India and Vietnam agreed in Hanoi on Tuesday to strengthen their defence cooperation.
The modalities of implementing the 2009 memorandum of understanding in this domain were discussed by Vietnam's National Defence Minister Phung Quang Thanh and Indian Army Chief General V. K. Singh. India's Ambassador to Vietnam, Ranjit Rae, and defence officials were present at the talks.
Gen. Singh, marking the first visit to Vietnam by an Indian Army Chief in over a decade, also met his counterpart there, Deputy Chief of General Staff Pham Hong Loi, for talks on follow-up action. Two areas spotted for immediate cooperation were training of military personnel and dialogue between experts on strategic affairs on both sides.
The National Defence Academy and the Strategic Institute in Hanoi played host to Gen. Singh, who will travel to Ho Chi Minh City for similar interactions at the provincial level before concluding his visit on Thursday.
Defence Minister A. K. Antony is expected to visit Vietnam in October to participate in the first-ever regional meeting of political leaders in the defence field. Vietnam, now chairing the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), has invited India to the Asean+8 Defence Ministers meeting. The 10-member Asean will be joined by Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, Russia, South Korea, and the United States.
The Asean, as the prime mover of this process, has also initiated efforts to convert such a grouping of countries into an expanded East Asia Summit. The Summit, an organisation as different from just a conference, does not include the U.S. and Russia at present.
India has yet to get a leader with the balls to counter the strings of pearls kindly note that bureaucrats have last word in strategy not military men.Furthermore with a broiling internal chaotic political situation how can we tackle outsiders and India is a country where we have unique kind of species politicians Ram Vilas Paswan,Lalu Prasad Yadav,Buddhadeb all vote hungry politicians who impinge national security IMHO.
politicians are there wverywhere and alsmost all of them are power hungry and crazy but there is no alternative to national security for that reason the mobilization of human resource is a must , with indian population the people are a force multiplier what we need is the the people to realize the importance of the situation
as you said politicians are power hungry everywhere but in India's case it is exceptional having said that we need a strong leader not a weakling politician at the head of the country. For Indians to realise that the leader of the country should himself realise this but unfortunately institutions are far from best working.
Take the problem of Naxalites had their been a decision from centre to train all cadres of CRPF at CIJWS and also give them adequate weapons would the job have not been done? The thing is we have the money because if netaji can build park of statues of herself and on top of that provide statues with security force of 1500 men then i don't see where cash is limited.
To get the country forward you need political leadership.
We dont need a string of pearls like China as we dont have to bother about our energy supplies. India can have good relations with Vietnam. Try to explore possibilities of arms sales to them including some credit if they require. Maintain good relations. That is all. Rest will all fall into place.
Right now we dont have the kind of force structure that we can develop bases as such all over the world. may be in another 15 years time but till then make sure we have good relations with all SE Asian countries including military and then take it from there.
We can build some destroyers or frigates for them . Actually its Vietnamese Navy that suffered most in last fight against China. We have capacity to build a few sea based weapons for them . Let Russia to sell other weapons to them .
The compromise cannot be at the expense of our own operational readiness. We cant let go of a couple Shivaliks to make something for someone else. In fact even if India adds more capacity, it will be utilized for Indian Navy orders. I think the way India can go about is if it can outsource to private shipyards in India and encourage private players to invest in shipbuilding where we can execute export orders for our warships.
" It is clear that military clashes would bring bad results to all countries in the region involved, but China will never waive its right to protect its core interest with military means."--- From a "Global Times" editorial of July 26,2010
(July 30, Chennai, Sri Lanka Guardian) After having adopted a soft policy towards China since coming to office in January 2009, the administration of President Barack Obama is showing signs of starting to articulate in public its concerns over the implications of the growth of the Chinese naval power and its likely impact on the freedom of navigation and maritime trade. The public articulation of the concerns of the Obama Administration in this regard were triggered off by China's ambivalence on the question of action against North Korea for allegedly sinking a South Korean naval ship in March and its strong statements in recent months on its rights in the South China Sea and its determination to play what Beijing looks upon as its rightful role in the Western Pacific.
