29 May 2019

What should be India’s Pakistan Policy in PM Modi’s Second Term?

Commodore Somen Banerjee

William Shakespeare had said, “Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown”. Amidst jubilations, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be sworn to bear his onerous responsibility for another five years. Since he has returned with full majority, a feat repeated after a gap of 48 years, India and the world looks up to him for decisive leadership. The first 100 days would be critical when the tentative tracks of his policies will be drawn. India’s Pakistan policy will be one such course that would have to be laid with great caution.

Despite the long saga of over 70 years several endeavours to harmonise India-Pakistan relations have eventually landed up in blind alleys. Prime Minister Modi’s first term was no different. So, is there any hope for ringing the curtains down on the prevailing acrimony between India and Pakistan? Nobel laureate Niels Bohr had remarked that ‘every great and deep difficulty bears in itself its solutions. It forces us to change our thinking in order to find it’. With a strong Prime Minister back at the helm, this may be the fitting moment to change the tack of India’s Pakistan policy.

How digital innovation is transforming agriculture: Lessons from India

By Sara Boettiger and Sunil Sanghvi

This publication is drawn from an event jointly organized by the Center for the Advanced Study of India at the University of Pennsylvania, Chicago Council on Global Affairs, World Food Prize Foundation, and McKinsey Center for Agricultural Transformation.

In agriculture, India is a land of contradictions. The country produces 11 percent1 of total global agriculture and, at the same time, is host to the world’s largest number of malnourished people.2 Agriculture provides livelihoods for about half of the Indian population, most of whom are smallholder farmers, yet a majority of government agricultural subsidies are used by medium- and large-scale farmers.3 Parallel to India’s tremendous successes in the modernization of agriculture, smallholder farmers have been marginalized. The average debt of a farming household has risen fivefold in a decade, while increases in farm incomes have not kept up, and more than 300,000 Indian farmers have committed suicide since 1995.4

Given the complexity of Indian agriculture, no single policy change or technology shift will move the country toward its dual goals of raising income for smallholder farmers and continuing to strengthen the competitiveness of Indian agriculture, but the digital transformation of agriculture occurring worldwide holds some promise for progress. This article presents reflections on the topic from four leaders in Indian agriculture. They offer insights illustrating fundamental changes in the structure of the sector and raise questions about whether smallholder farmers will benefit from digital innovation in the same way that larger farmers will.

How India can capitalise on US-China trade war

By Jayant Dasgupta & Harsha Vardhana Singh 

In the major trade standoff between China and the US, US President Donald Trump is steadfast in his approach of raising tariffs and using other policies for pressurising China. On his part, China’s President Xi Jinping has indicated that China will not give in to pressure from the US. “We are now embarking on a new Long March, and we must start all over again,” Xi stated recently. Even if solutions emerge, the problem will keep festering. Thus major international firms that invest in China are examining options to spread their risks and shift some of their existing and new investments to other countries. 

Several persons have written about the possibility of India benefiting through increasing exports to the US and a shift of foreign direct investment (FDI) to India. However, to substantively benefit from this situation, India requires a strategic approach to convert this opportunity into a major gain. India needs to focus on becoming a new powerhouse as a global hub for exports, with a major positive impact on competitiveness and job creation. China’s merchandise exports are almost the same as India’s GDP. Even a 10% shift from Chinese exports to Indian exports would imply over 75% increase in Indian exports. 

India’s lead over China as world’s fastest-growing economy will widen in coming years: Report

Nupur Anand

India’s perch on top as the world’s fastest growing major economy is unlikely to be challenged soon.

Even as the Chinese economy cools due to global trade tensions, India’s GDP growth will hover near 7.5% by 2020, compared with 7.25% in 2019, says a recent report by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.

The Paris-headquartered think tank expects China’s economy to clock 6% growth in 2020. As a result of the escalating US-China trade war, the economic output in both countries is estimated to be 0.2%-0.3% lower in the current financial year than it would otherwise have been.

