Asia

Becoming a Great “Maritime Power” : A Chinese Dream
Asia, China

Becoming a Great “Maritime Power” : A Chinese Dream

In November 2012, then president Hu Jintao's work report to the Chinese Communist Party's 18th Party Congress was a defining moment in China's maritime history. Hu declared that China's objective is to be a haiyang qiangguo— that is, a strong or great maritime power. China "should enhance our capacity for exploiting marine resources, develop the marine economy, protect the marine ecological environment, resolutely safeguard China's maritime rights and interests, and build China into a strong maritime power".[1] Hu's report also called for building a military (the PLA) that would be "commensurate with China's international standing." These two objectives were repeated in the 2012 PRC defense white paper, which was not released until April 2013, after Xi Jinping had assumed Party and nat
We’re on the side of peace: India Foreign Minister urges Russia, Ukraine to return to dialogue and diplomacy
Asia, Politics

We’re on the side of peace: India Foreign Minister urges Russia, Ukraine to return to dialogue and diplomacy

India’s External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar stated on Sunday that his country is supporting peace in the present turmoil in Ukraine and that New Delhi has been working to resume conversation and diplomacy ever since the conflict broke out since disagreements cannot be resolved by violence. Jaishankar, who arrived India from Cyprus on the second leg of his two-nation tour, made the remarks while addressing the members of the Indian diaspora. "This (Ukraine) conflict is really a matter of very, very deep concern… Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared in September (that) we actually genuinely believe that this is no longer an era of war. You cannot settle differences and issues through violence,” Jaishankar said. “We know this is not (an) easily resolvable situation. But i
“Terror Epicenter Located Close To India”: S Jaishankar’s Veiled Dig At Pak In Austria
Asia

“Terror Epicenter Located Close To India”: S Jaishankar’s Veiled Dig At Pak In Austria

India’s External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar stated that the epicentre of terrorism is close to India in a subliminal jab at Pakistan.  At a press conference with Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg, Jaishankar said he had discussions with Austrian officials about the dangers terrorism poses to world peace.  We had a lengthy discussion about the dangers that terrorism poses to world peace and security, including its cross-border activities, violent extremism, radicalization, and fundamentalism, according to Jaishankar. He added, "Their effects cannot be contained within a region especially so when they are deeply connected to narcotics and illegal weapons trade, and other forms of international crime. Since the epicentre is located so close to India, nat
Problem with China an ‘intense challenge’ for India, says Jaishankar
Asia, Politics

Problem with China an ‘intense challenge’ for India, says Jaishankar

S. Jaishankar, the minister of external affairs, called the issue with China a "intense challenge" and made fun of Pakistan by claiming that the issue of cross-border terrorism from Islamabad still exists.  Jaishankar addressed the Vienna-based Indian community by saying, "Now, I spoke to you about the changes in governance. Let me also add that our national security has undergone apparent, significant changes throughout this time. Naturally, a large portion of that is focused on the more serious difficulties we encounter at our northern border with China. I imagine the majority of you are aware of that. “We continue to have, of course, the problem of cross-border terrorism with Pakistan,” he added. Indian and Chinese soldiers clashed along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) i
“Both Sides Willing…”: New China Foreign Minister On Ties With India
Asia, China

“Both Sides Willing…”: New China Foreign Minister On Ties With India

In an opinion piece for the American journal The National Interest, China's incoming foreign minister Qin Gang stated that Beijing wants to strengthen ties with New Delhi.  Days prior to Wang Yi's replacement, Qin addressed India-China border disputes in an article titled "How China Sees the World," stating that "both sides are eager to ameliorate the situation and mutually protect peace along their borders." The Galwan Valley and Pangong Lake in the west of the LAC, have hosted flashpoints in recent years. In the east in Tawang, the site of the latest scuffle, there are discussions about Buddhist holy sites whose control can have implications for China's authority over Tibet and its next spiritual leader according to a report in Newsweek. On December 20, India and China con...
China’s daydream of imperialism faces challenge in its backyards
Asia, China

China’s daydream of imperialism faces challenge in its backyards

Thanks to the attempts by the leaders of the Communist Party of China to exploit two neighbours of China of their resources, natural as well as financial, Chinese citizens are on the receiving end in Beijing’s all-weather ally Pakistan, as well as in Afghanistan which it has treated as its backyard since the exit of the United States from the scene. China’s “daydream of imperialism” seems to have received a jolt. A measure of the insecurity is that all Chinese nationals working in China Pakistan Economic Corridor in Pakistan have been asked to move in bullet-proof vehicles when outdoors; while on December 13, following a coordinated attack the previous day by Islamic State Khorasan Province militants on a Chinese-owned hotel in the heart of Kabul, Beijing advised Chinese citizens in Af
Southeast Asia’s Red Line against China’s Hegemonic Approach
Asia, China

Southeast Asia’s Red Line against China’s Hegemonic Approach

China’s superiority not only as a regional powerhouse but also as a predator in the global arena has prompted many of its neighbouring countries to adopt a cautionary approach to the red dragon.  China on its part, has initiated its quest for power by intensifying its multi-trillion-dollar pet project, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which aims to ascend the Chinese state as the hegemon of the global world. The project however, has mostly been a contentious prospect of which global financial advisors have generally warned against. China’s ability to trap credit taking nations and is understood to be an economic bait in order to influence power over economically volatile countries. Throughout the previous decade, financial assistances in the form of developmental aid and financ
Countering China: Japan Raises Military Spending to Record Levels
Asia

Countering China: Japan Raises Military Spending to Record Levels

Japan is finally strengthening its military might against the looming Chinese threat. Following Japan’s new National Security Strategy that pledged to increase its defence budget from 1 per cent of GDP to 2 per cent, the Kishida government approved a record $862 billion budget for the 2023 fiscal year, with a large portion earmarked for defence spending amid rising regional security challenges from China. The budget includes $277.6 billion for social security and $51 billion for the military, a 26.3 per cent increase from $40.6 billion in the current defence budget, the Kyodo News reported on 23 December. That will bring Japan into the third position globally regarding military spending, behind the United States and China. The defence budget includes expenditures for the impr
Is the integrity of the EU compromised?
Asia

Is the integrity of the EU compromised?

The world has been taken aback by revelation of a scandal in the European Parliament (EP) which involves illicit lobbying activities by Qatar. Sabotage of the EP, an important diplomatic body known for applying pressure to hostile regimes or those that engage in human rights abuses or anti-democratic behaviour, threatens to blow up into a major crisis at the heart of the European Union. On December 09, 2022, Belgian police in coordination with Europol searched 16 homes and detained at least four people in and around Brussels as part of an inquiry into what prosecutors called “criminal organization, corruption and money laundering”. Over €600,000 worth of cash in denominations of €100 €200 and even €500 notes was also seized. The arrests follow a six month investigation into widespread
A cornered Pakistan in denial mode over pitiable state of its minorities
Asia

A cornered Pakistan in denial mode over pitiable state of its minorities

Undergoing global criticism over treatment of religious minorities in the country, Pakistan government received a jolt in the form of latest designation by the United States under its International Religious Freedom Act. Pakistan was among the 12 nations which were identified as “countries of particular concern" for religious freedom on December 2, 2022. The countries were so designated for having engaged in or tolerated particularly severe violations of religious freedom. This is not the first time that the United States has called out the role of Pak government and other institutions in suppressing the identity and curtailing the rights of minorities.  Earlier, through a report on Human Rights Practices for 2021, the US Department of State had raised serious questions on the tre