India-U.S. 2+2 dialogue | Rajnath Singh raises China’s action in Ladakh

Washington will help Delhi defend sovereignty and liberty, says Pompeo as two nations signal final foundational settlement, BECA.

The United States will help India to defend its territorial sovereignty and liberty, U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo mentioned on Tuesday. Addressing the media on the finish of the 3rd India-US “2+2” dialogue in New Delhi, Mr. Pompeo additionally mentioned that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is “no friend to democracy”.


The observations concerning the threats to Indian sovereignty got here as New Delhi introduced the signing of the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement on geospatial cooperation (BECA) with the U.S.


“The United States will stand with the people of India as they face threats to their sovereignty and their liberty,” mentioned Mr. Pompeo hinting on the ongoing tense situation in jap Ladakh the place Indian and Chinese forces in a standoff since May. Mr. Pompeo additionally referred to the higher threats posed by China in the Asia-Pacific area and the COVID-19 pandemic.


“Our leaders and our citizens see with increasing clarity that the CCP is no friend to democracy, the rule of law, transparency, nor to freedom of navigation, the foundation of a free and open and prosperous Indo-Pacific. I am glad to say that the U.S. and India are taking steps to strengthen cooperation against all manner of threats and not just those posed by the Chinese Communist Party,” mentioned Mr Pompeo addressing the media on the Hyderabad House right here.

Also learn: India, U.S. ink strategic defence pact

In his opening remarks, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh laid out the challenges earlier than India. Speaking in Hindi, Mr Singh mentioned, “We are meeting today at an extraordinary time. This pandemic is something that we have never experienced in our lifetime.. ..our partnership is becoming stronger because of the challenges that we are facing at present.” The Minister’s feedback had been taken ahead by Mr Pompeo, promising American help.


U.S. Secretary of Defence Mark Esper mentioned, “BECA will enable greater sharing of geospatial information between our armed forces”.


Apart from BECA, India and the U.S. additionally sealed an MoU on Technical Cooperation in Earth Observations and Earth Sciences, and an settlement to increase period of the MoU relating to the Global Center for Nuclear Energy Partnership. The two sides additionally signed an settlement on digital trade of customs information and a letter of intent relating to cooperation in conventional Indian medicines.


A Joint Statement issued following the conclusion of the go to of the American dignitaries highlighted shared Indo-U.S. objectives in the Asia-Pacific area and “emphasised that the Code of Conduct in the South China sea should not prejudice the legitimate rights and interests of any nation in accordance with international law”. The two sides additionally determined to increase joint capability constructing actions with associate international locations in the Indo-Pacific area.


Mr. Pompeo additionally referred to the lack of lives of Indian troopers in the conflict with the Chinese PLA troops in June and mentioned India and the U.S. are dedicated to upholding frequent values towards threats.


“Today morning we have been to the National War Memorial to pay homage to the brave men and women of the Indian armed forces who have sacrificed for the world’s largest democracy including 20 that were killed by the PLA forces in Galwan valley in June,” Mr Pompeo mentioned.


Chinese rejection


Responding to the feedback of the U.S. Secretary of State, Chinese international ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin mentioned Mr. Pompeo’s feedback are groundless.


“These are groundless accusations which reflect he is clinging to Cold War mentality and ideological biases. We urge him to abandon the Cold War and zero sum game mentality, stop sowing discord between China and regional countries as well as undermining regional peace and stability,” mentioned Mr. Wang.


‘Security convergence’

Explaining the “2+2” dialogue, External Affairs Minister Dr. S Jaishankar mentioned the discussions had a political military content. “Our national security convergences have obviously grown in a more multipolar world. We meet today to not only advance our own interests but to ensure that our bilateral cooperation makes a positive contribution in the world arena,” he mentioned.


Speaking concerning the conclusion of BECA forward of the U.S. presidential election, a extremely positioned authorities supply mentioned that the presence of the U.S. Secretaries of State and Defence in India regardless of the election season in the U.S. is an indication of the significance that the U.S. attaches to India.


“It is a demonstration to the world at large,” mentioned the official concerning the discussions between the 2 sides. Apart from Indo-Pacific area, the 2 sides additionally mentioned the standing of Afghanistan and supported an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace course of.


Information trade


BECA permits trade of geospatial information and data between the 2 international locations and can enhance the accuracy of India’s missiles in future throughout precision strikes.


BECA will assist share geospatial maps and charts between U.S. and India, which can have been acquired from a number of sources like satellites, UAVs, reconnaissance plane, aerostats amongst others, mentioned Captain (IN) Vikram Mahajan (Retd), Director, Aerospace and Defence at U.S.-India Strategic Partnership Forum.


“Data shared from BECA will help in identifying, updating and tracking of various types of target and their position, both on land and sea,” he informed The Hindu.


Terming the signing of BECA a “significant achievement,” Defence Minister Rajnath Singh mentioned the U.S. accepted an Indian request for “cooperation in the advanced field of maritime domain awareness.” As a part of measures to boost navy to navy cooperation Mr. Singh mentioned now Liaison Officers at one another’s institutions may very well be leveraged to boost “information sharing architecture” whereas in the joint assertion either side “reiterated their intent to assign additional Liaison Officers.”

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