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Showing posts from March 21, 2021

Joint Online Seminar on “China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) & its Implications on India’s National Security”

Joint Online Seminar on “China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) & its Implications on India’s National Security” By  India Education Diary Bureau Admin  on March 27, 2021 New Delhi: A ‘Student Centric’ joint online seminar was conducted by Amity Institute of Defence & Strategic Studies (AIDSS) in collaboration with Centre for Land Warfare Studies (CLAWS) and National Maritime Foundation (NMF) on a defence-oriented subject of “China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) & its Implications on India’s National Security” at the Amity University, Noida. Inaugurating the Joint Seminar, Former Chief of Army Staff, Former Director VIF, General NC Vij, PVSM, UYSM, AVSM (Retd) Chief Guest for the occasion, said “today’s subject is very important especially for national security. As far as China- Pakistan Economic Corridor is concerned, we have to understand that India has a very unique and challenging security scenario. Our neighbours China and Pakistan are in deep collusion with each o

China’s Civilian Fishing Fleets Are Still Weapons of Territorial Control

Photograph from Xinhua News showing a Chinese maritime militia ship in 2016. In response to the ongoing presence of over 200 Chinese vessels at Whitsun Reef in the Spratly Islands, the Philippine government filed a diplomatic protest with China earlier this week, demanding that China recall the vessels. Experts, the Philippine government, and the US Department of State have all suggested that this fleet is likely composed of ships from China’s maritime militia, an increasingly professionalized force of ostensible fishermen who answer to a People’s Liberation Army (PLA) chain of command. Despite mounting evidence, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying claimed that these vessels are just “fishing boats” that are “taking shelter from the wind.” Likewise, China’s embassy in Manila denied the presence of any maritime militia ships. But even if the vessels in question were civilian fishermen, that would not preclude them from asserting control over Whitsun Reef or other disp

Why India shouldn’t use blockchain for GST. It will make planet hotter, for one

India’s GST system will not work better if carried out through blockchains — they can be as easy to manipulate. NISHEETH SRIVASTAVA  and  SANDEEP K. SHUKLA 26 March, 2021 Representational image | Piqsels W e read with great consternation an article that appeared in ThePrint — India’s answer to tax-evasion lies in blockchain —suggesting that the country should store GST tax records on a blockchain. Such a move, authors Susan Ostermann, Jarek Nabrzyski and Ian Taylor write, would reduce cases of tax evasion, corruption, and streamline payments in the GST system. Even in today’s world, where wrong-headed policy proposals and proposals demonstrating an incorrect understanding of technology are commonplace, this article stands out as an impressive  tour de force  in being egregious on both counts. We felt compelled to write this response to caution against the adoption of such shallow and misleading proposals, seemingly generated out of a comprehensive misunderstanding of blockchain technol

Bangladesh at 50 — how it outpaced India on many counts & justified break-away from Pakistan

Bangladesh matches or bests India on many fiscal, economic & social indicators. Foreign aid is less than 2% of it GDP; it’s no longer Kissinger’s ‘basket case’. TN NINAN 27 March, 2021 O ver the past decade, Bangladesh has gained increasing recognition as the stellar economic performer in South Asia. With a per capita income that is now higher than India’s, superior economic growth rates, less inequality, and in some instances better social indicators, Bangladesh has reason to celebrate its golden jubilee as an independent nation. The transformation from the trauma of 1971 is there for all to see. In the early years, foreign aid used to be equal to about a seventh of the country’s GDP; it now accounts for less than 2 per cent. This is no longer Kissinger’s “basket case”, not by a long chalk. Bangladesh now has better numbers than India on its fiscal deficit, merchandise trade balance, and employment (especially of women). It also has better public debt/GDP and investment/GDP ratios

Chinese espionage operations in Finland and Estonia highlight security challenges

MERICS Finish and Estonian intelligence services released details on domestic Chinese espionage operations thwarted in the last few months. What you need to know On March 18, the Finnish Security and Intelligence Service identified the APT31 operation, with links to China, as perpetrators behind the hack into the Finnish Parliament’s network last fall. The cybersecurity companies  define  the APT31 as a nexus of cyberespionage actors who extract information useful to Chinese government and SOEs. The network breach compromised the security of multiple email accounts including those belonging to Finish MPs. Last week, Estonia convicted Tarmo Kõuts, an Estonian scientist working on NATO maritime and submarine research, to three years in prison for espionage in the interest of China. Kõuts, who had clearances to access national and NATO-level intelligence, was recruited in 2018 by the Intelligence Bureau of the Joint Staff Department of the Central Military Commission, China’s military int

China and the US exchange heated words as experts hold low expectations for the Alaska summit

