India-Vietnam in the Changing Tide: Exploring the Significance of the Relations
Lachungpa Pema Tseten*
PhD Scholar, Department of International Relations, Sikkim Central University, Sikkim
*Corresponding Author Email: Pematseten6@gmail.com
Online published on 30 January, 2019.
In the changing face of political governance and security structure in the Asia-Pacific regions, India want to play an active political and security role as the region is very critical to India's strategic calculus for many reasons, including the political and economic reasons and the growing assertive role of China in Southeast Asia which controls a significant section of the Southeast Asian economy. In this context, New Delhi looks at Vietnam in sustaining its presence in the Asia-Pacific region. India and Vietnam share a long history of shared political, culture and economic interest. India supported Vietnam's independence from France, opposed American involvement in the Vietnam War, and supported unification of Vietnam. India was also one of the few noncommunist countries to assist Vietnam during the Cambodian-Vietnamese War. Furthermore, with extensive economic, defense and maritime cooperation, including oil exploration, agriculture, manufacturing, sale of military equipment, sharing of intelligence, joint naval exercises and training in counterinsurgency and jungle warfare, the relation has improved extensively. In the recent time, India's consideration in strengthening its link with Southeast Asian countries through its Act-East policy has heightened Vietnam's importance in India's strategic calculus from being a ‘strategic partner’ to ‘Comprehensive strategic partner’. Vietnam gives a strategic advantage in India's pursuance of its policy objective. First, Vietnam provides an impetus to India's Act East policy that aims to re-invigorate its historical ties with countries in Southeast and East Asia. Second, Vietnam's rich natural resources like hydrocarbon can add to India's growing energy needs. As for Vietnam, India can help in playing an alternative emerging power against the dominance of China in the Asia-Pacific region where Vietnam is in a long festering territorial dispute with Beijing in the South China Sea. Second, India can infuse much needed capital and technology into Vietnam, thereby bringing it par with its other ASEAN countries.
India, China, Asia-Pacific, Association of South East Asian Nation (ASEAN).