Reading Time: 9 mins Quad Plus, which includes Quad countries along with South Korea, New Zealand and Vietnam, initiated weekly video conferences since March 20 to discuss the common issues pertaining to COVID-19 pandemic. These discussions have brought Quad back into focus as one of the important groupings in the Indo-Pacific. While the expansion of the alliance to ensure international cooperation to deal with this crisis a step in the right direction, the ultimate objective of countering China’s aggression has been put on the backburner though Beijing has increased its hostility in the South China Sea and Sino-Indian borders.
Reading Time: 12 mins In order to prevent the repetition of the 2019 anti-government protests, Beijing has taken measures to block dissent to its full absorption of Hong Kong into China. It has tightened its grip on Hong Kong’s legislation and press and tracked down key activists who are campaigning for full democracy. The recent enactment of national anthem bill and the national security bill to further curb free speech led to uncertainty for the residents of Hong Kong. There was a huge surge in the protests after months of silence due to the COVID-19.
Reading Time: 10 mins Taiwan’s success in containing the COVID-19 infections despite being a neighbour of China, the original epicentre of the pandemic, has brought a spotlight on the island nation. The de facto independent nation has not been formally recognised as a sovereign country since it lost its “China” position to the Communist Party in Beijing. Many countries have called for Taiwan’s increased participation in international platforms like World Health Assembly because it emerged as the global exemplar. Yet, these calls do not bring in the intended results due to the One China policy. India, having taken charge as Chairman of WHO executive board, has found itself in a tight spot in this situation, with the growing hostility of Beijing and increasing demand for its support for Taiwan from close allies.
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The informal summit was held between India and China in October this year in the coastal town of Mamallapuram also known as Mahabalipuram in Tamil Nadu. This is the second of such summits held between the two nations. In recent times, the informal summits have increasingly become an important tool to ease the tensions between the two rival nations and enhance the diplomatic relationship to prevent any future conflicts for the peace and stability of the region.
Reading Time: 5 mins United Nations Security Council is argued to be not in par with the current geopolitical scenario. Since its establishment in 1945, there has been little to no change in its structure.
Many countries including India are bidding for permanent membership in this organisation. This allows them to carry out their national interests, boost their political power in the global arena and create a balance of power in the multipolar world.
However, there has been little progress in this regard due to the rigid stance taken by the 5 permanent members who are unwilling to reduce their power status and also power rivalry amongst nations.
Reading Time: 9 mins The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) has passed a consistent path and in a comparatively short period of time has proved to be an effective model of multilateral cooperation based on mutual trust, equality, harmonious coexistence of different cultures and civilizations.
With the entry of India and Pakistan, the SCO has become the largest regional grouping in the world, encompassing 60 percent of Eurasia’s territory with a population of around 3.2 billion people, and account for almost a quarter of global GDP.
Reading Time: 7 mins In 2013, Chinese President Xi Jinping launched China’s most ambitious project One Belt One Road (OBOR) which involves the building of two projects namely – Silk Road Economic Belt (SREB) and a 21st Century Maritime Silk Road (MSR). OBOR later came to be known as Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). BRI is arguably the most ambitious global infrastructure project ever envisaged by one country. However, is this merely an economic project? or a geopolitical one of China? Will India get any benefit by joining this project or not? Let us discuss those issues in detail.
Reading Time: 5 mins Recently, Indian firm “India Ports Global Limited” took over operations at the Shahid Behesti Port in Chabahar, Iran. The representative of India, Iran, and Afghanistan met and finalized the routes for trade and transit corridors between the three nations. An event has also been planned on February 26, 2019, to promote and popularise the potential of Chabahar port.
Reading Time: 5 mins Pakistan has invited Saudi Arabia to join $50 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) as the 3rd strategic partner. A formal invitation was made in this regard after Pakistan PM Imran Khan visited Saudi Arabia during his 1st foreign trip after getting elected.