Doklam standoff: India says did the right thing, asks for mutual withdrawal and talks

Doklam standoff: India says did the right thing, asks for mutual withdrawal and talks


With the impasse deepening between the two Asian giants over their weeks-long border standoff, India has made it clear to China that “both sides must pull back troops and work things out with talks,” and underlined that other countries have backed India over the Doklam stand-off.
In a pointed speech in parliament on July 20, India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said that “both sides must pull back troops and work things out with talks” and stressed that India’s action (in sending its troops to the Doklam plateau last month) was motivated by its need to protect its security near where the boundaries of China, India and Bhutan meet.
“If China, unilaterally changes the status quo of the tri-junction point, it is a straight challenge to our security,” said Ms Swaraj.
The relations between the two Asian powers have been under severe stress for over a month after Chinese troops started building a road in the disputed Doklam plateau, which Bhutan claims as part of its own territory. India sent in its troops to stall the construction of the road as it would give the Chinese military access to the Chicken Point that links the mainland India with its seven north-eastern states.
India is insisting on diplomatic means to resolve the crisis amid aggressive rhetoric emanating from nationalistic state-controlled media in Beijing.
In a sign that India is hoping that dialogue will resolve the impasse, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval will travel to China on July 27 for a meeting of national security advisers of BRICS grouping of emerging powers, comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. India is looking for a separate bilateral meeting between Mr Doval and China’s influential State Counsellor Yeng Jiechi on the sidelines of the BRICS meeting to explore ways to defuse the crisis.

The Malabar Exercises: An Appraisal


The 21st edition of the Malabar exercises, Malabar-17, was conducted in the Bay of Bengal from July 10 to 17, 2017. The primary aim of the exercise was to increase interoperability amongst the navies of India, Japan and the US as well as develop a common understanding and procedures for maritime security operations. The exercise is a demonstration of the joint commitment of all three nations to address common maritime challenges across the spectrum of operations and will go a long way in enhancing maritime security in the Indo-Pacific region for the benefit of the global maritime community.
The Indo-Pacific region holds immense geo-political and geo-strategic significance for navies around the world. The challenges of piracy, maritime terrorism, organised crime like drug trafficking, weapons smuggling, trafficking of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and related material, all have forced navies to conduct joint patrols and provide escort duties for shipping assets. In conjunction with these non-conventional challenges, the challenge to freedom of navigation in the South China Sea, unrelenting firing of missiles by North Korea and apprehension of non-accessibility of crucial choke points have elicited varying responses from the stake holders. It has become imperative for navies to cooperate with each other, ensure interoperability and position maritime assets to ensure peace and stability. Over a period of time, naval exercises between like-minded nations have become a viable mechanism to practice drills in a simulated setting in order to eliminate functional gaps that may lead to insecurities.

India speaks in one voice, opts for diplomacy to resolve China tensions


Amid deepening impasse with China on the Doklam standoff, India has decided on a calibrated strategy to explore all diplomatic options to defuse tensions with Asia’s most powerful economy and a rising power.

The government and opposition parties spoke in one voice on pursuing the diplomatic course to deescalate tensions and underlined the need for national unity to deal with an increasingly assertive China.
At a meeting hosted by Home Minister Rajnath Singh at his residence in New Delhi on July 14, the government briefed opposition leaders on its decision to send troops to stall the building of a strategic road through the Doklam plateau by Chinese troops in the Bhutanese territory and its options in dealing with China.

Modi at G20: India scores on terror, sides with G-19 versus Trump on climate change


The G20 summit of the world’s most powerful economies ended in the picturesque German port city of Hamburg on July 8, with a separate Leaders’ Statement on jointly tackling the rising scourge of terrorism and a joint formulation on sustaining inclusive global economic growth.
With US President Donald Trump walking out of the Paris Accord a few weeks ago, climate change became an intensely divisive issue, with Mr Trump, known for his mercurial temperament, arrayed against virtually the rest of G20 countries, making it a sort of G19-versus-US power play contest. Protracted discussions among Sherpas and officials of G20 countries went down the wire, ending in a mid-way compromise between the US and the rest on the issue of climate change.
From India’s point of view, a separate standalone joint statement on terrorism was a major takeaway, which shaped proactively by Indian negotiators. “Originally, there was a plan to have an annexe on terrorism, but India from day one argued that it should be converted into a leaders’ statement on counter-terrorism,” Dr Arvind Panagriya, India’s Sherpa for G20 and Vice-Chairman of Niti Ayog, told select journalists in Hamburg.
In his speech at the G20 summit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi presented an 11-point Action Agenda for combating terrorism, which included suggestions for exchange of lists of terrorists among G20 nations, easing and expediting of legal processes like extradition and concrete steps to choke funds and weapon supply to the terrorists. He asked world leaders to unite against terrorism and singled out Pakistan-based terror groups Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) for imperative global action. Mr Modi reminded the world community that some countries were using terror as a tool to achieve political objectives and pitched for “deterrent” action collectively by the G-20 members against such nations.

