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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

Global Oil Politics and the Energy Security in the Asian region

The oil price in the international energy market appears set to remain high for the rest of this year despite the attempt of the oil giants to increase production. The major sufferers of the price hike are those Asian countries whose dependency on Persian Gulf oil is alarmingly growing day by day. Meanwhile, the OPEC countries’ plan to revise the price band of oil to a higher level, currently set at $22-$28 per barrel, suggests that the international oil price would not come back to a ‘pre-Iraq level’.

April 11, 2005

Major Shift in U.S. Policy to South Asia: Democracy in Pakistan More Critical Than F 16s

The visit of US Secretary of State Ms. Condi Rice to Delhi on March 16 had generated considerable optimism about where India-US ties are headed and this was highlighted in my last column (March 24). However events over the last week have been even more promising and the telephone conversation between US President Mr. Bush and the Indian PM Dr Manmohan Singh on March 25 and the subsequent background briefing by the US State Department indicate that the Bush team has outlined an ambitious policy towards South Asia.

April 05, 2005

Tug-of-possible-war over Taiwan

On March 7, China unveiled a new Anti-Secession Law in its third session of the 10th National People’s Congress meeting. The law legalizes China to take military action against the renegade province, Taiwan. The full text of the Anti-Secession Law stated a three-point scenario for ‘‘non-peaceful action’’ against Taiwan.

April 05, 2005

F-16s: Can we trust Uncle Sam?

The US offer to sell F16s and F18s to India, announced on March 25, has to be seen in context. True, this initiative is linked to the White House decision to lift the ban on supplying F16s to Pakistan and the more cynical view is that the US manufacturers of these aircraft will now laugh all the way to the bank as the sub-continent gets sucked into an arms race.

April 05, 2005

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