SYLLABUS SECTION: GS II (BILATERAL RELATIONS)
WHY IN THE NEWS?
Recently, Indian Deffence Minister visited Vietnam and signed a number of important agreements between the two countries of FORTIFYING DEFENCE TIES.
- The Joint Vision Statement on India-Vietnam Defence Partnership towards 2030 was signed during the visit.
- The two countries signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Mutual Logistics Support.
- This is the first such agreement signed by Vietnam with any other country.
- Vietnam shares a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership with India.
- Defence partnership between India and Vietnam has been growing steadily over the years.
- The Defence Protocol was sign in 2000 and currently India-Vietnam Fortifying defence ties relationship includes extensive navy-to-navy cooperation spanning the exchange of intelligence, production and logistical support for Vietnam’s defence requirements etc.
- The maritime domain between both the countries has occupied a central focus due to the following reasons.
- A substantial volume of maritime trade passes through sea lanes of communication in the Indo-Pacific region.
- The region also holds promise of large energy reserves.
- China factor:
- The enhanced geostrategic prominence of China and its increasingly assertive behaviour in the region has resulted in an increase in emphasis on cooperative mechanisms and frameworks across the region.
- Vietnam has been critical of China’s periodic transgressions in the South China Sea.
- India is supporting Vietnam’s position in the South China Sea. India has also not backed down from continuing ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL)’s oil exploration project in Vietnam’s Exclusive Economic Zone despite China’s protests.
CONVERGENCE OF VIEWS:
- India’s Act East Policy, Indo-Pacific policy and maritime multilateralism and security outreach across the Indo-Pacific make Vietnam a natural partner for India.
- Both countries support the freedom of navigation and uphold sovereign maritime territorial rights as enshrined under international maritime law.
RECOMMENDATIONS TO IMPROVE THE TIES:
- The early finalisation of the $500 million Defence Line of Credit extended by India to Vietnam should be a top priority for both sides.
- This will help India cement its place as a net security provider in the region and also complement its ‘Make in India, Make for the world’ vision on the one hand while on the other hand it will help strengthen Vietnam’s defence capabilities.
Read more: UPSC CURRENT AFFAIRS
SOURCE: INDIAN EXPRESS