India Vietnam Sign Defence Partnership
India and Vietnam has made an agreement on “Joint Vision Statement on India-Vietnam Defence Partnership towards 2030”. The Objective of this agreement to enhance the defence partnership as they have traditional alliance.
The agreement has a vision to increase "scope and scale" of defence ties by 2030. It has also sealed a logistic support pact. This pact allow militaries of the two sides to work with each-other and utilities the bases for repair and replenishment of supplies.
It has been considered an important agreement in India-Vietnam strategic ties during common concerns over China's increasing contol in the South China Sea.Rajnath Singh and the vietnamies counterpart General Phan Van Giang's talks at Hanoi is considered to be Extensive and "fruitful" talks.
In India’s Act East policy and the Indo-Pacific vision, Vietnam is a crucial partner. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) is the first such major agreement on mutual logistics support that Vietnam has signed with any country. Since 2016, India and Vietnam share a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership & defence cooperation is a key pillar of this partnership. Bilateral defence engagements have expanded so far to include wide-ranging contacts between the two countries, including defence policy dialogues, military to military exchanges, high-level visits, capacity building and training programs, cooperation in U.N. Peace Keeping, ship visits and bilateral exercises. Besides Quad countries, France, Singapore and South Korea who signed the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement with the U.S. in 2016, India has also signed several logistics agreements.
Logistics agreements are administrative arrangements manoeuvering access to military facilities for exchange of fuel and provisions on mutual agreement by simplifying logistical support and increasing operational turnaround of the military when operating away from India. Earlier, Defence Line of Credit of $US 500 million extended to Vietnam was finalised. Gifting two simulators and monetary grant was announced by Mr. Singh towards setting up of Language and IT Lab at Air Force Officers Training School for capacity building of Vietnamese armed forces.
Vietnam and India have been maintaining amicable relations over the decades with mutual trust and benefit. Vietnam’s position and approach to regional security also align with India’s targets & wider perspective of other partners in the region to check China’s influence in the South China sea. While a number of other countries in the region, including South Korea have been reluctant in a straightforward criticism or policy against China on the South China Sea & also is compelled to avoid Vietnamese maritime cooperation for the fear of provoking China, India has remained oblivious to Beijing’s warnings over its growing relations with Vietnam. India’s utilitarian interests in the South China Sea & expanding strategic weight of the Indo-Pacific region, are in conflict with the Chinese rise in the area. While India’s interests in the maritime region include commercial linkages, freedom of navigation, and a rules-based regional order, China’s policy of salami slicing tactics with the posting of military equipment, calls for the requirement for a sterling partner in the area.
Both India and Vietnam face border disputes with China. While India lost against china 1962 war, Vietnam fought against china from 1979 through 1990, over border disputes and the influences in Khmer Rouge and Cambodia. India sees that Vietnam can fulfil its demand by exploring numbers of oil and gas projects. For Vietnam, India’s long-term presence in the South China Sea & by large Indo-Pacific region would help Vietnam’s interests. India supports the Vietnamese stand on the significance of upholding maritime security in the South China Sea & resolving disputes as per international laws, including and mainly the 1982 UNCLOS- UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. On the other hand, India is quite eager to maintain the maritime defence ties with Vietnam to its policy of “maritime multilateralism” for overcoming transnational challenges and promoting economic activities in the South China Sea.