Indian Minister of Commerce, Industry and Textiles Anand Sharma visited Hanoi earlier this month to discuss cooperation in energy, medicine and information technology with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung. In an email interview, David Brewster, a visiting fellow at the Strategic and Defense Studies Center at the Australian National University and the author of “India as an Asia Pacific Power,” discussed India-Vietnam relations.
WPR: How extensive are trade and diplomatic ties between Vietnam and India?
David Brewster: India and Vietnam have a long-standing political relationship dating back to the 1960s, when India gave rhetorical support to North Vietnam’s fight against the U.S. in Indochina. They also shared close military relationships with the Soviet Union for much of the Cold War. The political relationship has been revived over the past decade or so as a result of shared concerns about China’s power in the region. Vietnam is now one of India’s key political allies in the Asia Pacific.