In a first, the armies of India and Vietnam on January 29, 2018 began a six-day long military exercise in Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh.
The exercise being the first-ever between the two nations is a proof of their growing defence ties. Titled ‘VINBAX’, it will continue for six days.
• India and Vietnam have been exploring ways to strengthen defence cooperation.
• The exercise follows Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s visit to India last week to participate in the India- ASEAN Commemorative summit and attend India’s Republic Day celebrations.
• The issue of bolstering defence and security cooperation figured prominently during the bilateral talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Vietnamese PM.
• Defence ties between India and Vietnam have been on an upswing with the primary focus being cooperation in the maritime domain.
• India and Vietnam had signed a protocol on defence cooperation in 1994.
• The partnership was later elevated to strategic level in 2007 and the two nations signed a pact on boosting bilateral defence cooperation in 2009.
• The strategic partnership was then elevated to a comprehensive strategic partnership in September 2016.