The term ‘Indo-Pacific’ is used to denote America’s new geopolitical view of Asia. For the U.S. administration, the policy for Indo-Pacific is key to its maintenance of supremacy in the global order. As Joe Biden assumes the presidential office of the U.S., there are varied implications for the whole world of which the Indo-Pacific region remains to be one of the main focuses. Biden claimed that “America is back” and suggested “major shifts” in approach regarding foreign policy issues. The U.S. appears to remain in the game of Indo-Pacific for a longer time. America’s policy towards the countries like India, China and Southeast Asian nations will be a decisive factor in determining the prospects and challenges of the Indo-Pacific region. Under the Biden administration, the U.S. is expected to have a robust military presence in the Indo-Pacific region and at the same time, it has pledged to have deeper ties with the nations in the region. Hence, it will be one of the major players in the geopolitical atmosphere of the region. Thus, it has become important for the Indo-Pacific regional nations to weigh in their prospects and challenges in the given situation to draw the best out of it.
Ethiopia is fast descending into a civil war situation again, after its recent impressive economic and diplomatic performance. The ethnic conflicts at the heart of this situation is threatening to destabilize not only the country but the entire Horn of Africa region- inviting the concern of the international community.
e 6-week war in Nagorno-Karabakh has been brought to an end following the signing of the peace agreement brokered by Russia. After the signing of this pact, it is evident that Azerbaijan is the clear winner as Armenia was forced to concede several of its territories to its rival. Two other countries became unlikely victors in this conflict – Russia and Turkey. Both these countries have ensured that they had a key role to play in this conflict, leading to their presence growing in South Caucasus.
“I may not agree with what you say, but I shall defend until death your right to say it” is one of the most profound arguments for freedom of speech and expression. This quote has never been more relevant than under current circumstances when a series of Islamic terror attacks in France has reignited the debate between freedom of speech and blasphemy. These attacks were a response to an offensive depiction of Prophet Mohammad by a satirical magazine. The recent terror attacks and the freedom of expression and religion followed in France have spilled over to the international arena, with several Muslim majority countries like Turkey, Pakistan, Malaysia and others criticising French President Macron’s strategy to reform Islam in France in accordance with its constitutional principles.
The World is set to witness another cold war in the 21st century. The 5G technology and race to dominate it has been intensified with the US-led West and China engaging in a multilayered competition. The US President has called for international blacklisting of Huawei which is right now leading the 5G tech research and implementation. Banning of Chinese Apps on the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic is the next step in line with the ensued cold war.
In early July 2020, An extract of the final award of the ad-hoc tribunal constituted to settle disputes related to the United Nations Convention for the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) regarding Italian marines Case between India and Italy was published by the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA). It has ordered to cease all criminal proceedings against the two Italian Soldiers in Indian courtrooms by rejecting India’s contention that the soldiers, who were accused of killing Indian fishermen, could be trialled in Indian courts. Following the order, Centre has made a plea in Supreme Court seeking the closure of cases against the Italian soldiers. But the Supreme Court has refused to pass any such order without hearing victims’ kin and getting them paid the compensation.
India recently joined the Djibouti Code of Conduct as an Observer, after a high-level meeting held virtually on August 26 this year. This has furthered India’s outreach at the Indian Ocean Region. This opportunity must be utilised, especially amid the current times of crisis to provide various assistances apart from maritime security to the littorals in the Western Indian Ocean Region, which holds global strategic significance.
India-UAE relationship can be seen as a bond built for the ages. Starting the diplomatic relations in 1972, both the countries enjoy strong bonds of friendship based on age-old cultural, religious and economic ties between the two nations. Recently, India held a joint commission meeting with UAE on trade, discussed regional, international developments. The Indian side invited further investments from the UAE in key sectors of the Indian economy, such as infrastructure, including logistics, food parks, highways, ports, airports, renewable energy and defence. Moreover, India has welcomed full normalization of ties between the UAE and Israel through the Abraham Accord last month.
Recently Pakistan has reaffirmed the strength of its relations with Saudi Arabia after a diplomatic spat sparked by apparent inaction by the Gulf kingdom on the issue of Kashmir and also threatened to derail what has been one of the South Asian country’s strongest alliances in the region. The long-time allies seem like drifting apart, with Saudi who prefers to build ties with India instead of criticizing it over Kashmir.