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China should respect international law, says Vietnam ambassador, Pham Sanh Chau

By Priti Prakash | PUBLISHED: 08, Nov 2019, 18:35 pm IST | UPDATED: 08, Nov 2019, 19:01 pm IST

China should respect international law, says Vietnam ambassador, Pham Sanh Chau New Delhi: 'Vietnam follows one China policy but China should respect international law', said Pham Sanh Chau, ambassador of Vietnam to India. In perspective, it was sometime back that a Chinese ship was stationed in Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone close to the ONGC oil rig in Vietnam claimed maritime boundery. Vietnam raised objections at the international forum and expects that such an incident will not be repeated in future, emphasised the envoy at an interaction.

On India's pullout from RCEP, the 16 nation regional trade pact, Chau said India has all the right to take her decision even though it would be a political one.   

Celebrating the 3rd anniversary of India Vietnam Comprehensive Strategic Partnership that was signed when Prime Minister Modi visited Vietnam in 2016, Vietnam embassy has declared November as the Vietnam month with a series of high level events being held across India.

In last 3 years the relations between the India and Vietnam has seen a marked progress. The three pillars of Comprehensive Strategic Partnership that are defined by security, trade and mutual exchanges saw an uptick. Two visits by Prime Minister Modi in 3 years, President Kovind’s and Vice President Venkaih Naidu’s visit from the Indian side last year returned by Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang and Prime Minster Nguyen Xuan Phuc's visit accelerated the ties.
Pham Sanh Chau said, ‘On security India and Vietnam have undertaken joint exercises with India’s Coast Guard in which Vietnamese ship took part. In the recently held 18th security dialogue between Vietnam and India, which is a yearly event and is a security mechanism in order to strengthen relations between the two countries, there were talks about cooperation between two sides which discussed cooperation in defence production.        

Investments and more

Talking to journalists Ambassador Chau said that the credit line of 100 million dollars extended by India for defence has been actualized. Trade between India and Vietnam has increased to 14 million dollars and he hopes it will go up by 2020. ONGC, he said, has invested in Vietnam and HCL is investing in technology and informatics. It plans to provide 10,000 jobs in Vietnam. He informed that investment from Vietnam is in form of companies that want to set up plants to manufacture software chips. Think tanks of both countries have established relations. There is exchange of academia. Vietnam and India are working in the area of science and tech and cultural exchanges, he elaborated.  

'What we have not been able to achieve is to open up market access. There is need to expedite the process of setting up pharmaceutical companies,' he expressed.

Direct flight from December

Opening up of direct connectivity from Vietnam and Delhi which was a long awaited decision was the highlight. Chau said, 'Tourism particularly wedding tourism was the more popular one, Indian weddings in Vietnam was a huge cultural affair.' He informed that the number of visitors has increased between the two countries. ‘Now Vietnamese tourists not only go to Buddhist relics but also go to Jaiselmer, Bikener, Sikkim and other places.’ Chau informed that 35000 Vietnamese have come to India and 110,000 Indians visited Vietnam. Hoping that the number will increase after the direct flight to nearly triple the number, Chau said Vietnam received 15 million tourists last year as compared to India at 10 million.

Education hiccups

India has still not been able to become the education destination for Vietnamese students. Reasons are quite a few and substantive. The percentage required for admission in Delhi University surpasses any other university in the world. A percentage of that kind could get any Vietnamese student a scholarship in USA or Europe, Singapore or Malaysia for that matter. Secondly the level of English in India is beyond the comprehension of Vietnamese student even though they are sponsered by MEA. Thirdly and most importantly food is a major issue. Vietnamese students find it difficult to find their kind of food and find it impossible to live on Indian dishes for long.
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