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Showing posts from August 26, 2018

Ethnic cleansing of Uyghur identity by China

    Introduction The Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, the northwest province of the People's Republic of China, is where Beijing and the Muslim World cross paths. The region appears tremendously important for China from a geo-strategic perspective as it abuts the borders of India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Mongolia, Russia and the Tibet Autonomous region, and connects the country with the regions of Central and South Asia, while also acting as a security and defence buffer zone. It further encompasses the disputed territory of Aksai Chin, part of the erstwhile princely State of Jammu & Kashmir, which is currently administered by China. In addition to that, the abundance of gas, oil reserves and mineral resources in the region is of vital significance for China for the alleviation of its energy security issues, alongside with the exploitation of the territory for nuclear testing. Yet, Xinjiang largely remains a troubled region and considere

The Unending Game by Vikram Sood: The shadowy world of espionage

India Today Vappala BalachandranNew DelhiAugust 31, 2018 UPDATED: August 31, 2018 17:17 IST The Unending Game: A Former R&AW's Chief's Insight into Espionage by Vikram Sood | Penguin Viking, 304 pages, Rs 599 Writers on intelligence face two problems. First, intelligence is a low-profile job where there is no place for dabanggs. Stella Rimington, MI5's first woman chief, had famously said that "the best and most successful spies are the quiet, apparently boring and dull people". But readers expect them to reflect Ian Fleming's 'Bond' stories. Second, even retired intelligence officers resent it when such books do not highlight drama. Allen Dulles had said that the legendary British Second World War SOE (Special Operations Executives) "who set Europe ablaze" were agitated by the "staid and sober" official history by their military historian, whereas the media had glorified them. The Unending Game by former R&AW chief Vik

Russia’s Deadly Embrace of Pakistan

By Vinay Kaura August 31, 2018 Vladimir Putin meets with former Pakistani PM Nawaz Sharif via Office of the President of the Russian Federation BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 936, August 31, 2018 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:  In a far-reaching development for India’s strategic interests, Russia signed an agreement with Pakistan for naval cooperation on July 31. The agreement comes on the heels of an accord between Moscow and Islamabad in April of this year to increase cooperation in the training of armed forces personnel in the naval field and the conduct of a wide range of joint military exercises. Russia is building military, diplomatic, and economic ties with Pakistan that could upend historic alliances in the South Asian region. Ties between India and Russia date back to the Cold War, but relations between Cold War adversaries Russia and Pakistan are now being developed on the basis of a convergence of interests. With Washington suspending or curtailing military aid to Pakistan,

Aspen Ananta Center: Focus Neighborhood

Aspen Ananta Center About Ananta Aspen Centre Ananta Aspen Centre is an independent and not-for-profit organisation that seeks to foster positive change in society through dissemination of knowledge. The Centre facilitates discussions on issues of international significance, values-based leadership and cross-sector outreach by engaging the civil society, government, private sector, and other key stakeholders. AFGHANISTAN MoU Signed for €18.058m Socio-Economic Project to be Implemented Along Kabul River Outlook Afghanistan | 30 th  August A Memorandum of Understanding was signed for the implementation of a project for social, economic, and environmental development in the areas located along Kabul River. The Office of the President, ARG Palace, said the MoU was signed by acting Finance Minister Dr. Humayoun Qayoumi, acting Urban Develoment Minister Roshan Wolasmal, Charrge d’Affairs of the Embassy of Germany Christophe Pilix, and the head of the Aga Khan Trust for Culture Ajmal Maiw

To Balance Chinese Influence, India Needs to Ensure Its Africa Gaze Is More Constant

Luke Patey August 31, 7:00 am  File photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi with IAFS delegations during the India Africa Forum Summit in New Delhi. Credit: PTI As China’s top-level Africa forum is held in Beijing on September 3 and 4, and India is slated to hold its next triennial Africa summit in the near future, the foreign policy establishment in New Delhi will once again turn its geopolitical gaze west to the African continent. India’s trade with Africa has grown in leaps and bounds over the last decade, but all too often, once official visits and large summits come to an end, the attention New Delhi places on Africa quickly fades. This time, however, India should stay tuned. Africa can no longer be viewed as intermittent and peripheral interest. Instead, Africa must be appreciated as part and parcel of New Delhi’s challenge of recouping lost geostrategic ground from China’s expansionist endeavours on the Indian Ocean. Together, China’s Belt and Road Initiative, to drive tra

Chinese Influence Operations: Entities

Central Asia Digest: Ananta Aspen Centre

Ambassador Ashok Sajjanhar Advisor, Central Asia, Ananta Aspen Centre Former Ambassador of India to Kazakhstan, Sweden and Latvia AUGUST 2018| VOL 03 ISSUE 08| MONTHLY   H I G H L I G H T S  ●   Political Developments   ● Economic Developments ● India-Central Asia Relations  Political Developments The five littoral States of Caspian Sea –  Russia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan  - agreed in principle on 12th August, 2018 to share the potentially huge oil and gas resources of the sea, paving way for more energy exploration and pipeline projects. However, delimitation of the seabed - which has caused the most disputes - will require additional agreements between these countries. Alongside the Draft Convention on Legal Status of Caspian Sea, the countries established an extensive negotiating framework. Establishment of a reliable legal framework will expand cooperation between the five countries. The Convention bestows a special legal status to this body of water -

Curse or Blessing? The U.S. Dollar as the Global Currency Is the U.S. Dollar a Curse or a Blessing? Curse or Blessing? The U.S. Dollar as the Global Currency Is the U.S. Dollar a Curse or a Blessing? 18 August 2018 geralt Over the last five years (2013 to 2017), the U.S. trade deficit has averaged  $500 billion per year. That means on its own: in each of these five years, U.S. external debt  increased by $500 billion . By the end of March 2018, the gross external debt of the U.S. had reached a value of more than  $19 trillion  – the world’s highest debt of an economy. Learn in this post whether the  U.S. Dollar  is a curse or a blessing and why. In two earlier blog posts, I wrote about the anatomy of the U.S. trade deficit and the role of the exchange rate of the dollar for this deficit. Now I’ll discuss the role of the dollar in the U.S.’s high and sustained external debt. A U.S. trade deficit automatically means that