ROLE OF INDIA IN QUAD

BY DAKSHITA NAITHANI

The Quadrilateral Dialogue was established in 2007 when four countries—the United States, India, Japan, and Australia—joined forces. However, it did not take off at first due to a variety of factors, and it was resurrected in 2017 after almost a decade due to factors such as growing country convergence, the expanding importance of the Indo-Pacific area, and rising threat sentiments toward China, among others.

Since then it has evolved into a platform for diplomatic discussion and coordination among participating countries, who meet on a regular basis at the working- and ministerial levels to discuss shared interests like ensuring a rules-based international order.

SIGNIFICANCE FOR INDIA

The Quad, ASEAN, and the Western Indian Ocean are the three groupings in which India participates as a partner in the Indo-Pacific area.

India as a Net Security provider

In the region of Indian Ocean India must be a Net Security Provider. Its supremacy in the IOR must be maintained and sustained if it is to claim this position as a Region. QUAD offers India with a platform to strengthen regional security through collaboration while also emphasising that the Indo-Pacific concept stands for a free, open, and inclusive area.( Inclusive here refers to a geographical notion that encompasses all countries inside it as well as those having a stake outside of it)

Countering China

The Quad offers India with a forum to seek collaboration with like-minded countries on a variety of problems, including maintaining territorial integrity and sovereignty, as well as peaceful dispute settlement. It also shows a united front against China’s unceremonious and aggressive actions towards the nation which is especially important now, since ties between India and China have deteriorated as a result of border intrusions along the Tibet-India boundary in many locations. The Chinese policy of encircling India with the String of Pearls poses a direct threat to India’s maritime sovereignty, which must be addressed.

Framing post-COVID-19 international order

QUAD can assist India in not just recovering from the pandemic’s impacts through a series of integrated measures, but also in securing a part in the modern international order. Enhancing such cooperation was one of the first actions made in 2021. The vaccination initiative will serve as a good litmus test for the QUAD administrations’ ability to work together.

Convergence on other issues

On a range of topics, India shares common interests with other Quad members, including connectivity and infrastructure development, security, especially counter-terrorism; cyber and maritime security; multilateral institutions reform, and so on. Assistance from members on these problems might help India achieve its strategic and economic objectives.

Supplementing India’s defence capabilities

Assistance in the sphere of defence among Quad countries, such as joint patrols, strategic information exchange, and so on, can help India overcome its disadvantages in terms of naval capabilities, military reconnaissance, technology, and surveillance systems.

Ensuring a free Indo Pacific

The Indo-Pacific region must be accessible and vibrant, regulated by international norms and bedrock values such as freedom of navigation and peaceful resolution of conflicts, and the nations involved must have the right to make decisions, free of coercion.

Counter-terrorism Table top Exercise for QUAD nations to improve collaboration and common capabilities in dealing with potential terrorist threats, as well as examine CT response systems.

INDIA’S ROLE IN THE INDO-PACIFIC

In the Indo-Pacific, India’s geographic and geopolitical importance provides a counterbalance to China’s rising influence in the Indian Ocean. India’s security concerns, centred primarily on China’s encirclement policy through port facilities in India’s neighbourhood mainly Gwadar and Hambantota and the desire to maintain and protect open and free sea lanes of information exchange against concerns about China’s chokepoint in the South China Sea and increasing maritime presence in the ocean

India’s critical significance in the Indo-Pacific may be seen as a multiple framework. First, unlike the Asia-Pacific architecture, the Indo-Pacific architecture allows New Delhi to move above its long-held standing as a middle-power. This is bolstered by India’s admission to the League of big powers especially the United States and Japan and the development of tight strategic ties with Washington and its regional allies. This promotes India’s great-power ambitions and force projection capability inside the Indo-Pacific and beyond.

Second, India’s Act East Policy and Extended Neighbourhood Policy benefit from New Delhi’s strong participation in the Indo-Pacific. New Delhi’s stronger relations with ASEAN members have also bolstered this boost.

Third, the development of India-US strategic relations, particularly in military, works as a significant counterweight to India’s adversaries. Increased engagements between New Delhi and Washington are exemplified by the four foundational contracts signed between the two countries, which include the General Security of Military Information Agreement, Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement, Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement, and Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement—all of which promote in-depth partnership Most significantly, the improved partnership boosts India’s military capacity, particularly when it comes to striking targets with precise accuracy.

Fourth, under India-Australia ties, which were elevated to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership in 2020, India’s strategic position is bolstered yet further. In fact, Canberra and New Delhi inked nine agreements, the most important of which are the Australia-India Mutual Logistics Support Arrangement and the Defence Science and Technology Implementing Arrangement, both of which provide a framework for the two nations’ security cooperation.

Fifth, and most significantly, during COVID-19, India demonstrated its ability to be a first responder to a regional disaster by giving medical assistance to its near neighbours, including the Maldives, Sri Lanka, and Seychelles. In addition, India sent medical quick response teams to Comoros and Kuwait to help them prepare for the epidemic. In addition, nine Maldivians were evacuated from Wuhan, China, the site of the pandemic.

In addition, India pushed for virtual summits like the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation web conference on March 2020 and the “Extraordinary Digital G20 Leaders’ Summit” to help develop a worldwide reaction to the epidemic on 26 March 2020. In addition, New Delhi established a SAARC Emergency Response Fund for Coronavirus, with India contributing an initial 10 million USD.

In addition, as countries attempt to move manufacturing away from China, India is viewed as one of the world’s new “favoured” investment destinations. The enormous scale of India’s marketplace as well as the low labour costs, make it a desirable destination. Apple, for example, created a production facility in India in partnership with Foxconn, while Samsung, of South Korea, ceased operations in China and moved manufacturing units to India.

There is little dispute about India’s rising position in the Indo-Pacific, not just as a significant participant but also as a responsible actor.  As a result, India’s manoeuvring room in the post-COVID international order is anticipated to expand, as India is seen as one of the major movers in guiding policy and protecting allied interests in the Indo-Pacific. COVID-19 has, in fact, expanded the Quad framework, allowing important parties to play a more active role in addressing critical conventional and unconventional regional issues.

Will you take Chinese vaccine?

Made in China, accept it or not but for many of us this label has become synonymous with low cost and low quality. So how true is the stereotype and what has Chinese done to deserve such a bad reputation? Well the list goes long, the latest item is vaccine.

China has sold vaccines to the World which may not be working. It is currently exporting vaccine to 43 countries with:-

  • a total of 742 million doses that have been sold,
  • 22 million doses have been donated,
  • 262 million doses have been delivered.

China is exporting 3 major vaccines:-

  1. Sinovac
  2. CanSino BIO
  3. Sinopharm

But do these vaccines even work? Let’s look at some of the countries those have received Chinese vaccines.

Mongolia

In Mongolia, more than half of the population is fully vaccinated but daily infection has risen by more than 70% in the last 2 weeks, and they’re using the Chinese vaccine Sinopharm. No doubt Mongolians are questioning the effectiveness of the Chinese vaccine.

Bahrain

Bahrain an Asian country is witnessing a surge. There’s a sharp rise in the number of infections and this dispite of high levels of inoculation. How will China explain this? China’s Sinopharm vaccine, accounts for 60% of the inoculation. Bahrain is now administering a Pfizer booster shot for those who have received both doses of vaccine.

Seychelles

Seychelles of East Africa, 61% of the population have been vaccinated with just 100,000 of people. This island nation has the highest vaccination cover globally. It’s daily average cases rose up to 400 with 37% of the fresh infections reported in fully vaccinated people. This is the result of the Chinese vaccine they’re using which is Sinopharm.

UAE

The United Arab Emirates has vaccinated more than 38% of the population with more than 51% have received first dose and yet daily new cases exceeded to 1700. And they are also using the vaccine Sinopharm that was received from China and UAE is also questioning the efficacy of the Chinese vaccine and also giving a Pfizer booster shot to Sinopharm recipient.

Countries who have refused

Philippines

In the month of May, the Philippines President apologized and asked China to take away Sinopharm vaccine back. He sent back the doses because Chinese cure is unproven.

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia has also refused to recognise certificates of Sinovac and Sinopharm. It is recommending Pfizer and AstraZeneca instead.

