Cultural and economic links between India and Vietnam date back to 2nd century AD. The Indic ChamPa kingdom had some influence on Vietnamese music. In contemporary era, relations between India and Vietnam have been governed by several areas of shared interests. India strongly condemned US action during the Vietnam War and was also one of the few non-Communist countries to assist Vietnam during the Cambodian– Vietnamese War.
In 1992, India and Vietnam established extensive economic ties, including oil exploration, agriculture and manufacturing. The relations between the two countries, especially defence ties, benefited extensively from India’s ‘Look East’ policy. Bilateral military cooperation includes sale of military equipment, sharing of intelligence, joint naval exercises and training in counterinsurgency and jungle warfare. India also regularly deploys its warships for goodwill visits to Vietnamese seas.
The bilateral relations were upgraded to a ‘Strategic Partnership’ during Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung’s visit to India in July 2007, and upgraded to a ‘Comprehensive Strategic Partnership; during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Vietnam in September 2016.
India was the Chairman of the International Commission for Supervision and Control (ICSC), which was formed to implement the 1954 Geneva Accords and facilitate the peace process in Vietnam. India supported Vietnam’s independence from France, viewing it as being similar to India’s own struggle against British colonialism.
Earlier this year, on the occasion of 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between India and Vietnam, PM Modi spoke to Nguyen Phu Trong, General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam, and reiterated Vietnam’s importance as an important pillar of India’s ‘Act East’ policy and Indo-Pacific vision, and sought to enhance the scope of the bilateral relationship, besides working for expeditious progress on existing initiatives.