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India to Strengthen Defence Cooperation with Vietnam
Nov 04, 2014

The Prime Minister of Vietnam, Nguyen Tan Dung paid a state visit to India from 27-28 October 2014 at the invitation of the Prime Minister of India. The following Agreements were signed between the two countries:

  • MoU on the Establishment of Nalanda University

  • MoU on Conservation and Restoration of the World Heritage Site of My Son, Quang Nam Province, Vietnam

  • MoU on Establishing the Centre for English Language and Information Technology Training at the Telecommunications University

  • Cultural Exchange Programme 2015-17

  • MoU on Exchange of Audio-Visual Programmes

  • HoA between OVL and PetroVietnam

  • MoU between ONGC and PetroVietnam.


In addition, India will soon activate a $100 million Line of Credit (LoC) to Vietnam, paving the way for its first major military sale to Hanoi. In a move that China is expected to watch closely, Vietnam will buy four offshore patrol vessels from India to guard its interests in the South China Sea where it is locked in territorial disputes with China.

Defence cooperation with Vietnam is most important ones for India. India remains committed to the modernisation of Vietnam's defence and security forces.Vietnam is also said to be interested in buying the Brahmos supersonic cruise missile to shore up its defences at a time when China's aggressive posturing in the South China Sea has triggered international concern.

The missile flies at more than 2.8 times the speed of sound and takes under six minutes to destroy a target 290 km away. The Brahmos, which can carry a 300-kg warhead, has so far not been exported.

Vietnamese sailors are already polishing their underwater warfare skills at a Visakhapatnam naval base. Training of Vietnamese fighter pilots in India is also on the cards. Indian warships are regularly deployed to the South China Sea which China seeks to control. Tensions are simmering between China and Vietnam over the disputed energy-rich waters. The two countries went to war in 1979 over Vietnamese actions in Cambodia.

China Fumes: China reacted sharply to Vietnam's offer of two oil blocks in the South China Sea to India for exploration, saying no third party should involve itself in the tense maritime tussle between China and Vietnam.

Vietnam also extended the contract of another oil block for two more years, in a slew of agreements signed during Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung's two-day visit to India. India said the oil blocks offered to it falls in Vietnam's exclusive economic zone, but China claims the maritime territory as its own.

State-owned ONGC Videsh Ltd signed a pact to pick up stake in PetroVietnam's two exploration blocks (102/10 and 106/10), among five offered by Hanoi last year.

China and Vietnam are at loggerheads over the ownership of a clutch of uninhabited islands in the South China Sea known as Nansha or Spratly. China has traditionally objected to India's exploration efforts in the resource-rich waters where China, Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei have competing claims.


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