Do Chinese vaccines works in China

There’s a fresh out break of new infections that are been reported in the Guangdong province of China. Guangdong with its capital Guangzhou, accounting of 90% of the confirmed cases. Health authorities of the capital blames the delete variant which was first identified in India. A strict lockdown has been composed there overseas arrivals are being quarantined, million have forced to indoors.

Hence its proven that the rumours of China had conquered the pandemic was false. The virus is unpredictable, it keeps spreading. Vaccines are not full proof in preventing infections but if one vaccine has repeatedly proven ineffective then it’s time for some reflection.

PENICILLIN PRODUCTION

BY DAKSHITA NAITHANI

Penicillin, which is now an essential element of our antibacterial arsenal had a huge influence on the twentieth century’s second half. Deep-fermentation techniques, which were established largely for the synthesis of Penicillin during WWII, paved the way for the creation of medications and aided the emergence of the young biotechnology sector in the 1970s. In the presence of blood, pus, and bodily fluids, it is effective against some gram-positive bacteria. It is soluble in water, acetone, ethyl alcohol, and ether, but less so in benzene, chloroform, and other organic solvents.

 It is a secondary metabolite, like other antimicrobials, and is only generated in the stationary phase. The industrial manufacturing may be divided into two processes: upstream and downstream.

When the development of the fungus is hindered by stress, it produces certain species of Penicillium. Penicillin production is likewise restricted by feedback in the synthesis process.

α-ketoglutarate + AcCoA → homocitrate → L-α-aminoadipic acid → L-lysine + β-lactam

Because the by-product L-lysine hinders homocitrate synthesis, exogenous lysine should be avoided in its manufacture.

The cells are cultivated using a process known as fed-batch culture, in which the cells are continually exposed to strain, which is necessary for inducing its synthesis. It’s also crucial to consider the carbon sources available: glucose inhibits its synthesis, but lactose does not. The pH of the phases, as well as the amounts of nitrogen, lysine, phosphate, and oxygen, must all be monitored closely.

THE FERMENTATION PROCESS

INOCULUM: The source of inoculum is master stock (spores). They are cultivated working samples are immersed in water and mixed with wheat bran and nutrition solution in a flask. A four-day-old shaking flask culture is inoculated into a seed tank for three days.

THE MEDIUM: In 1958, Jackson created a medium for the manufacture of penicillin. Fermentable carbohydrate (corn steep liquor (3.5%), organic nitrogen source, lactose (3.5%), glucose (1%), potassium di-hydrogen phosphate (0.4%), calcium carbonate (as a buffer) (1%),  phenyl acetic acid precursor, edible oil (0.25%), pH near 6.

As temperature is very important aspect during its production it should be around 280 degree Celsius and the supply of oxygen in the bioreactor acts as a limiting factor in its production the aeration speed should be between 3.0-1.5.

Fermentation is the method through which Penicillin is commercially produced. It’s a fed-batch technique performed in aseptic conditions in stainless steel tank reactors with capacities ranging from 30 to 100 thousand gallons. The fermentation process consists of two to three seed development phases, followed by a fermentation production phase that lasts 120 to 200 hours. For this procedure, a variety of carbon sources have been used. During the active Penicillin synthesis phase, sugar is also utilised to regulate the pH value.

During fermentation, mini-harvest techniques are commonly used. They entail removing 20-40 percent of the overall of the fermenter’s contents and replacing it with new sterile medium. This method can be done multiple times during the process without lowering the overall Penicillin yield per fermenter; in fact, it can increase it.

Penicillin is discharged into the fermentation medium and collected at the end. With a 2-5 percent increase in total extraction efficiency, whole broth extraction is best conducted at an acidic pH. Amyl, butyl, or isobutyl acetate is used to extract cooled acidified broth from a solvent.

These fermentations are extremely mechanised and computerised in today’s world. For optimum antibiotic synthesis, all essential precursors, such as ammonia, sugar, carbon dioxide, and oxygen, are carefully monitored, along with temperature and pH. During the active manufacturing phase, the pH should be between 6.4-6.8.

PURSUIT FOR A BETTER YIELD

Penicillin was first produced using the fungus Penicillium notatum toward the conclusion of World War II, yielding one milligramme per cubic decimeter. Today’s yield is 50 grammes per cubic decimeter, thanks to the use of a new species (Penicillium chrysogenum) and better extraction techniques.

These yields can be increased further by improving the medium’s composition, isolating the above- mentioned Penicillium chrysogenum, which grows better in large deep fermentation tanks, and developing a submerged culture technique for mould cultivation in large volumes of liquid medium through which sterile air is forced.

Its manufacturing has remained mostly reliant on traditional strain improvement. The most important occurrences in high-yielding Penicillium chrysogenum strains are the expansion of the Penicillin biosynthetic gene cluster between tandem repeats. There have also been created molecular methods that are not based on increasing biosynthetic gene dosages.

 THE EARLY PRODUCTION OF PENICILLIN

The consortium of British and American experts came together to enhance manufacturing processes and their initial objective was to find the strains of Penicillium chrysogenum that generated the most penicillin. They quickly discovered that a Penicillium chrysogenum strain acquired from a mouldy cantaloupe at a Peoria local farmers market produced greater amounts of Penicillin than those recently tested. Scientists utilised x-rays and ultraviolet light to produce even more mutants from the farmer’s market strain.

Following those experiments, it was discovered that growing Penicillium in immersed culture media rather than on a plate surface enhanced growing efficiency, and that changing the nutrient base from sucrose to lactose or corn-steep liquor (a nutrient-rich by-product of corn processing) also increased yield. 

MODERN PRODUCTION METHODS

Major advances in contemporary manufacturing processes have improved output while lowering costs. Nowadays, commercial generating strains of Penicillium chrysogenum are produced utilising submerged culture in 50,000-gallon stainless steel tanks that are continually agitated and aerated. With a 90 percent recovery rate, these commercial strains can now produce 40-50 gram of Penicillin per litre of culture. This is a huge leap forward over the first Peoria farmer’s market strain, which only produced 0.15 grams per litre and had extremely low recovery rates.

Amplification of the biosynthesis gene cluster, an increasing amount of peroxisomes, and increased levels of transporter proteins that secrete newly production out of the peroxisomes and the cell are among the genetic and cellular modifications that result in increased production in modern Penicillium strains.

Penicillin related antibiotics now generate more than $15 billion in annual sales worldwide. Despite the fact that costs are at an all-time minimum, these sales figures exist. Penicillin currently costs $10 per kilogramme, compared to $300 in 1953. Though Europe is the world’s largest manufacturer of beta-lactam antibiotics, newer production facilities are moving to China and other Asian countries with reduced labour and energy prices.

Why India can’t have an Official Language

Our Home Minister Amit Shah mentioned about promoting one nation, one language in one of his tweets in 2019. He also added that it should not be done at the cost of other languages. Some of us might know that 14th September is celebrated as Hindi Diwas in our country. So why can’t we have Hindi as an official language?

Critics

After Amit Shah statement, critics said that if Hindi becomes the official language, then other languages like malayalam, tamil, telugu and more, will lost their importance. South Congress leader Jairam Ramesh also said “this one nation, one language will never be a reality” because it will never be easy to have a common language in India.

Also in the New Education Policy (NEP) draft in the year 2019, Hindi was asked to make mandatory in every state. This was also criticized by the South Indian governments and they refused to dilute the state’s two language formula. This resulted in changing the draft and not to have Hindi as an official language.

Steps taken

India is a big nation, so there should be a language that will represent India on world stage. Talking about Hindi, it is spoken in India, Fiji, Suriname, Mauritius, Trinidad, Tabogo and Guyana. So India is working actively to have Hindi recognised as an official language of the UN.

Advantage of having an official language

A Chinese research concluded that

  1. When we have an official language, it can even help to eliminating poverty. As China have experience in fight poverty so we can also learn the power of having an official language.
  2. China also mentioned that an official language also helps in having communicate without any language barrier.
  3. Official language also help to built unity among the citizens
  4. Also helps when people migrate from one city to another, as they can communicate in the same language.

Disadvantage of having an official language

According to the 2001 Census, 41% of India population are native speaker of Hindi dialect. But what about 59% of the population who are non – Hindi speakers? Politician Shashi Tharur said

India should not even try to add Hindi to the list of official language of UN because what if in future our PM is from South part of India and does not speak Hindi, then how will he give speech in Hindi on behalf of India.

