An active duty missile corvette of the Indian Navy is working on its mission to Vietnam as a present, the first warship provided by India to any nation. The homely built corvette INS Kirpan departed from India’s east coast on Wednesday, the navy revealed. India and Vietnam have made stronger their ties in recent years, by throwing their focus on defence, as both nations are worried about an increasingly assertive China. India has provided smaller boats and military requirements to nations like the Maldives and Mauritius in the past and a submarine to Myanmar. But the corvette for Vietnam is the first time India has provided a warship to a Chinese neighbour with a coast on the South China Sea, where many nations have intersecting territorial claims.
China has for years declared rulership over the entire South China Sea, and has been cautious of the presence of other militaries in the place. The Indian Navy revealed in a statement that the transfer of the Kirpan “shows India’s dedication to help its like-minded partners in improving their capacity and capability”. Chinese Defence Minister Li Shangfu conveyed on Tuesday that Beijing is interested to work with Hanoi to polish and improve high-level communication and cooperation after he met his Vietnamese counterpart.