Hence, the Indian economy’s lead over China, in terms of growth, is widening.Data: OECD | 2019-20 forecasts

Beware The Decline of U.S. Influence in South Asia

by Minaam Shah

South Asia, for the most part of Donald Trump's presidency, had been quiet up until earlier this year when the region's two main protagonists, India and Pakistan, nearly entered a nuclear face-off. A suicide attack on a paramilitary convoy in Indian controlled Kashmir triggered an aerial dogfight culminating in the capture of an Indian pilot who was later released by Pakistan. The episode marked a major shift in how India responds to terrorist attacks sponsored from across the border: It was the first instance since the Indo-Pak war in 1971 that Indian warplanes had crossed the border and bombed the Pakistani mainland. Naturally, it was expected that the United States, the region's traditional arbitrator, would help diffuse tensions. But for the first time since the early '90s, the United States did not play a significant role in stemming the crisis.

Previously, in 1990 when the insurgency in Kashmir had just begun and a crisis emanated, President George H.W. Bush sent his CIA director to South Asia to calm heads in the region. Later President Bill Clinton was the single greatest influence in bringing an end to the Kargil War of 1999, a year after both India and Pakistan had tested nuclear weapons. Similarly, during the 2001–2002 India-Pakistan standoff, when both countries mobilized troops after an attack on the Indian Parliament, the George W. Bush administration mediated to end the ten-month-long impasse.

China’s Long Game


The West can have an unbeatable hand against Beijing, if it plays its cards right.

After decades of placing a heavy bet that the People’s Republic of China would peacefully rise to take its rightful place in the global system, the Washington policy community has finally awakened to the dangers of that brash wager. This inversion of the consensus on Beijing’s strategic objectives has been tectonic in scope. Barely a decade ago China’s steady gains against the West in the economic and military realms were seen as signs of a relatively benign transitional phase, after which the country’s export-driven modernization strategy would yield a democratic transformation. If only…

In reality, over the past four decades the Chinese party-state has leveraged its access to open democratic market economies, as well as our knowledge base and educational systems, to drive its own grand strategic project aimed at regrowing the sinews of global economic, military, and political power. The immediate impact of Chinese mercantilism has been felt across the West, reflected in the progressive deindustrialization of the United States, inroads by Chinese capital into European markets, and the narrowing of the technological gap between China and the U.S. in both civilian and military sectors. Most recently, Beijing’s heavy investment into the Belt and Road Initiative—a land-cum-maritime trade infrastructure that, once completed and in combination with Beijing’s effort to build a world-class blue-water navy—reflects China’s strategy to achieve a “grand disconnect”—that is, to finalize the current phase of globalization by ending its dependence on Western technology. China’s goals include establishing an alternative supply chain that is insulated from the current global maritime routes and has the potential of reversing core assumptions about what constitutes the core and the periphery in relations between Eurasia, Europe, and the United States.

When Will the Unipolar World End?

by Peter Harris 

The American Century is fading. At least, that is the consensus among most analysts of international politics. Whether they attribute U.S. decline to domestic dysfunction or to the rise of China and other emerging powers, observers tend to agree that, sooner or later, the “unipolar moment” will give way to an international system populated by more than one superpower.

Even so, it is unclear how we will know when the unipolar world has finally slipped away. What will it take for another global power to equal or surpass the United States? What is the threshold for declaring unipolarity a thing of the past? Most attempts to answer these questions involve fine-tuning existing measures of aggregate national power. From this view, understanding U.S. decline is a question of predicting the moment at which a peer competitor might outstrip America in aggregate material (economic and military) terms.

New START Must Be Extended, Without or Without China

by Daryl Kimball

On May 14, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo traveled to Sochi, Russia to discuss what the State Department called a “new era” in “arms control to address new and emerging threats” with Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov and President Vladimir Putin.

The trip follows reports that Donald Trump has directed his administration to seek a new arms control agreement with Russia and China that should include: “all the weapons, all the warheads, and all the missiles.”

