Washington : In order to counter China’s increasing might and aggression, India and the US have signed a defense agreement ‘Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement.’ (LEMOA). The agreement was signed between the Indian Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar and the US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter. This will enable both the countries to have access to each others military bases. This agreement is being welcomed by Indian experts and military analysts. At the same time, the International media is claiming that this agreement has become the cause of increased concern for China and Pakistan.
The Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar, who is on a US visit, has expressed satisfaction about the LEMOA agreement. This agreement has facilitated both the countries to fuel up their fighter planes, naval fleets and carry out their repairs and maintenance. Parrikar also stated that this (LEMOA) will make their spare parts easily available and will also ensure the unhindered supply of food and other basic necessities to both the countries. However, the defense minister also clarified that signing of the agreement does not mean that the US with have its own base in the Indian territory. Defense Minister Parrikar and the US Defense Secretary Carter announced that the LEMOA agreement between the US and India, is based on the common principles in which India and the US have faith upon and also that the agreement aims at global peace and security.
The Defense Secretary Carter reiterated that India is the biggest partner country of the US, in the field of Defense. He further said that among the partnerships in the field of Defense that the US made with other countries in the last 50 years the cooperation with India ranks the foremost.
In the coming years, this defense related partnership will get stronger and comprehensive. The US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter announced that India and the USA have decided to expand the scope of the ‘Defense Technology and Trade Initiative’ (DTTI) agreement.
In the meantime, the International media has reported that the LEMOA pact is a warning bell for China and Pakistan.
Over the past few years, the US has concentrated its attention on the Asia-Pacific region. Due to China’s increasing might and hostility, the countries in the Asia-Pacific region are feeling insecure, compelling them to create a front against China for their own protection. The US has taken a firm stand on this issue, by increasing the deployment of its naval fleet and military in the region. Similarly, the USA has checkmated China by establishing a firm strategic alliance with India.
At the same time, China which is trying to dominate the Indian sub-continent and the Indian Ocean region, is a threat to India as well.
Hence, India also seems to have taken steps to increase the military cooperation with the US and the LEMOA agreement with the US is a part of that.
‘Global Times’, China’s official newspaper, has criticized that India has lost its sovereignty at the military level. The daily has also claimed that due to this agreement, India will have to face opposition from China, Pakistan and Russia and that will make India more unsecure.
But China’s Foreign Ministry seems to have taken utmost care while rendering its official reaction over the issue. The Spokesperson of the Chinese Foreign Ministry expressed hope that the LEMOA agreement will give impetus to the stability and security in the region; whereas the Pakistani media have expressed concern that India is likely to get more cooperation from US due to the agreement.
Indian analysts have expressed satisfaction over the ‘LEMOA’ agreement. It is mentioned in the agreement that in the event US attacks any of India’s friendly countries, India will not let the US use its bases. Hence, it is clear that India’s military sovereignty is not threatened by the agreement. At the same time, this military-level alliance is going to place a huge burden on China. It is apparent that the very China, which was working for the past few years to increase burden on India, has come under tension for the first time.
A few days ago, China’s Foreign Minister ‘Wang Yi’ had visited India. At the time, some media carried reports about Wang expressing concern over the ‘LEMOA’. But the reports could not be confirmed. Though China has not officially criticized the ‘LEMOA’, it is not a secret that China is upset over the agreement. The criticism over the agreement, that ‘Global Times’, the mouthpiece of the China’s government carried, makes China’s concern all the more apparent.