Interestingly and intriguingly, the concerns of the Obama Administration over the ambivalent policies of China in this region and over the implications of the increasing maritime assertiveness of the Chinese Navy were voiced by two dignitaries of the Obama Administration, who recently visited New Delhi and Hanoi, thereby hinting that there was a triangular convergence of these concerns in the US, India and Vietnam. Does this presage the beginning of a thinking in the corridors of power in Washington on the likely benefits of a co-ordinated strategy by the US, India and Vietnam towards the growing assertiveness of the Chinese Navy?
That is the questioin that has started bothering some analysts in China. While they have so far refrained from naming India in this context, they have already named Vietnam and cautioned it not to be misled by professions of US friendship for that country.
The opening salvo in the articulation of the US concerns was fired by Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, during an official visit to India.He told Indian media persons on July 23,2010, that China's aggressive posturing over territorial claims in the Pacific and Indian Ocean regions was a matter of concern that the US shared with India. He was quoted by the Indian media as saying as follows: "China seems to be asserting itself more and more with respect to the kinds of territorial claims. They seem to be taking a much more aggressive approach to the near-sea areas recently....There is growing concern over it. In my perspective, we (the US) must work with India in this regard.In my recent interactions with its leadership, India too has expressed similar concerns." He gave the example of recent public statements by China about the US Navy operating in the Yellow Sea. Noting that the US navy was in the international waters, Mullen said despite such remarks by China, the US would continue to operate in the international waters there.
Admiral Mullen said further that the US believed China was shifting focus from land-centric to air and maritime capabilities. "Fairly recently I have gone from being curious about where China is headed to being concerned about it. One of the characteristics that does not exist as far as China appears militarily is transparency. In fact, there is opaqueness to it that we continue to really scratch our heads about from a military standpoint. We have virtually no relationship with the Chinese military. If we have such relationship, we can agree on and disagree on, and also we can learn from each other." He pointed out that the Pacific and Indian Ocean regions were critical to economic and trade activities and that stability in these two regions was absolutely vital.
The same day in her address to the Foreign Ministers of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) at Hanoi, Mrs.Hillary Clinton, the US Secretary of State, said that resolving disputes over the South China Sea was "pivotal" to regional stability and suggested an international mechanism to solve the issue. "The United States has a national interest in freedom of navigation, open access to Asia's maritime commons, and respect for international law in the South China Sea," Mrs. Clinton said. According to the "China Daily",Washington has called for unfettered access to the area and accused Beijing of adopting an increasingly aggressive stance on the high seas.
While Beijing has not yet reacted to the remarks of Admiral Mullen in New Delhi, it reacted immediately and with virulence against the remarks of Mrs.Clinton--- thereby indicating that it possibly distrusts Vietnam more than it distrusts India. The Chinese Foreign Minister,Mr.Yang Jiechi. who challenged the remarks of Mrs.Clinton at the Hanoi ARF meeting, strongly opposed attempts to internationalise the South China Sea issue."What will be the consequences if this issue is turned into an international or multilateral one? It will only make matters worse and the resolution more difficult," Mr. Yang said and added:"International practices show that the best way to resolve such disputes is for countries concerned to have direct bilateral negotiations. "
Mr.Yang said in his rejoinder to Mrs.Clinton: "China has territorial disputes with a few ASEAN member countries. The South China Sea is currently a peaceful area with navigational freedom.Trade has been growing rapidly in this region and China has become the number one trading partner of many countries in the region.In my bilateral discussions with both ASEAN colleagues and others, they all say that there is no threat to regional peace and stability.It is not China but some other country that is "coercing" regional countries to take sides on the issue. Asia can solve its own problems without interference by outside countries. ASEAN is also not an appropriate forum to resolve the issue.China and some ASEAN nations have territorial and maritime rights disputes because we are neighbors. And those disputes shouldn't be viewed as ones between China and ASEAN as a whole just because the countries involved are ASEAN members.The Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea signed by China and ASEAN member countries in 2002 has played a good role in containing regional conflicts and will see high-level meetings when conditions are mature. In the declaration, the countries pledged to exercise restraint, and not to make it an international issue or multilateral issue.Channels of discussion are there, and they are open and smooth."
