Revival of Racism in Fiji

Several events in Fiji have once again opened the festering wounds of racism and revived the apprehensions of Indo-Fijians about their future in this island State. The first was when the former Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka stated that Indo-Fijians should emulate Sonia Gandhi and not stake a claim for the office of the Prime Minister, even if they get a majority in the Parliament after the next elections. Adding, that even though Sonia wore Indian clothes and spoke the language, she still felt that India should be led by an indigenous person.

May 10, 2005

The Spirit of Bandung

Exactly fifty years back in 1955 leaders from 29 countries spanning Asia and Africa met in the town of Bandung on West Java in Indonesia from April 18 to 25 to deliberate on a new strategy they should adopt vis-à-vis the rest of the world to make their voice heard and to make their presence felt at a time when the world was in grips of the most intensive ideological warfare between those who ardently advocated communism and those opposed it as fervently led respectively by the former Soviet Union and the United States.

May 30, 2005

Koizumi Visit – Need to Advance Strategic Dialogue and Content

The visit of the Japanese PM Mr. Junichiro Koizumi to Delhi on April 29 is the last in a series of high levels visits that have the potential to fundamentally re- alter India's bi-lateral relations with the major poles of relevance in the post Cold War/post 9-11 global systemic and the challenge will be in realizing the potential that has been agreed to at the highest political level. These visits began with that of Ms. Condi Rice, the US Secretary of State in mid March and this was followed by the Chinese PM Mr. Wen Jiabao in early April.

May 02, 2005

EU Arms Embargo on China: The German debate

The move by the European Union (EU) to lift the 15-year old arms embargo on China seems at present to have been set aside till the end of 2005. An informal meeting of the EU Foreign Ministers on April 15 at Gymnich, Luxembourg under the present Luxembourg presidency concluded to take no decision regarding the embargo. The press release issued after the meeting is a carefully drafted document. Essentially the press statement seems to please everyone.

May 02, 2005

The sky is no limit: Rivalry between Boeing and Airbus goes back a long way

It's a strange coincidence that Air India approved the purchase of up to 50 long-range Boeing aircraft at a cost of about Rs 300 billion and at the same time its rival Airbus successfully completed the maiden test flight of the biggest airliner, the Airbus double-decker A380, an aircraft designed to carry 800 passengers.

The A380 ended the four-decade reign of Boeing’s 747 jumbo as the biggest airliner to have flown. It has taken more than a decade and approximately USD$15.55 billion to develop the A380, subsidised by European governments.

April 29, 2005

UNSC: let India’s track record speak for itself

The visit of UN secretary- general Kofi Annan to Delhi has generated predictable interest in the nature of the relationship that India currently has with this apex global body and the status that it seeks. This is so, even as the UN is attempting a review of its structural framework based on the inputs provided by a high-level panel that has since submitted its report.

April 26, 2005

Redefining the ties

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao's visit to India would be noted for three landmark steps: The establishment of a strategic and cooperative partnership, the agreement on the political parameters and guidelines for settling the territorial/boundary issue, and the decision on a comprehensive economic partnership and regional trading arrangement.

April 26, 2005

Trade bloc: Can we trust China?

Globalisation and regionalisation of trade and investment are drawing in all countries and becoming an irresistible trend in Asia. China is at the centre of this new structure. Since 1992 in particular, as investments in labour-intensive manufacturing from Taiwan, Hong Kong, the US, Japan, Europe and Southeast Asia have moved in a rising wave though the open Chinese door, steeply raising its trade profile.

April 25, 2005

The Changing Definition of Kashmir

If the attack on the district collector’s office in Srinagar in January and the attack on the Jammu and Kashmir tourist office on the eve of the inauguration of the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad bus service came as a harsh reminder of Kashmir’s violent history, the overall mood in the valley, for a couple of reasons, suggested otherwise. In recent months, the people of Kashmir have sent a message: Freedom can wait, but development cannot. Two developments symbolise the transformation of popular mood.

April 15, 2005

Sino-Indian Ties Critical for Emerging Strategic Systemic

Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao's visit to New Delhi on April 11-12 comes soon after that of US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (March 16) and will be followed by Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's visit in end-April.

While this scheduling may be a matter of coincidence, the outcome of the Wen visit and the manner in which it impacts the Sino-Indian relationship has the potential to significantly shape the emerging Asian strategic systemic and related security landscape.

April 11, 2005