But apart from all these we still agree that there should be an official language for a country to function.

As per as official language is concerned,

  1. English is also been promoted in India. Promoting English can result in heavy school fees, as we’ll have to teach the whole population to speak English.
  2. Enough English teacher will also be required and if not then it won’t be successfully become the official language.
  3. This will also result in neglecting the weaker section of the society who won’t be able to speak English and their career opportunity will get affected.

Eventually we need to figure out to take a right decision about official language and keeping in mind of the consequences that could possibly be in long terms situations.

Countries that haven’t reported a Single case of Covid-19.

Most of the world has been struggling to contain COVID-19. The disease which was first reported in China, has become a global pandemic that many countries are still trying to get under control. But a hand full of nation have not reported a single case of COVID-19 to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Most are in southern and central area of Pacific ocean.

  1. Federated States of Micronesia
  2. The Marshall Islands
  3. Naru
  4. The Solomon Islands
  5. Vanuatu
  6. Tuvalu
  7. Kiribati
  8. Samoa
  9. Niue
  10. Tonga
  11. The Cook Islands
  12. Palau

These small islands are all technically Covid-19 free. Health experts these 12 countries escaped the pandemic because of a combination of remoteness, small number of people as their combined population adds up to just 1.6 million and because they closed borders when the Corona virus that causes Covid-19 began to spread widely. But just because they haven’t reported any Corona virus cases, does not mean these nations have entirely dodged the effect of the pandemic.

Tourism plays a major role in the economics of most of these countries. And as in many around the world, a lack of visitors has left hotels and restaurants struggling. The owner of the hotel says since March 2020 they have lost their whole business and have zero income.

Palau is one of the island nation feeling the economic pain of Covid-19. Streets that are normally bustling with visitors from abroad have been all but empty for months. With no guests, hotel in the country have also had to make serious cuts. A hotel owner says

No one in our hotel is making their full salary. Most people are 50% or below. Everybody is feeling the pain as thers is no economic opportunity left.

The Palau government recognized early on the economic toll of shutting it’s borders to foreigners. He says

Our capacity, our reality a situation here its that you’re better of with prevention than trying to do something about it later on. So, it became a question of economics or people’s lives, and the right thing to do for anybody in this world is to consider people’s lives.

The Government provided generous subsidies of up to US $10,000 for local people and a few hundred dollars for foreign workers affected by the halt in tourism. Not all Pacific countries rely on tourism as a main driver for their economies.

Countries like Marshall Islands and Federated States of Micronesia rely on fishing and farming and financial aid from the US. But with limited health care facilities and population spread across many islands, the nation’s priority has been keeping COVID-19 from their shores and educating citizens about thorough handwashing, social distancing and other precautionary measures.

Other than Island Nations

In addition to these tiny island nations, there are other countries that haven’t reported a single case of COVID-19 to the WHO: North Korea and Turkmenistan.

North Korea closed its borders in January 2020 and it’s leader Kim Jung-un has repeatedly said the disease is a “potential” threat. He even put the town of Kaesong, which borders South Korea, under lockdown in July 2020. But many observers are are sceptical about the country’s official statistics. They say North Korea’s weak healthcare system may not be able to confirm Corona virus infections, or that the ruling party may simply not be very transparent about whether there are any cases.

Health experts are also wary of Turkmenistan’s claim to be COVID-19 free. It is among the hardest countries in the world for foreigners to enter, and it also closes its borders early on in the pandemic. The authorities government in Turkmenistan also says there are no people in the country living with HIV or Aids, a claim most scientists say is just not plausible.

Back in Paula, where people are doing their best to ride out the economic toll of the pandemic, hotel owner have a bleak prediction about the future. They’re predicting how long will they continue to lose money before suspending more operations or total operations and just wait for the whole world to settle down? Because it’s a financial question arises, we’re willing to lose money, but how much money are we willing to lose?

So while border control, good hygiene and social distancing seem to have effectively kept the disease away from these places, there is no defence against the economic devastation caused by the global pandemic.

CORONAVIRUS ON ICE CREAM CARTONS

After declaring itself Covid-free last year, China is witnessing another wave of corona cases.

And according to the latest reports, the novel coronavirus was found on an ice cream carton coming in from eastern China. 

The Daqiaodao Food Co, Ltd in Tianjin, adjacent to Beijing, was sealed and its employees were being tested for the coronavirus. But there was no indication that anyone among the employees had contracted the virus. 

The batch contained more than 29,000 cartons and most of it was not yet sold. Only 390 cartons were said to be sold to Tianjin. They are now being tracked and authorities elsewhere were notified of sales to their areas. The government said that they have recalled the cartons from the same batch. 

The ingredients included New Zealand milk powder and whey powder from Ukraine, the government said. 

On Saturday, the Health Commission of China blamed the travellers and imported goods saying they brought the virus from abroad. 

Whereas on Sunday, China reported 109 new confirmed cases of Covid-19, two-thirds of them in a northern province that is close to national capital Beijing, though no deaths have been reported. 

Currently, its death toll stands at 4953 and total cases at 88,227.

China was the first country to report a case of coronavirus in Central Wuhan in late 2019. The pandemic is said to have originated from that very place. 

Earlier this month, a team of WHO scientists travelled to China to discover the origins of the novel coronavirus.

According to reports, the Chinese government has banned the entry of two scientists. The Chinese government is of the view that the disease came from abroad and has highlighted what it says are discoveries of the coronavirus on imported fish and other food. But this theory has been rejected by various economies around the world.  

The WHO team says that the motive behind the investigation is not to blame some but to find the scientific answers. It is about studying an important interface between the human kingdom and the animal kingdom.

The investigation will apparently take months to complete even in the best circumstances. The team must also navigate attempts by China to politicize the inquiry.

The novel coronavirus has killed nearly two million people since the first outbreak first emerged in Wuhan. 

Thousands of mutations in the virus have taken place as it has passed from person to person around the world, but new variants recently detected in Britain and South Africa are seemingly more contagious.

Britain has imposed a lockdown for the third time since the first outbreak in the country. Other countries have also reported cases of the new variant and have imposed a strict check on the people entering the country. Adequate measures are being taken all around the world to control the mutant variant.

WHERE IS JACK MA, THE CO-FOUNDER OF ALIBABA?

Jack Ma is the second richest person in China and the co-founder of the Alibaba Group, a multinational technology company.
He is also the ambassador of Chinese business globally, an investor and a philanthropist.  Forbes ranked him 21st in “world’s most powerful people” in 2019. His total net worth as of January 2021 was estimated to be $58.3 billion. He was also ranked among the “world’s most powerful people” in 2017 by Fortune. 

Jack Ma wanted more from his life and thus, in September 2019 he retired from Alibaba. He wanted to pursue educational work, environmental causes and philanthropy. He has actively supported and worked for underprivileged communities in China, Africa, Australia and the Middle East. 

Apart from being a businessman, Ma likes being in the spotlight. He made his acting debut in a short film called Gong Shou Dao, participated in a singing competition, presented a dance performance on Alibaba’s 18th anniversary, all in the year 2017.

Recently, he was also the judge of his reality show Africa’s Business Heroes. But was later replaced because of a “schedule conflict”.

But for the past few months, he has not been seen publicly. After his last public appearance in October, no one is familiar with his whereabouts. This happened after he criticised the Chinese government stating that they need to change now. 

After the news flouted and people started questioning Jack Ma’s disappearance, China’s official newspaper printed an article stating that he is currently “embracing supervision”. This post was, however, taken down soon after. 

Jack’s Ant Group was also suspended after this event. They were offering a $37 billion public offering last November. Alibaba, which was co-founded by him, is also under antitrust investigation. Although he has retired from the company, he still holds a considerable amount of power in the company. All these events happened after Ma pointed out the banking system of China calling them “pawnshop mentality”. 

Jack has since then not posted anything on his social media also. For someone who loves the spotlight and is extremely active publicly, this event seems a bit unusual.

But this isn’t the first event where a celebrity or a millionaire has gone missing from China. A pattern can be observed here. All the previously missing celebrities or businessmen also hit the Chinese government with their critics one time or the other.

In 2020, a Chinese actress suddenly went missing and later it was reported that she was imprisoned for three months. 

Another similar event happened with a Chinese scientist, He Jiankui. He disappeared and was reportedly under house arrest. 