U.S. officials, including National Security Advisor John Bolton, have criticized the 2010 New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) because it only limits U.S. and Russian deployed strategic nuclear weapons and does not cover Russia’s stockpile of sub-strategic warheads in central storage inside Russia.

The women of Greece are granted the right to vote.

Why Xi's China Is In Jeopardy

by John West

In the eyes of some, after four decades of rapid economic growth, the Chinese economy is unstoppable, and even when it encounters problems, the wisdom and power of the Chinese Communist Party will pull it through.

But not so writes long-time China watcher, George Magnus, who argues persuasively that China faces four critical traps -- a debt trap, a Renminbi trap, a demographic (ageing) trap, and a middle-income trap.

For all the Chinese Communist Party’s reputed brilliance, it has got China mired in enormous debt, like the much-maligned West did over a decade ago writes Magnus. China has seen a rapid tripling in total domestic debt to about 300 per cent of GDP -- notably for debt of state-owned enterprises, local governments, and more recently for citizens. The Chinese government is keen to deleverage its debt. But this is difficult because it is also very keen to maintain economic growth, which it is fuelling with credit expansion.
China [is] mired in enormous debt, like the much-maligned West did over a decade ago

Visiting China

By George Friedman

I can’t explain China. I don’t know it well enough, and sometimes it seems to me that the Chinese are experts on their country, but they’re experts that don’t agree. Still, China is an American adversary, and an adversarial relationship between these two countries is dangerous even if it doesn’t lead to war. Therefore, I have to try to understand China.

I have been to Shanghai and Beijing, which I suspect are as representative of China as New York City and Washington are of the United States. In that sense, I have not been to China. Still, these are the country’s political and economic centers, so I will begin there.

I traveled to Beijing last fall as the guest of a bank that wanted me to speak to Chinese investors. It was at a time when the economic confrontation between the U.S. and China was just heating up, and the meetings were tense. Everything I said was met with suspicion. The local people I met with were filled with bravado, of how they would retaliate against the U.S. and the price they would exact. A quiet drink with one or two of them later in the evening brought out another dimension, as such late-night encounters often do. The investors were afraid of the United States and wanted to send back a message that while the U.S. was overreacting, there was nothing that couldn’t be managed. The Chinese simply wanted to know what the Americans wanted.

Sun-Tzu and China’s Preemptive Strategy

By Morgan Deane 

“Again, using new and unexpected technology, they cripple the US in a lighting fast war that subjugates the enemy army without fighting, and without a single death.”

In addition to following the daily news, it’s important to keep track of larger trends, history, and theoretical military writing. In this regard China, offers a relative abundance of sources with which to analyze.

I’ve taken this relative abundance and, through years of study, have included it into a book that will be coming out soon. Decisive Battles in Chinese History overcomes the barriers to the study of Chinese history by covering the wide span of Chinese past, from their semi-mythical beginnings to the 21st-century Chinese aggression in the South China Sea. Using the best of modern scholarship, with a keen eye for military history and strategy, the text penetrates the fog of Chinese history using an accessible writing style.

Each chapter highlights an engaging battle that selectively focuses on unique Chinese characteristics, including their major belief systems, ruling ideology, connection between technology and warfare, Chinese military theory, major political events and key rulers, foreign policy with their neighbors, cultural developments, and interaction with the West.

No Longer a Trade Tiff: China Screams ‘People’s War’

By Gordon Chang

“People’s war.” That’s the Communist Party’s new term for the trade disputewith the United States.

The Global Times, the party’s nationalist tabloid, used that phrase on the May 13, but China’s leaders obviously approved of the rhetorical escalation. Both People’s Daily, the self-described “mouthpiece” of China’s ruling organization, and the official Xinhua News Agency carried the piece to wider audiences.

There seems to be a mismatch in perceptions. President Donald Trump, in comments to reporters on Tuesday, characterized the trade disagreement this way: “We’re having a little squabble with China.”