There is suspicion in China that Mrs.Clinton would not have made such a strong statement without the tacit concurrence of Hanoi. Mr.Su Hao, a researcher on Asia-Pacific studies with the Beijing-based China Foreign Affairs University, said there had been many "subtle changes" in the South China Sea issue in the past year, with countries including Vietnam becoming much tougher and Washington moving away from its previous low-profile tone. "I'm sure the US is the basic reason for the change - it is supporting the other sides," Su said and added: "During a recent visit to Vietnam, I told a Vietnamese officer with diplomatic background that our late leader Deng Xiaoping had said 'since we can't solve the South China Sea issue, we can leave it to the next generation which will be smarter." According to Mr. Su, the Vietnamese officer replied: "That is why we have to solve it now." Mr. Shi Zhan, an international studies researcher at China Foreign Affairs University, said the US is re-flexing its muscles in the South China Sea partly because of the resources in the area.
In an editorial under the title "American Shadow Over South China Sea" published on July 26, the "Global Times" of Beijing wrote: "Maintaining and playing up regional tensions are typical American ways of keeping a presence and causing interference in disputed areas.
On Friday (July 23), US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton expressed "concern" over navigation freedom and offered help in facilitating communication in the South China Sea. Are any of them a major concern in the region at the moment? No. The remarks of secretary Clinton were, of course, made after various US think tanks and media groups created much fanfare about potential clashes that would necessitate the step-in of the US government. Clinton's words clearly signaled America's strategic intentions in the South China Sea. The US will not put regional interests first. This is something that Southeast Asian countries have to bear in mind. Regional stability will be difficult to maintain if the countries concerned allow themselves to be controlled by the strategic guidance of the US. China and its neighboring countries have built a consultative mechanism to smooth out disagreements in the disputed water, and the communication channels are open. Conflicts, though they appear sporadically, are expected to be diminished with deeper understanding. Fully aware of the complexity of the region, China offered a solution of "shelving disagreement and joint development" to help foster trust and move the issue forward. China's objective is clear: to build strategic trust with neighboring countries under China's tolerance and patience. But that hard-earned trust is under threat with the US intention to meddle in the region, and force countries to choose between China and the US. With growing economic power, China and the US may encounter more clashes in China's adjacent sea. Few Southeast Asian countries would like to get in the middle of Sino-US tensions, but like many other regions, they are caught in a dilemma: economically close to China yet militarily guarded against China. Southeast Asian countries need to understand that any attempt to maximize gains by playing a balancing game between China and the US is risky. China's tolerance was sometimes taken advantage of by neighboring countries to seize unoccupied islands and grab natural resources under China's sovereignty. China's long-term strategic plan should never be taken as a weak stand. It is clear that military clashes would bring bad results to all countries in the region involved, but China will never waive its right to protect its core interest with military means. To maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea, the solution of "shelving disagreement and joint development" is the only option. "
In another editorial under the heading "US push in Vietnam suspicious", the "Global Times" wrote on July 28,2010: "In another sign that the US is "back to Southeast Asia," the US is approaching its old adversary in the region. During her two-day stay in Vietnam last week, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton hailed economic cooperation, promised to solve the legacy of Agent Orange, and praised the unlimited potential of improved US-Vietnam relations. The message was clear when the US claimed, on Vietnamese soil, that it is in the US national interest to resolve South China Sea disputes. Embracing a former adversary for broader strategic gains is diplomacy the US is good at. It's true there is still conflict between China and Vietnam over disputed waters and natural resources. Both are hot-button issues that can trigger public resentment toward each other. It is also an obstacle to deepening bilateral ties between China and Vietnam. But from a historical perspective, the two countries have overcome the shadow of past military clashes for mutual benefit. China has been the largest trading partner of Vietnam for five consecutive years. Charting a similar reform road like China, Vietnam is benefiting from economic boom and political stability that is envied by neighboring coun-tries. The desire for mutual economic benefit surpasses the dispute over sea territories and it also lays a solid foundation for solving the dispute peacefully. Two weeks ago, the two sides finished a 1,300-kilometer long land boundary demarcation. Six years ago, the two sides inked the treaty over maritime boundary demarcation at Beibei Gulf, setting a reference point for solving issues over disputed waters in the South China Sea. Pressure to maintain an influence and guard against a rising China, the West is eager to cozy up to Vietnam and other Southeast Asian countries. Meanwhile, the Western media likes to poison Sino-Vietnamese ties by painting China as "an elephant" which can easily trample on the interest of Vietnam.Vietnam should also be careful about not becoming a chess piece for the US as it pursues a broader regional agenda. China does not include Vietnam into its sphere of influence. The two countries are making an effort to build normal nation-to-nation relations. The two can find ways to solve disputes peacefully and avoid being taken advantage of by other countries. "
In bitter attacks on Mrs.Clinton's observations, some Chinese bloggers have accused her of ambushing China in its backyard. There is not yet a smilar reaction against the comments of Admiral Mullen, but the Chinese must be nursing a similar, but not yet openly expressed apprehension that there is another US ambush at New Delhi.
