The country’s foreign policy is slowly but surely being oriented towards acquiring military muscles and calling the bluff of eastern and western neighbors. The morality of the story is that the country has wasted for far too long its true potential as a geopolitical entity in the process of lecturing its own people on the validity of an impotent foreign policy instrument called non-alignment.
On Thursday, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and the United States Secretary of Defence Ashton Carter finalized India’s designation as a Major Defense Partner of the United States. This was announced in the India-US joint statement on Carter’s visit to New Delhi.
The designation as a Major Defense Partner, the joint statement noted, is a status unique to India and institutionalizes the progress made to facilitate defense trade and technology-sharing with India to a level at par with that of the United States’ closest allies and partners, and ensures enduring cooperation into the future.
Even as India and the US signed this landmark agreement, New Delhi moved on take on China in Mongolia.
Assuring Mongolia that India is sympathetic to the problems being forced upon it by China, Delhi has said it will help the country utilize the $1 billion financial assistance offered in 2015 to tide over the economic sanctions imposed on Ulan Bator by Beijing in retaliation for inviting Dalai Lama.
Answering questions, the MEA spokesperson said: “We are ready to work with Mongolian people in this time of their difficulty. During the visit of the PM to Mongolia in May 2015, he had conveyed to the Mongolian leadership that India will extend support in diverse fields. We had announced a credit line of US$ 1billion. We are closely working with the Mongolian government to implement the credit line in a manner that is deemed beneficial to the friendly people of Mongolia by its leadership”.
In the last five days, India also strengthened its military ties with Vietnam whose defense minister was in New Delhi from last week to sign on a number of military collaboration proposals.
Beijing’s Han supremacist may view these simultaneous developments as a way to challenge their hegemony in east, north Asia, and southeast Asia. And they would be damn right.
(By M K Shukla & Rakesh Ranjan)