ASEAN@50: Why Manila summit matters for India

ASEAN@50: Why Manila summit matters for India

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It’s ASEAN moment in the Philippines capital – sparkling lights, giant Christmas tree and ASEAN emblems splashed all over this bustling metropolis conjure up a festive atmosphere that’s in keeping with the 50th anniversary celebrations of this vibrant grouping of 10 Southeast Asian nations. And Philippines’ maverick leader Roderigo Duterte has launched a veritable charm offensive as he rolls out the red carpet to welcome a host of world leaders, including US President Donald Trump, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, among others, for this defining marker in the history of ASEAN.
For India, the Manila summit will be an opportunity for Prime Minister Modi to underscore New Delhi’s strategic intent to play a bigger role in the region and impart more depth and content to its Act East policy.
On the strategic side, all eyes will be on the message coming out from the ASEAN summit on the South China Sea, where China’s suspected expansionist agenda has renewed anxiety about Beijing’s intentions and the region’s response to it. Ahead of the summit, Mr Duterte has already voiced his concerns and underlined the need for a written code of conduct that will ensure responsible behaviour by China in the disputed water body.
Looking ahead, as they celebrate 25 years of multifarious engagement across the spectrum, India and ASEAN will be looking to map new frontiers and raise the bar for this mutually empowering partnership. The message coming from the Manila summit will have a critical bearing on the future of this economically dynamic region and how it handles differences and power games to focus on the larger dream of realising the potential of an Asian Century.

Trump’s Meeting With Chinese Counterpart: Focus on Trade, North Korea Issue

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“The United States really has to change its policies because they’ve gotten so far behind on trade with China and frankly with other countries,” Trump said at an expanded meeting with President Xi. “And I have great respect for you for that because you are representing China. But it’s too bad that past administrations allowed it to get so far out of kilter.”Trump’s two-day visit to Beijing resulted in a number of trade agreements worth $253.4 billion, according to Xi Jinping’s statements during a joint press conference on Thursday. Moreover, on the eve of Trump’s visit, the US and Chinese companies have already signed a number of deals worth $9 billion.

With China on mind, Japan pushes quad dialogue with India, US & Australia

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With China’s President Xi Jinping promising to making China a major global power at the country’s twice-in-a-decade Party Congress, Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono has said that his country would soon propose a top-level security dialogue with the US, India and Australia on board.

Speaking to The Nikkei daily, he said that the “idea is for the leaders of the four nations to promote free trade and defence cooperation across a stretch of ocean from the South China Sea, across the Indian Ocean and all the way to Africa”. “We are in an era when Japan has to exert itself diplomatically by drawing a big strategic picture,” Mr. Kono said.

The daily reported that the foreign minister said that he had already had a brief discussion on the same with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop on the sidelines of a foreign ministers meet in Manila two months back.

“Free and open seas will benefit all countries, including China and its Belt and Road Initiative,” he said, adding that dismantling North Korea’s missile programme will also focus prominently in the talks. Recently, expressing the US’s evolving view on China’s ambitious project, Mr. Tillerson had expressed concerns over China’s predatory economics and its not-so-responsible rise.

Modi, Trump congratulate Xi; Kim Jong-un sends a special note too

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As China entered the Xi era with the consecration of President Xi Jinping among the pantheon of Chinese greats like Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping, there has been a flood of messages from world leaders congratulating Mr. Xi on his elevation as one of the most powerful leaders of his country. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi choose to send a message through his Weibo account (a Chinese social network à laTwitter)saying: “Congratulations to President Xi on getting re-elected as CPC General Secretary. Look forward to further promote India-China ties together.” India-China relations had come under a cloud following the 72-day long stand-off at Doklam, but the two leaders had put that behind them when they met at the BRICS summit in the Chinese city of Xiamen in September.

With Xi at helm, China unveils new pro-reform leadership

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Ending months of speculation, China unveiled its top leadership on October 25, with President Xi Jinping emerging as the most powerful Chinese leader since Mao Zedong, and five new members inducted into the Politburo Standing Committee, China’s apex decision-making body.With the world watching closely, the 64-year-old Xi Jinping presented members of the seven-member PSC to hordes of international and Chinese journalists at the imposing Great Hall of the People.
For Xi Jinping, it’s the crowning moment of his decades-old career as his philosophy christened “Xi Jinping Thought” was enshrined in the party constitution at the end of the week-long National Congress on October 24, elevating him to the pantheon of party legends Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping.The new team chosen by Xi Jinping includes seasoned party veterans with extensive experience in governance and managing reforms, which signal the president’s commitment to fast-tracking structural transformation of the economy and curbing corruption in public life.

