Rajnath Singh's Vietnam Visit: India To Hand Over 12 Guard Boats; Strengthen Maritime Security Cooperation With Eyes On China

by Swarajya Staff - Jun 6, 2022 12:18 PM +05:30 IST
Rajnath Singh's Vietnam Visit: India To Hand Over 12 Guard Boats; Strengthen Maritime Security Cooperation With Eyes On ChinaVietnam Coast Guard ship CSB 8001 on her maiden visit to India (Representative Image)
Snapshot
  • The patrol boats for the Vietnamese border guard force have been built under the $100 million defence line of credit extended by New Delhi.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will embark on a three-day visit to Vietnam from Wednesday (8 June) to further consolidate bilateral comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries.

During the visit, Singh will hand over 12 high-speed guard boats to Vietnam, in reflection of the growing congruence in maritime security cooperation amid China’s increasing muscle-flexing in the region.

The patrol boats for the Vietnamese border guard force have been built under the $100 million defence line of credit extended by New Delhi.

Communist-ruled Vietnam, one of the fastest-growing economies of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations or ASEAN, has territorial disputes with China in the South China Sea region.

"This project is significant in the context of the growing defence industry cooperation with Vietnam and exemplifies Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision of 'Aatmanirbhar Bharat' and 'Make in India, Make for the World'," the ministry said.

India has oil exploration projects in the Vietnamese waters in the South China Sea. In 2011, China had objected to Indian exploration projects in two Vietnamese blocks in the South China Sea. Despite China's overt hostility, Vietnam had extended an Indian oil concession in the South China Sea in 2017. In 2018, China again opposed Vietnam's invitation to India to invest in the oil and gas sector in the South China Sea.

During the visit, the Defence Minister will hold extensive talks with his Vietnamese counterpart, General Phan Van Giang, with a focus on exploring new initiatives to further strengthen the defence engagements, besides exchanging views on regional and global issues of shared interest.

Singh is also scheduled to call on Vietnamese President Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh.

During his Vietnam tour, Singh will also visit training institutions of the country at Nha Trang, including the Telecommunication University where an army software park is being established with a $5 million grant from India. He will also attend a community event organised by the Embassy of India in Hanoi and interact with the Indian diaspora.

"The Defence Minister's visit on the historic occasion of 50 years of establishment of India-Vietnam diplomatic relations and 75 years of India's Independence will further consolidate the bilateral defence cooperation and the comprehensive strategic partnership," the ministry said.

The relations between the two countries were elevated to the level of a “strategic partnership” during the visit of Vietnam’s then prime minister Nguyen Tan Dung to India in July 2007.

In 2016, during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Vietnam, the bilateral relations were further elevated to a “comprehensive strategic partnership”.

Vietnam has become an important partner in India’s Act East policy and the Indo-Pacific vision.

Last week, Saurabh Kumar, Secretary (East) in the Ministry of External Affairs, visited Vietnam for the 12th round of political consultations and the ninth round of strategic dialogue in Hanoi.

(With inputs from PTI)

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