Trump was calming jittery markets. The party, on the other hand, was inflaming passions. The stoking of emotions—“people’s war” suggests America is an enemy of all Chinese—suggests a trade agreement between the planet’s two largest economies is not in the cards anytime soon.

China’s Orwellian War on Religion

By Nicholas Kristof

Let’s be blunt: China is accumulating a record of Orwellian savagery toward religious people.

At times under Communist Party rule, repression of faith has eased, but now it is unmistakably worsening. China is engaging in internment, monitoring or persecution of Muslims, Christians and Buddhists on a scale almost unparalleled by a major nation in three-quarters of a century.

Maya Wang of Human Rights Watch argues that China under Xi Jinping “poses a threat to global freedoms unseen since the end of World War II.”

To its credit, China has overseen extraordinary progress against poverty, illiteracy and sickness. The bittersweet result is that Chinese people of faith are more likely than several decades ago to see their children survive and go to university — but also to be detained.

Don't Believe the War Hype on Iran

by Daniel R. DePetris 

With American B-52’s being dispatched to the Persian Gulf and fears growing about Iranian-backed proxies preparing attacks against the United States or its friends in the region, Washington and Tehran are one miscalculation away from a large military confrontation neither the American or Iranian people want. The ascendance of National Security Advisor John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo—two public figures who have spent their careers pushing for regime change in Iran—has helped instigate an unnecessary and unwise escalatory spiral when President Donald Trump prefers to negotiate with Iran.

But as dangerous as the situation is today, Washington’s Iran policy has been pock-marked by errors for decades. The counterproductive drive toward a war with Iran—either to eliminate their undesirable weapons capabilities or by accident—is based on unsupported dogma about Iran’s supposed regional power; the Middle East’s strategic importance; and a misreading (intentional or otherwise) about what sanctions and military pressure can achieve.

Who Is to Blame for America’s Disturbing Iran Policy?


An F/A-18E Super Hornet takes off from the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln, under way in the Arabian Sea, May 16, 2019.(Mass Communication Specialist Third Class Jeff Sherman/US Navy)Trump, Obama, and Congress, among others

Difficulties with Iran will recur regularly, like the oscillations of a sine wave, and the recent crisis — if such it was, or is — illustrates persistent U.S. intellectual and institutional failures, starting with this: The Trump administration’s assumption, and that of many in Congress, is that if the president wants to wage war against a nation almost the size of Mexico (and almost four times larger than Iraq) and with 83 million people (more than double that of Iraq), there is no constitutional hindrance to him acting unilaterally.

In April, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was pressed in a Senate hearing to pledge that the administration would not regard the 2001 authorization for the use of military force against al-Qaeda and other non-state actors responsible for 9/11 as authorization, 18 years later, for war against Iran. Pompeo laconically said he would “prefer to just leave that to lawyers.” Many conservatives who preen as “originalists” when construing all the Constitution’s provisions other than the one pertaining to war powers are unimpressed by the Framers’ intention that Congress should be involved in initiating military force in situations other than repelling sudden attacks.

Think America Could Invade Venezuela? We Have No Aircraft Carriers Available.

by David Axe 

The United States’ legacy in Latin America is much older than Trump and Graham are. It’s a legacy that weighs heavily on the Pentagon’s reluctance to sail major warships through Latin American waters.

A failed coup attempt targeting Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro on April 30 ended in confusion and failure. Russian and Cuban advisors and a strong core of the Venezuelan military continues to support Maduro amid economic collapse and widespread protests.

U.S. President Andrew Jackson signs the Indian Removal Act which relocates Native Americans.

The women of Greece are granted the right to vote.

U.S. president Donald Trump in 2018 threatened military action against Maduro but didn’t make good on the threat. Washington instead imposed sanctions in order to pressure Maduro to step down.

