Ahead of PM Modi's visit, US House panel suggests Nato Plus status for India

ByAgencies, Washington
May 28, 2023 04:30 AM IST

The US Congressional Committee on the Strategic Competition between the US and the Chinese Communist Party has recommended including India in Nato Plus.

A US Congressional Committee has recommended strengthening Nato Plus by including India in the five-member grouping to win the “strategic competition with the Chinese Communist Party”.

File photo of US President Joe Biden and Indian PM Narendra Modi
File photo of US President Joe Biden and Indian PM Narendra Modi

The House Select Committee on the Strategic Competition between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) overwhelmingly adopted a policy proposal to enhance Taiwan’s deterrence, including through strengthening Nato Plus to include India, at a meeting on May 24.

The committee is led by chairman Mike Gallagher and ranking member Raja Krishnamoorthi.

Read: NATO expansion will end up shaping India’s policy

“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 said in the recommendations released on Wednesday.


While the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, or Nato, is a 31-member alliance, with 29 European nations, and two American, the 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, the recommendations said.

The development has come ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the US next month.

Read: PM Modi to address US Congress? Ro Khanna confident of invite

The panel, formed in January, has no authority to draft or amend laws. It is tasked with making recommendations to legislative committees before the end of the year. Its members – 13 Republican and 11 Democratic representatives – sit on various House committees with jurisdiction over the recommendations, including armed services and foreign affairs.

In its set of recommendations, the China Committee said that economic sanctions against Beijing in case of an attack on Taiwan will be most effective if key allies such as G7, Nato, Nato+5, and Quad members join, and negotiating a joint response and broadcasting this message publicly have the added benefit of enhancing deterrence.

India is already a key member of the Quad grouping, which also includes the US, Australia and Japan, and the thinking within the American establishment clearly seems to be in favour of taking New Delhi aboard the wider Nato-Plus platform given the increasing clout that the South Asian giant wields in a multipolar world beset with geopolitical tensions that have come to a boil with the Russia-Ukraine war.

Read: China was the elephant in the room in Quad summit in Hiroshima

“Much like we do joint contingency planning for war fighting, we need to coordinate in peacetime with US allies. To that end, Congress should pass legislation similar to the STAND with Taiwan Act of 2023 that mandates the development of an economic sanctions package to be employed in the event of a PRC attack on Taiwan,” it said.

It should also pass legislation to counter the CCP’s economic coercion, including by providing tools to support foreign partners targeted by the PRC’s economic coercion. The flip side of economic deterrence is economic engagement with Taiwan, the committee said.

Accordingly, Congress should support efforts to reduce the taxation burden on US-Taiwan cross-border investment as well as broader trade negotiations with a particular focus on developing shared standards and regulations to combat the CCP’s unfair economic policies, the committee said.

“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,” it stated.

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