New Delhi, December 20
India and Vietnam are likely to seal a number of agreements and make certain announcements to further expand overall ties, covering defence, energy and healthcare at a virtual summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Xuan Phuc on Monday, official sources said.
Dispute over south china sea
- India has oil exploration projects in the Vietnamese waters in the South China Sea
- China claims sovereignty over all of the South China Sea, said to be a huge source of hydrocarbons
- Several ASEAN member countries, including Vietnam, the Philippines and Brunei, have counter claims
The evolving situation in the Indo-Pacific is expected to figure prominently in the talks as both countries have shared interest in a free, open, peaceful, prosperous and a rules-based regional order, they said. The two sides are also likely to issue a joint vision for future development of ‘India-Vietnam Comprehensive Strategic Partnership’ with an aim to chart a new course of enhanced cooperation in a range of areas, they said.
India and Vietnam upgraded their relationship to the level of comprehensive strategic partnership in 2016 and the defence cooperation has been one of the most significant pillars of the fast expanding bilateral ties.
The sources said implementation of India’s defence Line of Credit for high speed guard boats for Vietnam is likely to be further taken forward in the summit. Both the countries have stakes in the Indo-Pacific and they are expected to explore potential cooperation to expand cooperation in the region based on respective vision for the region by India as well as the ASEAN.
At the East Asia Summit in Bangkok last year, Modi proposed setting up of the Indo-Pacific Ocean’s Initiative (IPOI) to conserve and sustainably use the maritime domain and to make meaningful efforts to create a safe and secure maritime domain.
The 10-nation ASEAN has reflected its vision for the region in a document titled ‘ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP)’. Vietnam, an important country of the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations), has territorial disputes with China in the South China Sea region. India has oil exploration projects in the Vietnamese waters in the South China Sea. China claims sovereignty over all of the South China Sea, a huge source of hydrocarbons. Several ASEAN members have counter claims. — PTI