Modi pitches for bigger BRICS role in combating terror, Xi backs India


HAMBURG:  Ahead of the BRICS summit in China, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi underlined that the BRICS grouping should play a pivotal role in combating terrorism, addressing climate change and take the lead in fuelling global economic growth.
Mr Modi was speaking at the meeting of 
the  leaders of the five BRICS countries on the sidelines of G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany. China will host  the forthcoming 9th BRICS Summit in September in Xiamen.
 In his intervention, Mr Modi underscored that BRICS has been a strong voice and needs to show leadership on terrorism and global economy. He added that G20 should collectively oppose terrorism financing, franchises, safe havens, support and sponsors. 

Modi meets Xi in Hamburg amid escalating border tensions


Amid worsening relations between the two Asian giants triggered by a protracted border standoff, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and China’s President Xi Jinping discussed “a range of issues” to defuse tensions that could spin out of control, if not managed with tact.
The leaders of the two countries shook hands warmly and smiled on the sidelines of the meeting of BRICS countries in Hamburg,  which belied an increasingly hostile atmosphere that has enveloped bilateral ties.
Reliable sources said the conversation lasted for nearly four minutes.

India at G20: Modi to focus on terrorism, free trade & climate change


HAMBURG: Amid India’s aggravating relations with China, Prime Minister Narendra Modi touched down in the northern German port city of Hamburg for the G20 summit of the world’s major and emerging economies which. The summit will focus on forging a unified global response to a host of global crises, including the proliferation of trans-national terror networks, climate change and sustainable development.
At the G20 summit, Mr Modi is expected to highlight India’s concerns about trans-national terrorism and diminishing commitment to the Paris Accord, which suffered a major blow after the abrupt withdrawal of the US from the pact. On the issue of climate change, Mr Modi, who had a successful meeting with US President Donald Trump in Washington House only a couple of weeks ago, is expected to fully support the G2 agenda, under the German presidency, focus on climate change and sustainable development.
India sees a convergence with major focus areas of the agenda of the 12th G20 summit, being held in Hamburg on July7-8, which include, besides terrorism and climate change, issues relating to free and open trade amid the rising wall of protectionism, migration, black money and global stability.

India-Israel connect: Modi mesmerises Indian Jews in Tel Aviv


The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, on Wednesday addressed the Indian Community in Israel, at a function in Tel Aviv.
He began by noting that this was the first time that an Indian Prime Minister had come to Israel, and it had taken a long period of 70 years after independence.
He thanked Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the warm welcome and respect accorded to him throughout his visit.
He said that though diplomatic relations between the two countries are only 25 years old, yet ties between India and Israel go back several centuries. He said that he has been told that in the 13th century, the Indian Sufi Saint Baba Farid had come to Jerusalem, and meditated in a cave.
The Prime Minister described the relationship between India and Israel as one of traditions, culture, trust and friendship. He noted the similarity in festivals between India and Israel. In this context, he mentioned Holi and Purim; and Diwali and Hanukkah.

‘Marriage made in heaven’: India-Israel ties turn strategic


“A marriage made in heaven, which is now being implemented on earth,” this is how Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu evocatively described India-Israel relations as the two countries elevated their relations to the level of strategic partnership and signed seven pacts in key areas, including agriculture, space and development cooperation.
The personal chemistry and camaraderie between India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Israeli host were all too visible and genuine as they rhapsodised about each other’s country, shared values and a kindred vision for a radiant future of India-Israel relations. The two leaders spoke with a sense of mission, which may have something to do with the ancient but modern city of Jerusalem, with Mr Netanyahu declaring in the tone of a prophet: It’s a partnership to seek the good and to achieve the good…This is a good day.”
It was clearly not just inspired rhetoric as the outcomes that emanated from over two hours of talks between the two leaders and their delegations were pragmatic and action-oriented, which would have transformative impact on the lives and fortunes of people in the two countries.
If Indian talent and Israeli technology are married and fused, along with fostering of deep civilizational and people-to-people bonding, this “marriage made in heaven” could bear new flowers and fruits in days to come, imparting more content and depth to the newly-forged strategic partnership.

Recognising terrorism poses a grave threat to global peace and stability:Modi in the joint press statement with Israel PM Benjamin Netanyahu


Marking the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries, Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India visited Israel from 4-6 July 2017 at the invitation of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel. This historic first-ever visit by an Indian Prime Minister to Israel solidified the enduring friendship between their peoples and raised the bilateral relationship to that of a strategic partnership.