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Vietnam opposes military alliances in region: envoy

Vietnam opposes military alliances in region: envoy

News:

  1. Vietnam recently expressed its non-committment in backing the “Quad” or quadrilateral coalition among India, the US, Japan and Australia, saying it welcomes any initiative to bring peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region but is opposed to the formation of any military alliance.

Important Facts:

  1. Vietnam Concerns:
  • Geography: Vietnam sits in the heart of the Indo-Pacific, a maritime zone that the Quad seeks to safeguard.
  • Vietnam also added that its country does not want the region to be a “theatre” of power-play by major powers.
  • Vietnam believes that there was a need to ensure the “full and effective” implementation of the international code of conduct by all parties concerned to maintain peace and stability in the region.
  • Vietnam is one of the claimants to the South China Sea, a disputed region that has been witnessing increased Chinese military presence. Besides China and Vietnam, Taiwan, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei also have overlapping territorial claims in the sea, known to be rich in hydrocarbons.
  1. These comments came three days before President Ram Nath Kovind begins a visit to Vietnam.
  2. About “Quad”:
  • In 2018, India, the US, Australia and Japan gave shape to the long-pending “Quad” Coalition to develop a new strategy to keep the critical sea routes in the Indo-Pacific free of any influence.
  • The move was seen as an effort to contain China’s growing influence in the Indo-Pacific region.
  • The US has been pushing for a greater role for India in the Indo-Pacific which is seen by many countries as an effort to contain China’s growing clout in the region.
  • However, India is known to be reluctant in giving military shape to “Quad”.
  1. India’s case:
  • Oil exploration in the South China Sea is a sensitive issue in Vietnam-China relations.
  • China has been opposing India’s Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) exploring oil in areas claimed by Vietnam in the South China Sea.
  • India has asserted that ONGC’s exploration is a commercial operation and not connected with the dispute.
  1. The major priorities in India by Vietnam would include the following:
  • Helping establish a direct flight between the two countries.
  • Bringing Vietnam’s national television service to New Delhi.
  • Clearing hurdles to improved bilateral trade especially in certain fruits
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