Doklam standoff reflects changing China-India relationship
The military showdown between unarmed Chinese and Indian troops on the Doklam Plateau in the Himalayas is different than previous border tiffs in the region between these two Asian giants. The new dimensions reflect a changing relationship between Beijing and New Delhi, as both gain international clout. The current crisis is unlikely to get out of hand, but China and India will continue to butt heads.
GIS Dossier: Nuclear energy
The 2011 Fukushima disaster brought nuclear energy development programs around the world to a screeching halt – temporarily. Though Germany plans to fully phase out nuclear power production, Japan has brought several reactors back online, and other countries have restarted construction on nuclear plants. These developments have had huge geopolitical effects: Germany’s fossil fuel imports from Russia have grown, while China has found an opening to increase its sway on four continents by financing nuclear projects.
Modi unlikely to overhaul India’s state-owned giants
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power under the slogan “the business of government is not business,” but his administration has been slow in privatizing or “disinvesting” from the hundreds of inefficient companies owned by the state. In fact, it has moved actively to maximize the revenue the government can squeeze out of these firms to plug gaps in the state budget. Those who hoped for reform are likely to be disappointed.
India and Germany draw closer
India and Germany may seem like an odd couple. But a recent flurry of diplomatic consultations suggest that the two countries may be beginning to form a strategic relationship. What animates them is a belief that second-tier powers need to work more closely together to shore up an international order threatened by an assertive China and a whimsical United States.
GIS Dossier: Modi’s India
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has harnessed identity politics to shake up India’s inefficient economy and turn it into a global player. At home and abroad, he has proved an adept operator. Geopolitically, Mr. Modi’s most important move is an increasingly obvious realignment with the U.S., as part of a long-term strategy to counter China’s bid for hegemony in Asia.
India and U.S. both look to contain China
U.S. President Donald Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi have plenty in common – the most important of which is a desire to counter Beijing’s rising influence. With that in mind, Washington could support Indian policy in Southeast Asia and help New Delhi build its role as a maritime power.
Indian opposition to China’s New Silk Road
India has become the most vocal opponent of China’s massive Belt Road Initiative (BRI), which New Delhi sees as a thinly veiled geopolitical power play by Beijing. So far, China has not pushed back hard, and instead has consistently tried to woo the Indian side. This is because linking the BRI to India could make the project much more profitable. If China could adjust the project to accommodate Indian concerns, it would benefit the continent. But for now, that looks unlikely.
Democracy in crisis
The liberal democratic order has been losing its appeal for years as politics has come to depend more on loyalty to a leader than adherence to ideology. As opposing sides coalesce around increasing the power of the state, they focus on attacking personalities rather than policies. This has led to polarization, a loss of democratic ideals and the rise of populism.
Asian powers ponder options as America turns inward
With internationalism on the retreat in the United States and Europe, Asia’s two biggest powers find themselves on the spot. Both China and India have spoken in defense of globalization and a multilateral, rules-based order. But neither appears ready to fill the vacuum left by receding U.S. power.