The military logistics agreement signed between India and the United States seems to have sent alarm bells rigging in Beijing.
Immediately after Indian defence minister Manohar Parrikar and his US counterpart Ashton Carter signed the Logistics exchange memorandum of agreement (LEMOA), an editorial in the state-run ‘Global times’ warned that it may not make India feel safer, but will bring strategic troubles to itself.
The editorial pointed out that the Indo-US logistics agreement will make India a centre of geopolitical rivalries in Asia and warned that if India joins the US military alliance in haste then it runs the risk of irritating China, Pakistan and even Russia.
"If India hastily joins the US alliance system, it may irritate China, Pakistan or even Russia. It may not make India feel safer, but will bring strategic troubles to itself and make itself a centre of geopolitical rivalries in Asia," the editorial said.
The editorial, however, conceded that the LEMO agreement is definitely a leap forward in US-India military cooperation.
“This is undoubtedly a leap forward in US-India military cooperation. US media highly applauded this deal, with Forbes hailing it as a ‘war pact’ and believing that India is shifting away from Russia, its Cold War ally, toward a new alliance with the US,” the editorial said.
The editorial also points out that the way India is succumbing to the US overtures, its policy of non-alignment will come under threat.
“India has practiced the principles of non-alignment since independence, which have been advocated by Indian elites. However, in recent years, Washington has deliberately wooed New Delhi to become its quasi ally so as to impose geopolitical pressure on China. It is possible that the Modi administration is trying an unconventional way to lean toward the US with the logistics agreement,” the editorial said.
“Due to its non-alignment policy, India has been given attention from all the major powers such as the US, Japan, China and Russia in recent years. But how close the US-India relationship can be and what geopolitical values it can get remains a question,” it added.
The editorial also expressed the hope that India will not lean toward the US because it will hurt New Delhi’s self-esteem.
“India will not lean toward the US, because it will not only hurt India’s self-esteem, more importantly, India can gain more strategic benefits by striking a balance between China and the US.” The editorial said.