Pompeo Touts U.S.-India Defense Deal, With an Eye on China

Pompeo Touts U.S.-India Defense Deal, With an Eye on China

The agreement known as Beca gives India access to advanced American map and satellite imagery

NEW DELHI—Increased U.S.-Indian military and strategic cooperation will help the two countries manage China’s growing influence in Asia, top U.S. diplomats said Tuesday.

“Our leaders and our citizens see with increasing clarity that the [Chinese Communist Party] 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,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters after the two countries signed a landmark defense agreement.

“We stand shoulder to shoulder in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific for all, particularly in light of increasing aggression and destabilizing activities by China,” Defense Secretary Mark Esper said.

The agreement will give India access to advanced American map and satellite imagery, enhancing the accuracy of automated weapons, drones and missiles. The pact is known as the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement, or Beca.

Mr. Pompeo and Mr. Esper met with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and discussed the importance of ties between the world’s oldest democracy and the world’s largest one and how they should cooperate more to battle Covid-19 and promote a free and open Indo-Pacific region.