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Showing posts from June 13, 2021

Explained: As G7 plans Build Back Better World, here's how much China has spent on Belt And Road Initiative

Compared to the post-World War domination that the US achieved, China may appear relatively new to the game. But the dragon has already made big strides; it is the US that may appear like it needs to play catch-up Kenneth Kumar Mohanty June 19, 2021 11:27:29 IST If Donald Trump had his tariff wars, his successor US President Joe Biden is pushing for Build Back Better World or B3W. The goal for both: tackle China and checkmate it at a game that Beijing is now seemingly playing much better than Washington, that is, to gain influence in as many countries as possible by the use of hard and/and or soft powers of diplomacy. Compared to the post-World War domination that the US achieved, China may appear relatively new to the game. But the dragon has already made big strides in the business of making friends and influencing countries; it is the US that may appear like it needs to play catch-up. What US Has Proposed? How Much Has China Spent? A White House press statement sharing  details of B

India’s higher judiciary lacks professional diversity. It’s now a monopoly of lawyer-judges

Of the first 25 Supreme Court judges, only three had any experience in subordinate judiciary. The collegium system has only deepened this professional homogeneity further. RANGIN PALLAV TRIPATHY 11 June, 2021 File photo of the Supreme Court of India | Manisha Mondal | ThePrint C hief Justice of India N.V. Ramana recently  remarked  that appointments in higher judiciary should reflect social diversity and called upon the Chief Justices of high courts to ensure it while forwarding recommendations for appointment of judges. While the issue of imbalanced representation in terms of gender, caste, religion, etc. has  often attracted attention , the issue of professional diversity in higher judiciary, which has become a monopoly of lawyer-judges, has escaped serious scrutiny. A professionally homogenous judiciary can be hazardous for the ends of justice. A homogenous judiciary cannot cater to different perceptions and sensitivities, and creates a workforce with a lot of redundant skills. This

China-US competition: Measuring global influence

IN BRIEF: Fifteen takeaways from our new report measuring US and Chinese global influence Report   by   Jonathan D. Moyer, Collin J. Meisel, Austin S. Matthews, David K. Bohl, and Mathew J. Burrows Related Experts:  Mathew Burrows China Politics & Diplomacy US Secretary of State Antony Blinken (2nd R), joined by National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan (R), speaks while facing Yang Jiechi (2nd L), director of the Central Foreign Affairs Commission Office, and Wang Yi (L), China's state councilor and foreign minister, at the opening session of US-China talks at the Captain Cook Hotel in Anchorage, Alaska, US March 18, 2021. Frederic J. Brown/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo DOWNLOAD PDF There is a lot of discussion these days about China’s growing influence around the world relative to America’s—and how this sprawling contest for clout is shaping the future of geopolitics.   Now we have a way to track and quantify this intensifying competition across time using the Formal Bilateral In

THE MERKEL LEGACY: AVOIDING CONFLICT FOR 16 YEARS

16 JUN 2021 - 14:52 BACK TO ARCHIVE Author(s):   Dalibor Rohac Chancellor Angela Merkel will leave active politics after the German federal elections on 26 September 2021. As Merkel’s departure after sixteen years will resonate across Europe, the Clingendael Spectator invited several international experts to offer personal reflections on her legacy. In this first episode of the series ‘Europe after Merkel’, Dalibor Rohac of the American Enterprise Institute discusses Merkel’s strong dislike of conflictual politics. For a leader who has dominated German and European politics for close to a generation, the departing German chancellor Angela Merkel appears to have a strong dislike of perhaps the most ubiquitous feature of politics: conflict. Democratic societies encompass a multitude of interests and values, which inevitably clash with each other. The job of politicians is not simply to manage pluralism by seeking an elusive sense of consensus and agreement. It is also their job – to use

The Arctic This Week Take Five

The Arctic This Week Take Five: Week of June 7, 2021 June 11, 2021 By  Madison Kuras Take Five Bdelloid Rotifer Survives 24,000 Years of Frozen Stasis A microscopic worm has come back to life after being frozen 24,000 years in the Siberian tundra,  Arctic Today  reported on Wednesday, June 9. Russian scientists from the  Institute of Physicochemical and Biological Problems  discovered the tiny prehistoric animal, called  Bdelloid rotifer  in soil from the Alazeya River basin in the north of Russia’s Yakutia region. After 24,000 years of stasis, the worm, which is found in freshwater habitats throughout the world, revived and began to reproduce asexually. This was seen after using a freezing and thawing process in the laboratory. The findings were published in the journal  Current Biology  on June 7, 2021. Previous research has demonstrated that it could survive for a decade when frozen at temperatures of minus 20 degrees Celsius. ( Arctic Today ,  BBC ,  Cell Press Journal ) Take 1:  T

