Beijing: Hours before India and United States of America signed a logistics exchange memorandum, allowing the two countries to use each other’s military facilities for refueling and replenishment, an editorial in the China’s state-run newspaper Global Times warned that such a move would exacerbate tensions in Asia.
“This is undoubtedly a leap forward in the US-India military cooperation. American media highly applauded this deal with Forbes hailing it as a ‘war-pact’ and believing that India is shifting away from Russia, its Cold War ally, toward a new alliance with America,” the Global Times editorial said.
Claiming that by leaning towards America, India was compromising its strategic independence, the editorial warned that such a move could ‘irritate’ India’s neighbors like China and even Russia.
“If India hastily joins the United States of America’s alliance system, it may irritate China, Pakistan or even Russia. It may not make India feel safer, but will bring strategic troubles to itself and make itself a centre of geopolitical rivalries in Asia,” the editorial said.
The Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement was signed between Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and United States’ Defence Secretary Ashton Carter in Washington today. The agreement marks a significant leap forward in defence cooperation between the two countries. It was signed after lengthy negotiations between the two countries with India insisting that the agreement not be legally binding to ensure its strategic independence.
“India holds dear its independence and sovereignty after squeezing out of UK’s colonialism. But in recent years, Washington has deliberately wooed New Delhi to become its quasi ally, so as to impose geopolitical pressure on China. It is possible that the Narendra Modi administration is trying an unconventional way to lean towards the US with the logistics agreement,” the editorial said.
China has been wary of growing India-America ties, saying that India was sacrificing long term strategic independence for short term gains.