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Opinion

India and Vietnam sign seven agreements during virtual summit

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India and Vietnam signed seven cooperation agreements in areas such as defense, petrochemicals and nuclear energy and released a joint vision of peace and prosperity in the context of concerns in both countries about aggressive actions by China in the region.

While participating in a virtual summit with his Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Prime Minister Narendra Modi described Vietnam as “an important pillar of India Act East policy and an important ally of our Indo-Pacific vision.”

“We view our relationship with Vietnam from a long-term and strategic perspective. Peace, stability and prosperity are our common goals in the Indo-Pacific region. Our association can contribute significantly to maintaining stability and peace in the region, ”Modi said.

Nyugen Xuan Phuc said that the enhancement of bilateral ties to a comprehensive strategic partnership in 2016 had strengthened trust and strengthened understanding of each other’s vision and interests on international issues. He said that the Vietnamese side had also agreed with India’s proposals for an additional defense line of credit.

Modi said that the seven agreements signed by the two countries cover various topics such as defense, nuclear energy, petrochemicals, renewable energy and cancer treatment. “We are also taking new initiatives in the area of ​​our cooperation for development and cultural conservation. All of this shows the expansion and potential of our growing mutual cooperation, ”he added.

The meeting came at a time when both countries are grappling with China’s aggressive actions in the region. India is locked in a military showdown with China in the Ladakh sector of the Royal Line of Control (LAC), while Vietnam has big differences over Chinese claims within its exclusive economic zone in the South China Sea.

The two leaders published a joint vision document and an action plan for bilateral engagements during 2021-23. “This joint vision of peace, prosperity and people will send a powerful message to the world about the depth of our relationship,” Modi said.

India is currently implementing a $ 100 million defense credit line for 12 high-speed patrol boats for Vietnam. The ships being built for the Vietnam Border Guard are intended to improve coastal security and prevent illegal activities.

Five vessels are being built at the Larsen & Toubro shipyard in Chennai, with the remainder being built at the Hong Ha shipyard in the Vietnamese port city of Hai Phong under the supervision of the Indian company.

Both countries also have Indo-Pacific stakes and significant maritime interests, and the summit allowed them to discuss potential cooperation in India’s Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative and the Indo-Pacific prospects of Asean.

India and Vietnam will also simultaneously serve as non-permanent members of the UN Security Council beginning in 2021, and this has opened up new opportunities for cooperation and coordination on regional and international affairs.

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