India should not let this opportunity go...
Vietnam’s request for military assistance from India, primarily in the naval field, has put South Block in a quandary, said official sources.On the one hand, India would like to pay back Vietnam for its assistance in consistently bolstering its case at multilateral fora such as the Association of South East Asian Nations (Asean), and on the other, it would not want to irk China as the plea has come shortly after exchanges between Beijing and New Delhi over Oil & Natural Gas Commission Videsh (ONGC Videsh) prospecting for oil and gas in a portion of South China Sea claimed by both China and Vietnam.
Vietnam President Troun Tan Sang made the request in four fields — submarine training, conversion training for its pilots to fly Sukhoi-30, modernisation of a strategic port and transfer of medium-sized warships.
In fact, the sources said, the Vietnam President overlooked protocol to meet senior Indian officials and ensured the timing of their commercial flight was revised to accommodate the unscheduled meeting. Vietnam had asked India to transfer Brahmos cruise missiles and offer its small civil nuclear plants for selection.