France Faces Its Extremes

By Robert Zaretsky

Charles de Gaulle famously asked how one can govern a country with 246 kinds of fromage. Historians could just as easily ask how one can understand a country with even more kinds of lieux de mémoire. A term coined by the historian Pierre Nora, a memory site is a shape-shifter. It points to those ideas or individuals, movements or monuments, literary works or legal texts which take on and take off different meanings over the centuries. In their three-volume work Les Lieux de mémoire, Nora and his colleagues applied the concept to a dazzling array of such sites, ranging from Verdun to Versailles, the Tour de France to the Tour Eiffel, the civil code to the paintings at Lascaux.

In this Baedeker guide for semioticians, one of the most intriguing sites is la gauche et la droite. The twinned concepts of the left and right were forged in the crucible of the French Revolution. At first, they were spatial markers, based on the two sides of the assembly hall where opponents and supporters of the monarchy sat in 1789. The terms slowly morphed during the nineteenth century, however, identifying supporters of the republic and supporters of the empire. By century’s end, as both camps came to terms with the republic, there was yet another transformation, with a conservative right and socialist left now squaring off against one another.

Theresa May Broke Britain

By Alex Massie

Brexit made Theresa May, and Brexit broke her, too. Her ascent to power depended on Brexit and was the making of her baked-in ruin. She was an accidental prime minister who leaves office a calamitous one. A historic failure whose time in office will not be recalled with any fondness, even by those closest to her.

Her resignation speech, delivered outside No. 10 Downing St. Friday morning, was a tearful moment during which she attempted to define herself as the victim of circumstances beyond her control. She had done her best, she said, but she had failed. She had sought a Brexit compromise that would deliver on her promises but had been let down by her parliamentary opponents—many of whom are in her own party—for whom compromise is a synonym for defeat.

Even if there were some truth to this, it still represented an unacceptable rewriting of immediate history. To be prime minister is to lead; to lead is to listen and to inspire; to lead and to inspire is to deliver. May failed on all counts. She leaves office denied even the customary consolations of minor accomplishment that traditionally soften the blow of departure. She had one job, and she failed to do it.

Why should U.S. worry about weakening Chinese currency?

Victor Oluoch

Editor's note: Victor Oluoch is a journalist with Kenya's Nation Media Group and is currently participating in the China Africa Press Center 2019 program in Beijing. The article reflects the author's opinion, and not necessarily the views of CGTN.

U.S. President Donald Trump's unfair attitude towards China began way back in 2016 even before taking office as POTUS, but in the last one week, the protracted Sino-U.S. trade war has taken a very ugly turn.

When the seen value of China's currency which has been a bridge for the success of the Sino-U.S. trade negotiations up to the 11th round where it stands now deteriorate with Beijing remaining silent on the matter.

Chinese yuan weakening in the global market since White House decided to blacklist Asian giant tech, Huawei, indeed one can predict that the current trade friction between the world's economic giants is far from over despite Beijing saying that it is ready for sincere trade confabs.

How Trump’s ban on Huawei could impact the global tech industry

by Anuj Bhatia

It’s been a tough time for Huawei, the world’s largest producer of telecommunications networking equipment and the number two smartphone brand behind Samsung and ahead of Apple. The Chinese tech behemoth is in the centre of a US-China trade dispute, with the Trump administration adding Huawei to a trade blacklist that restricts the company from buying American components and software and doing business with other US companies.

Even though the commerce department said it would give a 90-day reprieve that will allow Huawei to continue doing business with American firms, the ban on the Chinese telecom giant still very much exists. Within hours of the government order, Google announced that it would stop licensing its Android mobile OS to Huawei, while companies such as Intel, Qualcomm and Broadcom reportedly cut supplies of key hardware components that are needed to make its devices functional.

The SD card association too dropped the troubled smartphone marker from its member list. The Wi-Fi Alliance, whose members include the likes of Apple and Qualcomm, said it had “temporarily restricted” Huawei’s membership in the wake of the US ban. Meanwhile. Microsoft has removed Huawei’s laptops from its online store.

What Amazon, Facebook, Google and other US tech companies are really after in China – data, not just market access

Graeme Maxton

Most reports on this suggest that the issue under discussion is market access, that it concerns China restricting US companies and denying them a business opportunity.

