New Delhi, Aug 18: In what could further deteriorate Sino-Indian bilateral ties, Vietnam on Friday confirmed the procurement of BrahMos Cruise Missiles from India.
The acquisition of BrahMos by Vietnam is likely to embolden its self-defence programme amid the row prevailing in the South China Sea, the joint water body where Beijing has escalated its presence.
The Vietnamese Foreign Ministry today announced the acquisition of the cruise missiles from New Delhi, in accordance with the Vietnam-India Comprehensive Strategic Partnership in Defence.
“The procurement of defence equipment by Vietnam is consistent with the policy of peace and self-defence and is the normal practice in national defence,” said the Ministry spokesperson Le Thi Thu Hang.
China’s People’s Liberation Army, in the past year, had objected to the deployment of BrahMos missiles by India at Arunachal border. The PLA claimed that the move would create “Sino-Indian rivalry” and “negative impact” on the relations between the two nations.
According to defence experts, the anti-ship supersonic nature of Brahmos missiles provide an edge to the Indian forces. With Vietnam acquiring the state-of-the-art defence equipment from India, it is bound to raise concerns for Beijing on the eastern front.
Vietnam, along with Cambodia, Laos and Japan, have objected against China’s “aggressive policies” in the South China Sea. The nations, backed by US and India, have accused Beijing of converting shoals and tiny islands in the joint waterbody into full-fledged military bases.
As the crisis deepens in the South China Sea, Beijing, in the past month lashed out at US and its allies for “meddling” in the region. “There are some nations which wants to create conflict among us. They want to create disability in region and stir up trouble. We need to unite against them,” Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said.
His views, however, were not supported by Vietnam, Cambodia and Japan.
Apart from the ongoing row in the South China Sea, Hanoi and Beijing share a history of bilateral friction, with the two Asian nations being locked in a war in 1979. Both sides had incurred massive casualties. China, however, failed in curbing Vietnam’s involvement in neighbouring Cambodia, which was the reason which had triggered the military conflict.