Given the ambivalence of some ASEAN countries to China’s rise and Beijing’s hardnosed strategy of using its financial heft to buy influence across Asia, it is important for democracies like India and Japan to foster cooperation with Vietnam.
It is not very often that New Delhi hosts the Prime Minister and the President of the same country within a span of five weeks. But that’s exactly what Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi did, inviting Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc as one of 10 chief guests – all heads of ASEAN governments – for the Republic Day parade on January 26 and then playing host to that country’s President, Tran Dai Quang, in the first week of March.
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