A five member delegation from Institute for Defence International Relations (IDIR) visited USI on 27 Nov 2018. The delegation was headed by Maj Gen Vu Tien Trong, Director, IDIR. The other members included Col Ngo Thanh Tung, Col Bui Thach Can, Maj Nguyen Hoang Linh and Ms Vu Thi Thu Hien. USI members comprised of Maj Gen YK Gera (Retd), Consultant, USI, Maj Gen Rajiv Narayanan, AVSM, VSM (Retd), Distinguished Fellow, USI and Maj Gen RPS Bhadauria, VSM (Retd), Distinguished Fellow, USI. The other participants included members from Vietnam Embassy, Air HQ, Perspective Planning, IDS etc. Maj Gen YK Gera (Retd), Consultant, USI and Maj Gen Vu Tien Trong, Director, IDIR delivered the welcome remarks and chaired the session.
The presentations were made on three dominant themes: security environment in East Asia, evolving strategic environment in the Indo-Pacific, and the US-China Strategic competition and implication for both India and Vietnam. In the first presentation on “Security Environment in East Asia,” Col Ngo Thanh Tung, head of Asia Africa Division, IDIR, Vietnam gave an overview of security scenario in East Asia, the role of international and regional players in the emerging hotspot like the Korean Peninsula, the East China Sea, and the South China Sea. He further made an assessment of the current situation and highlighted advantages, difficulties, policy choices for Vietnam. In the subsequent presentation on “US-China Strategic Competition and its Implications for Vietnam,” Col Bui Thach Can, Deputy Head of the Europe America Division, IDIR discussed the US actions against China in terms of economic & trade, military & security, diplomacy, and the Chinese reaction to it. He highlighted the growing tension between the US-China over SCS, and its global and regional impact with particular focus on its implication for Vietnam.
From the USI, Maj Gen Rajiv Narayanan, AVSM, VSM (Retd), Distinguished Fellow made a presentation on “Evolving Strategic Environment in the Indo-Pacific: Implication for India” giving a geostrategic view of the current scenario. He underlined the rationale for China’s outreach in the Indo-Pacific, the China dream, and its aims to become the major super power in Asia. He further gave a detailed account on how Chinese strategic outreach to control the Indo-Pacific region through the BRI (Belt & Road Initiative) is a part of its strategic continuum to achieve its vision for Asian domination. In conclusion he said that a rising democratic India poses a challenge to the Chinese narrative. Therefore China is trying to isolate India in the region and beyond by denying India any enhanced space in international arena. In the final presentation Maj Gen RPS Bhadauria, VSM (Retd), Distinguished Fellow, USI gave a presentation on “US-China Strategic Competition: Implications for India” where he brought out the major issues concerning US-China relations and India-China relations, highlighting the US factor in the Indo-China relations, and the growing strategic mistrust between the two. Thereafter he analysed China-US-India relationship and concluded that in today’s era of globalisation all the three are interdependent.
The session was followed by a Q&A session in which pertinent questions were discussed. Closing remarks were made by Maj Gen YK Gera (Retd), Consultant, USI and Maj Gen Vu Tien Trong, Director, IDIR. The two sides exchanged Mementos after the session.