In 1910, China’s warlord Zhao Erfeng dreamt of controlling the five Himalayan states of Tibet, Bhutan, Ladakh, Nepal and Sikkim. China’s current leadership has stepped up efforts to fulfil that dream, with the latest inroads being made in Bhutan.
The US-China technology Cold War and China’s quest to expand indigenous capacity and self-reliance, as the US denies seeks to deny China hi-tech components for military use, are all shaping recent dynamics.
While the 15th BRICS summit meeting, held in Johannesburg, South Africa from August 22 to 24, reiterated many points it stood for in the past decade and a half, the latest iteration is significant. For one, West Asia, which is currently witnessing a power transition, has attracted the attention of BRICS.
The ouster of China’s Foreign Minister Qin Gang, after only six months in that post, and the recalling of his senior Wang Yi to it, has exposed the rot in China’s higher echelons and the vulnerabilities of the second largest economy in the world.
Despite tremendous pressure from major powers, India is steering the G20 and Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) meetings with its own flavor of speaking for the Global South, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR), food security, climate change, and other issues.
The New Delhi summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) concluded on July 4, 2023 virtually after 140 programmes of conferences, workshops, and dialogues of member states on different subjects.