The Chinese president, Xi Jinping, will now be known as commander-in-chief of the military's joint operations command centre. The title, bestowed on a fatigues-clad Xi by the State media towards the end of April, is largely a symbolic reaffirmation of his existing authority over the People's Liberation Army.
These days we are frequently told, usually by government ministers and spokes-persons, that India is the "fastest growing large economy in the world". Never mind that the debate on the new (since January 2015) national income data series, on which this claim is based, remains the subject of vigorous debate and scepticism. Many reputable, non-government analysts believe that "real" economic growth is probably one or two per cent points lower than the 7.5 per cent GDP growth indicated by the new series.
The last two decades have seen a remarkable shift in India's security dialogue. From almost nowhere, issues in the maritime sector have begun to acquire increasing focus. Terms such as Sagar Mala (development of ports), Mausam (promoting interconnectivity with littorals in the waters around us) and Blue Economy have entered the discourse even as efforts to build a stronger Navy and Coast Guard to safeguard the nation's interests at sea and to act as a Net Security Provider have come to the forefront. At every strategic discussion maritime security gets mentioned at the very start of the debate. This relatively recent development merits discussion.
Today, the Republic of Djibouti, the tiny East African nation with a population of just 8,75,000, is fast becoming the hub of global powers. Being in the Horn of Africa, Djibouti holds the key to major international maritime transactions passing through the Gulf of Eden and the Red Sea in the east of the country. Djibouti, being an integral part of the erstwhile French African Empire — l’Afrique Noire — even today, the French Government has an agreement to defend its former colony. As the legend goes, many centuries ago, Yemen and Djibouti were only one country and only after a violent earthquake, both got separated (Africa from Arabia) creating the channel known today as Bab-el-Mandeb. Thus, Bab-el-Mandeb means “Gate of Tears” in Arabic after the cries of those who died in the earthquake.
The first ever state visit by an Indian head of state to Papua New Guinea began on Thursday with remarks by President Pranab Mukherjee brushing aside a suggestion that India was in competition with China in the Pacific region.
India needs a credible response for China, especially for the Indian Ocean region, where it must remain the big power. American support can help significantly in this regard. India just needs to be confident enough to leverage that in its favour
The mention of the South China Sea dispute in the joint communiqué issued by Russia, India, and China after their 14th annual trilateral meeting in Moscow this past week is an interesting development, indicating the evolving stance of all parties on the issue.
India has a developed economic relationship with the Gulf monarchies, and has lately invested in re-furbishing of political ties. The most vivid example of this was the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the UAE recently, and earlier that of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to Saudi Arabia, which yielded the important gain of Riyadh helping us apprehend leading terrorists.
India’s maritime traditions are over 2,000 years old. Evidence suggests Arab traders used to buy spices from Kerala before the Common Era began. It was through the port of Surat that the British first traded with India. Small wonder that 4,500 delegates from 40 countries attended the Maritime India Summit held in Mumbai last week.
India remians the inflexible bête-noir for Pakistan, yet there are few books by Indian authors that have sought to interpret the prodigal neighbour in a holistic, informed and empathetic manner.
The line that Mortimer Durand drew across a small map in 1893 has bled the Pashtun heart ever since. More than a century later both sides of that line remain restless. But the mystery behind what actually happened on 12 November 1893 has never ...
What went wrong for the West in Afghanistan? Why couldn't a global coalition led by the world's preeminent military and economic power defeat "a bunch of farmers in plastic sandals on dirt bikes" in a conflict that outlasted b...
What will be Pakistan's fate? Acts of commission or omission by itself, in/by neighbours, and superpowers far and near have led the nuclear-armed country at a strategic Asian crossroads to emerge as a serious regional and global concern whi...
Some South African generals, allied with the British forces, sought segregation from the enlisted men, all blacks, after being taken prisoners of war. The surprised German commander told them firmly that they would have to share the same quarte...