The three countries must contend with a number of common threats in regard to their bilateral and trilateral relationships as well as finding ways to enhance those relationships. Sitting astride busy sea lines of communication, the Maldives and Sri Lanka are vulnerable to oil pollution. Through capacity building, India should equip them in managing such emergencies, while officers who have undergone military training in India and now hold senior positions in the Maldivian military and the Sri Lankan Government can further facilitate useful links with India.
Addressing the China Business Summit in Auckland, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern gave a clear signal that her government has no illusions about China. Ms Ardern’s comment that the differences between the two countries’ systems, interests and values are becoming harder to reconcile indicates that Wellington is refining how it manages its relationship with Beijing.
It is hard to fathom how, in a country that boasts about its technological advancements, scientific breakthroughs, economic prosperity and military prowess, 23 per cent of its population lives under the poverty line as an underclass that is potentially far more ominous than any of Israel’s external enemies.
India perceives the Maldives and Sri Lanka as being in its sphere of interest, which makes China’s increasing footprint in those countries a cause for concern in New Delhi. While India cannot keep China out of the Maldives and Sri Lanka, it should capitalise on its proximity, first-responder image and historical and cultural ties to safeguard its security concerns by remaining continually engaged with Malé and Colombo through high-level visits and the India-Sri Lanka-Maldives Trilateral.
Japan’s understated strategy of pushing back against China’s technological and military plans appears to be accelerating. The question is, will Prime Minister Suga continue the Abe Administration’s expansion of its own military’s remit in doing so?
China Boosts Djibouti Presence: More Investments and Naval Base Capable of Docking Aircraft Carriers
In tandem with the warning from US Africa Command that China’s naval base in Djibouti – for now, its only overseas military facility – has the ability to accommodate vessels as large as aircraft carriers, China is continuing its massive investments in the strategically-located country. With Chinese money pouring in, Djiboutian President Ismail Omar Guelleh will have little interest in turning off the taps, even at the risk of his country falling victim to debt trap diplomacy.
The immediate challenge before the Biden Administration is how to get past the 1 May withdrawal deadline peacefully and establish a new one. Its long-term challenge is to bring the Taliban around to the understanding that elections, democracy and an intra-Afghan concord are to Afghanistan’s advantage.
After years of appeasing China in order to gain access to its markets, the US now appears to be taking a much harder line against Beijing, emphasising national security over commerce. That could be dangerous.
President Erdoğan’s decision to withdraw Turkey from the 2011 Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combatting Violence against Women is by far the most despicable turn he has yet taken against women.
Due to troubled ties with its neighbours, India’s attempts at enhancing its transport connections in South Asia and beyond have not been entirely successful. With both the Pakistani and Indian economies facing difficult challenges, it makes sense to boost bilateral trade relations and explore new forms of connectivity. While better connectivity with Afghanistan and Central Asia would benefit India, Pakistan, too, would benefit from more harmonious relations, economically, politically and security-wise.