Trump Talk at UN amuses & shocks world

Trump Talk at UN amuses & shocks world

U.S. President Donald Trump addresses the 72nd United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New York, U.S., September 19, 2017. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

US President Donald Trump’s maiden speech at the United Nations General Assembly unfolded on predictable lines, except for its highly combative tone which left many veteran world leaders and diplomats in the audience squirming in their seats. From vowing to destroy North Korea, to calling Iran a “rogue state” and lashing out at terrorist organisations and countries that provide them safe havens, Mr Trump unleashed his rage at “America’s enemies.”
Speaking from the green-marbled dais he had once mocked as ugly, Mr Trump’s fury was largely directed at the “depraved” Pyongyang and its despotic leader Kim Jong-un whom he referred to as the Rocket Man on a suicide mission. “No one has shown more contempt for other nations and for the wellbeing of their own people than the depraved regime in North Korea,” he said. Mr Trump, who got elected in November last year on America First plank, vowed to “totally destroy” North Korea if it didn’t abandon its nuclear weapons programme.

Indian diplomacy in times of flux: M.J. Akbar

The birth of a publication is always a reason for celebration. The birth of a publication at a time when print is under some strain is a cause for even greater celebration. But the birth of a print publication in a time of strain, on a subject that is of a close interest to the distinguished audience here, is perhaps the most welcome part of the evening. I hope the subject will actually determine the quality of the publication.

Foreign affairs and diplomacy are two of the most important aspects of government, have always been, particularly now in the current environment and context in which we live. Let me begin with a question that is immediate. What has happened in the last three years that is a significant change with the past? The first articulation of our foreign policy was made in March 1946 at the Asian Relations Conference and it is also an indication of how seriously the first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru took foreign policy. He had already begun, in a sense, the concept of multilateralism, established it with that conference, at a time when the post-war world was still searching for some way forward. At a time when colonisation still seemed one power that the world would not easily get rid of.
Now, it’s only in hindsight that we can say that 1947 was a seminal year because, in a real way, Europe’s colonial power began with Britain’s success in India and it also ended with Britain’s collapse in India.
After the British lost their raj, it was only a matter of time before colonialism all across the world collapsed. But in 1946, certainly the spirit of Lord [Satyendra] Sinha was more prevalent. As a law member, he’d famously remarked about Mahatma Gandhi that: “I don’t understand what this man in a dhoti is doing, the British are going to be around here for 400 years.”
That was the prevalent wisdom and that was a prevalent assessment. He wasn’t far off from what conventional thinking in 1917 suggested and yet, when Gandhiji started, the Empire could not survive more than 30 years. The reason was that a man had come who mobilised the will of the people against an elite. Previously, all the colonial powers had to do was to confront and defeat local elites in order to establish their expansion. They never had to deal really with the people.

North Korea’s ‘Rocket Man’ top on Trump’s UNGA agenda


The deepening standoff with North Korea and the Iran nuclear accord are expected to top President Donald Trump’s agenda when he delivers his debut address to the United Nations General Assembly session next week. He will meet jointly with the leaders of South Korea and Japan for lunch on Thursday to discuss the looming North Korean threat.
In a tweet on  September 17,  Mr  Trump mocked Kim Jong-un as the “Rocket Man” adding to his long line of inflammatory comments directed at the DPRK chief. He said: “I spoke with president Moon of South Korea last night. Asked him how Rocket Man is doing. Long gas lines forming in North Korea. Too bad!”
The Trump administration is getting increasingly vocal about the possibility of a military action if North Korea does not put a lid on its nuclear programme. The United Nations Security Council adopted a new round of sanctions on North Korea last Monday, reducing gasoline exports and crude oil supplies, in response to the nation’s sixth and largest nuclear weapons test. But the defiant regime responded with a fresh missile launch over Japan on Friday warning sanctions will only further accelerate its nuclear programme.
Speaking to CNN, US ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, said, “If North Korea keeps on with this reckless behaviour, if the United States has to defend itself or defend its allies in any way, North Korea will be destroyed.”

Chinese media to India: Don’t try to use Japan to contain China


There is nothing like the India-Japan connect that gives an ascendant and assertive China jitters. Given the bonhomie and bonding that was on display between India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Japanese PM Shinzo Abe in Ahmedabad and transformative outcomes that emanated from the summit meeting on September 14, the Chinese media’s backlash hardly comes as a surprise.
Dismissing the “growing intimacy” between India and Japan, the Global Times, the hawkish Chinese tabloid which led the propaganda blitz during the Doklam standoff, has warned India not to get into containment games with Japan.
“After the Doklam standoff, more voices in the Indian media instigate the country to step up cooperation with the US and Japan against China and exaggerate the geopolitical significance of closer India-Japan ties. Yet this to a large degree has exposed the vulnerable feeling of the Indian strategic circle in front of China”, the Global Times said in an op-ed article. It attacked Japan by saying “… Japan has been more narrow-minded in looking for allies globally to encircle China.”

