NEW DELHI: Vietnam has sent “another 1262 oxygen cylinders, 200 oxygen generators and 75 ventilators on an Indian Naval Ship from Ho Chi Minh city to Chennai,” Ambassador Pham Sanh Chau, Vietnam’s Envoy to India tells StratNews Global. Speaking to Associate Editor Amitabh P. Revi, the Ambassador also talks about the Quad(Australia, Japan, India, U.S.) + 3(Vietnam, South Korea, New Zealand) cooperation. “The pandemic has shown that no country can depend on a single source of supply, and it is very important for all of us to diversify,” the envoy acknowledges, adding, “Vietnam’s position concerning the Indo-Pacific has been reflected in the outlook adopted by ASEAN(Association of South-East Asian Nations), which has many similarities with the vision adopted by India.” Ambassador Pham Sanh Chau says Vietnam and India are “working for joint development and manufacturing of vaccines” and “Vietnam is supporting Indian efforts to get approval from the World Health Organisation and European Union for overseas emergency use for Bharat Biotech’s COVAXIN.”
On disputes with China in the South China Sea, he says, “Vietnam resolutely, firmly and persistently protects our own legitimate interests and sovereignty. On the one hand China is a major comprehensive, strategic partner, but on the other hand, we work closely with China to make sure we’re able to protect our sovereignty, freedom of navigation and flight in the South China Sea on the basis of international law including UNCLOS(United Nations Convention for the Law of the Sea).”
Discussing the relationship with India, the envoy pinpoints “defence and security as one of the five pillars that underpin the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.” He highlights two Lines of Credit for $500 million and $100 million and receiving the first batch of high speed vessels manufactured in India saying, “We are working closely together in order to manufacture the same high speed boats in Vietnam.” 2 of 12 high-speed patrol boats for the Vietnamese Coast Guard have been launched. 5 of the 10 are also being built in Chennai at the Larsen & Toubro shipyard while 7 will be constructed in Hai Phong, Vietnam, with the company’s assistance. On BrahMos missiles for Vietnam, the Ambassador spoke about the separate strategic partnerships with India, China and Russia.