These developments call for a strategic naval dialogue between India and Vietnam in order to assess the seriousness of the Chinese maritime threats to the region and exchange views on the options available to India and Vietnam to protect their maritime interests. It would not be advisable to associate the US with the India-Vietnam dialogue on this subject. Any Indo-US dialogue should be kept separate in order not to create any fears in Beijing that India, the US and Vietnam are ganging up to prevent the emergence of China as a naval power.
( The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai, and Associate of the Chennai Centre for China Studies. E-mail: [email protected] )
India to help enhance Vietnamese military capabilities
HANOI (PTI): In an effort to boost bilateral defence ties, India and Vietnam Wednesday announced a slew of measures, including joint army training in mountain and jungle warfare and cooperation in upgrading Hanoi's military capabilities, especially of its Navy.
A day after the First ASEAN Plus Eight Defence Ministers (ADMM) meeting here in which China and US too participated, Indian Defence Minister A K Antony held talks with top Vietnamese leadership during which these measures were decided.
Antony met Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and Defence Minister Gen Phung Quang Thanh here, among the top Vietnamese leaders.
At the bilateral meetings, the two sides decided that India would provide support to Vietnam "to enhance and upgrade" the capabilities of this country's defence services in general and Navy in particular.
Indian Defence Minister AK Antony inspects the guard of honour during a ceremonial reception in Hanoi, Vietnam on Wednesday. A PTI photo
"India will help Vietnam in its capacity building for repair and maintenance of its military platforms. The armies of the two countries will also cooperate in areas like Information Technology and English Training of Vietnamese Army personnel," an Indian Defence Ministry official said here.
Both the armies would also have a joint training in mountain and jungle warfare in India next year, apart from the two sides working towards developing cooperation among defence institutes and establishing linkages for sharing experience and knowledge in military affairs.
Antony offered assistance to Vietnamese forces in UN peace-keeping operations in which India has vast experience.
The two sides also discussed global and regional security issues, particular those concerning the Asian region.
Antony told the Vietnamese leaders that their country occupied a strategic position in India's policy priorities, both bilaterally as well as under its 'Look East' policy.
Gen Thanh thanked India for its valuable contribution to making the ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting a great success.
He said India occupied a special position in Hanoi's foreign policy framework and noted, "We are indeed moved by your support."
Gen Thanh welcomed more port calls by Indian naval warships to Vietnam and offered maintenance and repair facilities at Vietnamese ports for these war machines.
Antony also extended an invitation to his Vietnamese counterpart to visit India next year
BY: The Telegraph.
The Indian Army has decided to learn from the masters of the bush war — Vietnam — in the middle of an intensive study of Maoist military tactics.
The irony is hard to miss. When the Naxalites emerged in India in the late-1960s, a popular slogan that reverberated in Bengal was “Tomar naam, amar naam, Vietnam, Vietnam”.
Translated it means “Your name, my name, Vietnam, Vietnam”, but the English does not have quite the same ring as the passionate Bengali in which the slogan was chorused.
