In a development that may irk China, India has decided to train Su-30 fighter pilots from Vietnam and also help in the maintenance of the aircraft. Both the countries on Monday reviewed their bilateral defence cooperation during a meeting between Indian Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and his Vietnamese counterpart Gen Ngo Xuan Lich, PTI reported defence sources as saying. This development comes after the Indian Navy trained the Vietnamese Navy in operating Russian kilo-class submarines. Both use Su-30 fighter aircraft.
However, there is no clarification on the possible sale of BrahMos missiles to Vietnam, which is involved in a territorial dispute with China for several decades. Vietnam is keen to acquire supersonic missiles that can be fired on land, water and underwater. On its part, India has “in principle” agreed to sell the missiles to Vietnam but negotiations in this regard are still on. The missile deal even has the approval of Russia, which is India’s partner in the development of BrahMos missiles.
China would certainly not appreciate the growing Indo-Vietnamese defence ties, especially at a time when it is involved in disputes not only with Vietnam but also several other countries in the South China Sea reason.
Received the Vietnamese Defence Minister Gen. Ngo Xuan Lich & had fruitful discussions on the expanding Indo-Vietnamese defence partnership. pic.twitter.com/nYBzZelQZX
— Manohar Parrikar (@manoharparrikar) December 5, 2016
The Chinese authorities were alarmed when the US President-elect Donald Trump called his Taiwanese counterpart Tsai Ing-wen on Friday last. This was the first high-level talk between the two countries after the US and China established diplomatic ties in 1979.
Commenting on the talk, an article in the Chinese official media, Global Times, today remarked: “Trump, answering the call means that he still has much to learn about how to deal with the Sino-US relationship, especially the Taiwan question.” It further said that the 10-minute conversation may not result in major US policy adjustment towards Taiwan. However, the article urged China to “step up its vigilance” in the matter.
(With agency inputs)