Xi Jinping joins Mao pantheon: What it means for China & world

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It’s the Xi Jinping Moment as China’s Communist Party elevated and exalted the 64-year-old princeling with the common touch to the pantheon of the party immortals, Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping, making him the most powerful Chinese leader in decades. On a cold winter morning in Beijing on October 24, the Xi Jinping Thought shone the path to realising the Chinese Dream as the week-long Party Congress concluded by enshrining the 64-year-old leader’s philosophy into the Chinese constitution, and setting him up for a prolonged stay in power, much beyond 2022 when his second term ends.
More than 2,000 delegates gathered in the majestic Great Hall of the People in Beijing’s iconic Tiananmen Square and unanimously voted to incorporate “Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics in a New Era” in the constitution on the final day of the week-long 19th Party Congress, a twice-a-decade meeting of the party’s ruling oligarchy.
Xi Jinping, who had inspired and enthralled the party elite and the nation with his three-and-a-half hour speech on the opening day of the congress, exuded quiet authority and poise as he spoke about “great strength and vitality,” of socialism with Chinese characteristics in the 21st century.
Xi Jinping Thought will now be on a par with Mao Zedong Thought and Deng Xiaoping Theory as a “guide to action” and revitalisation of the CPC and the Chinese nation. It will be now mandatory learning for Chinese students from primary schools through to universities.
This ceremonial elevation of Xi Jinping in the CPC pantheon will have significant ramifications for the world as it deals with the most powerful Chinese leader in decades, who has his own vision of making China a global power, which could bring him in conflict with other power centres.

China’s Xi pushes for balanced growth, more open economy

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Setting the target for a “moderately prosperous society” and a “fully developed nation”, China’s President Xi Xinping has renewed the focus on the development of socialism with Chinese characteristics and focused on promoting balanced development at the 19th Party Congress of the CPC.
Mr. Xi has been a long- time proponent of a more open and inclusive Chinese economy, often facing flak from neo-Maoists who accuse him of moving away from Chairman Mao’s socialist agends. However, President Xi has been successful in consolidating his hold over the Party and has overseen a steady growth of the Chinese economy.
Laying out his strategy in 14 points that included diverse aspects like national security, elder care and reform, Mr. Xi was firm is declaring that “the party leads everything, everywhere”. A call for greater incentive to investment and serious market-oriented reform of its exchange rate as well as its financial system was made by the Chinese leader, while also emphasizing the authority of the state firms in the market. “Openness brings progress for ourselves, seclusion leaves one behind. China will not close its doors to the world, we will only become more and more open,” he said.
In the global scenario of increased protectionism and isolationist sentiments in the US, China is positioning itself as a major international player, aiding and assisting a host of infrastructural and development projects oversees and leading grand connectivity initiatives like the One Belt One Road. Proclaiming China as the future leader of the developing world, Mr. Xi attacked the pitfalls of the Western-style democracy claiming that “No country alone can handle all the challenges that mankind faces and no country can retreat into self-isolation.” “We have every confidence that we can give full play to the strengths and distinctive features of China’s socialist democracy, and make China’s contribution to the political advancement of mankind… We should not just mechanically copy the political systems of other countries,” he added.

Xi Consolidates Power as New China Leadership Line-up Revealed

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As a five-yearly leadership shake-up is underway in Beijing, President Xi Jinping is expected to fill the ruling Communist Party’s apex of decision-making, the Politburo Standing Committee, with trusted allies.Xi’s line-up for his first term at the helm of the world’s largest political party was a compromise influenced by his two immediate predecessors. But China’s ongoing 19th party congress is seen as the new beginning for Xi, who is expected to enter his second term with a team stacked with trusted allies and followers.

Amid churn in Indo-Pacific, US plays India versus China game

Washington: Prime Minister Narendra Modi shakes hands with US, Secretary of State, Rex W. Tillerson in Washington DC, USA on Monday.   PTI Photo/PIB (PTI6_26_2017_000255B)

Ahead of his maiden visit to India, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has projected the US as the reliable partner India needs, positioning New Delhi and Washington as two “two bookends of stability” in the Indo-Pacific region which is being challenged by China’s “irresponsible” rise.

Courting India ahead of his first official visit to New Delhi next week, Mr Tillerson projected an upbeat trajectory of the India-US relations that have been on an upswing ever since President Donald Trump assumed office earlier this year. In a defining foreign policy speech at an American think tank, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Mr. Tillerson said that the US is “determined to dramatically deepen ways” to build an “ambitious partnership” with India, particularly with an eye on the Indo-Pacific region and China, which will have “far-reaching implications for the next 100 years.”
Going by Mr Tillerson’s comments, it would appear that the US is pushing for a renewed China containment strategy, with India as a key balancer against China’s assertiveness. Should India offer to be part of this strategy? Opinion is divided among India’s strategic establishment. Meera Shankar, India’s former ambassador to the US, has struck a note of caution. “It’s a culmination of the trend of strengthening strategic partnerships in the region by the US to balance China,” Mrs Shankar told India Writes Network. “A stronger India will ipso facto act as a balancer, without getting into overt containment strategy,” she said. The US should help to bolster India’s rise and capabilities, she said.

Xi Jinping II: Notes on China’s foreign policy

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BEIJING: China’s President Xi Jinping has unveiled his plans for rejuvenation of China and the Chinese Dream at the crucial 19th Party Congress, but his⋅⋅⋅
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