India and Russia are making diplomatic moves, targeting Vietnam, to counter China in the Pacific?
(Source) In a calibrated diplomatic strategy to create a new ring of important allies, India is set to roll out the red carpet to leaders from East Asian countries in a policy that is also aimed at balancing out the power of China. India’s decision to welcome the leaders with their strong anti-China stance is unlikely to go down well with Beijing. Even though the two neighbours have exchanged visits by premiers this year, tensions between the two have dominated the headlines. South Block continues to resent China’s attempts to dominate the Line of Actual Control and the vexed boundary, and the frequent pricks on the stapled visa issue and aggressive intrusions. While officials continue to say that the upcoming visits by some East Asian leaders are part of India’s engagement and its Look East policy, their timing and frequency indicate that a clear message is being sent out to Beijing that India has a ring of friends with common strategic goals in East Asia. So, while Japanese Premier Shinzo Abe will be India’s coveted Republic Day chief guest in 2014, New Delhi will roll out the red carpet for Japanese Emperor Akihito and wife Michiko later this month. The foreign ministers of both nations met on November 12 on the sidelines of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) in New Delhi. There are plans for a joint exercise between Japan’s maritime self-defence force and the Indian Navy by the end of this year. Diplomacy: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is sending a message to China that India has a ring of friends with common strategic goals in East Asia. Plans are also in place to export US-2 amphibious aircraft to India. The aircraft, a four-engine turboprop, is used for search and rescue operations. The two countries will also step up plans for a civil nuclear cooperation deal. Abe has taken a hardline position on China and has been a votary of a closer India-Japan relationship to check Beijing’s aggressive designs. The general secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam, Nguyen Phu Trong, is also scheduled to visit India on November 19. Defence cooperation will dominate the agenda of the talks between the two countries. India will finalise a $100-million line of credit to Vietnam for defence procurements. Vietnam has supported India’s resolve to remain involved in oil exploration activity in the Phu Kanh basin of the South China Sea.Vietnam says it is within its rights to invite India to explore for oil in this area and has stood against China’s bullying in the South China Sea. For India, the alliance with Vietnam stems from its Look East policy, but is largely because it sees Vietnam as a willing ally to counter-balance China’s muscle-flexing in the South China Sea. So, it is helping Vietnam ramp up its defence capabilities. This new-found assertiveness from India is a welcome change, as in the past.
(Source) Russia and Vietnam acknowledged the increasing role of Asia-Pacific in international issues. President Sang highly valued the active and constructive role of Russia in the region while President Putin praised the growing prestige and position of Vietnam in the international arena. The two sides affirmed to continue strengthening cooperation in oil and gas exploration and exploitation in Vietnam’s continental shelf in line with international law, particularly the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). They agreed to create necessary conditions for the Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group, and Gazprom Group and Zarubezhneft Company of Russia to expand oil and gas exploration and exploitation activities in both countries.
VNA Reports; Vietnam and Russia on November 12 issued a joint statement on the occasion of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s State visit to Vietnam, affirming the continued strengthening of the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries. During the one-day visit, President Putin held talks with his Vietnamese counterpart Truong Tan Sang and met with General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Central Committee Nguyen Phu Trong and Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung.
He laid wreaths at President Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum and the Monument to Heroic Martyrs as well as attended the opening ceremony of the Russian Cultural Days in Vietnam. At their talks, the two Presidents affirmed the sound upgrade of the Vietnam-Russia strategic partnership to a comprehensive level, which opens up new practical opportunities to foster mutually beneficial cooperation in various fields.
They highly valued the positive development of the two countries’ economic-trade cooperation and agreed to bring two-way trade to 7 billion USD by 2015 and 10 billion USD by 2020. The two sides spoke highly of the progress of negotiations on a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Vietnam and the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan . They expressed their determination to focus resources to successfully conclude the negotiations in order to reach a comprehensive agreement that equally benefits all parties.
Both sides stressed prioritising cooperation in nuclear power, especially the deployment of a joint project to build the Ninh Thuan Nuclear Power Plant No. 1. To help Vietnam develop its nuclear energy, the Russian side affirmed to continue training Vietnamese experts, scientists and managers in the use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. The two sides affirmed to continue strengthening cooperation in oil and gas exploration and exploitation in Vietnam’s continental shelf in line with international law, particularly the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). They agreed to create necessary conditions for the Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group, and Gazprom Group and Zarubezhneft Company of Russia to expand oil and gas exploration and exploitation activities in both countries.
Both sides acknowledged fine cooperation in the fields of military technique, science-technology, education-training, geology, people-to-people exchange, and cooperation between Vietnamese and Russian localities. Concluding the talks, the two sides witnessed the signing of a series of important cooperation documents in various fields, including inter-governmental agreements on training Vietnamese citizens in Russia , the transfer of sentenced prisoners and defence cooperation.
They affirmed to continue enhancing coordination in the international arena and support each other at the United Nations and other multilateral forums. The two sides affirmed close cooperation in dealing with global challenges such as climate change, state of emergency, natural disasters , sustainable water resource management, and food security.
Russia applauded Vietnam ’s decision to join the UN’s peacekeeping operations and showed its willingness to support the country in the field. The two sides acknowledged the increasing role of Asia-Pacific in international issues. President Sang highly valued the active and constructive role of Russia in the region while President Putin praised the growing prestige and position of Vietnam in the international arena.
The two sides affirmed support for the establishment of an open, inseparable, transparent, equal and cooperative security architecture in Asia-Pacific based on international law, non-alliance principle and regard to legal interests of all concerned countries. They also reiterated support for the central role of ASEAN in the evolving regional architecture.
The two sides agreed that territorial disputes and other disputes in the Asia-Pacific region should be resolved by peaceful means, without the threat or the use of force on the basis of international law, especially the 1982 UNCLOS. They were also unanimous in backing the implementation of the Declaration of the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and the early adoption of a more legally binding Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC).
The two leaders stressed the growing importance of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum. The Russian side affirmed to back and work together with Vietnam to ensure the success of the 25th APEC Summit held in the country in 2017. Both sides affirmed their determination to further expand and deepen cooperation within the framework of regional multilateral organisations. On this occasion, President Putin invited President Sang to visit Russia in an appropriate time. President Sang accepted the invitation. The visit’s specific time will be discussed through diplomatic channels.-VNA
- VN, Russia target brighter future (vietnamnews.vn)
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- Putin in Vietnam to discuss trade, energy (thebricspost.com)
- Putin Revives Vietnam Friendship (thediplomat.com)
- Putin ends successful Vietnam trip (thebricspost.com)