.

In his preliminary remarks on the summit, Modi mentioned India seems to be at ties with Vietnam with a long-term and strategic perspective and that cooperation between the 2 international locations can contribute to sustaining peace and stability within the area.

Vietnam necessary pillar in India’s Indo-Pacific imaginative and prescient: PM Modi

A doc, titled ‘India-Vietnam Joint Imaginative and prescient for Peace, Prosperity and Folks’, which was launched after the summit, mentioned the 2 sides will step up military-to-military exchanges, coaching and capability constructing programmes throughout the three providers and coast guards because it was agreed that enhanced bilateral defence and safety partnership can be an necessary issue of stability within the Indo-Pacific area.

Ganguly Das mentioned Prime Minister Modi harassed that the Code of Conduct negotiations on the South China Sea mustn’t prejudice the curiosity of different international locations within the area.

She mentioned Modi additionally invited Vietnamese firms to spend money on India and highlighted the pressing want for long-overdue overview of ASEAN-India Commerce in Items Settlement as a concrete step in the direction of revitalising financial engagement between the 2 international locations in addition to the bigger ASEAN (Affiliation of Southeast Asian Nations) area.

The secretary mentioned the reaffirmation by the 2 leaders to reinforce bilateral cooperation in all areas of engagement, assist one another’s nationwide improvement, and strengthen cooperation in opposition to widespread international challenges gives an necessary foundation so as to add new substance and momentum to the Complete Strategic Partnership.

In reference to the South China Sea, the imaginative and prescient doc mentioned each leaders additionally underscored the significance of non-militarisation and self-restraint within the conduct of all actions by claimants and all different states, and avoidance of actions that might additional complicate the state of affairs or escalate disputes affecting peace and stability.

She mentioned each leaders additionally spoke of the significance of selling a rules-based order within the area together with by upholding worldwide regulation, particularly the UNCLOS (UN Conference on the Regulation of the Sea), including they affirmed {that a} peaceable, steady, safe, free, open, inclusive and rules-based area is within the widespread curiosity of all international locations.

The seven agreements inked embody one on implementing preparations on defence business cooperation and one other on nuclear cooperation between India’s Atomic Power Regulatory Board and Vietnam Company for Radiation and Nuclear Security.

One other pact gives for USD 5 million Indian grant help for Military software program park at Vietnam’s Nationwide Telecommunications College, Nha Trang.

Different agreements will facilitate cooperation in areas of photo voltaic power, healthcare and in UN peacekeeping missions.

Ganguly Das mentioned the summit supplied a possibility handy over one excessive pace guard boat to Vietnam, launch of two different vessels manufactured in India, and keel-laying of seven vessels being manufactured in Vietnam beneath the USD 100 million defence Line of Credit score prolonged by India to that nation.

She mentioned to implement the India-Vietnam joint imaginative and prescient doc, a plan of motion for the interval 2021-2023 was additionally signed between the 2 international ministers, which establish concrete observe up actions.

The imaginative and prescient doc mentioned each leaders additional referred to as for the ‘full and efficient’ implementation of the declaration on the Conduct of Events within the South China Sea in its entirety and the substantive negotiations in the direction of the early conclusion of an efficient code of conduct for the area in accordance with worldwide regulation that doesn’t prejudice the legit rights and pursuits of all nations together with these not occasion to those dialogue.

Vietnam, an necessary nation of the ASEAN (Affiliation of Southeast Asian Nations), has territorial disputes with China within the South China Sea area.

India has oil exploration tasks within the Vietnamese waters within the South China Sea.

China claims sovereignty over all the South China Sea, an enormous supply of hydrocarbons. Nevertheless, a number of ASEAN member international locations, together with Vietnam, Philippines and Brunei, have counter claims.

‘Each leaders agreed to discover sensible cooperation primarily based on convergences between our Indo-Pacific Oceans’ Initiative (IPOI) and the ASEAN Outlook on Indo-Pacific (AOIP) which Vietnam subscribes to,’ the secretary mentioned.

On the East Asia Summit in Bangkok final yr, Prime Minister Modi proposed establishing of the IPOI to preserve and sustainably use the maritime area and to make significant efforts to create a secure and safe maritime area.

The 10-nation ASEAN has mirrored its imaginative and prescient for the area in a doc titled ‘ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP)’.

Ganguly Das mentioned India additionally agreed to reinforce improvement help to Vietnam’s Mekong delta area beneath the Mekong-Ganga cooperation framework, together with in important areas equivalent to water safety.

The 2 sides additionally agreed to discover new and sensible collaborations to construct capacities in blue economic system, maritime safety and security, marine atmosphere and sustainable use of maritime sources, and maritime connectivity.

Acknowledging the brand new challenges in addition to alternatives introduced upon by COVID-19 pandemic, the 2 sides vowed to work in the direction of dependable, environment friendly and resilient provide chains.

‘They may attempt to attain the goal of USD 15 billion of commerce turnover on the earliest and can set increased ranges of ambition for bilateral commerce primarily based on a concrete plan of motion and new provide chains positioned in one another’s nation,’ the imaginative and prescient doc mentioned.

It mentioned either side will actively cooperate to publish an Encyclopaedia of India – Vietnam Cultural and Civilizational Relations to mark the 50th anniversary of India – Vietnam diplomatic relations in 2022.

Ganguly Das mentioned there was a dialogue within the context of each India and Vietnam concurrently serving as non-permanent members of the UN Safety Council, including each prime ministers agreed that the 2 international locations ought to work intently to actively promote “reformed multilateralism” to make worldwide organisations, together with the UN Safety Council, extra consultant.

‘Vietnam reiterated its robust assist for India’s everlasting membership in an expanded UN Safety Council,’ she mentioned.

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