The most significant international task ahead of Germany’s new three-party ‘traffic light’ coalition is to strengthen the relationship with Europe, reduce the imbalance in the relationship with the U.S. and influence the behaviour of important economic partners, Russia and China.
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General Bipin Rawat served as India's first Chief of Defence Staff, the top rank in the Indian military. His achievements in this pioneering role were many, but most significant was his initiation of structural reforms in the armed forces and indigenisation of military equipment.
The upcoming Summit for Democracy hosted by U.S. President Biden, has high expectations from him. With trust in the U.S. having suffered badly, it remains to be seen how much confidence the democracies at the summit will have in American efforts at restoration of world leadership.
On November 15, the presidents of the U.S and China met for the first time since Joe Biden was sworn in earlier this year. The main purpose was for the two heads of state to get to know each other and establish a line of communication. If this is Cold War 2.0, with similarities to, as well as differences, from Cold War 1.0, then what the Biden administration has in mind is something akin to détente, with some scope for cooperation, especially on climate change.
The Oct 30-31 G20 Leaders’ Summit in Rome took several important steps to accelerate economic recovery and health security. In the absence of several Eurasian leaders, India played a significant role especially on climate and energy. The G20 will now acquire greater salience in India's foreign policy, as it readies to lead the grouping in 2023.
On October 21, the Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla inaugurated the CCCS-Gateway House conference on "Leveraging China's Economy". In his keynote address, he traced the India-China trade imbalance, explained that the disturbed border changed equilibrium and noted that the "ability of India and China to work together will determine the Asian century".
On 8 October 2021, the 29th France-Africa summit was held in Montpellier, France. This unique summit focused on youth and civil society engagement, led from the front by French President Emmanuel Macron, in an open and honest dialogue. However, the success of this new outreach will be measured by how France fulfils the promises made at the summit.
Geographical Indication (GI) tags can be ready revenue generators today, especially for India. The country's robust global e-commerce system and recent domestic drone policy can help build a strong GI ecosystem and boost India's soft power. The government must lend its support to the industry, learning from European and Chinese examples.
On 6 October 2021, Ambassador Rajiv Bhatia, Distinguished Fellow, Foreign Policy Studies Programme, spoke to Dr. Pramod Jaiswal, Strategic Affairs Editor at Khabarhub on the role of Nepal in BIMSTEC and SAARC, in an analysis of the 17th BIMSTEC ministerial meetings. He also highlighted the role of SAARC and BIMSTEC in countering Chinese influence in the region.
The first in-person Quad Leader's Summit drew global attention for its symbolism and substance. A critical analysis of its outcome shows that the institutionalisation of the organisation has begun. India has a chance to work with the advanced economies, on an equal footing and with much to contribute.