India and Vietnam signed seven agreements for cooperation in areas such as defense, petrochemical and nuclear power and unveiled a joint approach to peace and prosperity against the backdrop of concerns in both countries about China’s aggressive actions across the region. did.
Attending a virtual summit with his Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Juan Fuchs, Prime Minister Narendra Modi described Vietnam as “an important pillar of India’s pre-Act policy and an important ally of our Indo-Pacific vision”.
“We see our relationship with Vietnam from a long-term and strategic perspective. Peace, stability and prosperity are our common objectives in the Indo-Pacific region. Our partnership can contribute significantly to stability and peace in the region.
Nyugen Xuan Phuc stated that the upgrade of bilateral relations to a broader strategic partnership in 2016 enhanced trust and understanding of other’s vision and interests on international issues. He said that the Vietnamese side had agreed to proposals for the defense line ahead of India.
Modi said the seven agreements signed by the two countries covered various issues such as defense, nuclear power, petrochemical, renewable energy and cancer treatment. “We are also taking new initiatives in the area of our development cooperation and cultural conservation. All this reflects the expansion and potential of our growing mutual cooperation, ”he said.
The meeting was held at a time when both countries are struggling with China’s aggressive actions in the region. India is locked in a military standoff with China in the Ladakh region of the Line of Actual Control (LAC), while Vietnam has major differences over Chinese claims within its Special Economic Zone in the South China Sea.
The two leaders released a joint vision document and action plan for bilateral engagements during 2021–23. “This united vision for peace, prosperity and people will give a strong message to the world about the depth of our relationship,” Modi said.
India is currently implementing a $ 100 million defense line for 12 high-speed patrol boats to Vietnam. The boats being built for the Vietnam Border Guard are intended to increase coastal security and prevent illegal activities.
Five ships are being built at Larsen & Toubro’s shipyard in Chennai, and the rest will be built at the Hai Phong’s Vietnamese port city of Hong Ha Shipyard under the supervision of an Indian firm.
The two countries also have stakes for the Indo-Pacific region and important maritime interests, and the summit enabled them to look at India’s Indo-Pacific Ocean Initiative and possible cooperation on the Indo-Pacific approach to ASEAN.
India and Vietnam will also jointly serve as non-permanent members of the UN Security Council from 2021 and this has opened up new opportunities for cooperation and coordination on regional and international issues.
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