Lying at the south-eastern extremity of the Indian peninsula, the Malabar is a serene, idyllic region at the confluence of the Arabian Sea, the Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean. This region was once the historical gateway for maritime trade between India and the rest of the world, until the
When things get grim in India, the usual way of dealing with it is to look towards Bollywood for some distracting relief.
This time, however, it’s not the latest musical providing distraction, but rather the imbroglio over the suicide of a popular movie actor, which was blamed on his girlfriend
The Quad – the grouping comprised of Australia, India, Japan, and the United States – held its first stand-alone foreign ministerial meeting this month in Tokyo. In the words of one Australian analyst, the grouping that once faltered and restarted with a crawl now finally stands on its two feet
The Indian military is undergoing what may be its most significant reorganisation since India’s independence, with considerable implications for its future strategic posture. One important issue that has been brought to the fore is the role of the Indian Navy as a regional power projection force
Recently in a tweet, Indian opposition leader Rahul Gandhi complained that Prime Minister Narendra Modi “has destroyed the web of relationships that the Congress built and nurtured over several decades”. He then added rather vaguely that “living in a neighbourhood with no friends is dangerous
What makes the Quad foreign ministers conversation this week in Tokyo consequential? Probably the strategic setting – a pandemic, global economic contraction and an accelerated Sino-US strategic competition on one hand, and rising regional tensions from the Himalayas to the South China Sea and
In this episode of COVIDcast, Richard McGregor, Lowy Institute Senior Fellow, sat down with Shivshankar Menon to discuss the latest currents in Chinese foreign policy, particularly its tense border stand-off with India
There is no end in sight for the ongoing China-India border crisis. In June, China and India’s border dispute along the LAC (Line of Actual Control) resumed after a decades-long halt to the fighting, with the deaths of 20 Indian soldiers and an unspecified number of casualties on the Chinese side
The relative stability along the China-India borders since the Doklam standoff in 2017 has been upended this year by the outbreak of two skirmishes, in May and August. The tensions have added to the challenges facing the two countries. India has seen a rapid increase in Covid-19 cases recently and
Arguably the greatest, most visible and most impactful legacy of the British Raj in India is the train network that criss-crosses the country. So it perhaps comes as little surprise that India’s favourite regional friend is shoring up their relationship by investing heavily in, yes, more trains
The explosion and fire on board a supertanker off Sri Lanka this month, following closely on last month’s disastrous oil spill in Mauritius, serve as a reminder that environmental security threats are front and centre of security concerns among many Indian Ocean states. This issue will become only
The current phase of the Sino-Indian border conflict which began in May this year may go on for quite some time. India seems to be hunkering down for a long winter.
Given the relative symmetries in strength ranged across the Himalayan border, there has long been talk in New Delhi of exploiting
It has been a little over a year since the Indian government under Narendra Modi curtailed the semi-autonomous status of Kashmir by revoking Article 370 of the Indian constitution. The article had given the state a certain degree of autonomy, including its own flag, constitution and freedom to enact
Given the high degree of political participation by the South Asian diaspora in the US that I’ve written about before, it seemed an inevitability that a person with some degree of Indian ethnicity or culture would make it onto a presidential ticket. The question was never if, but who. Would it be
The recent military standoff between India and China in the Galwan Valley raises a fascinating question about the attitudes of the American public towards Asia’s great powers.
We know from extensive polling that the American people are increasingly sour about China. A March 2020 survey by the
The Tibetan plateau is often called the “Third Pole”, owing to its glacial expanses and vast reserves of freshwater. For as many as nine countries in the surrounding region, the status of rivers emerging from the plateau is a key concern.
China has claimed express ownership over Tibet’s
As the world tries to make sense of the daily debacle of Donald Trump’s response to Covid-19, there’s another democratically elected leader moving in a similar trajectory.
India’s Narendra Modi, the man who 15 weeks ago placed his country’s 1.3 billion people under lockdown, is today
From Delhi to Washington to Canberra, the future of the digital economy may be heavily influenced by how one question is answered:
What to do about TikTok?
The popular short-video platform owned by Beijing-based parent company ByteDance has been at the centre of a storm of controversy. Concern
Australia’s strategy on engaging India has long revolved around the so-called “three Cs”: cricket, curry and the Commonwealth.
In light of the changing status of bilateral relations in 2020, let’s add a couple more Cs to the list: China, and containment of.
On Friday, it emerged that
Indian officials claim that China is continuing its build-up along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), the de facto border between India and China in the Galwan Valley of eastern Ladakh region. New satellite imagery supports the claim that not only is the People’s Liberation Army holding ground
Last month’s clash between Indian and Chinese troops in Ladakh was the most significant conflict between the two countries since 1967. Despite signs of a partial tactical pullback in some places, there is considerable risk of further confrontations and even escalation along the disputed border.
The recent China-India clash in the Himalaya provides India with a dilemma: can it continue to pursue its long-desired aim of achieving “strategic autonomy”? India has never wanted to be beholden to any other nation. Formerly called “non-alignment”, this policy has become multi-bipolarity
India’s message to China is loud and clear: expansionism is outdated.
In a decisive move, Prime Minister Narendra Modi choose to make the point right from the heart of Ladakh – the scene of violent face-off in Galwan Valley last month that claimed 20 lives in a “pre-meditated and planned
Costing the D word
Diversification might be the word of the moment in the lexicon of Australian trade debate, even though few advocates make much attempt to explain how it will actually work.
