India-Vietnam Relations: Need for Enhanced Cooperation

Panjaj Kumar Jha was Associate Fellow at Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, New Delhi. Click here for detail profile.
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  • November 2008

    Improved India-Vietnam relations are guided both by their common historical experiences and their mutual concerns in the post-cold war context. Both have suffered aggression from China in the past and had good relations with the former Soviet Union. In fact, India was the only non-communist country to recognize the unified Vietnam and, ever since, they have had a friendly relationship, one that has stood the test of time. However, in the post-cold war context the shadow of China looms large over this relationship. As India's 'Look East' policy matures, New Delhi is now seeking to engage countries in the Chinese periphery. The changing geostrategic dynamics have also forced Vietnam to forge greater strategic cooperation with India. This paper argues that India has to identify potential additional areas of cooperation and proactively engage Vietnam to further strengthen this relationship