In the past five months, India has seen great change: ambitious economic reforms, billions in U.S. digital investments and a determined military and digital push back against China. India is now using the strategic and market weight of its 1.3 billion population and openly taking geopolitical sides to achieve its desired positioning, namely, to be a reliable partner in a more equitable global supply chain of virtual, physical and geopolitical elements.
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The recent 15th India-European Union (EU) summit held virtually in July 2020 reflects a bilateral that is gearing for a boost, with both sides trying to move closer in a variety of ways. A serious effort will be required to properly reconcile strategic, trade and investment interests.
The COVID crisis compelled a change in the Business20 (B20) focus areas to reviving health, health facilities and business activity in 2020. India must start work now to give the B20 even greater responsiveness and relevance as the prospective G20 chair in 2022.
Germany has taken over from China as the new president of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). Will it be the one to put Pakistan on the black list – or will realpolitik and national agendas prevail, with terrorism financing continuing to flourish?
The jubilation displayed by many ASEAN countries on account of the Vietnam’s statement as chair of the 36th ASEAN Summit, referencing events in the South China Sea is belied by a sense of realism and caution. But the fact that more nations are speaking up is a good sign.
China’s escalating actions in the wake of the COVID-19 catastrophe is a calculated strategic diversion and risk. In the Indo-Pacific, tensions between China and the U.S., Australia, India and others are building momentum. As a geopolitical partnership, the relevance of the Quad is now proven. There are clear ways to empower it immediately, and make it a resilient grouping.
In July 2020, Germany takes over as President of the European Union. It’s a fraught time to lead the union which has been slow to react to COVID-19 and needs a new direction. With the pandemic, the U.S.- China stand-off, and a global economic crisis – Chancellor, Angela Merkel has her work cut out.
Globalisation has resulted in the interdependence of nations through the largely unimpeded transmission of investment capital and information, and integrated business operations. The leading beneficiaries have been the global 1%, and China. While it is too late and not possible to roll back an interconnected world order, globalization as we know it will recede, as will China’s standing in the world.
The G20 will prove vital in maintaining economic balance in the post-COVID world. The strains are many, but like the financial crisis of 2008, this could be a defining moment for its members to exercise delicate diplomacy to combat the challenges of COVID-19.
The COVID19 crisis has thrown into stark relief the strategic influence China wields across various agencies of the United Nations, especially the WHO. This raises the question - will the UN, as an important supra-governmental body, be able retain impartiality in the post-covid world order?