WHO: China Loses on Investigation, Wins on Taiwan

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China fought on two fronts at the just concluded virtual World Health Assembly (18-19 May 2020) in Geneva in its first open bid to dominate the post-corona world. On the one hand, it wanted to be considered a victor in the battle against the pandemic and the country, which is capable and willing to assist the rest of the world without any investigation into Chinese culpability in hiding the advent of the coronavirus, if not creating it.

Protect Afghanistan, World from Taliban

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Trump apparently does not care that his newfound friends are going to once again imprison women in their homes, cut throats, and establish a Wahhabi code of law.

 

COVID-19 Gives China Advantage over the US

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WHO’s singular prescription, ‘Lock Down Now’, has ensured that Beijing’s principal rival is now in a much weakened state.

 

COVID-19 and the Failure of International and Regional Organisations

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The COVID-19 crisis has claimed unlikely victims in global politics. Apart from its catastrophic effects across the world, in the realm of interstate relations, COVID-19 has re-imposed the popular realist notion of states pursuing their own interests, leading to international cooperation taking the backseat. While a lot has been agreed on paper about cooperation in the “post-COVID” world, the coordination among states during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis has been anything but impressive.

Suspense over Kim Jong Un may Soon End

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During the just-concluded parliamentary elections in one of the world’s most dynamic economies, South Korea, the opposition parties sought to characterise the idealistic President Moon Jae-Inn as a puppet of the Supreme Commander of North Korea, Kim Jong Un. Their calculation was that South Korean voters would turn away from President Moon because of his efforts at reviving the Sunshine Policy of some past leaders towards North Korea. Instead, the ruling party was returned to power with a comfortable majority.

Defence as Offence: India's Struggle with COVID-19

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There are multiple theories about how the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic began; but what no one seems to know exactly is how it will end. An earlier coronavirus, SARS-CoV, had most of the victims developing severe symptoms and virus transmission happening after the onset of symptoms; and this helped in its containment. Traditional infection control measures were sufficient to control the spread.

Long March-3B Launch Failure: Challenges to China's Foreign Satellite Contracts

China's space ambitions are expanding, commensurate with its strategic and economic interests. One such ambition is to grasp significant shares of the international satellite manufacturing, launch and services markets, particularly communications. China has evolved a formula for this purpose by bundling indigenous satellite bus Dong Fang Hong 4 (DFH-4) and Long March 3B (LM-3B) rocket services.

 

To Test or not to Test: COVID-19, India, and the Controversy about Testing (In)adequacy

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Jim O’Neill, a British economist, made a controversial and callous remark about India’s potential to handle a pandemic, “Thank God this didn’t start in somewhere like India, because there’s absolutely no way that the quality of Indian governance could move to react in the way that the Chinese have done.” That was on 11 March 2020.

Taiwan's COVID-19 Fight: A Battle for Recognition

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The COVID-19 outbreak has brought to the forefront debates surrounding Taiwan and its position in the international system. China regards Taiwan as an inalienable part of itself and has always been against Taipei asserting its individual identity. The China-Taiwan relations have become increasingly hostile after the election of Tsai Ing-wen as the President of Taiwan in 2016. Tsai belongs to the Democratic People’s Party (DPP), which is seen as having a pro-independence agenda.

Managing Capabilities with Constraints: A Case for Defence Outsourcing

The profliferation of dual use platforms with military and civilian application has not only improved warfighting capabilities, but also brought the economies of scale approach to defence systems manufacturing and service support. It is evident, as we witness the speed with the technologies reach their obsolence, within the span of a decade. In such scenario, the dilemma is whether to pursue technology development from scratch, or to modify an existing system to meet operational requirement.