The United States and India have rejuvenated their defensive and security relationship. This comes at a time where Washington is seeking out allies in Asia due to China’s increasing military presence in the region, much of which has caused tensions this year, especially near the China-India border.
What We Know:
- A press conference took place at the Indian capital on Tuesday announcing the signing of the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA), where US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and Minister of Defense of India Rajnath Singh were present.
“The defense ties between our two nations remain a key pillar of our overall bilateral relationship,” stated Esper. “Based on our shared values and common interests, we stand shoulder to shoulder in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific for all, particularly in light of increasing aggression and destabilizing activities by China.”
- Singh noted that BECA will expand upon both country’s ongoing commitment to achieve a solid standing of law, order, and freedom across international seas, while at the same time “upholding the territorial integrity and sovereignty of all states”.
- The U.S and India are set to perform Malabar naval exercises in the Indian Ocean next month, along with other members of the “Quad,” an informal alliance of the US, India, Japan, and Australia. The Quad, which has been seen as a potential “Asian NATO,” was formed to counter the Chinese military growth on the continent.
- The Quad held a meeting earlier this month in Tokyo where Secretary of State Mike Pompeo hammered on the “Chinese Communist Party’s coverup” of the severity of COVID-19. He said, “it is more critical now than ever that we collaborate to protect our people and partners from the CCP’s exploitation, corruption, and coercion.”
- With the signing of the BECA agreement, it will allow both the U.S and India to broaden the amount of cooperation in regards to intelligence and defense measures. For example, giving New Delhi access to US geo-spatial intelligence which would help the accuracy of Indian weapons systems.
A dicey situation occurred last month between India and China when they accused the other of trespassing borders once again near the Line of Actual Control (LAC). At first, attempts at smoothening out the tensions failed, but both sides agreed to stop sending more troops into the region around the end of September.