Vietnam, India Enhance Comprehensive Strategic Partnership

The year 2022 is of great significance in the traditional partnership between Vietnam and India. The two countries will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations, the 15th anniversary of the strategic partnership, and the 6th anniversary of the comprehensive strategic partnership
January 09, 2022 | 08:03
Vietnam, India Enhance Comprehensive Strategic Partnership
Prime Minister Modi offered incense at Quan Su Pagoda. Photo: VnExpress

Major events between the two countries

The leaders of the two countries attach great importance to the commemoration of key events marking the relationship between the two countries, considering this an important milestone, a development stage, and opening a new stage in the relations between Vietnam and India.

A series of important activities are expected to be carried out at all levels to celebrate these important events in both Vietnam and India such as a high-level delegation exchange and an online meeting between leaders of the two countries; exchange of congratulatory messages between leaders of the Party, State, and Unions of the two countries; organize cooperation in the fields of politics, defense, security, trade, science and technology; and organize meetings and seminars in the capital and major cities in Vietnam and India.

Historical and cultural similarities

Looking back at the history of the relationship between the two countries, the highlight is that the two countries have a long-standing traditional relationship, with close ties in many aspects, such as history, culture, economy, politics, and religion.

Experiencing ups and downs, and changes in the history of the two peoples, the relationships have been maintained to this day. It is a solid foundation for the formation and development of the comprehensive friendship and cooperation between India and Vietnam.

Vietnam and India have natural historical similarities. The Indian civilization originated from two great rivers, the Indus and the Ganges, and the Dai Viet civilization also originated from two large rivers on the Indochina peninsula, the Red River and the Mekong River.

These flows are the source of the wet rice civilization that flourished in both countries, creating two rich cultures as we know today.

Thousands of years ago, the first relations between the two countries appeared through trade relations, exchange and cultural acculturation between the two peoples.

Indian culture has left many traces on the territory of Vietnam. The biggest and most profound legacy is the influence of Buddhism.

President Ho Chi Minh once said: “The people of our two countries have long-standing relations. Indian culture and Buddhism have been transmitted to Vietnam since ancient times.

Buddhism is the only religion that came to Vietnam by peaceful means. As Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said at the Quan Su Pagoda in Hanoi during his September 2016 visit: “Those who brought wars and invaders to Vietnam have suffered catastrophic failures, but those, who bring peace to Vietnam will be glorified.”

Flame of revolution

Another significant similarity is that Vietnam and India were both the first countries in the national liberation movement to resist colonialism and gain independence (Vietnam in 1945 and India in 1947).

If the August revolution of the Vietnamese people was led by the genius leader Ho Chi Minh, the Indian people's struggle for independence was also led by the great leader Mahatma Gandhi.

Vietnam, India Enhance Comprehensive Strategic Partnership
Indian leaders welcome President Ho Chi Minh to visit India in 1958.

After gaining independence, official friendship and cooperation relations between the two countries were gradually built.

Former Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru visited Vietnam in 1954 shortly after peace was restored in North Vietnam.

In response, Former Prime Minister Pham Van Dong visited India in 1955, and President Ho Chi Minh visited India in 1958.

On January 7, 1972, the two countries officially established diplomatic relations, ushering in a new era of strong development of multifaceted relationships between the two countries.

Vietnam and India cooperate for the development

The two countries regularly exchange and meet at all levels, especially high-level visits to enhance understanding and cooperation, and make the two countries' relations constantly develop in all fields.

Former Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung's official visit to India in July 2007 resulted in many signed agreements.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Vietnam in September 2016 resulted in the signing of 12 cooperation documents.

Among those documents is a Joint Statement on upgrading the strategic partnership to a "comprehensive strategic partnership," bringing the traditional friendship between the two countries to a new height, for the sustainable development, peace, stability, and prosperity of Asia and the world.

In recent years, the Vietnam-India relationship has developed strongly on the basis of the key pillars of politics, defense-security, economy-trade, culture, and human resource training.

Vietnam, India Enhance Comprehensive Strategic Partnership
A ceremony to welcome National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue in New Delhi, India on December 15, 2021. Photo: VNA

On the multilateral level, Vietnam appreciates India's international role and position and supports India's status as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council.

The two countries regularly coordinate with each other at international and regional forums on regional and global issues of common concern.

Currently, Vietnam and India are also sharing great similarities on the path of development. Both have certain advantages in terms of geopolitics, geo-economics, potential, and resources, and have great needs for reform, integration, and development.

The two countries are making efforts to move forward in the context of the shifting balance of influence towards the Asia-Pacific, the Indo-Pacific, the high role of emerging economies, and the strengthening of regional cooperation.

It can be said that this is a favorable time for the two countries relations in all fields to have great qualitative changes.

The challenge is that the two countries need to make more efforts to take advantage of these opportunities and turn the potential of the bilateral relationship into reality, for the benefit of the two peoples, peace, stability, and development of the Asia-Pacific region.

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