A reporter who revealed about the origins of the Coronavirus has also been missing ever since. 

It is yet uncertain as to where Jack Ma is. His company continues to keep silent about his whereabouts. But patterns and the chronology of the events similar to this have been seen in the past as well. 

All we can do is wait and see how this turns out and if Jack was actually “embracing supervision” or was it some other deeper and darker reason.

China-US ties plunge further over Hong Kong sanctions

China on Saturday slammed the United States for imposing “barbarous” sanctions in response to Beijing’s crackdown in Hong Kong, capping a dramatic week of deteriorating relations between the world’s two biggest economies.

In the toughest US action on Hong Kong since China imposed a sweeping new security law on the territory, Washington on Friday imposed sanctions on a group of Chinese and Hong Kong officials — including the city’s leader Carrie Lam.

The move came after President Donald Trump’s administration forced Chinese internet giants TikTok and WeChat to end all operations in the US, in a twin diplomatic-commercial offensive set to grow ahead of the US presidential election in November.

China on Saturday criticised the sanctions as “barbarous and rude”.

“The ill intentions of US politicians to support people who are anti-China and messing up Hong Kong have been clearly revealed,” Beijing’s Liaison Office in Hong Kong said in a statement.

The Treasury Department announced it was freezing the US assets of Chief Executive Carrie Lam and 10 other senior officials, including Luo Huining — the head of the Liaison Office.

It accused the sanctioned individuals of being “directly responsible for implementing Beijing’s policies of suppression of freedom and democratic processes”.

The move criminalises any US financial transactions with the sanctioned officials.

In a short statement, Luo said he welcomed the blacklisting.

“I have done what I should do for the country and for Hong Kong,” he said. “I don’t have a dime’s worth in foreign assets.”

The Hong Kong government described the sanctions as “shameless and despicable”.

“We will fully support the Central Government to adopt countermeasures,” it said in a statement.

The city’s commerce secretary Edward Yau warned that the “savage and unreasonable” sanctions could have blowback for American businesses in Hong Kong.

China’s Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office said the sanctions list “rudely tramples on international law” and “will be nailed to the historic pillar of shame forever.”

Facebook barred Lam and the 10 other sanctioned officials from advertising on the platform, with a spokesperson saying Saturday it had “a legal obligation to take action.”

Tensions spike ahead of election

Beijing’s security law was imposed in late June, following last year’s huge pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, sending a political chill through the semi-autonomous city.

Since then, Hong Kong authorities have postponed elections, citing the coronavirus pandemic, issued arrest warrants for six exiled pro-democracy activists and launched a crackdown on other activists.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the security law violated promises made by China ahead of Hong Kong’s 1997 handover that the city could keep key freedoms and autonomy for 50 years.

“Today’s actions send a clear message that the Hong Kong authorities’ actions are unacceptable,” Pompeo said in a statement.

The US measures come three months ahead of the November election in which Trump, who is behind his rival Joe Biden, is campaigning hard on an increasingly strident anti-Beijing message.

As public disapproval has grown for his handling of the pandemic, Trump has pivoted from his previous focus on striking a trade deal with China to blaming the country for the coronavirus crisis.

SOUTH CHINA SEA DISPUTE

Recently America and Australia have rejected most of china’s claim over the South China Sea as well are its territorial claims over certain islands. So what is this dispute about? The South China Sea is a marginal sea from Karinata and Malacca Straits to the Strait of Taiwan. The sea is the south of China, east of Vietnam, the west of the Philippines and the east of the Malay Peninsula and Sumatra up to the Strait of Singapore. One-third of the world’s shipping passes through it. About 5.3 trillion worth of goods pass through the South China Sea. 1.2 trillion Of trade is with the US.
Because the sea is surrounded by various countries, the various parts of the sea are also claimed by different countries.But China claims most parts of the sea and Vietnam, Brunei, Philippines, Malaysia and Taiwan have contested the Chinese claim.All the claims of all the countries overlap at some point; all these claims are mostly geological claims and historical claim. China claims 80 per cent of the sea and Taiwan claims the islands of Paracel and Spratly. The Philippines claims the Spratly Islands and the Scarborough Shoal comes under Philippine sovereignty Brunei and Malaysia claimed the southern parts of the sea was under their sovereignty. Vietnam in 2009 began reclaiming the 48 islands they had occupied from before. In retaliation, China reclaimed larger portions of the sea it had occupied since the 1980s. China formed the nine-dash line which extends 2000 km from the Chinese mainland. This line almost touches the Indonesian and Malaysian international waters. In July 2016, an arbitration tribunal was formed under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea in Hague. The tribunal ruled against china’s claims over the South China Sea, the case was brought by the Philippines. The People’s Republic of China and the Republic of China; the countries also did not recognize the tribunal. Disregarded the judgment of the tribunal and dismissed the judgment saying that this matter should be solved by negotiating with other claimants.


According to the international laws and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, every nation in the South China Sea have the right to claim 200 nautical miles of the sea as an exclusive economic zone where they can mine for oil or minerals or exploit the sea and sea bed. When the boundaries overlap usually countries negotiate to agree. But this hasn’t happened in the South China Sea. All countries have historical claim over the sea. China claims most of the sea due to ancient claims of trade, Japan occupied islands of the South China Sea, and the country later recognized Taiwan thus giving Taiwan historical claim over the land. Also, the nine-dash line is not recognized by international law. Taiwan isn’t recognized as a sovereign state, the country isn’t a signatory to the Convention on the Law of the Sea. In international law, for a country to claim part of the sea, the island must be habitable for humans, there was no such island found on Spratly islands.
This sea is important as it houses one-third of the world’s sea trade and the sea is also a huge source of oils and natural gas. The sea also has 80 per cent of China’s sea trade. The situation hasn’t evolved and there is no resolution as no two countries are open to bilateral negotiations as of now.

What COVID-19 has taught us?

We used to watch the news and feel bad for people in China regarding COVID-19, little did we know that in a month it will hit us. Things changed drastically. The way we used to interact with people, work, shop, eat, or travel outside; it all underwent a major transformation. Due to this, we have realized what needs to be valued that we took for granted earlier.

  • We can no longer exploit nature ruthlessly. Oceans are other water bodies that have cleaned up. There has been a return of wildlife as seen by the residents. The quality of air has improved. The ozone layer which depleting rapidly has started repairing itself. We can easily save our environment just like we during the lockdown. Only we need to be cognizant of this important factor once we completely resume our lives.

 

  • Now we have started valuing our loved ones more. Not able to interact like we used to, no meetings, no parties, no concerts; all of it was a part of our mundane lives has become so important in the last few months. We still don’t know when we will be able to socialize like earlier. Hopefully, we don’t take this for granted once we are back at it again.

 

  • We realized how fragile the economy is. There immense employees lay-off, salary cuts, migrant laborers were thrown out of factories or other workplaces leaving them without money. This crisis made us realize one should save enough that if anything like this happens again, one can tackle them with little ease.

 

  • We realized how important water it, and lack of it can be troublesome. As asked by the Government to wash our hands 20 seconds at a time has revealed the weak water infrastructure. This simple act has wasted a lot of water during this time. Not just this, there were millions of people who still don’t have access to water facilities in the country. They don’t receive clean water to wash their hands in the middle of the pandemic. The bells are loud and clear. Immediate action needs to be taken. Also, people should educate themselves about water conservation and try adopting it.

 

  • It has taught us about the importance of preparation- Preparation of everything! Whether it is money, food, healthcare anything.

At last, the virus has taught us how to be patient and the benefits of silence and solitude. We could look into ourselves and explore our consciousness. Otherwise, our busy lives would never have given us this chance. We were so involved in superficial activities and never got time for ourselves. Now that we have this opportunity, use it to the fullest. This will not only uplift each individual but society at large.

 

 

Brief Summary of Indo-China conflict and the role US has played over the years

Due to the clash between soldiers of both the countries – India and China around Pangong Lake in Ladakh, one thing is clear that nobody knows what’s coming up next. Once India’s friendship with China seemed natural as the country has put socialist principles in its national constitution and prided on taking a neutral stand during the cold war. Under its first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, India was interested in broadening ties with other socialist nations, including Russia & China. But factors more powerful than the ideologies knocked off the relationship leading to tensions and war-like situations today.

