September 2, 2016: Hanoi’s need for bolstered maritime defenses against an increasingly assertive China in the territorially disputed South China Sea is expected to be high on the agenda when Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visits Vietnam later this week.
Professor Sukh Doe Muni, fellow at the Institute for Defense Studies and Analyses in New Delhi, says the Indian leader’s arrival Friday comes as “the question of South China Sea has come up in a big way.”
“Narendra Modi’s visit actually is the strong indication of India showing its friendship, camaraderie, solidarity with Vietnam, particularly at the time when Vietnam is facing lots of pressure in the region from China,” said the former senior Indian diplomat, who once worked in Southeast Asia.
Modi’s Hanoi stopover, which will make him the first Indian prime minister to visit Vietnam in over a decade, comes one day before he’ll join the Group of 20 Summit in Hangzhou, China.
According to Ngo Xuan Binh, director of the Institute of Indian and Southwest Asian Studies in Hanoi, defense is a key part of “traditional” Hanoi-New Delhi relations, and there are mixed reactions among the Vietnamese public.
My Vietnam visit starting today will further cement the close bond between India & Vietnam. https://t.co/7ifSW5PUS5
“Some say Modi’s visit to Vietnam before participating in the G20 summit shows how important Hanoi is to New Delhi, and it’s also a signal to China,” he said. “However, others say the visit has little impact on China, as it is a big partner of Beijing in many aspects.”
But Binh also says the recent tribunal ruling in The Hague, which dealt a legal blow to China’s maritime claims, may bring India and Vietnam into closer diplomatic orbit. Vietnamese experts on Indian affairs, for example, have cited sources claiming that Hanoi entered high-level negotiations in June with New Delhi to buy BrahMos cruise missiles — the world’s highest-velocity anti-ship cruise missile currently in operation — which has prompted concerns from Beijing.
According to IHS Janes, “talks in Hanoi included the option of stationing a team of Indian technicians in the Southeast Asian country to offer the Vietnamese assistance in using the [BrahMos] system,” and that New Delhi officials suggest the weapons transfer might be imminent.
Vietnamese media quoted Indian Ambassador to Hanoi P. Harish as saying this week that New Delhi also hopes to reach agreements with Hanoi in areas of cooperation such as science, technology, defense, and security. But it is unclear whether the two sides will sign any deal on BrahMos.
Greetings to the people of Vietnam on their National Day. Vietnam is a friendly nation with whom we cherish our relationship.
The Stockholm-based International Peace Research Institute recently reported that Vietnam was the eighth-largest arms importer in the world from 2011 to 2015, up from 43rd in the previous five-year period and that India is one of the largest weapons exporters to Vietnam.
Rising tensions over the South China Sea maritime region in recent years have driven Vietnam to buy arms to defend itself. (VOA)
The Rs. 1.10 lakh Samsung Galaxy Z Flip foldable smartphone went out of stock within minutes during its first sale in India on Friday.
Samsung India’s online store put up a ‘sold out’ message for Galaxy Z Flip, less than an hour after the smartphone went on sale online at 11 a.m.. Leading retail outlets, accepting pre-bookings for Galaxy Z Flip, have also run out of stock.
Samsung’s online store and leading retail outlets are accepting pre-bookings against full payment for Galaxy Z Flip, which is priced at Rs. 1,09,999. Consumers, who managed to pre-book the Galaxy Z Flip in India, will start getting deliveries on February 26, Samsung India said in a statement.
Buyers from Samsung online store will be offered premium “white glove” delivery, the company said. According to sources, Galaxy Z Flip which is available in two colours — Mirror Purple and Mirror Black — will be up for pre-bookings again from February 28 and subsequent deliveries will begin in March.
The Galaxy Z Flip comes with a first-of-its-kind foldable glass that features a 6.7-inch display that folds into a stylish and compact form factor. It’s a dual-SIM smartphone, with one eSIM and one Nano-SIM card slot. E-sim services are currently available on Airtel and Jio networks.
In India, the device comes with Snapdrgon 855+ processor and 8/256 GB memory combination. Galaxy Z Flip comes with accidental damage coverage, which includes one-time screen protection and a 24X7 dedicated call centre support in India. (IANS)