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Pointing to the Future

Is Narendra Modi a Populist?  India has not had right-wing populism in power at the Centre, nor is Modi a typical representative of such populism. He belongs to a hybrid category. Like Indira Gandhi, he privileges electoral majorities over everything else, is hostile to the idea of an independent press and distrustful of courts, and courts mass adulation.

Tillerson Doubles Down on US-India Partnership.  While Tillerson’s influence in the Trump Administration is in considerable doubt, his speech pointed to yet more convergence between Washington and New Delhi, a more aggressive attitude towards China’s flagship Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), and a continued effort to coax India into a larger security role in the Indo-Pacific.

Long-term Growth Potential, or Dead in the Long Run?  Weaknesses in implementation that both demonetisation and the GST are potentially of greater concern than a slowing economy. The goal of moving a large share of India’s labour force out of informal employment is a huge undertaking with lots of scope for misery and distress along the way.

Beyond Business as Usual: On India and the EU.  New Delhi and Brussels’ joining hands in defence of the liberal order entails not merely protecting the international principles and institutions that have underpinned the development, security and stability of both India and Europe, but also reforming the multilateral architecture to prevent the rise of isolationist, unilateral and authoritarian forces.

The Limits of India-Japan Defence Cooperation.  The India-Japan defence relationship can be best described as a work in progress. The lack of concrete progress on defence deals leaves room for doubt that the partnership will remain limited to military exercises and dialogues among senior officials. But Japanese diplomacy is slow, which leaves some room to expect more.

Chinese and Indian Competition in Space Heats Up.  China’s space program is more advanced and extends over a larger range of activities than India’s more focused program. In the short term, Sino-Indian competition can be expected to deepen in the commercial satellite launch business. This competition is likely to intensify as more private players enter the space sectors of the two countries.

India’s Dangerous Taiwan Gambit.  Chinese is a major trading partner for India, although historical feuds and political discord make economic cooperation between the two neighbouring states more difficult. But challenging China with the Taiwan question and using it as a strategic card may create instability in the region, which will ultimately harm both Asian giants.

China and Russia’s Dangerous Entente.  China and Russia’s budding relationship is still primarily transactional. Their interests don’t coincide on many issues, and they have little reason to limit themselves with a formal, permanent alliance. Unfortunately, American leaders have shown few signs that they know how to navigate this new reality.

The Little-Known Story of Milton Friedman in China.  China’s rulers needed the best ideas from around the world to allow the Chinese economy to boom, and sometimes that required dealing with thinkers whose expertise was invaluable but whose views were unpalatable, such as Milton Friedman. The open-minded spirit that brought Friedman to China has weakened considerably today.

China vs. Japan: Asia’s Other Great Game.  Tokyo understands that it can potentially help disrupt, but not deter, Chinese expansion in Asia. Put differently, Asia is faced with competing security strategies from its two most powerful nations: Japan seeks to be loved; China, feared.

A Chinese Model for Foreign Aid.  As the United States and the European Union retreat from their foreign-aid commitments, only one country has the resources and the interest to assume the mantle of global development leadership. The world will have to become accustomed to China’s new role.

Why the Renminbi Won’t Rule.  As the US retreats from the world stage and a multipolar global order emerges, the international monetary system may well be transformed – but probably not into a renminbi-led system. Indeed, not even China expects the age of renminbi diplomacy to arrive anytime soon.

China vs. the Washington Consensus.  If China had more comprehensively embraced the policy prescriptions implied by the Washington Consensus over the last ten or 20 years, its economic growth would have been considerably slower. The economic theories that underpinned those prescriptions must reckon with that fact – and with China’s likely continued success.

Xi Jinping and the Korean Crisis.  For now, Xi and Beijing will pursue talks and hope to preserve the status quo to prevent North Korea from sidelining the Chinese Dream. But Beijing is likely to move in the direction of exploring options for ending the Kim dynasty. And should North Korea ever seriously imperil the pursuit of the Chinese Dream, Beijing will have to contemplate more drastic measures.