India and Vietnam recently held the 3rd Maritime Security Dialogue in New Delhi, underscoring their commitment to sustaining a secure maritime environment amidst growing Chinese aggression in the region. The dialogue brought together senior officials from both countries, focusing on reinforcing regional and international mechanisms to enhance comprehensive maritime security. This article explores the significance of the maritime security dialogue and the various aspects that make maritime cooperation between India and Vietnam crucial.
Addressing Regional Concerns
China’s assertive actions in the South China Sea have raised concerns among neighboring countries, including India and Vietnam. Both nations are directly affected by China’s territorial claims and activities. Maritime cooperation enables them to collaborate, strengthen their positions, and collectively address disputes while upholding international law. By joining forces, India and Vietnam aim to counterbalance Chinese influence and maintain stability, security, freedom of navigation, and a rules-based order in the Indo-Pacific region.
Strengthening Strategic Partnership
Maritime cooperation between India and Vietnam serves as a cornerstone for their strategic partnership. It fosters shared interests and objectives, contributing to regional stability, economic growth, energy security, and the safeguarding of maritime interests. By engaging in comprehensive maritime security initiatives, the two countries deepen their bilateral ties and enhance their broader engagement in the Indo-Pacific region.
Maintaining Maritime Domain Awareness
Collaborative efforts in maritime surveillance, intelligence sharing, and joint patrolling bolster the maritime domain awareness of both India and Vietnam. This heightened awareness enables them to combat illicit activities such as illegal fishing, territorial encroachments, and expansion of military presence. Additionally, it strengthens their ability to counter common security threats like terrorism and piracy. Through information sharing, joint exercises, and capacity building, the two countries enhance their preparedness and responsiveness in safeguarding their maritime interests.
Maritime cooperation opens avenues for joint exploration and development of offshore energy resources. By leveraging their combined efforts, India and Vietnam enhance their energy security and reduce dependence on external sources. Cooperation in this domain contributes to sustainable development and mitigates the risks associated with energy supply vulnerabilities.
In light of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), India and Vietnam can utilize their maritime cooperation to develop alternative economic corridors and connectivity projects. By offering viable alternatives to the BRI, the two countries can enhance regional economic integration, diversify trade routes, and reduce dependency on China’s infrastructure initiatives. Maritime cooperation not only facilitates trade facilitation and economic growth but also fosters connectivity and promotes the development of maritime infrastructure.