India, Japan upscale ties, ink 15 pacts


Opening a new era in their partnership, India and Japan have inked 15 pacts in diverse areas, including nuclear energy, clean energy, high-speed rail and infrastructural development.
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe held wide-ranging talks in Gujarat’s capital Gandhinagar on September 14 that will upscale economic and strategic partnership between two of Asia’s leading democracies.
Against the backdrop of China’s increasing assertiveness in the region, India and Japan decided to expand their defence ties and jointly called for “achieving a free, open and prosperous Indo-Pacific region.” The strategic connect between India and Japan was detailed in the joint statement which envisages an alignment of Japan’s free and open Indo-Pacific strategy with India’s Act East Policy, joint exercises and enhanced collaboration in producing military hardware.

Modi’s ‘Charm Abe’ blitz: Kem Chho, Garba and Buddhist monks…


A resplendent roadshow, garba dance, vegetarian delicacies, Buddhist monks, and chants of Khem Chho….In a series of unprecedented gestures, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi literally rolled out the red carpet for his Japanese counterpart
Shinzo Abe, as the latter touched down in Ahmedabad on a two-day visit.
In a departure from protocol, Mr Modi personally received his honoured Japanese guest at Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel International airport in Ahmedabad. As both leaders walked the red carpet they were greeted by folk artists along the way dancing to popular Gujarati beats and a group of Buddhist monks who presented Abe and First Lady Akie Abe a white scarf. Both leaders then travelled from the airport to Sabarmati Ashram in a colourful roadshow, stretching over eight kilometres.
The spectacular welcome for Mr Aabe imparted a new resonance to India’s age-old tradition of treating a guest as God: “Atithi Devo Bhava.”
The city of Ahmedabad wore a festive look as onlookers thronged along the entire stretch of the road through which the cavalcade made its way to the Sabarmati Ashram. Every roundabout had troops of dancers performing and school children cheering the leaders.
“These special gestures are designed to underscore the importance India attaches to developing a multi-dimensional relationship with Japan and the pivotal role Japan will play in India’s transformation, specially in areas of infrastructure and technology,” said Manish Chand, Editor-in-Chief of India Writes Network and India and World magazine.

Strongest-ever UN sanctions on North Korea: Will it work this time?


Days after North Korea trumpeted its successful testing of a hydrogen bomb, the United Nations has slapped the strongest-ever sanctions to punish the rogue regime in Pyongyang, with the larger aim of resuming six-party talks to denuclearize the Korean peninsula.
The 15-member United Nations Security Council approved new sanctions after the US struck a deal with China and Russia, veto-wielding members of UNSC and North Korea’s top economic partners, and relented on its demand for a total ban on oil imports. Washington abandoned its hawkish stance after China and Russia cautioned about dangers of taking a harsh stand.
China and Russia, key economic allies of North Korea, fear that harsher sanctions will only worsen the crisis and a regime collapse would be a major destabilizing force for the region. China has also expressed its concerns over the deployment of Thaad, the anti-missile defence system, that poses a security threat and will only push North Korea further towards its nuclear ambitions.
The new sanctions are set to put onerous economic pressure on the deviant North Korean regime, but given President Kim’s mercurial way of functioning and his penchant for brinkmanship, it’s not clear whether this will work to bring Pyongyang to the negotiating table.
The North Korea nuclear threat will also figure in talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe in Gujarat’s capital on September 14.

Reality check: China-Pak friendship ‘higher’ than BRICS


The inhospitable weather in Doklam and the ensuing heat of India-China standoff may have compelled China to go along with BRICS on naming Pakistan-based terror outfits in the Xiamen Declaration, but when it comes to friendship with Islamabad, it is forever sweetness and light. Days after the BRICS summit in Xiamen which for the first time named Pakistan based anti-India terror outfits, China has robustly rallied to defence of its “good brother and friend.” In the case of Pakistan, it’s always “one road” for China – a friendship “higher than Himalayas and deeper than oceans.”
The latest remarks by China belie jubilation and hype that followed in India after the BRICS joint declaration in Xiamen included a reference to Pakistan-based terror outfits, including Lashkar e-Taiba and Jaish e-Mohamed. Television divas and strategy gurus had touted the BRICS’ declaration on counter-terrorism as a major success of Indian diplomacy. Given the context and the preceding Doklam standoff, the inclusion of Pakistan-based militant outfits was a breakthrough of sorts and a movement forward, but as the latest messaging from Beijing indicates, it’s time to temper post-Xiamen euphoria and take a reality check.
For now, China seems to have indicated that its all-weather friendship with Pakistan is higher than the Himalayas, and certainly higher than the edifice of BRICS. Read more….

India scales up Myanmar ties, but plays safe on Rohingya crisis


In a delicate diplomatic balancing act, India has upgraded its economic and developmental cooperation with Myanmar, but played it safe on the alleged persecution of Rohingya minority in the Southeast Asian state.

Post-BRICS, India, China think anew: Manish Chand


In an interview to AnchalAnand of News X, Manish Chand, Editor-in-Chief of India and World and India Writes Network, decodes the Xiamen Declaration at the BRICS summit for the first time targets terror outfits in Pakistan, forcing China to toe India’s line on the terror issue.