New Delhi: A US Congressional committee has recommended that India should join an expanded group of close US allies, currently called NATO Plus 5, in an effort to prevent any Chinese military aggression against Taiwan.

The panel also suggested that the US should coordinate with the Quad to improve the effectiveness of economic sanctions.

“To include India, the US should strengthen the NATO Plus regime,” the House Select Committee on Strategic Competition between the US and the Chinese Communist Party said in a report.

The NATO Plus 5 group currently includes all 31 NATO member states and Australia, New Zealand, Israel, Japan and South Korea, all countries that have bilateral defence and security treaties with the US.

India does not have a defence treaty with the US, but the US has given it the unique status of major defence partner with the Strategic Trade Authorisation 1 (STA-1) category, which facilitates licence exemption for import of sensitive technology.

This is the first report of the select committee, which was formed in January by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, a Republican, to guide Congress on competing and combating China.

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