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Prime Minister of Vietnam to hold a virtual summit with Indian PM

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Prime Minister of Vietnam to hold a virtual summit with Indian PM

Screen Shot 2020 12 20 at 2 32 47 PM
Photo: Reuters

Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold a virtual summit today.

The leaders will discuss fostering the Vietnam-India comprehensive strategic partnership and the shared concerns of regional and international security.

Expect the summit to focus on keeping the Indo-Pacific region free and open. However, the two countries hold different approaches to regional stability. While Vietnam welcomes India’s support for free navigation and contests China’s assertiveness in the South China Sea, it does not advocate for specific containment policies. In contrast, India’s approach is shaped by its Act East Policy that aims to counter the Sino-centric regional order through engagement with ASEAN.

India will not assure ASEAN of its growing presence in the region through escalating tensions with China and is likely to pay more attention to bilateral and multilateral trade relations over time. As trade with external powers is the key economic driver of ASEAN countries, more trade opportunities with India could help ASEAN diversify trade relations and protect their economies from too much dependence on China.

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