The Vietnam government said today that it has entered a military deal with India to acquire the Brahmos anti-ship cruise missiles. It may be recalled that Brahmos is an indigenously developed cruise missile by India and it has the right to sell such weapons to other countries. However, India’s move to sell Brahmos to Vietnam is likely to anger China. Vietnam is already protesting against China for its claims in the South China Sea and with the Brahmos deal, it would further damage the relations. India and China are also engaged in one of their worst standoffs at Doklam, and the Brahmos deal would be like adding fuel to fire. Sources inside the Defense Ministry have however denied the Brahmos deal with Vietnam, but no one was willing to comment on record.
Experts said that it could also be a covert deal with Vietnam or it could be a campaign to corner China, since it too has been carrying out business and military deals with countries bordering India such as Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, etc. Vietnamese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Le Thi Thu Hang said that all defense deals of Vietnam are as per the country’s core objective to defend itself in a proper manner. She also talked about the Vietnam-India Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, wherein the countries are working together to promote peace, stability, cooperation and development in the region.