That was in solidarity with the Communist-led resistance war against the Americans and their puppet South Vietnamese government. The struggle that drove the Americans out in 1975 was probably the most successful guerrilla war in modern history.
Today, nearly 35 years later, defence minister A.K. Antony and his Vietnamese counterpart General Phung Quang Thanh — a hero of that guerrilla war — agreed that the armies of the two countries will begin joint exercises from next year.
In 1968, a year after the Naxalbari uprising in India, Company Commander Phung, then a 19-year-old, was running the “Ho Chi Minh Trail” — a complex network of jungle routes that wove and tunnelled through forests to supply logistics to Viet Cong guerrillas. As a squad commander, he is personally reputed to have killed eight assaulting airborne troops while defending a guerrilla position atop a hill.
India’s Maoists, who have killed over 200 police troops this year, have drawn many of their lessons from Vietnam’s resistance war that serves as a model to them along with the tactics enunciated by Mao Zedong and Che Guevara.
The first exercise between the Indian and Vietnamese armies in mountain and jungle warfare will be held in India.
The Indian Army has limited its current role in the counter-Maoist offensive to training the police and logistics. But its Allahabad-headquartered Central Command is specifically tasked with mapping the Maoist militancy, analysing their tactics and equipping the army with the right resources.
None of this has figured in the agreement reached by A.K. Antony and General Phung Quang Thanh yesterday. The Indian Army believes it is among the very best in jungle warfare — given its counter-insurgency experience in the Northeast and in Jammu and Kashmir.
US troops have also been in training at the Indian Army’s Counter Insurgency and Jungle Warfare School in Vairangte, Mizoram, where the first drill with the Vietnamese is likely to be conducted.
Defence ministry sources said as part of India’s Look East Policy, New Delhi has offered to Hanoi its skills to “enhance and upgrade the capabilities of its (Vietnam’s) three services in general and its navy in particular”.
Antony announced India’s help at bilateral meetings with the top Vietnamese leadership, including President Nguyen Minh Triet, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and defence minister General Phung Quang Thanh.
“India will help Vietnam in its capacity building for repair and maintenance of its platforms. The armies of the two countries will also co-operate in areas like IT and English training of Vietnamese Army personnel,” Antony said yesterday.
BY: The Indian Express Limited.
In a significant gesture, Vietnam has offered repair and maintenance facilities for Indian warships at its ports, taking bilateral military relations up several notches. After a meeting with Defence Minister A K Antony in Hanoi, his counterpart Gen Phung Quang Thanh welcomed more port calls by the Indian Navy and offered maintenance and repair facilities for warships at Vietnam ports.
This would extend a major advantage to the Indian Navy that has been scaling up operations in the region, specially in the South China Sea where several patrols have been carried out in the past few years. Vietnam is strategically located in the region and has several sea ports, including Hai Phong, located near China’s Hainan island, that could be of great interest to India.
Hai Phong is possibly the nearest port made available for the Indian Navy to the Hainan island where the biggest Chinese naval base in the region is located. China has constructed a major naval base that includes an underground facility that can hide the movement of submarines from spy satellites.
The military facility, the nearest Chinese naval base to India, is located barely 1,200 nautical miles from the strategic Mallaca strait and provides access to the Indian Ocean — a region that New Delhi considers its personal security responsibility. In 2008, China deployed its new Jin-class nuclear submarine, which is armed with 12 nuclear tipped missiles, to Hainan.
Vietnam’s offer came even as Antony announced that India would host a joint jungle and mountain warfare exercise with the country next year and New Delhi would help upgrade capabilities of the Vietnamese armed forces.
After meeting with the top Vietnamese leadership including Gen Phung Quang Thanh, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and the President Nguyen Minh Triet in Hanoi on Wednesday, Antony announced that India would help enhance the capabilities of the Vietnamese forces in general and would focus on the Navy in particular.
It may be recalled that India is already supplying spare parts for the Petya-class of light frigates that are operated by the Vietnamese Navy. India has already decommissioned 11 of the Russian origin warships. After Wednesday’s meeting, the Indian Navy will increase its involvement to other types of warships, possibly including maintenance of the new Kilo-class submarines that Vietnam has ordered from Russia.
