NATO Plus: India on Thursday elucidated that it has no intention of joining the West-led North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). While addressing a press conference in New Delhi on the completion of Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said the military alliance is "not suitable for India". According to NATO, it is an intergovernmental military alliance between 31 member states – 29 European and two North American. Its main purpose is to guarantee the freedom and security of its members through political and military means.
The critical remarks from India came weeks after a powerful Congressional Committee recommended strengthening NATO Plus by including India. NATO Plus, currently NATO Plus 5, is a security arrangement that brings together NATO and five aligned nations – Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Israel, and South Korea – to boost global defence cooperation. Bringing India on board would facilitate seamless intelligence sharing between these countries and India would access the latest military technology without much of a time lag.
However, rejecting the proposal, Jaishankar said, "NATO template doesn't apply to India." It is worth mentioning the suggestion from America came ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the United States.
Why India should join NATO? As per US
According to the US, India should join the alliance in order to safeguard its boundaries from its neighbouring China. Besides, by joining an America-led alliance, India would be able to strengthen global security and deter the aggression of the CCP across the Indo-Pacific region.
“Winning the strategic competition with the Chinese Communist Party and ensuring the security of Taiwan demands the United States strengthen ties to our allies and security partners, including India. Including India in NATO Plus security arrangements would build upon the US and India’s close partnership to strengthen global security and deter the aggression of the CCP across the Indo-Pacific region,” the Select Committee recommended.
What does India believe?
On the contrary, India said, it would not join the alliance as it is capable to counter any Chinese aggression-- which is currently impossible amid the fact the two countries are separated by the Himalayan region.
Besides, China is currently reeling under a looming economic crisis. Earlier on Wednesday, China’s exports fell 7.5% from a year earlier in May and imports were down 4.5%, adding to signs an economic rebound following the end of anti-virus controls is slowing as global demand weakens under pressure from higher interest rates. Exports slid to $283.5 billion, reversing from April’s unexpectedly strong 8.5% growth, customs data showed Wednesday. Imports fell to $217.7 billion, moderating from the previous month’s 7.9% contraction. China’s global trade surplus narrowed by 16.1% to $65.8 billion.
“The United States should strengthen the NATO Plus arrangement to include India. The United States should also strengthen diplomatic deterrence by supporting Taiwan’s participation in international organizations and amending the TAIPEI Act to provide that the United States, alongside its allies and partners, should publicly oppose any attempts by the CCP to resolve the status of Taiwan’s sovereignty by intentionally misusing, misinterpreting, and misleading others on the underlying purpose of UN Resolution 2758 or the United States’ One China Policy,” according to US Congressional Committee recommendations.