India gets access to US military satellites with new defence pact

Oct 28, 2020 12:15 am    Views: 6003

India gets access to US military satellites with new defence pact

India and the United States have signed a defence pact giving the South Asian country access to real-time data and topographical images from US military satellites.

The pact reflects the growing convergence of interests between New Delhi and Washington, particularly as both show growing concern over China, which is currently embroiled in a border row with India.

The Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement or Beca was signed during the visit of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defence Secretary Mark Esper, who are in India for a high-level security dialogue.

The two US officials held talks on Tuesday (Oct 27) with their Indian counterparts, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, on greater military cooperation, the security situation in the Indo-Pacific, the pandemic and greater defence cooperation.

While the Indian leaders did not directly mention China, Mr Pompeo pledged support for New Delhi in the border stand-off which followed a violent clash in June in the Galwan Valley in Ladakh that left 20 Indian soldiers and an unknown number of Chinese troops dead.

It was the worst such incident involving troops from the two sides in over four decades. India and China are currently holding military and diplomatic talks to resolve the problem.

Mr Pompeo said that the two sides had talks on the Covid-19 pandemic, which led to “robust discussions” on the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

He said: “The US will stand with the people of India as they confront threats to their sovereignty and to their liberties... Our leaders and our citizens see with increasing clarity that the CCP is no friend to democracy, the rule of law, transparency, the freedom of navigation... the foundation of a free and prosperous Indo-Pacific.”

“The US and India are taking steps to strengthen our cooperation against all manners of threat and not just those posed by the Chinese Communist Party,” the US Secretary of State added at a press conference. after the talks.

Mr Esper echoed the sentiment, describing ties with India as “resilient and growing.”

“As the world confronts a global pandemic and growing security challenges, the US-India partnership is more important than ever to ensure security, stability and prosperity of the region and the world.

“We stand shoulder to shoulder in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific for all, particularly in light of increasing aggression and destabilising activities by China,” he said.

The US Defence Secretary also noted that India’s recent decision to include Australia in the Malabar naval exercises, involving India, Japan and the US, “reflects an acknowledgement of the importance of working multilaterally to address global challenges”.

All four countries belong to the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, which is also known as the Quad, an informal security forum seen by China as a way to contain its growth.

India has over the years been wary of involving Australia in the naval exercises because of China. But the border troubles have seen New Delhi shed its inhibitions as it seeks to counter Beijing’s rise and its growing influence in South Asia.

Defence cooperation between India and the US has deepened in recent years as Washington sharpened its focus on the Indo-Pacific region, on the back of concerns about Chinese moves in the region.

In 2016, the US designated India as a major defence partner and also went ahead with an agreement to allow for the sharing of each other’s military bases for refuelling or the repair of aircraft and naval warships. In 2018, both sides signed the Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement to exchange military logistics and enable secure communications. The two earlier pacts and Beca indicate increasing interoperability between the US and Indian militaries.

India’s leaders, while not referring directly to China, have pushed for a multipolar Asia and greater cooperation with the US.

“Our national security convergences have obviously grown in a more multi-polar world... A multi-polar world must have a multi-polar Asia as its basis,” said Mr Jaishankar.

“We are also committed to creating more trusted and resilient global supply chains. An India that is now focused on recovery, resilience and reform welcomes an expanded partnership with the United States.”

Defence Minister Singh noted that “upholding the territorial integrity and sovereignty of all states are essential”.

Experts say Beca will help India improve its defence preparedness and shows that the China factor remains a key driving force in expanding ties between the US and India.

“It makes sense politically, is strategically practical and is significant,” said Dr Rajeswari Pillai Rajagopalan, distinguished fellow at New Delhi based Observer Research Foundation.

“India (through the dialogue amid the pandemic) wants to send messaging to partners and adversaries on where we place the US in the scheme of thing. We are converging on Covid and China, which is cementing ties between the two countries.”

