On April 1 this year, the diplomatic lines between New Delhi and Beijing were clogged with messages of peace and friendship. Exactly 70 years ago, India had done what seemed unthinkable for a non-socialist bloc country at the time, it recognised the government of the Communist Party of China which had only the previous year overthrown the Chinese Nationalist Party.

In his letter to Chinese President Xi Jinping in April, President Ram Nath Kovind observed how the two sides had “made considerable progress especially in the last few years in enhancing our bilateral engagements in a number of areas, including political, economic and people-to-people ties”. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his message to Chinese premier Li Keqiang, referred to the two countries as two ancient civilisations with a long history of mutually beneficial exchanges over centuries and looked at taking the development partnership to greater heights. Continue reading


China’s rapid pace of dam constructions that includes at least eight new ones on the Brahmaputra River in Tibet has sparked concerns about the Chinese attempting to tame India’s water supply. The proposed dams on the Yarlung Tsangpo river in Tibet are close to the Indian border in Arunachal Pradesh.

In this region, the Chinese have managed to construct three dams within a distance of 24 km on the Brahmaputra River over a period of 10 years. This construction of dams at an unprecedented pace and scale has taken place in Tibet’s Sangri Lokha. Construction of a similar ‘triplet dam’ has been observed on the Nyang river near the town of Nyingchi in Tibet’s Nyingchi county. Continue reading


Pakistan’s approach to capitalise Kashmir’s issue on international forum often fails to get much attention due to its credibility problem and trust deficit in the international community. The world largely sees Kashmir’s issues with India’s perspective. Most of the international players believe that the Kashmir issue does not require international interference.

Speaking on a webinar on “Assessing India’s Abrogation of Article 370 and The Journey Ahead” Michael Kugelman of  Asia Program Deputy Director and Senior Associate for South Asia Woodrow Wilson International Center said that China was very displeased after the abrogation. It disliked the fact of dividing the Ladakh in a UT as well. Continue reading


The Army has initiated the process of hiring a second batch of 100 women recruits in the Corps of Military Police, a year after it first started recruiting women in this arm. A recruitment notification for 2020-21 to this effect has been floated by the Army. The induction of the second batch is scheduled for January 2021. Women in the age group of 17-and-a-half years to 21 years, who must have cleared their Class 10 board exam, are eligible for recruitment. They will have to send in their applications by 31 August.

The move is part of a plan to induct 100 women recruits every year, thus bringing in a total of 1,700 women recruits by 2036 and taking the percentage of women in the military police to 20 per cent of the cadre over a span of 17 years. Continue reading


India’s efforts to rope Russia, a close partner of China, in for the Indo-Pacific initiative, seem to be finding some traction with the 2 countries discussing last week the possibility of a trilateral track 2 with Japan. India maintains that the Indo-Pacific is a free, open, transparent and inclusive concept with ASEAN at its centre and that it excludes nobody.

The government has, nevertheless, felt it imperative to convince Russia, a key strategic partner, that some of its doubts about the initiative are misplaced. Foreign secretary Harsh Shringla discussed the proposal for a Russia-India-Japan trilateral mechanism with the Russian deputy foreign minister, Igor Morgulov, on August 4. Continue reading


The Indian Air Force’s rapid deployment Chinook helicopters have flown in the night over 16,000 feet Daulet Beg Oldi, Indian Army’s last outpost near Karakoram Pass, after the deployment and road building activity of China’s People’s Liberation Army deployment increased in the area across the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

According to authoritative sources, the divisional commander level meeting at Teinweindien (TWD) post in occupied Aksai Chin was to lower the temperatures in the DBO sector with the Indian Army demanding that patrolling in Depsang Plains should be allowed unhindered. The DBO dialogue is separate from the military commanders on-going dialogue on Chushul-Moldo area with the specific task of disengagement and de-escalation of troops on the four friction points. Continue reading


The Congress on Sunday said if the need arises the government should drag China to international dispute resolution fora over the formation of a “very dangerous” artificial lake in Tibet which poses a risk to Arunachal Pradesh. The opposition party hit out at the government over its response on strategic issues, saying all its talk of nationalism, “56 inch chest” and “red eye”, when it comes to specifics, sounds like “empty slogans and hollow claims”.

Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi cited the danger from the lake on the Yarlung Tsangpo river in Tibet, the “high number of Chinese troops” in Depsang area in Ladakh and Nepal’s move to claim certain Indian territories, and said the government should come clean on such serious issues and resolve them. Continue reading


India on Sunday dismissed a controversy over the birthplace of Gautam Buddha and said a comment by external affairs minister S Jaishankar on the shared Buddhist heritage of the two neighbours was misunderstood in the Himalayan country. The clarification came a day after Jaishankar referred to the teachings of Buddha and Mahatma Gandhi at an event organised by the Confederation of Indian Industries. The remark triggered controversy in Nepal with political parties saying that Buddha, the philosopher and religious teacher who founded Buddhism, was born in Nepal and not India.

