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China's Approach to the North Korean Nuclear Crisis

China's cautious approach to defusing the ongoing North Korean nuclear crisis underscores the dilemmas that exist in its difficult relationship with North Korea on the one hand and its interests with respect to the United States on the other. What worries China more is North Korea's ambition and intention to further continue its nuclear programme. Moreover, China faces a daunting task in tackling the increasing American pressure to intensify actions against North Korea as per the UNSC resolutions.

October 31, 2006

China to Act but will Go Slow against North Korea

The North Korean act of conducting an underground nuclear test has exposed the inherent limitations of various international institutions. It has also posed a challenge for the US as to how to make China behave as a responsible 'stakeholder' in international politics. If Beijing could not restrain Kim Jong-Il's regime from flagrantly conducting a nuclear test in disregard of the combined opposition of the international community, Pyongyang has created a complex political atmosphere, which needs China to deliver considerably to bring the current crisis to an end.

October 24, 2006

The Japan-China Joint Communiqué

China and Japan issued a joint communiqué in Beijing on October 8 during the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's first foreign visit, vowing to promote strategic relations between the two countries in the coming years. Both Chinese President Hu Jintao and Japanese Prime Minister Abe hailed the visit as a positive turning point in Sino-Japanese relations. Abe's visit to China is politically important since it is the first meeting between the leaders of the two countries in the past five years.

October 19, 2006

Dengue: A Germ with Weapon Potential

In May 2002, the then US Undersecretary of State for Arms Control, John Bolton, in his speech at the Heritage Foundation had accused Cuba of having a limited offensive biological warfare programme. But a cursory examination of history shows that the Cubans were in fact 'victims' of American 'germ' attacks in the past.

October 19, 2006

The Impact of North Korea's Nuclear Test

The underground nuclear test conducted by North Korea yesterday has established it as the ninth member of the nuclear club. There had been speculation, particularly since the failed test of a long-range missile, that North Korea would move to a nuclear test. It had warned about the impending test, and quite simply had nothing to lose. From a North Korean point of view, it was clear that the failed missile test demonstrated weakness and another missile test in the near term was unlikely to reduce international pressure on the regime.

October 10, 2006

The EU-India Helsinki Summit

The Seventh EU-India Summit will be held on October 13th in Helsinki. The annual summits take place alternately in New Delhi and in the capital of the incumbent European Union presidency - at present held by Finland - under the existing framework of EU-India relationship, which was given the shape of a 'strategic partnership' at the EU-India Summit of 2004 in The Hague. The Joint Action Plan (JAP) adopted at the New Delhi Summit in 2005 was a comprehensive programme of EU-India engagement in the coming years.

October 10, 2006

Impressions of an IDSA Seminar on the North East

On September 25 and 26, 2006, the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA), New Delhi, conducted a seminar on Peace and Development in the North East in Shillong, Meghalaya. This was done in collaboration with the North Eastern Council (NEC) and the North Eastern Hill University (NEHU), Shillong. The two-day seminar provided a forum for scholars, media personalities, military personnel, bureaucrats and politicians from the region to express their views and thinking on the subject at hand.

October 10, 2006

The Eastern Factor in the Sri Lankan Ethnic Conflict

A flare-up in the fighting in the East, particularly in Trincomalee District, has put a question mark on the prospects of peace in the island nation. The Eastern province of Sri Lanka has been a theatre of war for more than 20 years, and, since the 2002 Ceasefire Agreement it has particularly been the stage for continued local level conflict due to its multiethnic nature. All three communities, Tamils, Muslims and Sinhalese, continue to face severe threats to their human security such as loss of livelihood and internal displacement.

October 05, 2006

Lights out for the nuclear deal?

The speed and relative ease with which the Indo-US nuclear deal raced through the respective committees of Congress and the margin by which it was assented to by the House of Representatives on 27 July, scarcely four months after it was introduced in Congress, created the expectation that the same scenario would play out in the Senate. These hopes have been belied by the failure of the Senate to pass the Bill before it recessed for the mid-term elections.

October 05, 2006

Countering Terrorism as a Joint Venture?

The outcome of the meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President Pervez Musharraf at Havana has evoked mixed reactions from various quarters within both India and Pakistan. It has also raised a number of questions to which there are no easy answers. The meeting, which took place on September 16 on the sidelines of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit, was obviously successful as it resulted in the resumption of the dialogue process, which had stalled in the aftermath of the Mumbai train blasts in July 2006.

September 27, 2006

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