Source: The Strait Times

English News

Welikada Prison to be shifted to Horana

Plans are underway to shift the Welikada Prison to Horana and convert it into a high-security prison, said State Minister Lohan Ratwatte.

Views: 6003    Feb 25, 2021     

Ill-founded allegations: Sri Lanka rejects UN human rights chief’s report

Sri Lanka has refuted United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet’s report which was formally presented to the UN Human Rights

Views: 6003    Feb 25, 2021     

Next COVID-19 vaccine batch to arrive by March

Primary Health Care State Minister Dr. Sudarshani Fernandopulle yesterday said that the next batch of COVID-19 vaccines is expected to reach the

Views: 6002    Feb 25, 2021     

Park and Ride comes to Piliyandala

Transport Minister Gamini Lokuge said that the Park and Ride City Bus Service will be operated from Piliyandala Main Bus Stand as well.

Views: 6002    Feb 24, 2021     


‘Jeewa’ concludes shooting amid cheers and celebrations

Seasoned actor Jeewan Kumaratunga concluded shooting in his maiden film direction. A small gathering was held to mark the event and to celebrate producer

Views: 6002    Feb 23, 2021     

Daft Punk split after 28 years

French electronic music duo Daft Punk are splitting up after 28 years making music together, the spokesperson for the duo said on Monday.

Views: 6001    Feb 23, 2021     

Bolywod News

Real meaning behind 'Up' lyrics

Cardi B left U.S. talk show host Jimmy Fallon lost for words after explaining the unexpected meaning behind a line in her new single 'Up'.

Views: 6001    Feb 16, 2021     

Christopher Plummer, star of The Sound of Music, dies aged 91

Christopher Plummer, the distinguished Canadian actor best known for his role as Captain Von Trapp in The Sound of Music, has died at the age of 91.

Views: 6001    Feb 08, 2021     


Emma Stone stars as the classic Disney villain in ‘Cruella’

“In 1970s London, young fashion designer Estella de Vil becomes obsessed with dogs’ skins, especially Dalmatians, until she eventually

Feb 22, 2021     

A slice of Africa in Puttalam

Most Sri Lankans in Colombo city would have caught a glimpse of robust women, of African descent dancing to pulsating drumbeats. We have applauded the performances

Feb 21, 2021     

'Fearless' re-recording completed!

Taylor Swift has finished re-recording Fearless as part of her ongoing effort to re-record her first six albums after the master recordings were sold by her former record label.

Feb 16, 2021     

Singing from the heart!

Never in her wildest dreams young Hana Shafa thought of becoming a professional singer. Her main goal was to walk along the beautiful corridors of Hulftsdorp as a Lawyer.

Feb 16, 2021     

Musical treat for everyone

It was all about memories and melodies at the recently held ‘Star Lanka Musical Parade-Volume 1’ CD launch held at the Breeze Bar, Cinnamon Grand Colombo

Feb 10, 2021     

The femme factor

Being recognized as the first female metal soloist is a high honour in one’s perspective, and also a challenge in a mostly male dominated society and culture,

Feb 10, 2021     

Saturday with Misty at Darley Rd. Pub & Restaurant

This Saturday, sway to the pulsating tunes of retro hits! Darley Road Pub and Restaurant has organised ‘Saturday with Misty’ with the ever-popular band ‘Misty’, headed

Feb 05, 2021     

India gets access to US military satellites with new defence pact

The Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement or Beca was signed during the visit of US Secretary of State Mike

Oct 28, 2020     

MP Kavinda’s complaint: Malsha hands over her phone to CCD

Former Western Provincial Councillor Malsha Kumaratunga, the daughter of former Minister Jeewan Kumaratunga, handed

May 20, 2020     

33 Sri Lankans quarantined at Diyatalawa to return home

The 33 Sri Lankans, who were quarantined at the Diyatalawa army camp’s Base Hospital upon evacuation from

Feb 14, 2020