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Pointing to the Future

India Should Become an International Leader in Financial Intelligence.  Becoming an international leader in financial intelligence could help New Delhi attain recognition from the international community as a rising global power—a vision Modi and his team have charted.

India Should Be Ready to Reap Military Potential of AI to Redefine Warfare. India has a vast talent pool and a burgeoning start-up scene which, if properly tapped and encouraged, could not only provide indigenous military solutions, but could also create significant domestic expertise, which could then be exported.

India: A “Major Power” Still Below Its Potential. India is ranked a “major power” in the Lowy Institute’s new Asia Power Index. Yet the Index also identifies some inherent weaknesses in the country’s approach to international policy that are linked to relationships, or the power of influence through networks where India punches below its weight.

The US Shadow over India’s Iran policy. The withdrawal of the US from the nuclear deal and India’s continuing efforts to strengthen its relationship with the US could lead to India’s policy towards Iran facing a crucial test that could prove potentially detrimental to relations with Iran.

The India-Russia Relationship Post Sochi Summit. The India-Russia bilateral relationship has a long history and a broad international context, amid the evolution from a unipolar order to a possible multipolar structure, affecting bilateral ties as well as India’s relationships with the United States, China, Afghanistan, and other countries.

Weak Rupee May Not Boost Trade Performance. India’s currency weakened around 22% against the dollar between 2012 and 2017 and the compound annual growth rate in exports during the same period was a meagre 0.2%. Unless India’s infirmities in trade policies, infrastructure are addressed, a mere depreciation in rupee is unlikely to boost exports much.

Adapt to a World Without U.S. Leadership. After the Cold War the US became the only super power and led globalization and global governance. However, with Donald Trump becoming president the US is changing: from promise keeper to promise breaker, from world order creator to world order destroyer, from international norm maker to international norm violator.  This gives China the opportunity to step up and make greater contributions to the world by facilitating globalization and multilateral free trade and offering creative thinking in global governance.

New Developments in China-US Relations. The US has significantly adjusted its strategic positioning vis-à-vis China, from uncertainty to strategic competition, with US political parties, the government, the military and think tanks forming the opinion that China poses a challenge to US hegemony and that America needs to get real and adopt measures to counter China.

Building a New Pattern of China-US Cooperation through a Limited Trade War. The China-US economic friction is rooted in the fact that profound changes have taken place in the domestic politics and economics in both countries. In the short term, the Chinese side needs to take the initiative and promote cooperation through a limited trade war because handled properly, China-US economic friction may give birth to a new pattern of bilateral cooperation.

Trade Barriers Will Not Stop China’s Rise. The US is now worried about China’s rising technological prowess. There are hopes, mostly among Trump’s supporters – including many US companies – that tough policies can prevent China from becoming America’s technological equal.  However, while China’s economic takeoff began with labor-cost arbitrage, it has been sustained by its rising technological prowess. Even if the US now slammed the trade and investment doors shut, it would make little difference to China’s rising economic and political power.

Xi Jinping’s Vision for Global Governance. Since 2014, China has expanded and consolidated its military position in the South China Sea, launched multi-trillion-dollar trade, investment, infrastructure, and wider geopolitical/geo-economic initiative as well as diplomatic initiatives beyond its immediate sphere of strategic interest in East Asia. China now wants a more “multipolar” international system, which is code for a world in which the role of the United States and the West is substantially reduced.

Managing Risk to Build a Better Belt and Road. China’s Belt and Road Initiative is inherently risky: large-scale, debt-financed, long-term infrastructure projects in countries that often have weak governance, undefined or poorly-executed rule of law and corruption.

Chinese Chimera: The Real Concern With the BRI. Even with minimal investments, China tends to get more geopolitical bang out of its largely imaginary buck, extracting major geopolitical concessions from host nations and tending to represent “corrosive capital”, which could undermine good governance and environmental sustainability.

China’s Currency Catch-22. China’s monetary policy has come to the fore now that U.S. President Donald Trump has imposed import tariffs on a range of Chinese goods. In the context of today’s trade war, however, an “engineered” competitive devaluation of the renminbi, even if technically possible, would not be in China’s best interest.

“Poor Old” China Meets “Poor Young” Africa.  This is a time of transition, when frontier and less resources-driven African countries, such as Ethiopia, are emerging as potential candidates to take over the position that China long occupied as the global “poor and young” economic engine and “factory of the world”. China’s new model of growth including and especially under its flagship Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has vast potential to directly and indirectly better support African development than did China’s earlier labour-rich demographic dividend era.

China Leading the Blockchain Innovation Race. Blockchain appeared in China’s 13th Five-Year Plan for the development of information technology, which notes that artificial intelligence and blockchain will build a strategic technological advantage. Over the last couple of years there have been large investments in this space with all the major Chinese internet powerhouses including Baidu, Alibaba, and Tencent competing to develop blockchain technology.