With tensions between an aggressive China and an emerging India intensifying, there will be significant changes and challenges in the Indian Ocean and South Asian regions. As 2022 comes to an end, the world is embracing a ‘new normal’ where new fault lines are being reconfigured in the Indo-Pacific.
Recent clashes between Indian and Chinese soldiers along the Line of Actual Control, or LAC, have once again underscored how a 20th-century conflict continues to shape the 21st-century trajectory of Sino-Indian relations and constrain New Delhi’s aspirations to play a larger role on the global stage. The Galwan Valley crisis of 2020 made it clear that Beijing had no intention of diplomatically resolving its border dispute with India. It also pushed Indian decision-makers into making certain choices that they were reluctant to make in the past, hoping against hope that engagement with China would be enough to produce the desired results.
The Chinese approach gels rather well with the Arab World’s ‘Act East Policy’. The COVID-19 pandemic has been a major challenge for China, with unprecedented lockdowns and occasional horror stories of the origins and spread of COVID-19 and how it has been dealt with, leading to nationwide protests which have been partially successful in achieving the winding down of excessive COVID-19 restrictions. President Xi Jinping, emboldened after being crowned the third time by the 20th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party (CPC), did have the taste of people’s ire and his limitations as the Chinese economy was also being hurt and a downward trend was being noticed.
This column argues that for India to continue to sustain the position it has occupied for some years as the largest recipient of gross inward remittance flows, it would be necessary to aim Indian diplomacy toward expanding greater global economic and education space for Indians.
India’s proposal at the G20 presidency to phase out all fossil fuels, including gas and oil, sustainably and equitably construes the much-needed step away from planet-scale extinction of habitats and destruction of livelihoods.
Germany is changing, its strategic worldview is evolving, and its arrival on the global stage as a geopolitical player comes with immense possibilities. This was displayed during German foreign minister Annalena Baerbock’s maiden visit to India last week. Her clear and confident articulation of Berlin priorities was in sync with expectations in New Delhi about the need for a robust India-Germany and India-European Union (EU) partnership to tackle the formidable challenges that the world faces.
President Xi Jinping is visiting Saudi Arabia from December 7-10 for his second bilateral visit to the Kingdom since 2016, when he visited Cairo and Tehran as well in an epoch-making and biggest-ever Chinese diplomatic initiative in the Arab world.