Monday December 18, 2017
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India-China to exchange security strategies

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New Delhi: Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday initiated his 6-day visit to China. He is scheduled for a discussion in the Public Security University regarding India-China concerns on security training difficulties.

Singh reached China last night and has already met Fan Jingyu, the ruling secretary of Communist Party of China’s University unit, to deliberate about issues concerning training of police officers.

The significance of his trip is that in nearly a decade, he is the first Indian Home Minister to visit China. He is scheduled to meet Guo Shengkun the Public Security Minister of China, today.

The visit is expected to enhance the already improving relations between both the countries. The countries are also rationalising devices to address the displeased border dispute.

Singh tweeted his objective before leaving for the visit, to promote reinforcement of traditional and mutual education for better appreciation between India-China. He also anticipated deepening of mutual understanding and trust between the neighbouring countries.

His trip to China is predicted to develop confidence and strengthen political ties with the country, which was initiated by President Xi Jinping’s visit to India early this month, followed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to China.

He is scheduled to reach Shanghai on Saturday where he would meet the security officials of Communist Party and address a meeting of the Indian Association of Shanghai.

A Chinese-English daily had reported that India has asked China to share their strategy in dealing with jihad activities in Northwest China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.

“In turn, the Indian government, which has gathered considerable intelligence in Pakistan, may also provide terrorism-related intelligence in Xinjiang to China,” said Sun Shihai, vice director of Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, to the daily.

The similarity of threats created among the neighbouring countries is compelling and is helping the countries learn from their experiences and help each other.

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India’s foreign policy: Challenges and Achievements

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www.freepressjournal.in

In this piece on India’s foreign policy, the author deals with the challenges and the achievements of the Modi-led Indian government in the field of International-affairs.

By Arpit Gupta

Strategies are never revealed, they are reflected in the person’s tasks. The Modi government has been working on the strategy of bringing foreign investment and enhancing economic cooperation with the strategically located, powerful, and developed countries of the world. The exploitation of the Indian market by China’s marketing experts had been a matter of concern for Indian government since last 5-6 years. The Modi government has come up with a planned agenda of convincing the countries of Indo-Pacific region to deal with the China’s increasing dominance in the Asian economy.

Modi’s foreign policy and his agenda of “MAKE IN INDIA” to bring foreign direct investment (FDI) in the manufacturing sector have been the prime issues trending in Indian economic and political domains. Modi has inherited foreign policy legacy of the NDA government led by Atal Bihari Vajpayi. Modi’s mind has been playing many tricks in these two years of his government and his decisions are not clearly understood by the common people of India. Since the work has not been on the ground, it appears to be only virtual. But for the sake of the country’s development, Modi’s efforts to enhance trade and economic co-operations with neighboring countries have been outstanding and his “ACT EAST POLICY”has gained an unexpected success till now. Modi’s foreign visits have been very much strategic and his visit to Japan, South Korea, US, etc. has given his government a lot to praise.

Modi’s intention to balance the economic upliftment of China in the Asian context has compelled Modi to work with China, which is the reason behind the Strategic and Economic Dialogue (SED) between the two countries. Moreover, China, being the leading exporter of capital and technology and second largest economy of the world can never be ignored by any government in New Delhi. Modi’s focus on Japan is an important step in the Asian context as Japan is the leading country in the field of technology which India needs. Moreover, Japan is the only way  for India to enhance its economic importance and its dominance in Indo-Pacific region without any strategic alliance with China. The Indo-Pacific region has its own significance in the economic development of India and the visits of foreign minister Sushma Swaraj to the neighboring countries located on the bank of Indian/Pacific ocean (for instance Vietnam) shows how important are they for India to strengthen its hold on the region.

India has often been confused regarding the path it should chose in dealing with the prominent economic giants. Whether to align with Japan-US or to go with China-Russia has been the dilemma facing the Indian foreign policy makers. India guards the sanctity of national sovereignty almost as zealously as China and Russia do. But Indian economic experts are more “tending” towards US-Japan because of their dominance on the world and their economic stability.

Only with time, one may be able to make a judgment regarding the success or failure of Modi’s foreign policy, but it is undeniable that world’s economic powers have taken note of India’s emergence economically and have recognized the fact that India is politically stable enough to maintain its economic progress.

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Nepalese thorn to get worse for India

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New Delhi: Among the chattering diplomatic community of New Delhi, Nepalese Ambassador Deep Kumar Upadhyay is certainly one of the exceptions. A suave, but no nonsense personality, he is also known for his economy of words.

So when he asks India “not to press Nepal to the wall” as it seeks help from other countries, including China, the strategic threat to New Delhi looks close at hand. India has all along maintained that non-supply of essential commodities to Nepal is entirely due to agitation by the Madhesis and the janajatis (people of tribal origin) on the Nepalese side of the border. Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) personnel however confirm that at least till the third week of September, they had orders from above to intercept fuel shipments to Nepal.

