Visit of USI-Institute for Defense Strategy (IDS), Vietnam Bilateral Discussion

Visit of USI-Institute for Defense Strategy (IDS), Vietnam Bilateral Discussion

REPORT ON THE VISIT OF INSTITUTE FOR DEFENSE STRATEGY
(IDS), VIETNAM TO USI ON 15 MAY 2013

 

Introduction

A six member delegation from Institute for Defence Strategy (IDS), Vietnam, led by their Director General Lieutenant General Nguyen Dinh Chien, PhD visited USI for a Bilateral Dialogue on 15 May 2013. 

Initial Remarks

Lt Gen PK Singh, PVSM, AVSM (Retd), Director USI, welcomed the distinguished friends from Vietnam and said that he looked forward to having free and frank discussions on issues of mutual interest.  Lt Gen Nguyen Dinh Chien, Director IDS, Vietnam thanked the USI for inviting them to participate in bilateral discussion and stressed on the importance of close relationship with India, since the days of charismatic leaders, Ho Chi Minh and Jawaharlal Nehru.

Paper Presentations

Following papers were presented :-

(a) Lt Gen Nguyen Dinh Chien, PhD, Director General of IDS, Vietnam, in his paper on ‘Security Situation in the Asia-Pacific’ observed that the security architecture in Asia-Pacific region would be characterised by : The US-China relations; sovereignty / territorial claims and strategic interests of countries; the arms race for strengthening armed forces; non-traditional security threats common to all countries; process of globalisation, proliferation of technology (specially information technology) and safeguarding of economic interests.   In this scenario Vietnam will back the process of reconciliation and cooperation amongst neighbouring countries to promote peace and progress in the region.

(b)  Brig AS Cheema, Senior Research Fellow at USI explained the ’non-traditional’  security threats being faced by India and how they require equal if not greater attention than the ‘traditional ’military threats from China and Pakistan.

(c) Senior Colonel Nguyen Dong Thuy, Director of IDS, Vietnam explained their ‘experience in protecting Vietnam’s sovereignty’ and ‘settling territorial disputes’ with its neighbouring countries. Vietnam’s Armed Forces play a key role, along with the Party and the Government with the people playing a major role from the top to the grass roots level to defend the Motherland.  

(d) Maj Gen MP Bhagat, PVSM (Retd), former Commander of India’s UN contingent in Somalia and Deputy Military Adviser, UNDPKO, in his briefing on the ‘UN Peacekeeping Mechanism’ highlighted ‘India’s Outlook and Contribution’ in Peacekeeping Operations worldwide since the early 1950s. He answered all the queries from the visiting delegation to facilitate their participation in UN Peacekeeping activities. He considered Vietnam ideally suited for playing a leading role in the UN Peacekeeping endeavours and said that the USI would be willing to extend all help needed.

Discussion

Presentation of each paper was followed-up with discussion on issues raised by either side with free and candid response from the other side. The discussions proved beneficial in understanding the existing security scenario specially the prevailing tensions in the ECS/SCS due to territorial disputes.  The implications of the US pivot to Asia and the assertive / aggressive behaviour of China were also discussed.  Since many territorial disputes are not just bilateral issues, there was a need to look at these through a multi-lateral mechanism which were also discussed.  Nuclear issues including the absence of mention of NFU in the recently published Chinese White Paper as also the internal tensions and challenges facing the Chinese leadership also came up during the discussion.

Conclusion

The Director USI thanked the visiting IDS Vietnam delegation for expressing their views clearly and assured them that cooperation from our side would always be forthcoming. Institutions like the USI and IDS could help the respective Governments to move their inter-governmental dialogues more smoothly and meaningfully.

The Director General of IDS, Vietnam said that he was very impressed with the fruitful dialogue and was happy to share their vision with us without any reservations. He also agreed that Track II interactions are important and even facilitate Track I initiatives. He wished that relationship between the two institutions would continue to grow.   

Bilateral Dialogue between IDS, Vietnam and USI on 15 May 2013
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Presentation of Papers

 

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Dialogue and Discussion

 

Report compiled by Lt Col BS Varma (Retd), Assistant Director USI.

 

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