Manila: An important agreement for purchasing the world’s fastest supersonic missile, BrahMos, was signed between India and Philippines. Philippines said that the country’s marine borders’ security would be strengthened by purchasing BrahMos missiles. This cooperation between India and the Philippines is apparently posing a challenge to China, claiming rights over 90% of the South China Sea. Since the last two years, reports have been published that the Philippines are preparing to buy BrahMos missiles from India. Last year, India had extended a credit line of $100 million to the Philippines to purchase BrahMos. But the increased burden was created in the Philippines economy due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Moreover, the decision to purchase BrahMos had to be deferred. Finally, the Philippines signed the agreement on purchase agreement on Tuesday.
The agreement was signed at the headquarters of the Philippines defence ministry. Indian Ambassador Shambu Kumaran and Philippines Deputy Defence Minister, Raymundo Elefante, signed the agreement. Philippines Defence Minister Delfin Lorenzo was also present while signing the agreement. India will be supplying versions of the BrahMos cruise missile to the Philippines military and the coast guard as per this agreement.
Other than this, agreements for military training, exercises, counter terrorism actions and purchase of defence equipment were also signed. Analysts claim that this BrahMos purchase by the Philippines poses a challenge to China. China is claiming rights over 90% of the South China Sea. This includes islands and parts of the marine sector of the Philippines.
The Philippines has run even to the International court against this Chinese bullying. The Philippines becomes the only country among the southeastern countries having a dispute with China, to initiate such an action. Therefore, the agreement signed between India and the Philippines seems to be adding to the Chinese concerns.