At first, the relationship was all smiles based on five principles enunciated under the Panchsheel Agreement: mutual non-aggression, mutual respect for territorial integrity and sovereignty, mutual non-interference in internal affairs, peaceful coexistence and equality and mutual benefit. A slogan also went out, “Hindi Chini Bhai-Bhai”– India and China are brothers.

But soon, India and China started to disagree on the border between the two nations. All thanks in part to the legacy of certain colonial boundaries. The Ardagh- Johnson Line was drawn by British India that showed Aksai Chin inside Jammu& Kashmir in India. This didn’t go down well with China as they never accepted this border. Instead, they argued for Macartney-MacDonald Line, a later boundary that gave it more territory.

There were talks in India in 1960 between Nehru and Zhou Enlai, the Chinese Premier to address border issues but no solutions came up. Keen to maintain the strategic relationship between the two countries, India hosted Dalai Lama when he fled and kept funding resistance movements in Tibet.

The brotherhood died after the two nations went to war. The events of 1962 are broadly seen as humiliating domestically for India.

Even more critical to understand India- China relationship is an alliance between Pakistan & China. As both have border issues with India, a common goal emerged. In recent years, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan and his predecessors have maintained deeper ties with China through initiatives such as Chinese funding for Gwadar port, China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, and other economic initiatives. Because of this, Pakistan’s cooperation with the US has also crumbled up under pressure. If another Cold War happens, it already seems Pakistan has chosen its side.

This has helped India to strengthen its relationship with the US. India choosing free markets was a drastic change for the nation, and a shift to the Western economic sphere soon followed. As India started seeing high rates of growth, it started becoming China’s competitor. India also managed to tighten relations with American allies such as Vietnam and Japan.

Today, the United States plays a key role in the Indo-China relationship. In recent times, India has sought to strengthen ties with the US, powered by fear of Chinese political and economic influence in the region. Even since the Chinese have got more aggressive in the Indian Ocean, India is seeking an ally in the US to bolster deterrence.

All this clearly shows we are a long way in Hindi-Chini Bhai Bhai.

 

 

The Dark Pandemic….

The black death or what we call the Bubonic Plague is the most feared epidemic in this whole world till date. The three types of plague are the result of the route of infection: bubonic plague, septicemic plague, and pneumonic plague. Bubonic plague is mainly spread by infected fleas from small animals.It may also result from exposure to the body fluids from a dead plague-infected animal. In the bubonic form of plague, the bacteria enter through the skin through a flea bite and travel via the lymphatic vessels to a lymph node, causing it to swell. Diagnosis is made by finding the bacteria in the blood, sputum, or fluid from lymph nodes.The plague was the cause of the Black Death that swept through Asia, Europe, and Africa in the 14th century and killed an estimated 50 million people.This was about 25% to 60% of the European population. Globally between 2010 and 2015 there were 3248 documented cases, which resulted in 584 deaths. The countries with the greatest number of cases are the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Madagascar, and Peru. For over a decade since 2001, Zambia, India, Malawi, Algeria, China, Peru, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo had the most plague cases with over 1,100 cases in the Democratic Republic of the Congo alone. From 1,000 to 2,000 cases are conservatively reported per year to the WHO. From 2012 to 2017, reflecting political unrest and poor hygienic conditions, Madagascar began to host regular epidemics. Between 1900 and 2015, the United States had 1,036 human plague cases with an average of 9 cases per year. In 2015, 16 people in the Western United States developed plague, including 2 cases in Yosemite National Park. These US cases usually occur in rural northern New Mexico, northern Arizona, southern Colorado, California, southern Oregon, and far western Nevada. In November 2017, the Madagascar Ministry of Health reported an outbreak to WHO (World Health Organization) with more cases and deaths than any recent outbreak in the country. Unusually most of the cases were pneumonic rather than bubonic. In June 2018, a child was confirmed to be the first person in Idaho to be infected by bubonic plague in nearly 30 years. A couple died in May 2019, in Mongolia, while hunting marmots.Another two people in the province of Inner Mongolia, China were treated in November 2019 for the disease. On July 2020, in Bayannur, Inner Mongolia of China it was reported that a case of bubonic plague happened since the last case on May across the border of Inner Mongolia. Then later, the authorities issued a third-level of warning for plague prevention that will last till the end of the year.

First pandemic

The first recorded epidemic affected the Sassanian Empire and their arch-rivals, the Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantine Empire) and was named the Plague of Justinian after emperor Justinian I, who was infected but survived through extensive treatment. The pandemic resulted in the deaths of an estimated 25 million (6th century outbreak) to 50 million people (two centuries of recurrence).The historian Procopius wrote, in Volume II of History of the Wars, of his personal encounter with the plague and the effect it had on the rising empire. In the spring of 542, the plague arrived in Constantinople, working its way from port city to port city and spreading around the Mediterranean Sea, later migrating inland eastward into Asia Minor and west into Greece and Italy. Because the infectious disease spread inland by the transferring of merchandise through Justinian’s efforts in acquiring luxurious goods of the time and exporting supplies, his capital became the leading exporter of the bubonic plague. Procopius, in his work Secret History, declared that Justinian was a demon of an emperor who either created the plague himself or was being punished for his sinfulness.

Second pandemic

In the Late Middle Ages Europe experienced the deadliest disease outbreak in history when the Black Death, the infamous pandemic of bubonic plague, hit in 1347, killing a third of the European human population. Some historians believe that society subsequently became more violent as the mass mortality rate cheapened life and thus increased warfare, crime, popular revolt, waves of flagellants, and persecution. The Black Death originated in Central Asia and spread from Italy and then throughout other European countries. Arab historians Ibn Al-Wardni and Almaqrizi believed the Black Death originated in Mongolia. Chinese records also showed a huge outbreak in Mongolia in the early 1330s.Research published in 2002 suggests that it began in early 1346 in the steppe region, where a plague reservoir stretches from the northwestern shore of the Caspian Sea into southern Russia. The Mongols had cut off the trade route, the Silk Road, between China and Europe which halted the spread of the Black Death from eastern Russia to Western Europe. The epidemic began with an attack that Mongols launched on the Italian merchants’ last trading station in the region, Caffa in the Crimea. In late 1346, plague broke out among the besiegers and from them penetrated into the town. The Mongol forces catapulted plague infected corpses into Caffa as a form of attack one of the first known instances of biological warfare When spring arrived, the Italian merchants fled on their ships, unknowingly carrying the Black Death. Carried by the fleas on rats, the plague initially spread to humans near the Black Sea and then outwards to the rest of Europe as a result of people fleeing from one area to another.

Biological warfare

Some of the earliest instances of biological warfare were said to have been products of the plague, as armies of the 14th century were recorded catapulting diseased corpses over the walls of towns and villages to spread the pestilence. This was done by Jani Beg when he attacked the city of Kaffa in 1343.Later, plague was used during the Second Sino-Japanese War as a bacteriological weapon by the Imperial Japanese Army. These weapons were provided by Shirō Ishii’s units and used in experiments on humans before being used on the field. For example, in 1940, the Imperial Japanese Army Air Service bombed Ningbo with fleas carrying the bubonic plague. During the Khabarovsk War Crime Trials, the accused, such as Major General Kiyoshi Kawashima, testified that, in 1941, 40 members of Unit 731 air-dropped plague-contaminated fleas on Changde. These operations caused epidemic plague outbreaks.

With economic measures, India turns the tables on China

China’s economy is dealing with many challenges, including from the China-U.S. trade war.

However, options are tilted in China’s favour because the country is far less dependent on India’s market than India is on Chinese imports

India is considering a range of economic measures aimed at Chinese firms amid the border tensions. The move to ban 59 Chinese apps may be just the start, with other measures likely to follow if tensions along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) continue without disengagement.

Following the June 29 ban, Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari announced on July 1 that Chinese companies would not be allowed to take part in road projects.

Reports have said the government is considering trade and procurement curbs targeting China. The government is also increasing scrutiny of Chinese investments in many sectors, and weighing a decision to keep out Chinese companies from 5G trials, in which they are now involved.

The moves could potentially cost Chinese companies billions of dollars in contracts and future earnings. The message from Delhi is it cannot continue trade and investment relations as normal if China does not agree to return to the status quo of April before its incursions along the LAC began.

