As China's lone aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, gets ready to sail in blue waters this year, Asia and the world must come to terms with Beijing's emerging capabilities to project military power far beyond its shores. Delhi is having enough trouble dealing with the impact of China's rapid military modernisation on its Himalayan borders, as seen in the reported incident in which a unit of the People's Liberation Army set up a post 10 kilometres inside territory claimed by India. But Delhi can't afford to ignore the longer term implications of China's maritime rise.
China on Monday rejected reports in India that People’s Liberation Army (PLA) troops had set up a tented post on Indian territory in Ladakh, but reliable sources in Delhi stressed that the place where Chinese troops had beencamping for a week was Burthe. Trying to play down the incident, the Chinese said its frontier patrols had “never trespassed” the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
The war of words between Kabul and Rawalpindi that began a few weeks ago has escalated into a shooting match on the ground. After the Taliban overran an Afghan border post by killing 13 soldiers over the weekend, Kabul charged that Pakistan has facilitated the bold attack. General Zahir Azimi, spokesman for the ministry of defence in Kabul, said the Taliban fighters used artillery and other heavy weapons not seen during previous attacks in the region. He added the attackers were heard speaking Urdu, rather than the Pashto normally spoken by Taliban militants.
Nuclear weapons place new complexities on the table for military and political leaders. North Korea has shown that even in an asymmetrical power balance, nuclear weapons can be the great equaliser on the strategic poker table. The rapid escalation of the crisis in the Korean peninsula has left analysts, policy-makers and military minds scrambling to understand the situation better. There are conflicting opinions within the US on dealing with the situation.
New Chinese Premier Li Keqiang is likely to visit India next month, in what could become the Chinese political leader's first overseas visit. Li's India trip is being seen as a reaching-out exercise by the new Chinese leadership, barely a month after it took charge in Beijing. It is learnt that New Delhi and Beijing are discussing dates in the second-half of May.
The worst case in China’s view is another Korean war with possibly millions of casualties and huge numbers of Koreans fleeing across the Yalu Over a century ago, as this column noted, events in Europe were simultaneously described as serious but not yet desperate, and as desperate but not serious. Given the antics of Kim Jong-un in Pyongyang, it is hard to know how serious or desperate the current situation on the Korean peninsula is.
All eyes are now firmly fixed on the Korean peninsula. Going by the sustained bellicose statements coming out of Pyongyang, one would think that war is truly imminent. The war jitters are being felt mostly by the South Korean (ROK) economy. Indeed, South Korea’s stock market index has slipped to its lowest levels since November, 2012.
China's President Xi Jinping pledged on Sunday that change and peaceful development will power his country's economic rise and sustain growth within its borders and beyond. Stressing that peace was pivotal for the future of the world's second biggest economy, Xi appealed to business and political leaders to use diplomacy and dialogue to resolve disputes and allow wealth to spread and solve problems.
While the civil war in Syria continues to occupy the minds of regional and world powers, North Korea’s bellicose rhetoric and the precautionary counter-measures and show of force deployed by the United States and its South Korean ally have raised the temperature considerably. The irony is that China, which is Pyongyang’s sole ally and friend, seems helpless to moderate the actions and trade mark hyperbolic threats of the young leader, Kim Jong-un.
After smoothly rising to the top and quickly consolidating his power, China's new leader Xi Jinping is ready for the world stage. Indeed, shortly after his formal appointment as China's president (largely a ceremonial post because his most important position is as general secretary of the Communist Party), Xi launched his first diplomatic foray in late March.
United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), in cooperation with Ministry of Counter Narcotics, Afghanistan released their Afghanistan opium risk assessment for 2013. Expectedly, the risk assessment paints a bleak prospect for 2013 writes Gaurav Kumar