New Delhi/Hanoi – India and Vietnam have decided to increase cooperation in the Indo-Pacific sector, given the tension created due to the dominant and inciting Chinese activities. 17th meeting of India-Vietnam Joint Commission was held on Tuesday. During this virtual meeting, Indian Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar invited Vietnam to join the Indo-Pacific Ocean Initiative. At this time, both the countries concurred on increasing cooperation in the economic and defence sector and also in the sectors of atomic energy, Space, marine sciences and new technology-related partnership.
In the last few months, the Chinese government has initiated aggressive activities under its expansionist policies. Conflict with India in the Galwan Valley, sinking of a Vietnamese ship by colliding with it and deployment of bombers near the airspace, are considered to be a part of inciting activities of China. Therefore, it became important for both these countries, to join hands to form a front against China. It is being said that the discussions in the meeting on Tuesday, were centred mainly around the Chinses activities in the Indo-Pacific region.
Indian Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar and Vietnamese Foreign Minister Phạm Bình Minh met during the India-Vietnam Joint Commission’ meeting. It was agreed in the meeting to infuse new energy in the economic and defence ties between the two countries. It was also agreed that new opportunities should be identified to cooperate in civilian nuclear power and Space. Two Memorandums of Understanding were also signed for bilateral cooperation, in political and also the marine sector. Sources from both the countries informed that discussions to strengthen partnership through the medium of United Nations and ASEAN, also were held during the meeting.
A few days ago, China held war exercises near the Paracel Islands, in the South China Sea, claimed by Vietnam as its territory. Vietnam had given an intense reaction that China is encroaching on Vietnamese sovereignty and making the situation in the sector more dangerous. At the same time, Vietnamese Foreign Minister, Pham Binh Minh had informed Indian Foreign Secretary Harshvardhan Shrungla, regarding the increasing tension in the South China Sea. India has signed oil exploration treaties with Vietnam and has also assured defence cooperation.