Khadga Prasad Oli, the new Nepalese prime minister, represents the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist – Leninist), which is known for its virulent anti- India approach and, given this changed political scenario, Upadhyay’s threat does not look like an empty boast. Since the time of king Mahendra in the 1960s, Nepal has been using its position as a buffer between India and China but from New Delhi’s perspective, the situation has never been so worrisome as it is now.

This is because China has greatly increased its presence and influence in Nepal in the last decade, mainly through pecuniary help, financing of infrastructural projects and cultural programmes. It is even planning to dig a tunnel beneath Mount Everest for extending the Qinghai-Lhasa railway line to Kathmandu. This project is strategically important for China as it is now aiming to penetrate the economies of various South Asian countries.

For quite some time now, China has been breathing heavily down on India’s neck by its presence in Nepal and Bhutan and its influence on Kathmandu can be gauged from the fact that before the convening of the last Constituent Assembly, leaders of almost all political parties had gone to Beijing for confabulations.

For the present, we may leave aside the Everest tunnel question because its technical feasibility has been questioned even in China. It is undeniable that India is still far ahead of China in matters of investments and building up of projects in Nepal. But it is also true that China is catching up very fast. Beijing will invest $1.6 billion towards constructing a 750 MW hydropower project in West Seti. Another Chinese company is constructing a similar project in the Upper Tamakoshi region. Moreover, China is involved in the modernization of the Araniko highway which connects Kathmandu with the Chinese border near Kodari. Most importantly, Beijing will invest $20 million for upgrading the 17-km-long dirt track between Syaphrubesi and Kyirong (in Tibet). On the Chinese side of the border, Beijing has constructed Highway No.318 which leads to Lhasa and ultimately to Shanghai. This highway is not far off from either Kodari or Kyirong.

The focus of China’s internal and external policy has now shifted from its eastern seaboard to the interior part of the country encompassing Tibet, Quinghai, Gansu, Sichuan, Kunming and Xinjiang. Of them, Tibet occupies the central position due to its huge mineral and water resources. As Nepal has a long border with Tibet and more than 20,000 Tibetan refugees, China will never allow its growing hold on Nepal to slacken.

For this China is invading Nepal culturally too. Reversing an earlier trend, Nepalese students, particularly from the elite families are now going to China, instead of India, for higher studies. To facilitate the process, numerous China Study Centres have come up in Nepal, particularly in Kathmandu and in the Terai region bordering India.

But the agitating Madhesis and the janajatis also have reasons of their own. Their anger stems from the fact that 14 districts inhabited by them have been integrated with regions dominated by the hill people. It is a fact that the Madhesis constitute more than one-third of the country’s population. More than 70 percent of Nepal’s agricultural produce comes from their areas, which contribute 65 percent of Nepal’s gross domestic product and 76 percent of the country’s revenue – but they constitute only 9.9 percent of the gazetted-level government employees.

Prolonged unrest in the Terai region, with its long borders with India’s Bihar and Uttar Pradesh states, may help China to a great extent. Already armed fissiparous groups like the Madhesi Janadhikar Forum (MFJ), the Terai Cobra, the Nepal Defense Army and the like are operating in this area. China is known to be backing one faction of the MFJ. All of these groups have close ethnic identities with the people of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. If the situation goes out of control in the Terai belt, then China might also try to foment trouble on the Indian side of the border.

The going for India certainly seems to be rough.

(By Amitava Mukherjee, IANS)

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Reviving Silk Route: China eyes high speed rail link between Kunming and Kolkata

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

China has shown interest in establishing a high speed rail link between Kunming and Kolkata in order to revive the ancient silk route. The proposal was mentioned at the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) meet in Kunming.

As per media reports the proposal seeks to give a boost to the Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar (BCIM) multi-model corridor project initiated by China.

“We are in favour of it. The high-speed corridor would help the economies of Myanmar and Bangladesh as well,” Li Ji Ming, vice secretary of Yunnan provincial government was reported as saying.

The 2800 kilometer rail route could be a significant component for the BCIM corridor that seeks trade and flow of people across the border.

Reportedly, Yunnan is one of the major provinces engaged in the construction of China-Indo-China peninsula economic corridor and BCIM economic corridor.

Mink has asked for “active participation” from India to develop the BCIM and China-India peninsula corridor projects.

“We are glad to know that after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi assumed office, the look east policy has substantially moved ahead. We hope we can join our efforts together. We are big partners and influential in the region,” he was reported as saying.

China has been seeking a revival of the ancient silk route with a visionary plan to establish wide-ranging connectivity from Kunming to Kolkata. Reportedly it has pledged US $40 billion for the silk route, having a trade potential of US $132 billion.