India and Vietnam on Wednesday signed a vision document to further broad-base the scope and scale of bilateral defence cooperation after Defence Minister Rajnath Singh held talks with his Vietnamese counterpart General Phan Van Giang.
The defence minister arrived in Vietnam on Tuesday on a three-day visit.
“Had an excellent meeting with General Phan Van Giang, the Defence Minister of Vietnam. We renewed interactions on expanding bilateral cooperation. Our close Defence and Security cooperation is an important factor of stability in the Indo-Pacific region,” Singh tweeted.
The joint vision document provides for significant expansion of defence ties in diverse areas by 2030, officials said.
“We had wide-ranging discussions on effective and practical initiatives to further expand bilateral Defence engagements and regional and global issues,” Singh said.
“After our fruitful deliberations, we signed the “Joint Vision Statement on India-Vietnam Defence Partnership towards 2030”, which will significantly enhance the scope and scale of our defence cooperation,” he added The signing of the vision document to expand bilateral defence and security ties came amid growing congruence between the two countries in the maritime security domain amid China’s increasing muscle-flexing in the region.
Singh is also scheduled to call on Vietnamese President Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh.
Vietnam, an important country of the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations), has territorial disputes with China in the South China Sea region.
India has oil exploration projects in the Vietnamese waters in the South China Sea. India and Vietnam are boosting their maritime security cooperation in the last few years to protect common interests.
Relations between the two countries were elevated to the level of ‘strategic partnership’ during the visit of Vietnam’s then Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung to India in July 2007.
In 2016, during Prime Minister Modi’s visit to Vietnam, bilateral relations were further elevated to a ‘comprehensive strategic partnership’.
Vietnam has become an important partner in India’s Act East policy and the Indo-Pacific vision.