Major economies gini coefficients since 1970

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

China looms over G7 summit

Source: MERICS Summit outcomes Global infrastructure partnership:  Discussions continue on the creation of an infrastructure development partnership as an “alternative to the Belt and Road Initiative.” The partnership is to be values-driven, market-led and sustainable. A dedicated taskforce is to develop practical proposals by autumn. Foreign policy:  Leaders echoed points from the May G7 Foreign Ministers statement. They expressed their concerns over developments in Xinjiang, Hong Kong, the Taiwan Strait, the East and South China Sea and stated their support for a “free and open” Indo-Pacific. Economic policy:  The G7 plans to develop “collective approaches to challenging non-market policies” with explicit mention of China. G7 are also to coordinate on addressing forced labor “of vulnerable groups and minorities” in supply chains with G7 Trade Ministers expected to identify cooperation areas by their October meeting. Digital governance:  Leaders voiced their support for a human-centri

Commentary: Crucial difference

Moving towards a time of blind faith in the age of reason Kumbh Mela 2021. File picture Anup Sinha Published 16.06.21, 12:06 AM Advertisement In the time of Covid, we all live in a state of heightened uncertainty and anguish. There are problems relating to our health that each of us must take care of. There are fears about the health of our near and dear ones. Doctors and scientists are trying their level best to bring us solutions in the form of treatment and protection from the deadly disease, though many unanswered questions remain. We are worried about the stress on our woefully inadequate health infrastructure. We are worried about our children and their education from home. We are relieved about the technology that still provides some continuity in the process of learning, though not all children have equal access to smart devices and the internet. We are more worried about whether learning can continue at all, and not about what is going to be taught. The nation is in the midst

India: "Why the RSS has not been registered so far?"

The party cited two controversial deals, one of which involves two Sangh parivar members buying for Rs 18.5 crore a plot in Ayodhya that had sold for Rs 2 crore minutes earlier Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera File picture Our Special Correspondent New Delhi   Published 17.06.21, 03:04 AM The Congress on Wednesday cited two controversial financial deals to ask why the  RSS remains an unregistered body, out of the accountability framework, despite being an important player in India’s power politics. “ We want to know why the RSS has not been registered so far. Why does it not keep a register of its members? Why does it not pay income tax? Do they own this country?”  Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera asked. One of the controversies involves two Sangh parivar members buying for Rs 18.5 crore a plot in Ayodhya that had sold for Rs 2 crore minutes earlier. VHP leader Champat Rai and RSS functionary Anil Mishra — members of the trust set up to monitor the construction of the Ram temple — ha

India Vs Isreal: Where is the so-called CAA?

Nation wants to know why Pakistani Hindu refugees returning to Pakistan knowing it full well that they will be murdered or converted in Pakistan? ✔1288 Pakistani Hindu refugees returned to Pakistan. ✔107 other Pakistani Hindu refugees to return in the next few days. The BJP Government is unbelievably myopic. When Isreal invites Jews from difficult places they have a full blown plan for resettlement. ➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖ Broke, jobless and hungry: Why some Pakistani Hindus are leaving India Source: https://m.timesofindia.com/india/broke-jobless-and-hungry-why-pakistani-hindus-are-leaving-india/articleshow/83404001.cms   According to Pakistan High Commission spokesperson Khawaja Maaz Tariq, 1,288 Pakistani Hindus have returned to the country from India between March 17, 2021 and March 25, 2020, when the national lockdown was announced. “As of March 22 this year, there are also at least 107 of them who are waiting to return,” he says, adding. “This is not really a new phenomenon, minorities h

Chinese FDI in Europe: 2020 Update

Investment falls to 10-year low in an economically and politically challenging year Joint report by Rhodium Group and MERICS Executive summary China’s global outbound investment hit a 13-year low in 2020: Concerns that the Covid-19 global pandemic slump might trigger another round of Chinese distressed asset-buying proved unfounded. Instead, China’s global outbound M&A activity dropped to a 13-year low, as completed merger and acquisition (M&A) transactions totaled just EUR 25 billion, down 45 percent from 2019. China’s FDI in Europe continued to fall, to a 10-year low: Shrinking M&A activity meant the EU-27 and the United Kingdom saw a 45 percent decline in completed Chinese foreign direct investment (FDI) last year, down to EUR 6.5 billion from EUR 11.7 billion in 2019, taking investment in Europe to a 10-year low. However, greenfield Chinese investment reached its highest level since 2016 at nearly EUR 1.3 billion. The “Big-3” reclaimed their top spot, Poland emerged as