VIETNAM RENEWS LEASE OF TWO OIL BLOCKS IN THE SOUTH CHINA SEA FOR INDIA FOR ANOTHER YEAR
India’s Foreign Minister Sushma Sawaraj will be in Hanoi the Capital of Vietnam next week to improve bilateral relations and further improve trade relations with its South east neighbor according Times of India. The allocation and the renewal of two oil blocks in South China Sea will certainly create some ripples in the water because the Indian foreign minister will be travelling to China to meet her counterpart Wang Yi to prepare for the upcoming visit by Chinese premier Xi Jinping's, who is due to visit India in mid September.
This visit to Vietnam is very important since China has been following a very aggressive policy in the South China Sea to assert its will over other South East countries. China thinks it should have 90% control of South China Sea which is disputed by Vietnam and Philippines.
For India this area is very important because it needs the free lanes of navigation and access to resources and has a naval presence there to check balance of China's expansionist foreign policy which is threatening many of the South Eastern Neighbors.
The South China Sea is a vast area and the potential for oil and gas exploration is very high. So with new energy and a new political party at helm which has full political control to make key decisions on all domestic and foreign policy this trip could pave way for more Indian presence in this region and give China a moment of pause.