In an article published in the English language daily Vietnam News on May 27, Avilash Roul (Ph.D.), Senior Fellow at Society for the Study of Peace and Conflict (SSPC), India, said China is a true case of showing off muscle power in its influence without respecting international accepted norms.

According to Avilash Roul, it is unacceptable to Vietnam as China sent billion-dollar offshore oil rig to Vietnam's continental shelf.

“India has never missed any opportunities to extend its unconditional support to Vietnam be it US bombardment or more recently Chinese aggression in South China Sea (East Sea),” said the professor.
“India has been strongly advocating peaceful resolution of South China Sea (East Sea) disputes in accordance with universally recognized principles of international law. However, India makes it loud and clear that freedom of navigation in the South China Sea (East Sea), right to passage, unhindered commerce shouldn't be taken into hostage by single dominant power,” he added.

The professor said that “a calm South China Sea (East Sea) is overwhelmingly and potentially advantages to India and Vietnam for commerce, navigation, management of resource and above all protection and conservation of marine world from deterioration.”

According to Avilash Roul, amid conflicting claims in the East Sea, Vietnam sees India as a reliable and trusted partner for its economic development. Indian companies are investing nearly 2.2 billion USD in nearly 87 projects in Vietnam including two power plants by TATA.

Besides, under the lens of its ‘look east policy', India's economic prospects is destined towards Southeast Asia especially in Vietnam. In 2013, India's export to Vietnam at 3.96 billion USD is more than import (3 billion USD) with further space for increasing trade. The two countries have decided to reach bilateral trade target 7 billion USD by 2015 and 15 billion by 2020 USD. There is a huge potential of cooperation of science and technology, environmental and water resource management including curbing climate change threat bilaterally.

“Despite India's hydrocarbon exploration and exploitation projects in off the coast of Vietnam which are commercial in nature, India shouldn't keep mum from its contribution in diffusing the disputes as a responsible country and to protect its national interest,” said Avilash Roul.

He added that “a multilateral mutual beneficial resource management and preservation of South China Sea (East Sea) is the only means to peaceful resolution of crisis. Bullying at high seas is not character of a responsible great power.

“Vietnam wants India to be a proactive player during this turbulent time. India must stand by with further strengthening the strategic partnership with Vietnam for peace, stability and prosperity in the region and beyond,” the professor concluded.-VNA