India signs defense deal with the United States

India has signed a defense deal with the United States. The deal will share satellite data with India. It will create a strong relationship between both countries. This comes at a time when both the US and India have strained links with China.

Both India and the US held a top-level security agreement meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 28. The agreement was aimed to counter China’s growing influence in the Indo-Pacific region. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Mark Esper were in New Delhi.

On the other hand, Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar and Defense Minister Rajnath Singh were their Indian counterparts. The two plus two talks were held in the Indian capital city New Delhi.

“The United States will stand with the people of India as they confront threats to their freedom and sovereignty,” Pompeo said.

The agreement

Pompeo and Esper also met Indian prime minister Narendra Modi. The agreement will provide India with access to a range of aeronautical, topographical, and nautical data from the satellites. These will help target missiles and armed drones. The US will provide advanced navigational aids. Additionally, it would provide avionics on US-supplied aircraft o India.

“We agree that the U.S.-India Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership is critical to the security and prosperity of both our countries, the Indo-Pacific region and the world,” Pompeo tweeted.

Ahad of the meeting, Esper and Singh discussed the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement. This agreement is ready for signing.

“The two ministers expressed satisfaction that agreement of BECA will be signed during the visit,” the ministry said in a statement.

Chinese influence

The deal comes at a backdrop of Chinese strategic aggression with India and the US’s trade war. The US’s relation with China has worsened for a range of issues. These issues include China’s handling of coronavirus and its imposition of new security laws in Hong kong.

Moreover, tensions between the US and China are also over their ambitions in the South China Sea.

The US has also signed a deal with Taiwan. Taiwan has made $2.37 billion worth of purchase from the US. These were the purchase of the Boeing-made Harpoon Coastal Defense System.

The arms deal between the US and Taiwan enraged China. This is because China thinks that Taiwan belongs to it.

However, the US does not recognize China’s claim over Taiwan formally. The US declassified Reagan-era cables. It gave security assurances to Taiwan and continued arms sales.

Image courtesy of Aritra Deb/Shutterstock

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