The Chinese government and State media have hit out at the measures. In separate statements, China’s Foreign Ministry in Beijing and the Chinese Embassy in New Delhi called on India to review the moves. The embassy said the measures “selectively and discriminatorily aims at certain Chinese apps on ambiguous and far-fetched grounds” and “goes against the general trend of international trade and E-commerce, and is not conducive to consumer interests and the market competition in India.”

State media have also widely criticised calls in India to boycott Chinese goods. The Global Times quoted one expert as saying “the sheer irrationality” of the campaign “would only end up dealing a blow to the local people in India”.

China is itself no stranger to such moves, having frequently deployed economic countermeasures, from restricting market access to boycotting goods in the midst of its own disputes with countries ranging from South Korea and Japan to the Philippines and Mongolia.

China’s State media spearheaded a boycott of South Korean goods in 2016 and 2017, when Seoul deployed the U.S. Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile system. China then placed curbs on outbound tourism to South Korea, costing the country millions of dollars in tourism revenue. China also used regulatory measures to close almost 90 Korean-owned Lotte Mart stores in the mainland.

In 2010, China began restricting exports of rare earth elements to Japan – a key ingredient for many electronics industries – following a collision near disputed East China Sea islands. Two years later, mass protests were organised by China over the islands issue, which led to boycotts of Japanese brands and, in some instances, violence targeting Japanese branded-cars and stores. With the Philippines, a dispute over the Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea in 2012 led to China curbing imports on bananas and restricting tourism, costing the country millions of dollars in revenue.

Coercive actions

Economic sanctions have been one of the key tools of Chinese coercion, according to Zhang Ketian, who is writing a book on Chinese coercion and is assistant professor of international security at George Mason University. Based on interviews with Chinese experts and policy documents, Ms. Zhang noted that coercive actions were selective and focused on “targets when economic cost of coercing is low” but the impact is high.

With South Korea, for example, China did not target all sectors. “It left exports of Korean semiconductors, key intermediate goods for Chinese companies, untouched. Seoul relented in October 2017 by issuing a list of assurances meant to clarify to China that Seoul would not expand the scope of THAAD,” said a 2018 report on “China’s use of coercive measures” from the Centre for a New American Security.

The report said China “has punished countries that undermine its territorial claims and foreign policy goals with measures such as restricting trade, encouraging popular boycotts, and cutting off tourism.”

In all those relationships, China had particular leverage that it used to inflict immediate economic pain.

In the India-China economic relationship, where trade is lopsided in China’s favour, both sides have different levers that they could turn to, but the options are tilted in China’s favour because China is far less dependent on India’s market than India is on Chinese imports.

India’s biggest lever is its market, which has emerged as one of the important overseas markets for Chinese companies in the technology space and in telecom. For TikTok, one of the 59 apps banned, India is the biggest overseas market with more than 100 million users according to estimates. While the parent company ByteDance reported modest earnings of $5.8 million in 2018-2019, its first full year in India, company officials said the move could cost billions of dollars in future revenue. A source close to the company told the Chinese finance magazine Caixin that ByteDance “is anticipating a loss of more than $6 billion, most likely more than the combined losses for all the other Chinese companies behind the other 58 apps banned in India.”

A move to restrict Chinese companies from India’s 5G rollout would also have the similar effect of costing hundreds of millions of dollars in potential revenue.

If India does have considerable leverage that could hurt potential revenues of Chinese companies, the problem for Delhi is China could inflict immediate economic pain should it choose to. In 2019-20, India’s imports from China accounted for $65 billion out of two-way trade of $82 billion, and the country relies on China for crucial imports for many of its industries, from auto components to active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs). Between 70 and 90% of APIs, needed for the pharma industry, come from China.

Industry representatives have in recent days already expressed concern over delays in customs clearances. If China curtailed imports as it did with Japan, even if doing so incurred its companies limited costs, the consequences would be far more serious.

Difficult choices

India faces difficult choices and needs to be selective in its measures, said former Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran. “You have to choose areas where you don’t get hurt more than they do,” he said. “TikTok is a good candidate as India is their largest market. Telecom is another. This is a huge market for Huawei. You may stop them for 5G, but at the same time a large part of the infrastructure you already have in place in the 4G network is all Chinese, so we will still need Chinese maintenance and servicing.”

The problem for India is its overall leverage with China is such that it cannot inflict serious pain on the five-times-larger Chinese economy as a whole, even if it could hurt individual companies. This, while India remains deeply dependent on Chinese goods, whether they are procured from China or elsewhere, although China’s exports to India account for less than 3% of its overall exports. On the investment front, Chinese investment in Indian tech start-ups has crossed $4 billion, according to estimates, spanning major investments in companies including Paytm, Swiggy, Ola and Flipkart.

“What do we do, for example, with Paytm?” asked Mr. Saran. “If we stop these investments, we will pull the rug out of the entire ecosystem. The problem is we are far more dependent on Chinese imports than China is dependent on us as a market. Losing a contract to India may cause some pain to companies, but will have a minimal impact on the scale they are operating. If China stops exporting APIs, there will be major disruptions in our pharma industry since producing APIs locally will take time.”

Whether the targeted economic measures will influence Beijing’s behaviour on the border will ultimately depend on China’s calculus and whether Beijing views any perceived gains from the current border stand-offs as outweighing the not insignificant economic costs of losing a key potential market. Moreover, losing this market would come at a time when the Chinese economy is facing its own challenges in the wake of the pandemic and facing increasing barriers in many Western countries.

India deployed Integrated Battle Group to deal with China, know what is the speciality of these soldiers.

Tension has been building between India and China since the violent clash in the Galwan Valley in Ladakh. In this violent clash, 20 soldiers of the Indian Army were killed. Meanwhile, India has deployed Mountain Corp’s Integrated Battle Group (IBG) along the Line of Control. IBG soldiers are adept at fighting in high mountainous areas.

These soldiers are especially adept at combating in the mountainous areas. These commandos are the 17th Mountain Carp Seals, specially designed to deal with China. According to sources, at least three Battle Group (IBG) of Mountain Carp are deployed on the front from India. Apart from this, there are a large number of ITBP personnel who have been trained in combat in the mountainous areas.

What is IBG or Integrated Battle Group?

Within 12 hours of the Army’s Integrated Battle Group (IBG) order, it sneaks into the enemy’s shack and strikes down. This is included in its special efficiency. This squad is prepared for every moment to deal with any situation like defence, attack or combat. It is not just a squad of specially trained commandos, but a complete unit equipped with all the sophisticated weapons of infantry, tanks, artillery, air defence, communication and warfare. It has every possible ability to thwart every adversary’ move. That is why it is called Integrated Battle Group.

To invade immediately as and when required is their greatest feature. That is, these soldiers do not require any extra time for preparation or strategy, it is only late to get orders. Its combatants are specially trained to take into account- enemy threats, geographical challenges and targets such as 3T- Threat, Terrain and Task in every area adjacent to the border. As soon as the order is received, they are ready to enter the enemy’s territory at any moment. These fighters are capable of more active and rapid action than the current striking corps.
According to sources, the soldiers of this Battle Group can also be airdropped at any place if needed. The commandos have also been trained for this and these commandos have also practised several times on the Chinese border. Sources say that the preparations of the Indian Army have received frequent backups of the Indian Air Force.

The Air Force is fully prepared to airdrop the commandos along with surveillance on the LAC. Let us know that China’s fighter aircraft and helicopters are hovering on the Line of Actual Control (LAC). These activities in China persist in the 10 km area of ​​LAC. In such a situation, India has also now prepared to respond to the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in its own dialect.
According to military sources, the army has deployed the ‘Akash’ advance air defence missile system in East Ladakh to keep track of China’s fighter aircraft and helicopters on the LAC. With this, the Indian Army can easily keep an eye on the antics of China. In such a situation, if a Chinese aircraft crosses the LAC, then it will be exterminated immediately by the air defence missile system.

Sources say that on the Line of Actual Control, China has recruited large-scale climbers and martial arts fighters in its army. The Dragon has sent five such divisions to LAC.

However, according to reports in the Chinese media, these are for deployment in Tibet. But according to sources, these have been sent to LAC and deployed before June 15. After this, India has deployed Mountain Corp’s IBG (Integrated Battle Group) on the Line of Control. Not to forget that on the night of June 15, there was a bloody clash in the Galwan valley between the armies of both the countries.

