With China in mind, India and France sign key deal on maritime security

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With China in mind, India and France sign key deal on maritime security

In a major expansion of strategic ties, India and France today inked 14 pacts in key areas of defence, security, nuclear energy and protection of classified information besides resolving to deepen cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region and step up joint efforts to contain terrorism. The two sides also signed a deal to step up military cooperation in the Indian Ocean, aiming to counter China’s mighty shadow. Under the deal, each country will open its naval bases to warships from the other. The agreements were signed after extensive talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Emmanuel Macron, including on the changing security dynamics in the Indian Ocean and Pacific. China's territorial ambitions in the South China Sea has already raised eyebrows of world powers. And its move in Indian Ocean, the third largest of the world's oceanic divisions, has heightened the concerns, Recently, a Chinese naval combat force had entered the Indian Ocean for the first time in four years. India and France are anxious as China extended its military presence by opening a naval base in the eastern African nation of Djibouti last year.