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Why China Should Fear India's Arms Sales to Vietnam (Think South China Sea)


Why China Should Fear India's Arms Sales to Vietnam (Think South China Sea)
Helen Clark
January 11, 2017

India is poised to sell its sophisticated Akash missile defense system to Vietnam, the latest development in a broad strategic relationship that has grown rapidly in recent years and added a new twist to the spiraling power contest in the South China Sea. The talks, consistent with India’s ambition to be a major arms supplier, were first reported this week by the Times of India.

The medium range surface-to-air missile, produced by New Delhi’s Ministry of Defense, can target aircraft, helicopters and drones up to 25 kilometers away at a time when China is building up aerial defenses over fixtures it claims in the contested maritime area. India has also offered to sell its Varunastra anti-submarine torpedoes to Vietnam amid heightened tensions with China.

< Edited >

China to Exert Pressure on Vietnam Leader to Scuttle Defense Deal with India
By Girish Shetti | Jan 12, 2017 12:58 AM EST

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.

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.

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