IMAGE: ©BCCL

Australia being a cute Rasgulla.

So due to increase tension between India and China and India and Australia there is a huge chances and probability that i the days to come India and Australia may become strongest of allies as by discovering some of the biggest potential they behold through trade and military presence in both Asia and Oceania if there is a mutual respect and support between each other. There is also an ambitious bilateral agenda that will add substance to the India-Australia summit. When it comes to defense, India and Australia share a common concern over China it is that aspect which informs a lot of the bilateral transactions between the two countries. While Australia is worried about China’s presence in the Pacific, India is worried about China’s increasing activities and influence in the Indian Ocean.

Earlier this year, the Australian and Indian navies concluded a two-week-long bilateral maritime exercise code-named AUSINDEX. A government release at the time said the exercise was conducted, “to strengthen and enhance mutual cooperation and interoperability between the IN (Indian Navy) and RAN (Royal Australian Navy), providing opportunities for interaction and exchange of professional views between the personnel of the two navies”. From 2016-18, the armies of the countries conducted a joint military exercise dubbed “AUSTRA HIND”. Significantly, for the first time in 2017, Australia’s Foreign Policy White Paper identified India as being at the “front rank” of Australia’s international partnerships, “on par with the US, Japan, Indonesia, and China”, Australian High Commissioner Harinder Sidhu said in her address at the National Defence College in May this year.

The informal strategic Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (QSD) that was initiated by Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in 2007 was largely in response to China’s growing power and influence. Initially, the “Quad” members included India, Japan, the US, and Australia; however Australia chose to withdraw when Kevin Rudd was Prime Minister, since it did not want to be a part of an anti-China alliance at the time. In an article in the Nikkei Asian Review in March 2019, Rudd said, referring to his opposition to the Quad: “Japan said that the rationale for the QSD was to defend the international rules-based order, implying that China back in 2007 had already become a threat to the order.“For Australia in 2007 therefore, to begin embroiling itself in any emerging military alliance with Japan against China, in the absence of any formal reconciliation between Tokyo and Beijing over the events of the Second World War (Nanking Massacre), was incompatible with our long-term national interests.”However, Australia later rejoined the dialogue in 2017 on the sidelines of the ASEAN Summit, signalling a re-ignition in Australia’s interest in the dialogue.

However, it is the economic dimension that continues to lag. The summit provides Modi and Morrison with the opportunity to impart a fresh momentum to it. Bilateral trade is barely 30 billion dollars and even though Australia is a world leader in niche technologies, investment in India is relatively limited. ‘An India Economic Strategy to 2035’ by Peter Varghese, former Australian Foreign Secretary and High Commissioner to India, provides an excellent blueprint. It identifies 10 states and 10 sectors of the economy that can be of particular focus, and underscores the important role of investment in driving the economic relationship. But while Canberra sees the opportunity, private business groups have been shy to grab it. With the exception of the Macquarie Group and a couple of others, Australia’s large financial institutions, pension funds and even the sovereign Future Fund have shown reluctance to invest in India. From India, the Adani group’s multi-billion dollar investment into the Carmichael coal fields in Queensland also ran into a series of hurdles and dampened some of the initial ardor to invest in Australia. There are also a number of less glamorous areas that offer fertile ground for collaboration in sectors where Australia has proven expertise. Some projects are already underway in agriculture, animal husbandry, water conservation, mining technology and equipment and sports infrastructure, but there is ample scope for scaling these to become success stories that both countries can proudly showcase. Cyber security is of critical interest to both, as is the need to work together in tapping Australia’s huge deposits of lithium and rare earths.

India and Australia’s Alliance against the Dragon.

The virtual bilateral summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison Wednesday is a big deal. Not just because it is perhaps the first virtual summit of its kind, nor because it demonstrates the determination to ‘meet’ despite the international travel restrictions. It is important because it takes place at a time when both countries find themselves under attack from the belligerent dragon — China.For India, the ‘Wuhan spirit’ or the bonhomie after the informal summit between President Xi Jinping and PM Modi in 2018 has been wiped out by the virus from Wuhan, along with China’s agressive stand on Ladakh. 

For Australia, its thriving economic diasora and ethos with China has been hit by sanctions on beef and barley exports because of ostensibly a retaliation to Canberra having had the temerity to ask for an independent inquiry into the origins of the novel coronavirus. Morrison responded to Chinese bluster and bullying by replying firmly that Australia won’t trade away its values.

For Prime Minister Morrison, standing up to China is becoming familiar territory. As treasury secretary in 2015, he had to strengthen his country’s foreign investment review process after the Northern Territories government signed a 99-year lease agreement for the strategic port of Darwin with a Chinese company that has links with the People‘s Liberation Army. He then had to invoke the new provisions twice in 2016 — to block the sale of Australia’s largest cattle business, S Kidman’s 100,000 square kilometres of land holdings to a Chinese consortium, and to prevent a state-owned Chinese company from buying a controlling stake in power distribution company “Aus grid”, which also manages critical communications infrastructure. Later, as the home minister, he had to invoke national security provisions to keep Huawei out of Australia’s 5G infrastructure.

Over the last few years, China’s influence on operations in Australia have grown to a point where the country feels that its institutions and its values are under a coordinated and relentless attack. Chinese-Australian tycoons have attempted to bribe gullible politicians; Chinese community leaders are mobilized to rally support for Beijing’s position on the South China Sea; Chinese students on university campuses have clashed with others over developments in Hong Kong, cyber security attacks have targeted Australian research institutions and even the Australian parliament. The list is endless. Therefore due to this massive amount of tension between the two countries both of these countries can be of use to each other by using each others resources and supporting each other at the time of their need so as by making a very powerful presence in the Asia-Oceania territories.

Bickering Bollywood….

So we all know that Indian film industry aka Bollywood is the second highest movie producing industry in the whole world after Hollywood per annum. Well to be honest yeah i agree that Bollywood is a gold mine of vibrant,diverse and really amazing movies. But the question remains at the point as why such an old,powerful movie industry with actors like Shahrukh Khan and Amitabh Bachchan who come in the list of top ten richest actors in the world, and with directors like Satyajit Ray are never producing movies which at least can be the bread and butter of the whole world. French and the German movie industry even the movie industry of Chile and the Korea is producing movies which garners massive popularity worldwide. In french we have ‘Belle de Jour(1967)’ and ‘blue is the warmest color (2013)’, German’s having ‘The Marriage of Maria Braun(1978)’ and ‘Freier fall (2013)’, chile’s ‘A fantstic woman (2017), the ripple maker Parasite(2019) and many more from many other countries as well. And then the question prevails why not Bollywood?

Movies like Satyajit Ray’s Pather Panchali (1955) and Mira Nair’s Salam Bombay (1988) in a manner defined Indian movie industry’s potential. But current scenario Bollywood is all about nepotism and love stories nowadays. As if we see that famous movie Slumdog Millionaire(2008) which bagged eight Oscars is not what india is?But the entire movie industry of the world is running after one thing that if India is represented it either poverty or god forbid it’s about curry, thanks to everywhere you see starting from movies like critically acclaimed Lion(2016) or Love Sonoa(2018) everything is about how indians are suffering,human trafficking, lack of sanitation and blah blah blah!!! If we talk about that’s what we see i the world. But people need to realize something that India the world’s second most populous country,sixth largest economy and seventh largest country is not all about trash and poverty. This scenario as explained above is what shows the failure of bollywood. but not everythings bad as we can’t say that Bollywood has gone down totally in these recent years as we made so many good movies too like Raazi(2018), Neerja(2016), Uri(2019), Barfi(2012) , Lust stories(2018) , Mary Kom(2014), three idiots(2009), Bajirao Mastani (2015), Jodha Akbar(2008), Dangal(2016), Devdas(2002), My name is Khan(2010), Swades(2004), English Vinglish(2012), Tumbaad(2018), lagaan(2001), Tare zameen par(2007), PK(2014) and many more which show case the value of the Indian movie industry and it’s potentials.

