On July 13, the German cabinet approved its Strategy on China after nearly two years of internal discussions. The new strategy simultaneously views China as a “partner, competitor, and systemic rival”, calling for de-risking German economic dependence on China, while also expanding cooperation with other countries in the Indo-Pacific region.
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The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation's growing importance is seen in the numerous new applicants waiting in line for membership. The 23rd SCO Summit hosted by India on July 4 saw progress in areas like digital transformation and economic cooperation. However, timidity in acting on foundational issues like anti-terrorism reflects the internal contradictions and tensions within member states - a continuing challenge for SCO.
In 2022, increased sanctions were imposed on Russia by the U.S., E.U., and their allies. The track record of Western sanctions shows they are quick to be imposed, but slow to be removed. In the current environment, it is reasonable to assume that sanctions on Russia will stay in place for a very long time. India should plan its defence and commercial relations accordingly.
Discontent over high energy prices, spiralling living costs, and anti war sentiments have gripped Europe, resulting in protests and civil unrest across the continent. With no immediate solution in sight, public resentment is likely to intensify through the coming winter months
The reference to India by Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Valdai Discussion Club may be interpreted as encouragement to New Delhi to use its good offices to nudge the warring sides to the negotiating table. Mediation is a big power game, and this may be the right time for India, at the cusp of the G20 Presidency, to start with a record of success
Wide-ranging economic sanctions on Russia are likely to stay for several years, if not decades. Given Russia’s critical global role as a supplier of key commodities and military hardware, India should pursue long term solutions to continue this trade.
The last week of September was eventful for Russia. The partial-mobilisation was underway, the referendum of Russian-speaking regions in Ukraine took place, President Putin made a significant speech and the Nord Stream pipelines were damaged. Amit Bhandari, Energy Fellow, Gateway House, was in Moscow during this time. In this podcast, he offers his impressions of Moscow after the sanctions, compared with the city he saw before the Russia-Ukraine conflict
India is stepping into a new era of free trade agreements in the midst of turbulent global waters that bring both risks and opportunities. A fragile global recovery can dampen demand for India’s goods, but it can also attract medium and high-tech manufacturing sectors leaving China, benefit from technology and skill transfer from abroad and lay a strong foundation for growth.
Russia, the founding member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), has been hit by Western sanctions on its energy exports and financial system. Still, Ivan Timofeev, Director of Programs at the Russian International Affairs Council, sees new opportunities to be seized. Deepening India-Russia business engagement is one, and the SCO as a constructive and accommodating force is another. K.A. Dhananjay from Gateway House spoke to Timofeev who visited Mumbai recently.
India will be president of the G20 in 2023. The world’s most influential economic governance body is facing an existential crisis, where the major powers have fallen out. With geopolitical currents redefining geo-economics, India needs to be ready to emerge as the chief global diplomat.