External affairs ministry spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said Jaishankar’s remark referred to common Buddhist heritage of India and Nepal. “There is no doubt that Gautam Buddha was born in Lumbini, which is in Nepal,” he said. Continue reading


On August 5, 2019, the Narendra Modi government effectively annulled Article 370 of the Constitution that conferred special status on Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) and divided the state into two Union territories, J&K and Ladakh. A year on, there is little convergence of views on the move.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) continues to assert that the decision was in the interest of Kashmir and the nation at large. Mainstream political actors in Kashmir continue to oppose it. In an opinion piece published in the Indian Express, National Conference leader and former chief minister Omar Abdullah wrote that unless the central government restores statehood to J&K, he will not participate in elections. Continue reading


Moscow is now planning to organise a Russia-India-China (RIC) summit on the sidelines of the G20 meeting, scheduled to be held in Riyadh in November, even as tensions refuse to abate between India and China, ThePrint has learnt.  The plan to hold the RIC summit, between Russian President Vladimir Putin, his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, was discussed during the virtual video-conference between the RIC foreign ministers on 23 June, diplomatic sources told ThePrint.

The G20 meeting is expected to take place in the Saudi Arabian capital of Riyadh on 21-22 November.  The trilateral format of the RIC and strengthening it with a summit meeting is “important to promote regional cooperation for sustainable development and stability,” said a source, who refused to be identified. Continue reading


Mainland China’s exports to India since January 2020 have fallen by 24.7 per cent year-on-year to $32.28 billion, customs data from the Chinese government has shown. This comes at a time when the call to boycott Chinese products has amplified sharply in India since May after the India-China border face-off in Galwan.

China’s imports from India have also gone up 6.7 per cent since January this year to $11.09 billion. Consequently, total trade with India has registered a slightly lower 18.6 per cent drop since the beginning of 2020 to at $43.47 billion. However, in July China’s exports saw a slight jump to $5.6 billion, up from $4.79 billion in June, 2020. Continue reading


The Congress on Sunday described as “very strange” and “shocking” the reported remarks by Rajiv Mehrishi, who completed his term as Comptroller and Auditor General of India last week, that defence audit reports were not made available online as they should not be easily accessible to Pakistan or China.

The Opposition party also asked if the earlier CAGs were compromising national security while uploading the reports. Mehrishi, who completed his term Friday as Comptroller and Auditor General of India, was quoted as saying by two leading English dailies that it was decided that certain defence reports and also any future defence-related audit findings would not be put up in view of tensions with neighbouring countries. “Though we submit our report before Parliament and the public accounts committee, it should not be easily accessible to Pakistan or China,” he was quoted as saying. Continue reading


Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Khamenei has opened an official Twitter account in Hindi. The new account, which has his bio written in Devanagari, has been putting out tweets in the same script. The new account at the time of filing this report had 1,009 Followers. Khamenei has posted two tweets so far. Khamenei has also created Twitter accounts in other languages including Persian, Arabic, Urdu, French, Spanish, Russian and English. However, so far Khamenei has not followed any Indian leader from his new Hindi account.

Khamenei is a Twelver Shia Marja’ and the second and current Supreme Leader of Iran. Continue reading


Twelve Maoists, five of them collectively carrying a reward of ? 6 lakh on their heads, surrendered in Chhattisgarh’s Dantewada district on Sunday, police said. The cadres turned themselves in before police and the CRPF officials in Dantewada town saying that they were impressed by the rehabilitation campaign being run by the local police and disappointed with the hollow Maoist ideology, Dantewada Superintendent of Police Abhishek Pallava told PTI.

Dantewada MLA Devti Karma was also present on the occasion, he said. Of these ultras, Chanduram Sethiya, who was active as a member of platoon no. 26 of Maoists, was allegedly involved in three Maoist attacks, including in Bhusaras-Chingavarm in 2008, wherein 23 policemen and two civilians were killed, he said. Continue reading


In a significant decision, Bangladesh has decided to construct a monument for the Indian soldiers who died in 1971 during the country’s struggle for independence from Pakistan. This comes amid Dhaka’s push to reinforce ties with India notwithstanding recent efforts by Beijing and Islamabad to woo it.

Bangladesh War Liberation Minister Mozammel Haque made the announcement on Friday. “We are constructing the monument coinciding with the 50th anniversary of our independence,” a ministry spokesman quoted Haque as saying when outgoing Indian high commissioner Riva Ganguly Das met him. The Indian envoy told the minister that “some people are out to spread misleading information purposely to worsen the relations between the next-door neighbours but Bangladesh-India ties are not so fragile,” informed sources said. Continue reading

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