China as a New Arbitrator in Afghanistan: Assessing Evolving Geopolitics – Part II of II

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China’s Emergence as a New Arbitrator

 

China as a New Arbitrator in Afghanistan: Assessing Evolving Geopolitics – Part I of II

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Background

 

China's Connectivity Strategy in Southeast Asia

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China has been working towards enhancing connectivity with the Southeast Asian nations under the framework of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. This initiative, also known as the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) will give a new impetus to regional and global connectivity. China’s connectivity strategy seems to be closely aligned with its military modernisation to ensure maritime security along the key sea lanes of communication.

Face Off at Doklam Plateau: Implications for India and Bhutan

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Doklam Plateau, an area of 89 sq. km, is in western Bhutan and is part of Bhutan’s 269 sq. km disputed area with China. Since mid-June this year, there have been a number of reports and debates on Indian Army’s ‘face off’ with China in the Doklam Plateau opposite Indian Army’s position at Doka La in East Sikkim. Media reports have been hyped and in some quarters, there is a fear of war clouds gathering in the region. War however is a rare and mostly the last option for nations who wish to preserve their strategic options.

India-China Relations: An Overview

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India-China relations are complex and will be getting even more complex as time passes by. For a successful engagement, a nuanced and cool-headed handling of this relationship is needed. This is primarily because the nature of relationship between India and China will determine the future of Asian security and the architecture of the Indo-Pacific region.

 

An Indian Perspective on the "Uninhabitable Earth"

Alarmist Climate Narratives

 

Why is China Encroaching on Bhutan?

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Bhutan has been a friendly and reliable neighbour to India. The friendship between India and Bhutan is time-tested and deep-rooted. Not only has India signed a friendship treaty with Bhutan but also placed a permanent training team in the latter. The cultural and religious affinities also bring the people of Bhutan and India very close to each other.

 

Pakistan is More a Nuclear Offender than a Victim

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Pakistan’s candidature for the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) membership and its claim as “a prospective member of the cartel on its own merit…with the possibility of strengthening the non-proliferation regime” warrants a serious scrutiny.

Penchant for Proliferation: Pakistan's Contentious Tryst with Nuclear Weapons

Pakistan has, in the past, been accused of offering critical nuclear weapons technology to countries like North Korea, Iran and Libya. The rationale behind these transfers varies from reciprocal missile technology sought by Pakistan from these countries to certain personal gains made by several high-ranking Pakistani government officials.

Chabahar and Gwadar: Antagonism Denying Potential Synergies

The Chabahar deal signed by India with Iran in May last year is seen by many as its strategic response to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which culminates in Gwadar. Besides deepening ties between India and Iran, Chabahar deal provides a strategic edge to India by gaining connectivity to Afghanistan and Central Asia, bypassing Pakistan.