Vietnam Academy Of Social Sciences

India's Rise and Its impact on regional security architecture.


On the morning of September 20th, 2018, Institute of Indian and Southwest Asian Studies under the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences (Academy) was organizing an international workshop with the topic on “India’s Rise and its impact on regional security architecture”. This was a topic that was gaining a lot of attention in the forums as well as the media, because it emphasized the role of India in a complex dynamic space that was difficult to anticipate – Asia - Pacific and Indian Ocean Region.

Assoc.Prof.Dr. Bui Nhat Quang, Vice President of the Academy delivered at the workshop  

Opening speech, Assoc.Prof.Dr. Bui Nhat Quang, Alternate member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam, Vice President of the Academy, said that the world was witnessing increasingly fierce competition among big countries. From East to West, each region saw that great powers were scrambling for influence, resources, markets and pulling smaller nations into their power. In that context, India was expected to make up a strategic balance in the region that would create fair, free and open competition among nations. The workshop was organized with the participation of many domestic and foreign scholars, which would contribute a more specific look for the "The Rise of India" in many different angles. Thereby, scientists would clarify the India's role on regional security architecture in Indo-Pacific and the influence of India on both maritime and non-traditional security.

The workshop received 26 speeches, divided into discussion groups at three sessions: Session 1. The Rise of India; Session 2. The influence of India on regional security architecture in Indo-Pacific; Session 3. India–Vietnam relations in the regional security context. Accordingly, scientists discussed a number of issues related to the workshop topic, many of which were discussed in India's capacity, potential, role... in changing the balance of power in Asia.

According to Prof.Dr. Sinderpal Singh, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University (NTU Singapore), had three unresolved issues to assert the Rise of India as an important strategic factor in global geopolitics, when the imprint of China was spreading on military and economic fields in Indian Ocean was very strong. First of all, while Washington looked at India, East Asia and the Pacific as major pillars in the strategy, India had a broader view, asserting that those pillars must include the Indian Ocean and Africa. That led to the disagreement of these two countries. For instance, India believed that Iran played an important role for the security of Indo-Pacific, but the US disagreed. Second, the United States supported India in expanding its influence in the region, but New Delhi rated East Asia as less important than South Asia in terms of strategic. Thus, East Asia only came in second place. The third is the difference in stance in the South China Sea. India refused to participate in patrolling the maritime freedom, partly due to this country's laws inconsistent with the 1982 United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). India didn't want to become embroiled in territorial disputes between China and some ASEAN members when Beijing claimed to have a core interest in the South China Sea. While China recognized the interests of India in the Bay Bagal, Beijing also expected New Delhi to do the same in the South China Sea.

Through the discussion groups, scientists said that India was facing a series of internal problems in reality. Although, in terms of military power, India is one of nine countries that have nuclear weapons and a strong national defense industry with the second largest military force in the world. Under Prime Minister N.Modi, India has been actively promoting cultural, religious and historical values that have been around for thousands of years and has taken new approaches to global and regional issues.

Assoc.Prof.Dr. Nguyen Xuan Trung, Director of Institute of Indian and Southwest Asian Studies at the workshop Panoramic meeting

With deep and specific assessments on the investment policy, the socio-economic potential, visibility, foreign policy of India, views, reactions and other development orientations on maritime security, scientists pointed out that the wide Indian Ocean-Pacific space was shaping a new security architecture with new alignment and order. There was strong competition among the great powers. Rarely had any regions that made many great powers had such "Look East" policy. Thus, the security architecture of this area would be a foundation for future relations and it would shape a new order in the region.

From the Indian government, Mr. Parvathaneni Harish, Indian Ambassador to Vietnam affirmed that this country valued great importance of maritime interests because there were 7,500 km of coastline, 1,200 islands and exclusive economic zone of 2.4 million km2 wide. "The view of India was that all countries were equal in use of public space at sea or in the air. India has dignified maritime freedom, unbridled trade, and settlement of peaceful disputes under international law”, India didn't look Indo-Pacific region as a strategy, a limited the number of members group or a group of countries seeking repression, against any nation. ASEAN would remain the center region in the future, while other countries sought opportunities for cooperation to create a peace and security architecture in the region. India valued great importance of regional connectivity, not only building the infrastructure, but also building trust and also on the principle of respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, negotiation, good management, transparency, feasibility and sustainability...

Assoc.Prof.Dr. Bui Nhat Quang, Vice President took souvenir photos with the delegates Assoc.Prof.Dr. Nguyen Xuan Trung, Director of Institute of Indian and Southwest Asian Studies presented souvenirs to international delegates


In conference summary, Assoc.Prof.Dr. Nguyen Xuan Trung, Director of Institute of Indian and Southwest Asian Studies said that today there were many different views on security architecture in India-Asia-Pacific space, including Recognizing the future of "Indo-Pacific: Freedom and Open" strategy of the United States. How was India's approach to Indo-Pacific regional security? Or the response of "big" countries ... were issues that were receiving a lot of attention, careful research of scientists. In addition, Vietnam - a country located in Asia - Pacific and Indian Ocean region certainly be impacted by the shift of regional security architecture, India–Vietnam relations in general context would also be important partners in the region. Workshops were really a forum for scientists to discuss more deeply about issues related to position, influence, perspective, strategic vision... of India in the regional security architecture. Thereby, contributing to the provision of scientific arguments to promote better India–Vietnam relations and in accordance with the conditions, requirements of each country in the new context.

Pham Vinh Ha


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