Vietnam Foreign Minister, Pham Binh Minh on 11 July 2013 at New Delhi declared that India has the right to pursue exploration and exploitation work for hydrocarbons in South China Sea, in the Vietnamese Exclusive Economic Zone.
The announcement was made by Minh after the Joint Commission meet with Salman Khurshid, the Union External Affairs Minister. He supported his declaration by stating that with this stand, Vietnam is in a position that there is a need of respecting the UN Convention on the Law (UNCLOS) of the sea to solve the issues in the South China Sea in a peaceful manner.
Decisions Made and Points Discussed
• Vietnam also supported India’s stand in the Look East Policy that puts an emphasis on more active role in the Asia Pacific region" and the world at large.
• During the 15th Meet of the India-Vietnam Joint Commission, the issue of the Maritime Rights in the South and East China Seas were also discussed and the two sides reached to the conclusion of respecting the UNCLOS needs.
• It was decided that the two sides will settle the maritime issue with each other in a peaceful manner, through dialogues, as India wants to keep the maritime lanes open in the south china sea that acts as a gateway to the East Asia for shipping purposes
• To patrol the border areas, India will provide patrol vehicles to Vietnam
• For setting up Nam Trai-IV hydropower project and Binh Bo Pumping station, both the sides have also signed a 19.5 million US dollar line of credit
• An agreement was reached between the two sides to have direct flights between the two nations to boost ties and tourism between the two countries. A joint trade commission would also be formed to achieve a set trade target if 7 billion US dollar by 2015
• Vietnam also said that it will support Indian bid for a permanent seat in the expanded UN Security Council
India Vietnam Economic Relations
• Vietnam has chosen, Tata Power for development of a 1.8 billion US dollar 2X660 MW Long Phu 2 Thermal Power Project in Soc Trang province of Southern Vietnam. Tata power won the bid from Russian and South Korean companies.
• India has also extended 164.5 million US dollar, 17 Lines of Credit that includes the Nam Trai-IV hydropower project and Binh Bo Pumping station already inked to Vietnam.
• India is also setting up a $2 million Vietnam-India Advanced Resource Centre in ICT (ARC-ICT) in Hanoi.
• Earlier, India provided the PARAM Supercomputer, as a grant, for use in multiple applications. PARAM costs 4.7 crore rupees.
Issues in South China Sea for India
Although, Vietnam has maintained a firm stand of its right in the South China Sea off Vietnam's coast based in the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, 1982, but China in the past raised objections to OVL’s participation in the oil blocks of area. OVL is the foreign arm of ONGC.