Speaking after the meeting, Antony said that “New Delhi will provide support to Vietnam to enhance and upgrade capabilities of its Services in general and the Navy in particular” and emphasised that India will help Vietnam in its “capacity building for repair and maintenance of its platforms”. Besides, the “joint training in mountain and jungle warfare in India next year”, the India Army will also impart IT and English Training to Vietnamese Armymen. “The two sides will work towards developing cooperation among defence institutes and establishing links for sharing experience and knowledge,” Antony said.
By P. Chacko Joseph | October 14th, 2010 | Category: General Indian Armed Forces News, Opinions and Articles | No Comments »
Two years back, I was chatting up with 70 Plus year old Major Gen (Retd) E D’Souza, PVSM. He told me that he was selected to go to Singapore to help raise their armed forces. India bargained with China on non interference in Bhutan with its Singapore venture. Subsequently, even after 1962 war with China, Indian Armed forces did not consider China as a major threat as both countries were busy with own business. China and U.S ensured that India remained Pakistan focused. Those days anti-Americanism (to an extent, even today) was running high withing Indian Armed forces and China challenging US was a welcome idea. They said that Chinese nuclear weapons were not threatening at all.
The same was conveyed to me by a Retired Admiral, whom I do not want to name here. But, the Retd Admiral had more points to say. He was worried how south Vietnamese had slowly penetrated what he called a “North Vietnamese dominated government” in Vietnam. He said that, they will open doors for US to come into Vietnam. What US could not do in war, it will do in peace. I had asked him why not arm Vietnamese against Chinese? He replied that Vietnamese have last fought the Chinese and I don’t think they want to get into another confrontation.
We have been hearing reports of Vietnam wanting Prithvi Missile, Brahmos Missile and Indian Navy eying Cam Ran Bay port facilities. We then waited for all this to fructify as Chinese were supplying arms and other support to Pakistanis. But, it did not happen. Again, analyst told us that India did not want to antagonize china. India even did not develop its on areas bordering China. Vietnam was a far away land. Until 2 years back, India was in chorus with South East Asia propagating enough room for China. The quadrilateral exercise that India attended once fell apart. Australia, Japan, India and US were not quadrilateral any more.
Then Chinese cracked the whip. All the collective pretensions of “accommodate China” slogan went up in smoke. Suddenly China was in Kashmir, Spratly Islands and diplomatic offensive. China asked US for this side of the Pacific in joke, that did not go down well with the particular side that Chinese asked for. It also said that Indian Ocean is not “India’s Ocean.”
While south east Asia again began looking at US for sea lane protection, Indian Navy too chugged in with its newly acquired capabilities. Suddenly the Indian Maritime Doctrine talked about roles such as Military, Diplomatic, Constabulary and Benign. To the east, the current Admiral says that Indian area of interest is Strait of Malacca and Beyond. There have been high level exchange of defense personnel between the countries. Indian navy began by sending ship loads of spares for Vietnamese naval ships.
Back in 1991, the father of Modern India, Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao had begun India’s “look east policy.” The momentum went on even after other governments came in. In my opinion, we have reached the next milestone in military domain of Look East policy. In last few days, the India defence minister AK Antony was in Hanoi for First ASEAN Plus Eight Defence Ministers’ Meeting. He did not just go and read out a written text. We heard a slew of military to military co-operation efforts with Vietnam.
Vietnamese Gen Phung Quang Thanh, while expecting more Port Calls by the Indian naval ships, has offered maintenance and repair facilities for Indian naval ships in Vietnam Ports. It can serve both Indian and Vietnamese naval ships as both use Russian equipment.
Indian Army offered Mountain and Jungle Warfare Exercises. But, I sincerely hope, Indian Army will learn from Vietnamese how to build those enormous underground tunnels networks.
Of course, the offer of help in Information technology systems and English language to Vietnamese forces is commendable.
Even if India has been late in engaging Vietnam in military sphere, India should enable Vietnam with weapon systems for protecting itself from a larger adversary. This is not just the need of the hour, but also a historic responsibility for and of India in South east Asia.