Now if we talk about problem which is wrecking us all starts with the lack of originality and the rejection of new talent in Indian film industry and how can we forget the grandad of all fiasco the one and only Nepotism. Nepotism is whats actually responsible for killing the Indian film industry in a really gruesome manner as due to this the new talents in indian film industry is getting choked as we speak. Another big problem is the lack of experimentation and really comical and absurd action movies as I’m literally starving for a good science fiction movie or a bone chilling horror fiction at least. But all we get is boring love stories with a lot of songs which are not even sung by the actors but they are just LIP SYNCING to it. No diversity at all as white washing of the whole cast is the forte of bollywood. Not even a single dusky or black actor or actress in a lead role you will find here(leaving the very few exceptions). That’s what i meant when i wrote bickering bollywood as if bollywood won’t up it’s ante there will soon be what we call a hot white mess left in the indian subcontinent for people to watch. Toodles!

Blacklist China!

Easier said than done

Economic retribution against China will have limited effect, constructing domestic potentials and leveraging the market is essential.
To begin with, boycotting Chinese products is easier said than done. India is dependent on China for a wide range of goods, lining-up from electronics to fertilisers — Made in China often helps Make in India too.
In the fallout of Monday night’s confrontation between India and China in the Galwan Valley, there has been a growing tumult for a boycott of Chinese products — in impact, a demand to use trade as a blunt instrument of retaliation against China. The Department of Telecommunications has reportedly conveyed to state-owned BSNL that it must not use Chinese made equipment in its network upgradation plans, even as the government is “actively considering” asking private mobile service providers to lessen their reliance on China-made equipment. Another Chinese engineering company is likely to forfeit a contract with the Indian railways, and there is reportedly talk of cutting down imports of products such as electronics from China. While the demand for boycotting Chinese goods may make for good optics, at this critical juncture, there is need to exert wariness, and for a deemed strategy. The harsh reality is that economic retaliation will have its own set of consequences. As India accounts for a nominal share of China’s export market, it will at best have limited impact on China. And the implications for India of such actions will play out at multiple levels.

Any endeavour to reduce imports from China, operationalized through tariffs or other non-tariff barriers, will put up the prices for Indian consumers. And as India also imports capital goods and intermediate products from China, such restrictions will affect domestic manufacturing competitiveness, and thus further worsen the country’s export competitiveness. Moreover, in the short-run, ensuring uninterrupted alternative supplies may not be a reasonable option. There is also the issue of Chinese investment in the Indian start-up space to contend with. Companies like Alibaba and Tencent have invested in “unicorns” such as Zomato, Paytm, Byju’s, Ola cabs and others. This relationship will be difficult to disentangle. The government will have to carefully think through the consequences of any policy action that it decides to pursue. The policy should flow from a careful cost-benefit analysis, not be driven by knee-jerk reactions.

This is not to deny the need to build up domestic capabilities, across sectors. The long-term objective should be to push through long-pending legislation that aims to address the structural bottlenecks that continue to plague and hinder domestic competitiveness. India’s strategy should be to boost manufacturing competitiveness, and increase its share in world trade. But this is a long-term proposition. The short-run costs of boycotting Chinese products will be heavy and may even be counter-productive.

Can India’s economy over take China in coming years?

With the Covid-19 pandemic infecting millions of people around the world, China is facing a global backlash, especially from the United States. It has created a cold-war situation between the two, where India is siding the US. Despite the strong anti-China sentiment, the Indian government can no way stop the Chinese market.

Indian Market cannot afford to keep China out of its markets as Chinese products are fairly cheap and have helped low-income groups to improve their standard of living. The country’s products are not just cheap but also durable and well-aligned to other country’s needs. This formula has helped Chinese production experts take over even Euro-American markets. Although, China is known to be the birthplace for Coronavirus, which is uniting its enemies- India, the US, Japan, and Australia. But, there are very low chances that they can stop its goods and services all over the world, including their own countries, in the post-COVID world.

Focusing on India, it still hasn’t prepared its labor force to challenge the Chinese skilled labor force. Also, the question arises, is India capable enough to produce goods and commodities as inexpensive as China?

China has its rural industry which is that independent that it can produce goods for all sorts of cultures and commercial markets. There is no rural industry in India. While announcing plans for post- corona economy, Narendra Modi talked about establishing cottage industries. But there are no skilled laborers in rural India to produce goods for the global market’s tastes. How will this happen then?

Not to forget, Chinese growth has been driven by some of the world’s largest investment rates. This has made possible high –speed rail lines, infrastructure revolution of new cities, ports, airports, and manufacturing muscle for the country. Now, China has become the world’s factory for more than 20 years. Its ability to quickly and efficiently move what it produces domestically and around the world has played a major role in its growth miracle.

Today, India lags behind China in three dimensions: investment, infrastructure, and manufacturing. India has barely scratched the surface on all these. China invests about 50% of its GDP, while India does only 30%. Manufacturing is about is just 20% in India, while in China it’s about 30%.

India lags behind China a lot in the development. It looks like a poor country in major parts, where China has one of the best infrastructures around the world.

But, if India starts taking things seriously it can be a real opportunity. It is a known fact that by increasing investment, improving infrastructure, and growing economic output, it can be a true path to growth if the nation is patient enough to follow.

The ‘Make in India’ initiative is so promising as it does not rely on the Indian government. Launched to surpass China in direct foreign investment, ‘Make in India’ calls for global firms to increase their financial commitment to India. The innovative firms as diverse as Lenovo, Samsung and Boeing have publically supported this initiative, proving that the private sector is ready to step in.

Only thing is that private firms won’t act until it is more confident about politics and this scheme. Taking this into consideration, the government first has to give confidence to them for further progress to be made.

There is a lot of potential that India has. The raw material that the nation is so rich for any production. The challenge now is to use it effectively by all means.

All to say, to challenge China, it means unlearning many things and re-learning new things for India to take over this nation in terms of economy.

With the Covid-19 pandemic infecting millions of people around the world, China is facing a global backlash, especially from the United States. It has created a cold-war situation between the two, where India is siding the US. Despite the strong anti-China sentiment, the Indian government can no way stop the Chinese market.

Indian Market cannot afford to keep China out of its markets as Chinese products are fairly cheap and have helped low-income groups to improve their standard of living. The country’s products are not just cheap but also durable and well-aligned to other country’s needs. This formula has helped Chinese production experts take over even Euro-American markets. Although, China is known to be the birthplace for Coronavirus, which is uniting its enemies- India, the US, Japan, and Australia. But, there are very low chances that they can stop its goods and services all over the world, including their own countries, in the post-COVID world.

Focusing on India, it still hasn’t prepared its labor force to challenge the Chinese skilled labor force. Also, the question arises, is India capable enough to produce goods and commodities as inexpensive as China?

China has its rural industry which is that independent that it can produce goods for all sorts of cultures and commercial markets. There is no rural industry in India. While announcing plans for post- corona economy, Narendra Modi talked about establishing cottage industries. But there are no skilled laborers in rural India to produce goods for the global market’s tastes. How will this happen then?

Not to forget, Chinese growth has been driven by some of the world’s largest investment rates. This has made possible high –speed rail lines, infrastructure revolution of new cities, ports, airports, and manufacturing muscle for the country. Now, China has become the world’s factory for more than 20 years. Its ability to quickly and efficiently move what it produces domestically and around the world has played a major role in its growth miracle.

Today, India lags behind China in three dimensions: investment, infrastructure, and manufacturing. India has barely scratched the surface on all these. China invests about 50% of its GDP, while India does only 30%. Manufacturing is about is just 20% in India, while in China it’s about 30%.

India lags behind China a lot in the development. It looks like a poor country in major parts, where China has one of the best infrastructures around the world.

But, if India starts taking things seriously it can be a real opportunity. It is a known fact that by increasing investment, improving infrastructure, and growing economic output, it can be a true path to growth if the nation is patient enough to follow.

The ‘Make in India’ initiative is so promising as it does not rely on the Indian government. Launched to surpass China in direct foreign investment, ‘Make in India’ calls for global firms to increase their financial commitment to India. The innovative firms as diverse as Lenovo, Samsung and Boeing have publically supported this initiative, proving that the private sector is ready to step in.

Only thing is that private firms won’t act until it is more confident about politics and this scheme. Taking this into consideration, the government first has to give confidence to them for further progress to be made.

There is a lot of potential that India has. The raw material that the nation is so rich for any production. The challenge now is to use it effectively by all means.

All to say, to challenge China, it means unlearning many things and re-learning new things for India to take over this nation in terms of economy.