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China Factor
Chinese military operations, in waters far from its shores, in search of the ill-fated Malaysian airliner have demonstrated Beijing’s impressive maritime capabilities and the strong political will to use them. India’s hesitant response to the humanitarian emergency, in contrast, has brought into sharp relief the diminution of India’s defence diplomacy under A.K. Antony’s extended tenure in South Block.  
 
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Ahead of a dialogue with India, the US has said as it implements its strategic rebalance to Asia, it will work with India to address both the challenges and the opportunities across the Indo-Pacific region.

 

Delhi, currently preoccupied with elections, will have to grapple, sooner rather than later, with the consequences of the changing regional balance of power in the Arabian peninsula, the extension of the Saudi-Iran rivalry into the subcontinent and the multiple contradictions in US policy towards the Gulf.

 
When India’s first elections were held, the American magazine, Life, called them “the greatest mass voting experience in history”. The scale, sights and sounds of an Indian general election remain unique to this day, ensuring that there’s always some amount of interest in the Indian election in the US. The extent of that interest, however, varies. Further, there’s no one answer to the question, “how does the US view the upcoming elections in India?”  
 
At the tail end of a question-answer session following a lecture in Singapore, an East Asian member of the audience asked me if I could enlighten him on what India’s foreign policy was likely to be in a Narendra Modi government. Pressed for time, and not prepared for the question, I offered a telegraphic reply. Modi, I told him, would be the Shinzo Abe of India. Many heads nodded in the audience, as if my reply was crystal clear.  
 

Being one of the most important seas of the world, geopolitically, economically and strategically, the South China Sea (SCS) attracts considerable attention in the strategic community in India. It continues to be seen as one of the most difficult regional conflicts in the Asia-Pacific and an “arena of escalating contention.” 

 
India's National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon called for a “security architecture with Asian characteristics”, that would be the “political-military equivalent of the open interlinked economic order that has so benefitted the region, taking into account the primarily maritime nature of many regional security issues and disputes amenable to collective solutions”. 
 
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India does not seem to doubt Japanese motivations in pursuing a friendship offensive with India, or its logic. The weakening of the US’s global influence and China’s increased assertiveness seem to dictate an intensification of the Japan-India interaction.
 
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The unified structure being adopted by China will lead to the strengthening of its military prowess to back up the country’s global ambitions. In India, political waffling has so far prevented the emergence of a similar combined structure for its armed forces.

 
 
The security environment in the Indo-Pacific region has been vitiated by territorial disputes on land in the South China Sea and the East China Sea as well as terrorism, the proliferation of small arms and piracy in the Malacca Strait. Freedom of navigation on the high seas is of critical importance for the economies of most Asian countries. Maintaining peace and stability and ensuring the unfettered flow of trade and energy supplies through the sea lanes of communications will pose major challenges for the Asian powers as well as the United States. Only a cooperative security architecture can provide long-term stability and mutual reassurance.  
 


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Review
 
 
 
 
spotlight image Relations between India and Morocco go back a millennium with the first recorded links dating to the 14th century, when the famous traveller and writer from Tangier, Ibn Batuta, travelled to India.
 
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Stepping up action against terrorists attacking India, President Donald Trump's Administration has declared Hizb-ul Mujahideen (HM) a “global terrorist organisation” in an attempt to choke off financial and other support to it.
 
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On 14 August 1947 Pakistan, consisting of East and West Pakistan, celebrated its independence. The 14th was chosen for the ceremony because Lord Mountbatten who came to Karachi as the Chief Guest had to later leave for Delhi where ot the midnight stroke India was to declare its independence.
 
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The Doklam stand-off and a variety recent opinion pieces in magazines and newspapers draws attention to the poor state of defence policy preparedness and the lack of meaningful higher defence control in India. 
 
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The two ideologically divergent ruling partners - the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) - in Jammu and Kashmir are headed for a showdown as the debate over the abrogation of Article 35A of the Constitution of India heats up.
 
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At the root of the present Doklam crisis is China’s intrusion into Bhutanese territory for its road building projects. These connectivity projects are integral to President Xi Jinping’s dream project, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). India and Bhutan were the only two countries that did not participate in the first forum
 
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It wasn’t so long ago that the whole world watched as Donald Trump sashayed on to the Riyadh red carpet and stole the show with his tough talk on Iranian-sponsored terrorism.
 
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A vehicular attack to maximise casualties and spread panic is now a well-tested terrorist strategy in European cities.
 
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It is a privilege to be invited to this most prestigious of law schools in the country, more so for someone not formally lettered in the discipline of law. I thank the Director and the faculty for this honour.
 
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As talk of war and violence -- all that Mahatma Gandhi stood against -- gains prominence across the world, a Gandhian scholar has urged that the teachings of the apostle of non-violence be taken to the classroom.

 
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Interview with Hudson Institute’s Aparna Pande, whose book From Chanakya to Modi: Evolution of India’s Foreign Policy, was released on June 17.

 
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This is the continuing amazing spiritual journey of a Muslim man from Kerala who plunged into Vedic religion after a chance encounter with a Hindu mystic under a jackfruit tree in the backyard of his house when he was just nine. It is a story w...

 
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History is told by the victors but in our modern age, even contemporary events get - or are given - a slant, where some contributors soon get eclipsed from the narrative or their images tarnished.

 
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Humans have long had a fear of malignant supernatural beings but there may be times when even the latter cannot compare with the sheer evil and destructiveness mortals may be capable of. But then seeking to enable the end of the world due to it...

 
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