Monday, 20 February 2017

Trump Reaffirms US Commitment to One China

In his first semiofficial act of foreign policy, President-elect Trump affronted China and upset the apple cart of US-China relations by accepting a congratulatory telephone call from Taiwan’s President, Tsai Ing-wen, breaking thirty-seven years of American tradition.

China considers Taiwan a renegade breakaway province, and its leaders were not pleased when Trump’s aides reported that Trump and Taiwan’s President have spoken about “close economic, political, and security ties” between the two countries. When the news of the Trump-Tsai phone call first broke, foreign-policy experts were appalled; everyone generally agreed that it was a dramatic departure from four decades of the United States’ official non-recognition and partial isolation of the island that both China and Taiwan consider their own.

At that time, it was unclear whether Trump with this decision intended to abruptly change geopolitics, or whether this was simply a new administration-unschooled in the diplomatic protocol of US-China relations-incompetently improvising. There is indication of both; in either case, the manner in which Trump chose to act was very dangerous. The Asian governmental and scholarly communities however remain divided on whether the Trump-Tsai call was inherently a good or a bad thing.

Read Full Article Here: Trump Reaffirms US Commitment to One China

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Pins and Needles: Pakistan’s Concerns

The undercurrents of Pak-Afghan relations are often seen shifting, dictated by leaders in power, national security interests, and foreign policy ties. While many attribute erratic relations between the two countries to their historical baggage, others cite Afghanistan’s swelling affair with India as a reason for its disengagement, and Pakistan’s growing distrust. While Ghani’s appointment got many hoping that a reconciliation was possible between the two countries, more than it was under Karzai, soon into his tenure he was seen blasting Pakistan on international forums and media over its alleged covert and ‘undeclared’ war in Afghanistan, and functioning as a sanctuary for the Afghan Taliban.

However, what remains largely ignored in this narrative is an understanding of Pakistan’s concerns and core interests in Afghanistan, and consequently, its goals and motivations in the country.

Read Full Article Here: Pins and Needles: Pakistan’s Concerns

New Momentum in India-UAE Relations

Earlier last month five Emirati diplomats were killed in an explosion in Kandahar, Afghanistan, and the Afghan authorities were quick to pin the blame on the Haqqani network—allegedly backed by Pakistani intelligence. Since the attack, which was also the first instance of Taliban targeting officials from the UAE, occurred alongside growing counterterrorism cooperation between UAE and India, it prompted a lot of speculation regarding the timing.

The news of the blast came just weeks before Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE’s) armed forces, visited India on its Republic Day celebrations. He was made the first non-head of state to also become the guest of honor for India’s Republic Day parade—a symbolic gesture of goodwill and camaraderie.

During Mohammed bin Zayed’s three-day visit to India, 14 bilateral agreements were signed. The visit laid the groundwork for a “comprehensive strategic partnership for the 21st century”. Several themes covered in the India-UAE joint statement are articulations of a gradual yet defined change in India-UAE relations. Chief among these themes are defense, cyber, space technology, trade and investment, energy, infrastructure, and agriculture, among others.

Read Full Article Here: New Momentum in India-UAE Relations

Monday, 6 February 2017

India-Pakistan: In the name of Terror

India shows willingness to discuss Kashmir issue with PakistanIn the chronicles of -what appears to be- a perpetual rivalry; 2016 was another year marked with tensions between the neighbours.
The start of 2017 saw an elusive recognition of the so called cold start doctrine by the Indian army chief- which has remained under speculation for several years now.
One of the reasons why this theory remained under doubts, was owing to the expensive equipment requirement- which the Indian army lacked.
Worldwide anxieties regarding this offense once again gained traction after the reported US$ 2billion purchase of the T-90 main battle tanks from Russia- to be deployed on India’s western border with Pakistan , along with the existing tanks that are mostly outdated.
The former year included several mega defence deals between India : US, France , Israel , Russia etc. aimed at expanding current capabilities and modernizing its military. This makeover is much needed because of the failure of indigenous programs and the past reliance on Russia.

Read Full Article Here: India-Pakistan: In the name of Terror