But now we have two interesting efforts to quantify just how selected reductions in trade with China in
Indians have been very enthusiastic users of all forms of social media, but TikTok has found them to be an especially eager audience.
With 660 million downloads of the app and more than 120 million active users, India represents TikTok’s biggest foreign market. The short-video platform
A lack of trust from the Australian population towards India is probably the last thing the Morrison government wants right now, as it seeks to shore up its relationship with its Indian Ocean neighbour. But a lack of trust it is: according to the 2020 Lowy Institute Poll, just 45% of Australians
The conflict between India and China on their disputed Himalayan border may be an important turning point in their relationship. Australia should take the opportunity to show firm support for India over the issue.
Last week’s fighting between Indian and Chinese troops in Ladakh was the bloodiest
The India-China border clash on the night of 15 June, the worst in over half a century, is nothing less than a chapter break in the relationship between the two countries. A dynamic that was, at the best of times, fraught with mutual suspicion is now on the cusp of becoming downright adversarial.
Even before the shocking events of 15 June, in which at least 20 Indian soldiers died along with an unknown number of their Chinese counterparts, it was clear to some that this year’s shadow boxing on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) was different.
In late May, the respected Indian defence
The tug-of-war between the United Kingdom and Mauritius over Chagos archipelago – and the US military base on Diego Garcia – is hotting up. In 2019, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution which endorsed a non binding decision from the International Court of Justice that
India’s high-handedness in Kashmir amid a global pandemic has further exacerbated a tense situation in the restive valley. The latest causality of harsh policies has been people, mostly students, locked up in quarantine centres across Kashmir.
In March, when Kashmiri students studying outside
A Chinese proverb holds that “the beginning of wisdom is calling things by the right name”. For those of us in New Delhi, it is refreshing to see India actively pitch its Covid-19 diplomacy to articulate “The India Way” in global conversations.
What this means in practical terms is a
In October 2016, women from across the African continent met at the base of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania with a charter of demands pushing for women’s right to use, control, own, inherit and dispose land. The Women2Kilimanjaro hike’s demand for more inclusive land rights proved not to be in
The forthcoming virtual summit between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison assumes considerable significance for an India-Australia strategic partnership, particularly as it comes against the backdrop of heightened friction with China for both countries.
The tale has become accepted diplomatic folklore. In the telling, it was Australia, back in 2008 in the early days of the Rudd government, that decided to scuttle the then-nascent Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, the four-way talks also involving Japan, the United States and India. To compound
China’s rise and assertive behaviour has been a source of concern to both India and Australia. While India prioritises its territorial disputes with China and China’s growing presence in the Indian Ocean, Australia is concerned about growing tensions in Sino-US relations and the undesirable
India-China tensions have recently escalated at two Himalayan flashpoints: Ladakh and Sikkim. On 5 May, scuffles broke out between Chinese and Indian soldiers near Pangong Tso, a lake that straddles the border in Ladakh. At the same time, there were skirmishes near Nathu La, a mountain pass that
As worrying details about the month-long India-China border dispute continue to pour in, Donald Trump, in his signature style, has muddied waters in two significant ways.
First, on Wednesday morning, he tweeted: “We have informed both India and China that the United States is ready, willing and
A four-country bulwark against Beijing's regional dominance is an idea whose time has come. To make it work, New Delhi must be convinced to join in. Originally published in the Australian Financial Review
As India and Australia prepare for a virtual summit next month between prime ministers amid the coronavirus pandemic, a possible strategic initiative could involve the cooperative use of their respective island territories in the Indian Ocean for strategic purposes. India’s Andaman and Nicobar
The present phase of India-China relations emerged from the desire and imperative to reset relations after the Doklam standoff in 2017 and the realisation that, despite the persistence of major differences between them, India and China have significant areas of cooperation both in the bilateral and
Governments around the world are working hard to convince their populations to download the various Covid-19 infection tracing apps. As well as potentially helping to stymie the spread of the virus, the app download numbers serve another purpose: they could be read to indicate how much trust there
In recent times, Australia has been searching for ways to support its Pacific “family” through the Covid-19 crisis with an eye on China’s moves. India has also been trying to help countries in the Indian Ocean region amid China’s growing influence. Responses to the corona crisis have so far
It remains one of the proudest moments, not only for India’s space program, but as a landmark in the history of the country. Forty-five years ago, on 19 April 1975, the rocket thrusters fired to launch India’s first indigenous satellite. It was named Aryabhata, yet like many initial forays
Many people assume that South Asia is a sitting target for coronavirus, with potentially millions of deaths leading to an impoverished and destabilised region just around the corner. That might well happen, and the countries in the region are locking down. But there are also reasons to think that
Covid-19 will no doubt have many long-term consequences for our region that we can now only begin to imagine. One consequence that is easy to imagine in the face of a distracted and internally focused United States will be Australia’s greater reliance on regional security partners, such as Japan
Crises have a way of shining a penetrating light and exposing the fissures in a society – or conversely, the exact nature of what holds it together. It is something we are seeing right now, the world over.
While India seems to have sidestepped the worst of the pandemic for now, what the crisis
Whatever else the rapidly evolving and increasingly global health crisis may or may not do, it’s shining an unforgiving light on the relative capacities of national health systems. Even more importantly in the longer-term, perhaps, it’s providing a searching examination of political leaders, and
The Indian Air Force last week evacuated 112 people stranded in Wuhan, one of several operations by India to the the Chinese city at the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak. But while India is one of many countries to help its citizens in need, what was also striking about this particular mission&