China to Exert Pressure on Vietnam Leader to Scuttle Defense Deal with India
With India and Vietnam enhancing their military ties, China refuses to play the role of a mere spectator. Several media reports claimed that an anxious Chinese leadership is likely to exert pressure on Vietnam's communist party leader Nguyen Phu, who is slated to arrive in Beijing on Thursday for a state-level visit.
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The focus of Nguyen's visit would be on regional security issues, with contagious issues like South China Sea and recent defense pacts signed with India expected to become talking points during his visit.
Sources in Beijing claimed that New Delhi's recent proposal to sell Akash surface-to-air missile to Vietnam is certainly likely to come up during the discussion.
The increasing defense ties between India and Vietnam have surely made Beijing immensely uncomfortable. The Chinese leadership apparently sees this defense cooperation as New Delhi's ploy to gain strategic footprint in its backyard.
Apart from Akash missile, New Delhi has also proposed to sell Brahmos ballistic missile and offer training to Vietnamese soldiers. Additionally, Indian Prime Minister announced a credit line of $500 million for buying military equipments during his visit to Hanoi last year.
Meanwhile, Chinese media is all going out in instigating its leaders to swiftly counter New Delhi's latest ploy during Nguyen's visit. The Global Times, mouthorgan of China's communist party, has categorically warned India that China will not sit idle if it sells missiles to Vietnam.
Nguyen's tour itinerary is still not known and is not clear whether he will be meeting with the Chinese president and premier. But the Vietnamese leader will most probably hold talks with other top Chinese leaders and ministers as well as key communist party leaders.