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Pointing to the Future

Signs of a Good Deal between US and China, and a Rethink.  Given the logic of the negotiations so far, subsequent rounds will be all about the further reduction of US penalty tariffs on China in return for China buying more from the US and carrying out whatever commitments it makes in phase one.

America’s Feeble Indo-Pacific Strategy.  Despite the global geopolitical centre of gravity shifting toward Asia, the Trump administration’s concept of a free and open Indo-Pacific hasn’t been translated into a clear policy approach with any real strategic heft.

India-China Relations: From the “Wuhan Spirit” to the “Chennai Connect”.  The biggest outcome of the summit was that India and China agreed on setting up a new high-level mechanism to increase trade and commercial relations and to enhance investments in selected sectors “through the development of a manufacturing partnership”.

India’s Clever Alliance with Island States.  India has made progress in building more robust ties with four crucial island states in the Indian Ocean: Mauritius, the Maldives, Seychelles, and Sri Lanka and this enhanced diplomatic attentiveness has been paralleled by deeper engagement in defence and security.

Kartarpur can be the Corridor for India’s Dialogue with Pakistan.  The Kartarpur connection has opened up a unique opportunity for both India and Pakistan to scale down hostilities and at the least consider resuming a dialogue.

Defense Dialogue Highlights Singapore-India Security Collaboration.  The annual Singapore-India Defense Ministers’ Dialogue (DMD) spotlighted some of the ongoing efforts by both countries to make further inroads in their security ties amid wider domestic and regional developments.

Modi in Saudi Arabia: Upping the ‘Look West’ Game.  Since the Modi government came to power, there has been a greater focus on regional powerhouses such as Saudi Arabia, UAE, Israel, and Iran resulting in West Asian countries pledging to invest in India in the areas of infrastructure, petrochemical, refining, minerals, and mining,

India and Japan Eye the Dragon in the Room.  Relations between India and Japan provide a stabilizing anchor for rules-based norms and values at a time when the United States is increasingly preoccupied with domestic concerns and Asia is wracked by the unsettling rise of China and the sweeping winds of nationalism and authoritarianism.

Europe’s Backlash Against Huawei Has Arrived.  The exclusion of Huawei in Germany could have a ripple effect across Europe, encouraging other countries to follow suit and inexorably push the country, and Europe, down a more confrontational path with Beijing.

China Needs Economic Stimulus.  Given China’s GDP growth has been slowing steadily, China’s policymakers should bolster the economy by not refusing to roll over corporate debts but rather to give firms the chance to grow out of debt.

China Doubles Down on its Digital Silk Road.   Besides the “Digital Silk Road” and its networks of new fibre-optic cables, the Chinese government has sought to build out telecommunication infrastructure across BRI member/partner states by championing local technology companies and leveraging state-owned banks to fund construction projects.

India is Making Dramatic Strides in Addressing Extreme Poverty.  The shift in India’s poverty structure will necessitate two things—the state’s capacity will need to enable the effective delivery of all that’s required to meet evolving aspirations, and the state will have to embrace and enable the private sector as a participant in the next phase.

Is India Ready to Use its Genome Database?  India needs to balance the protection of patient’s privacy with data access to reap the benefits of advancements in genomics in the field of personalised medicine—a scenario where patients are treated based on their unique genetic profiles.