First it was Arunachal Pradesh, then Sikkim, and now it is Ladakh. There has been a shifting pattern in Chinese mischief along the Indian borders. But more curiously, when reports of Chinese incursions hit the headlines, China denied them while India played them down.
Water may not become a catalyst for a direct conflict, but China could leverage Tibet’s water as a politico-military tool vis-à-vis other riparian states. As the economies of India and China grow, both are bound to treat water as a strategic commodity.
Stability in Afghanistan is vital and the stakes for India are high, but the time is over for sitting on the fence. India requires a larger strategic vision, not a blueprint for town and country planning.
Iran has unfortunately witnessed a deep political upheaval in the wake of recent Presidential elections leading to vertical polarization among its ruling elite between two major factions, one led by President Ahmadinejad and supported by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei and the other by opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi backed by big personalities and former Presidents Mohammad Khatami and Hashemi Rafsanjani. The conflict between the two elite factions is internally driven and one that is difficult to discern fully.
It all started on 26 June in the toy factory owned by the Hong Kong-listed Lacewood International in China’s Shaoguan city of Guangdong province. An official news agency wrote "Six Xinjiang boys raped two innocent girls at the Xuri Toy Factory." It was found to be a hoax, but the rumour spread quickly through the Internet sparking a deadly clash between the Uighur workers and Han Chinese who fought each other with knives and metal pipes in which two Uighur labourers were reportedly killed and 118 injured.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is attending a slew of Russian hosted high profile meetings including those of the SCO and BRIC in Yekaterinburg which would be viewed keenly by most international watchers. The SCO, keenly nurtured by Russia and China as an exclusive nucleus, had hitherto excluded those with observer status from its core deliberations. The forum became popular as an embryonic counterpoise to the United States after 2005 when it bluntly issued a quit notice to the US from Central Asia and decided to salvage an assortment of autocrats being ostracized by the West.
Much as the text of Obama’s new ‘Af-Pak’ plan echoes India’s traditional concerns, it may turn out to be contrary to India’s interest with unseen implications in the longer term. Obama’s outlined strategy has been described as a ‘bold bid’ ‘bottom-up’ ‘comprehensive’ ‘pragmatic’ and even a ‘game changer’ approach.