New Delhi : Vietnamese President ‘Tran Dai Quang’ emphatically expressed his country’s stand supporting the freedom of navigation from the Indian Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. At the same time, he wholeheartedly praised the ‘Act East’ policy adopted by the Indian government. The Vietnamese President claimed that co-operation in political, defence and security is the basis of the bilateral Indo-Vietnamese relationship.
Vietnamese President ‘Tran Dai Quang’ who was on a three-days visit to India, completed his Indian tour on Sunday and proceeded to Bangladesh. Before that, Vietnamese President ‘Tran Dai Quang’ delivered a lecture explaining the Indo-Vietnamese relations and positions, at a university in New Delhi. At this time, he underlined the importance of the relations between the two countries and expressed strong support for freedom of navigation from the Indian Ocean till the Pacific Ocean. All the countries in the region should give due importance to the freedom of navigation and should not look at the subject with a narrowminded nationalistic attitude, President Quang lashed out.
China has taken an aggressive stance about the ‘South China Sea’ and ‘East China Sea’ and has claimed its right over the region. China is also claiming ownership over the part of the ‘South China Sea’ under Vietnamese control. The tension is rising between the two countries over this issue and Vietnam has prepared to reply to the Chinese bullying. Countries like the United States, Japan, and Australia are helping Vietnam on this front. India also has taken a firm stance in Vietnam’s favour and has decided to co-operate at all levels.
That is the reason why India visit of Vietnamese President ‘Tran Dai Quang’ is considered to be very important. It was known that India was co-operating with Vietnam in the security and defence sectors even before this meeting. This co-operation has become stronger with this visit by President Quang and treaties in these matters have been signed. The Vietnamese President declared that co-operation in political, defence and security sectors is the basis of the Indo-Vietnamese relationship, against this background. President Quang also clarified in his lecture that Vietnam has Indian support in its marine dispute with China.
India has taken quick steps to improve its relationships with the South Eastern countries by changing the ‘Look East’ policy to ‘Act East’ policy. This ‘Act East’ policy has an important place in the Indo-Vietnamese co-operation. Mentioning this, the Vietnamese President wholeheartedly praised the Indian government. President Quang expressed satisfaction that although the policy initially had only a financial side to it, by now it has transformed into a co-operation on the political, strategic and cultural levels. At the same time, President Quang demanded that India, which is a responsible international power, should get a permanent membership in the UN Security Council.
China is suspiciously looking at the developing relations between India and Vietnam. Although, China has not reacted to President Quang’s India visit, it seems to be keenly following the visit. Previously, China had objected to the co-operation between India and Vietnam. Indian companies are carrying out oil exploration in the Vietnamese controlled ‘South China Sea’. China had objected to that transaction and had warned India not to invest in the disputed territory. But saying that this investment and oil sector co-operation was within the scope of the international rules, India dismissed the Chinese allegation.