NEW DELHI: On #TalkingPoint, Ambassador Pham Sanh Chau, Vietnam’s Envoy to India in conversation with StratNews Global Associate Editor Amitabh P. Revi.
Top leaders of the Association of South East Asian Nations(ASEAN) have been invited twice only by India for special meetings, Ambassador Pham Sanh Chau points out, adding the first time India has hosted the just concluded in-person special meeting of Foreign Ministers reflects the “depths of the partnership” and both partners’ “growing importance in world politics”. ASEAN and India he says “share many things, especially in an open, inclusive, transparent rule based Indo-Pacific that has cemented our relationship”.
The envoy also “strongly believes the India-Vietnam relationship has been characterised by the prime importance of defence cooperation”. He highlights the outcomes of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh’s three-day visit a week ago as Vietnam has “never had cooperation in defence production of this scale with any other country”. The 12 high speed patrol boats handed over, he says have “paved the way for the next level of cooperation, namely the Line of Credit of $500 million which is being finalised”. The Ambassador acknowledges that a mutual logistics support agreement is also a “very big step forward” considering the country’s ‘Four No policy’ : No military alliances, No siding with one country to act against another, No foreign military bases on Vietnamese territory and No use or threat to use force in international relations. Vietnam’s envoy also calls attention to bilateral trade that has increased manifold from just $200 million in 2000 to over $13.2 billion, with India eighth on his country’s trading list and the “promising prospects” of India’s investments in ports and airports as well as in offshore energy exploration.
Watch the complete interview for more on ASEAN’s Free and Open Indo Pacific policy meshing with India’s ASEAN centrality principle, Indo-Pacific and Act East policies and the Vietnam-India Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.