William Yang 5 days ago · 5 min read After China and the U.S. finished the first day of their summit in Alaska, experts think the meeting shows that both sides are in the early stage of figuring each other out. While they don’t have too much expectation for the outcome of the summit, they think recent statements and gestures reflect Washington’s determination to prioritize Indo-Pacific region in its foreign policy strategies. Following the heated exchange between   high-level officials from China and the U.S. in Alaska on Thursday, some experts think it reflects the low expectations that both sides have about reaching any consensus by the end of the two-day summit. Kharis Templeman, a research fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institute, said since both sides don’t have high expectations going into the summit, it isn’t surprising that both sides had some heated exchanges while delivering their opening remarks. “What’s important is the space that those words were delivered, which w

CHINA: Top policy advisor recommends pivot to Europe

TRIVIUM CHINA On Wednesday,  The Paper  published an interview with Yuan Peng, the president of the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations (CICIR), on Sino-US relations.   Why we care:  CICIR is affiliated with China’s top spy agency, the Ministry of State Security, and has a direct line to top leadership.   Yuan is particularly influential:  A US specialist by training, he briefed the Politburo on national security issues in December (see  December 14 Tip Sheet ). Yuan is not bullish on bilateral relations: He said that the US understanding on contentious issues is so fundamentally different from China’s that “it is often impossible to discuss matters based on their own merits.” With Sino-US relations seemingly stuck, Yuan thinks that Chinese leaders should focus their attentions elsewhere: Yuan advocates for trying to build closer ties with Europe.  Get smart:  Yuan’s spot on when it comes to Sino-US relations. The prospects for improvement there look slim.   Get sma

Countries in China’s Belt and Road Initiative: Who’s In And Who’s Out

Jennifer Hillman and David Sacks are codirectors of the CFR-sponsored  Independent Task Force report  on a U.S. Response to China’s Belt and Road Initiative, which is co-chaired by Jacob J. Lew and Gary Roughead.  In the fall of 2013, shortly after assuming power, Chinese President Xi Jinping  proposed  building a land-based “Silk Road Economic Belt,” extending from China to Central and South Asia, the Middle East, and Europe, and a sea-based “21st Century Maritime Silk Road,” connecting China to Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and Europe via major sea lanes. Together, these came to form the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), still known officially in Chinese as “One Belt, One Road,” which quickly became Xi’s signature foreign policy undertaking. Under BRI, Chinese banks and companies seek to fund and build roads, power plants, ports, railways, 5G networks, and fiber-optic cables around the world. Read more

China goes tit-for-tat with EU

TRIVIUM China On Monday, the EU – soon followed by the UK, US, and Canada – announced sanctions on Chinese officials and entities for human rights abuses in Xinjiang.   Why it’s a big deal: This is the first time the EU has issued sanctions on China for human rights abuses since 1989.   As expected, Beijing was not happy.   The foreign ministry called the sanctions groundless (MoFA): ”This move, based on nothing but lies and disinformation… severely undermines China-EU relations.”  The ministry also announced sanctions on 10 European individuals and four institutions, including: The European Council's Political and Security Committee The Mercator Institute for China Studies in Berlin Dutch legislator Sjoerd Wiemer Sjoerdsma, who has called for a boycott of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics Lithuanian legislator Dovilė Šakalienė and Belgian legislator Samuel Cogolati, who introduced Xinjiang genocide bills in their respective legislatures German scholar Adrian Zenz, most known for hi

VACCINE DIPLOMACY: A NEW CHAPTER IN THE STORY OF SOFT POWER

Mar 17, 2021   by   David Ellwood      The experts are agreed: the efforts by so many states to produce and distribute in the world their own, national, anti-COVID vaccines have set in motion a new form of geopolitical and soft power competition. A headline in  Foreign Affairs  proclaimed: " Beijing Hasn’t Won the Soft-Power Stakes But It Has An Early Lead ." As recently as February 13, the U.S. government was accused by the  Wall Street Journal  ( WSJ ) of just " looking on ." If this picture was ever true, it has now radically changed as we shall see. By way of contrast,  said the  WSJ  reporting from Ethiopia , in the week of February 21 alone, a million Chinese government-backed doses passed through Addis Ababa airport, destined for Ethiopia and surrounding nations. At least 69 countries have now received such doses in the Middle East, Europe, Latin America, even Oceania.  All this was regardless of China’s own population, where observers calculate that only 3.6

Public Diplomacy: Re-engaging the World

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL  >  MARCH 2021  >  PUBLIC DIPLOMACY: RE-ENGAGING THE WORLD Eight steps to rebuild U.S. credibility as a world leader and a society worthy of emulation. BY SHERRY L. MUELLER AND JOEL A. FISCHMAN While international faith in America’s global leadership is much diminished, there is residual affinity around the world for our values, goals and democratic heritage. The Biden-Harris administration faces many global challenges and will need to reinvent and revitalize the instruments of American statecraft. In this connected age, the public dimension of U.S. global leadership will be decisive, because publics abroad are indispensable players in policy. As it restores America’s global relationships, the new administration should emphatically embrace U.S. public diplomacy (PD). Through purposeful interactions with foreign publics, public diplomacy conveys American values and helps our leaders understand the range and roots of global opinion. It provides tools and