Making Sense of China’s Dream

After more than two months of high decibel sabre-rattling, the standoff between India and China in the Himalayas entered a process of phased deescalation in late July. This by no means suggests that the current crisis is coming to an end — merely that it is moving into the next stage of what is likely... Continue Reading →

Multilateralism With Chinese Characteristics: Bringing in the Hub-and-Spoke

Shortly after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared that “neither had China entered our territory, nor occupied our posts,” on June 19, in reference to the tragic incident in Eastern Ladakh’s Galwan Valley, China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs released their version of events. China turned Modi’s statement around to accuse India of transgressing and trying... Continue Reading →

Playing the long game with China

The news of the terrible tragedy in the Galwan Valley on June 15, expectedly, evoked anger, sadness, and loathing in all of us. Within hours, however, the tragedy of the moment was sullied by a tragic-comedy of errors. In one instance, television anchors struggled to read an imagined list of Chinese casualties circulating on WhatsApp;... Continue Reading →

Health Silk Road — How China plans to make BRI essential in Covid-hit South Asia

China’s foreign minister Wang Yi finally admitted late last month that the Covid-19 pandemic has severely slowed down Beijing’s flagship foreign policy project, the Belt and Road Initiative. He, however, asserted that the impact was temporary, and the BRI will be back, stronger than ever. Yi’s comment follows some creative policymaking from China as the pandemic spread across the... Continue Reading →

The BRI in Post-Coronavirus South Asia

As the coronavirus pandemic advanced in South Asia in late March, the Chinese ambassador in Kathmandu tweeted about medical aid to Nepal, promising, “You will never be alone.” Gathering many retweets and messages of thanks, the message reflected the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) attempt to garner global appreciation for its healthcare aid and medical assistance efforts.... Continue Reading →

The 30-year itch in India-China ties

The stand-off at the India-Bhutan-China tri-junction reflects the dissonance in the Sino-Indian relationship, driven by a hardening of the Chinese stand on territorial claims. Some Indian analysts suggest a comprehensive relook at India’s approach to such assertiveness, while others believe such a “reset” is already under way. The last such “reset” of relations was in... Continue Reading →

China-India Relations After the NSG Plenary  

Few analysts following developments at the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) plenary in South Korea expected India’s membership bid to sail through. As the dust settles, what is clear is that Xi Jinping’s China differs considerably from Hu Jintao’s China. The latter did not want to stand alone; the former is on the path to establishing... Continue Reading →

Addressing India’s Strategic Needs Through a National Space Law

  The Changing Trajectory of Space Missions For a country that has developed a robust space exploration program over the last five decades, India has managed surprisingly well without a national space law. Current policy reflects realities from more than fifty years ago, when “national development” was the primary aim; this resulted in detailed guidelines... Continue Reading →

Reorienting India’s Foreign Policy: Neighborhood First

Signals may not speak as loudly as actions, but they go a long way in diplomacy. Narendra Modi’s decision to invite all South Asian heads of state to his inauguration signaled that the neighborhood would be central in his foreign policy. Elected on a mandate to boost India’s sagging growth numbers, Modi knows he has... Continue Reading →

Modi Hits a High Note in the US, Now for Action

As the first Indian Prime Minister ever to visit the Silicon Valley, Narendra Modi has spent the weekend with the biggest names in the tech business. From touring the Tesla headquarters with the maverick CEO Elon Musk to being flanked by India-born tech CEOs including Google’s Sunder Pichai, Microsoft’s Satya Nadella and Adobe’s Shantanu Narayan... Continue Reading →

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