In the world of numerous idiosyncrasies, there have been some additional individuals of exquisite smartness and leadership characteristics originating from revolutionary vehemence and progressive enthusiasm. One such great pioneer and a passionate nationalist was Vietnam's President Ho Chi Minh who cultivated the appearance of a humble and benign individual, popularly known as "Uncle Ho". He had an emblematic brilliance of a comet as an activist in national liberation and international communist movement. Ho Chi Minh encouraged his people to first combat with the Japanese, then the French colonial power, and last but not the least the US-backed South Vietnam.
On February 5, US President Donald Trump in his second state of the union address announced that he and his North Korean counterpart Kim Jong Un will meet in Vietnam on 27-28 February in the capital Hanoi. This is called as II Trump-Kim Summit, the previous being held in Singapore on June 12 last year. The preferred place for both the summits surprised the whole world and were much curious to know the reasons behind the selection of host countries. Undoubtedly, this is a question which would come in any layman's mind and it needs to be addressed. .
On invitation from the President of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam Mr. Nguyen Phu Trong, President of India Shri Ram Nath Kovind is scheduled for an official State visit to Vietnam from 18-21 November 2018. The President's visit comes at a time when the momentum of bilateral ties between India and Vietnam is at a high level. Over the years, relations between the two nations have strengthened, as reflected in several high-level visits by leaders from both sides. President Kovind's visit is scheduled just a few months after External Affairs Minister Smt. Sushma Swaraj visited Vietnam in August as well as the former Minister of State for External Affairs Shri M J Akbar, who paid a visit to the country from 10-13 September this year. Minister of State for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, Giriraj Singh, also visited Vietnam in September 2018. From the other side, a delegation from the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) led by Nguyen Ngoc Quang, Secretary of the Party Committee of Quang Nam Province had paid a working visit to India from 16-20 October 2018 to further strengthen cooperation between the CPV and Indian political parties.Read More
India's outreach to
Vietnam has been a clear indication of
an open challenge to China in its
backyard. The growing engagement between
both countries will act as a security
In the 46th year of diplomatic relations, India and Vietnam have witnessed several high level visits and exchange of delegations. The forthcoming visit by the President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, will be the third such bilateral visit this year, which was earlier preceded by the visit of the late President of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, Tran Dai Quang in March 2018 and the Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc visit earlier in January 2018. Several ministerial level delegations and inking of defence agreements between the two countries have also happened this year. It is hoped that the President's visit will consolidate the already existing political trust and cement strong defence and security cooperation between the two countries.
Amlan Dutta & Sonia
India's President H.E Shri Ram Nath Kovind will be paying a state visit to Vietnam from the 18th to the 21st of November, 2018. India-Vietnam relations have been on an upward trajectory in recent years as there has been an increase in the number of high-level contacts and consultations between the two sides. Although ties between the two countries have been very friendly and cordial since the days of Ho Chi Minh and Jawaharlal Nehru, recent events and geopolitical realities in the region have given the relationship a new fillip. It was Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's highly successful visit to Vietnam in 2016 which saw the two sides elevate their already robust relationship into "Comprehensive Strategic partnership", along the same lines as Vietnam's relations with China and Russia. 2018 has been a special year for India-Vietnam relations as it marks the 46th year in the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two Asian nations. Vietnam's late President Mr. Tran Dai Quang visited India on a state visit from March 2nd to March 4th 2018 to mark the event. His visit actually came a few weeks after Vietnam's Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc's visit to India, who was one of the State Guests at India's Republic Day celebrations on 26th January 2018, along with the Heads of States from nine other ASEAN countries. In turn, India's Defense Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman paid a four-day visit to Vietnam in June this year which had put the spotlight on the growing defense and security ties between the two nations. India's Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj too had visited Vietnam in the last week of August as a part of her two-nation tour, the other one being Cambodia.
The Champa civilization in central and southern parts of Vietnam was once a thriving bastion of Hinduism and Buddhism, which survived for more than 1000 years. The traditional Indian style architectural complex at My Son sanctuary and the archaeological ruins found over the coastal areas of Vietnam provide enough evidence to showcase the civilizational and cultural legacy of India and Vietnam.
The 21st century has been dubbed as Asia's century. But Asia is fraught with many territorial and maritime disputes, claims and counter-claims which has rendered the region as the new hotbed of military activities. Japan-China relations have worsened since Japan nationalised the Senkaku / Diaoyou Islands in 2012 and China marked its new Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) in 2013 in the East China Sea. The Philippines dragged China to the UNCLOS in 2017 regarding the dispute over the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea. Vietnam has a long-standing dispute with China regarding the Paracel Islands. India and China have territorial disputes in the Himalayas and the border standoff between the two in 2017 in Bhutan's Doklam almost turned ugly. Interestingly, it is China's assertive behavior and actions which is the common thread in almost all of the disputes and contestations in Asia today.
The shift in world politics from the West to East is marked by the emergence of the Asian Century, which portrays the dominance of the eastern hemisphere. The much talked about Asian century has gained prominence from across the globe due to various reasons, such as, the growth of China as an Asian power; the increased Chinese influence in the Indo-Pacific-stretching its presence into the Indian Ocean and extending till the African continent, and lastly, the territorial disputes of South China Sea (SCS). The South China Sea issue has acquired the centre stage in Asian strategic debates, particularly since the past three decades. The two main reasons why South China Sea is so significant amongst world's major powers are, first, around thirty percent of global trade transits through the sea lanes and secondly due to its undoubted abundance in natural energy resources.
Since 1st week of July 2019, particular news started to make headlines regarding a week-long standoff between Vietnamese and Chinese ships, near an offshore oil block in the disputed South China Sea waters, falling within Vietnam's EEZ (Exclusive Economic Zone). China's claim over the South China Sea, particularly known as Nine Dash Line, includes large swathes of Vietnam's continental shelves which are rich in oil reserves. To brief the incident, a Chinese ship, named The Haiyang Dizhi 8, operated by China's Geological Survey, finished a 12 day survey of near the dispute waters of Spratly islands. One of the oil blocks that the Chinese ship surveyed falls under the Vietnamese EEZ, and is also approved by Vietnam to a Spanish energy firm, known as Repsol. Incidentally, Repsol was earlier forced to withdraw its operations from the disputed South China Sea, under immense pressure from Beijing, once in 2017 and then again in 2018. Matters got complicated when 9 Vietnamese vessels closely followed the Chinese vessel Haiyang Dizhi 8 after it completed its survey. However, the Chinese ship was reportedly followed by 3 Chinese coast guard vessels as well.Read More
This is a time of great crisis and concern for Vietnam when its claim of sovereignty has been challenged in the South China Sea, particularly in the block 05.1 and 06.1 where huge deployment by Chinese vessel has been witnessed over the past couple of weeks. This has been the third-biggest Chinese standoff since 2011 which witnessed cutting down of cables to 2014 incident when huge drilling platform was laid down sparkling a diplomatic crisis between the two neighbours and finally in 2019 beginning with stationing of huge geo-seismic surveyors in early July and the recent massive deployment of coastguard ships, fishing vehicles, bombers and fighters in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of Vietnam.Read More