As with Huawei, though, the fight is really about security, economic power and sovereignty. With Huawei, the US fears that with the shift to 5G communications technology, China will control large parts of the networks across which the world’s data flows. It is not just about who provides the equipment. It is a question of who controls access to the internet’s plumbing.

A Pitch for a Nationwide 5G Network Tailor-Made for Trump’s 2020 Campaign

By Sue Halpern

Earlier this spring, Karl Rove, the veteran Republican strategist, was making the rounds in Congress to talk up Rivada Networks, a telecommunications company with a 5G business model predicated on partnering with the Department of Defense. Rove, a registered lobbyist for and investor in Rivada, met with staff members of the Senate Armed Services Committee and had a phone call with his old friend, John Cornyn, a Republican Senator from Texas who is a co-author of the Secure 5G and Beyond Act. As the broadband system is structured now, the F.C.C. allocates radio spectrum through periodic auctions where the highest bidder—typically one of the major telecom companies—wins control over bandwidth for a fixed number of years, setting prices and choosing where to invest in infrastructure. The D.O.D. spectrum, which is set aside by the government for classified, unclassified, and emergency communications, blankets the country but is often unused. Rivada wants to monetize it—minute by minute, hour by hour, as needed, to telecom and other companies—and share the proceeds with the government. (If the military needs the airwaves, Rivada’s software would automatically bounce commercial users.) “Its technology has the coolest name,” Rove told me. “Ruthless preëmption.”

Top 10 Most Disturbing Cyber Attack Tactics in 2019

Makke Priyanka

Nowadays many small and large scale industries are facing security issues due to the cyber attack. From the past few years, cyber attack tactics have increased and massive data is being grabbed and misused by many black hat people across many industries.

Regardless of whether you work in the affected industries, it’s essential to understand the attack details and the advice provided by CERT to help organizations better secure their perimeters. Previously, they might have targeted the energy industry, but today it could be education, finance, healthcare, or other sectors.

The world of Cybercrime is changing every single day. The best thing to stay safe is to stay educated on the threats litany that lurks on the web. Hope this information hub will help you to learn everything required to gain knowledge about cyber threats and avoid them.

As per my knowledge, recent research results have proven that most of the companies have less protection to their data because of their poor cybersecurity practices at their workstations, thus making them vulnerable to data loss.
Data Corruption by Negligence

Armies, Gold, Flags—and Stories

By Charli Carpenter

The eight-year-long cultural phenomenon of HBO’s Game of Thrones culminated on May 18 with the fiery destruction of the Iron Throne and the death of the formerly beloved Queen Daenerys. The show’s final season has produced an explosion of commentary on what it all means. What is the appropriate basis for political authority? Can Daenerys be both a feminist hero and a war criminal? Does might make right? Should it, in a time of war?

Among the foreign-policy intelligentsia, and society broadly, interpreting Game of Thrones (and the book series by George R. R. Martin that the show is based on) has become a cottage industry. Every political analyst, historian, or theorist has his or her take on what lessons can be drawn from the story for real-world foreign policy. This enthusiasm tells us something about the show’s political implications: fans and writers argue over Game of Thrones precisely because there is power in interpreting a story to support one’s own arguments about what is right and who gets to choose.

Memorial Day Should Reminds Us All of the Dangerous Costs of War

by Daniel L. Davis 

Memorial Day is the unofficial beginning of summer. Time to hit the beaches, fire up the grill, and take a long holiday weekend off. Almost lost, however, is the actual thrust of the holiday: to remember and honor those service members who have died in combat operations throughout our nation’s history. Contemplating the human cost of our recent wars is perhaps more needed now than it has been in decades.

It is both troubling and discouraging that most Americans today view service members as more a caricature than an actual person. When we discover someone is either an active serving trooper or a veteran, our reflexive response is almost always a big smile, a pat on the back, and a “thank you for your service!”