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How India could tweak China in the South China Sea?

When India and Vietnam’s prime ministers held a virtual summit on December 21, the two allied leaders nominally agreed to a joint vision for peace and prosperity against the backdrop of perceived rising Chinese aggression in the wider Indo-Pacific region.

While Narendra Modi and Nguyen Xuan Phuc agreed broadly to enhance defense cooperation, marking the latest boost to their “comprehensive strategic partnership” forged in 2016, the question remains if India will supply Vietnam with the BrahMos missile system, a weapon that could shift the balance of power in the disputed South China Sea.

Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore and the Philippines, among others, have sought the ramjet medium-range cruise missile that can be launched from submarines, ships, fighter planes, or land, and is known to be the fastest supersonic cruise missile in the world, to deter Chinese expansionism. India has jointly developed the BrahMos with Russia, its long-time strategic ally.

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