(TibetanReview.net, Oct30, 2014) – Global Times, an international daily published by China’s party mouthpiece, the People’s Daily, has warned India Oct 29 against selling missiles and patrol boats to Vietnam. Both India and Vietnam have ongoing, often bitter territorial disputes with China.
The development followed a visit to New Delhi Oct 27 by Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung during which the two sides discussed military cooperation. New Delhi Television reported Oct 28 that India was planning to sell BrahMos short-range supersonic anti-ship missiles and patrol boats to Vietnam.
The BrahMos anti-ship missiles can be launched from surface combat vessels, as well as from Su-30MKV fighters and Kilo-class submarines and so can pose a serious threat to the warships of the PLA Navy in the South China Sea.
Nguyen was also reported to have requested continued Indian assistance in training its naval cadets and in the deployment of the nation’s satellites. He was reported to have told the Indian media that he welcomed the visit of Indian warships to his country.
Global Times has cited a Chinese military expert as saying anonymously that it would be a hostile act for India to provide weapon systems to Vietnam. He has warned that China had more bargaining chips than India in the international arena.
China has recently been referring to the border Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh as southern Tibet to strengthen its claim over the territory which has never been under its rule.
Vietnam and China engaged in a bitter standoff in disputed waters near the Paracel islands in June this year when the latter stationed an exploratory oil rig in an area that Hanoi claims as part of its exclusive economic zone. The rig left after a month with China claiming to have completed its objective.