Amid Doklam standoff, India's BrahMos supply to Vietnam irks China
18 Aug 2017
India and China are locked in a tense border standoff in Doklam since mid-June; experts say they are "dangerously close" to their worst military conflict.
Worsening the situation, Vietnam has confirmed it purchased BrahMos anti-ship cruise missiles, co-developed by India and Russia.
China sees Vietnam's acquisition of BrahMos as a defiance move to strengthen its claim over the disputed South China Sea.
Vietnam's provocative claims in the tense atmosphere
Vietnamese reports suggested that India has started supplying BrahMos missiles to the country in a long-pending deal.
Media outlets in Vietnam reportedly said that the first batch of the "supersonic anti-ship and land-attack cruise missiles" may have arrived days ago.
However, Indian Defense Ministry sources reportedly rejected the reports and denied selling the missiles to Vietnam, one of China's arch-rivals.
India's BrahMos deal with Vietnam will have negative impact: China
The Doklam standoff indicates a growing "geopolitical contest" between India and China.
As China is exerting pressure over Vietnam in the South China Sea dispute and dominating Asian affairs, India is being viewed as China's counterbalance in the region.
About India's BrahMos deal with Vietnam, China earlier said deployment of the missiles by Vietnam would increase the "competition and antagonism" in the Sino-Indian relations.
Vietnamese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Le Thi Thu Hang's statement
Hang said, "The procurement of defense equipment by Vietnam is consistent with the policy of peace and self-defense and is the normal practice in national defense." She added the India-Vietnam partnership is "making a practical contribution to peace, stability, cooperation and development in the region."
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