Millennium Post

Indo-US military pact to have long-term consequences on India's independent foreign policy: Left

New Delhi: Military alliance with the US is not in national interest, the Left parties said on Wednesday, urging the government to continue to negotiate with China without becoming subordinate to America's geo-political strategy in Asia.

A joint statement issued by the CPI and CPI(M) referred to the 2+2 meeting of the Indian and US Defence and Foreign ministers held in Delhi on October 27 which resulted in the signing of the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA) on geo-spatial cooperation.

The Left parties alleged that with this agreement, all the "so-called" foundational agreements for a military alliance with the United States have been completed.

The two parties also added that the agreement comes in wake of the joint naval exercise, "Malabar exercise", between the four partners of the Quad which has been announced to be held in November.

"These steps are being justified citing the recent tensions with China on the LAC in Ladakh but they have been in the pipeline much before the current standoff. The Logistics Exchange Agreement, the Communications Security Agreement and the upgrading of the quadrilateral forum have all taken place in the past few years," the statement said.

"The agreements bind the Indian armed forces with the US military and its strategic designs. The interlocking of the communications and electronic systems are going to adversely affect the integrity and independent decision making of the Indian defence structure," it said.

"These agreements will make us dependent on US weaponry whose technology and systems are going to be controlled by the United States," it said.

The parties also said that the emerging military alliance with the US will have long-term consequences for India's independent foreign policy and strategic autonomy.

"It is not in conformity with national interests," the statement said.

The Centre should continue to negotiate with China at the highest political and diplomatic levels to resolve the border issue, it said.

Meanwhile, China on Wednesday said its border standoff with India in eastern Ladakh is a bilateral issue, and asked the US to "stop" its Indo-Pacific strategy, terming it as an attempt to impose American hegemony in the region.

Reacting to the US push for closer defence ties with India, Chinese Foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told a media briefing here on Wednesday that "the border affairs between China and India are matters between the two countries."

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