The collapse of Silicon Valley Bank has global strategic implications. Santa Clara County, the home of Silicon Valley is nearly the size of Hong Kong. A meltdown of Silicon Valley would be catastrophic for U.S. leadership in the technology sector, especially when the U.S. and China are engaged in a technology race for supremacy in commercial and military applications.
A quick look at the list of top Chinese companies shows that the vaunted private sector has receded and the state-owned giants now dominate. Under the new Xi Jinping regime, they are unlikely to relinquish their position. What does this mean for China – and for India?
India’s technology industry grew 15.5% during the pandemic, and so have the cyber-attacks on critical infrastructure and stealing of intellectual property (IP). While an exhaustive data protection bill introduced by MeitY is under consideration, India must study and can benefit from Japan’s existing data protection law to protect consumer privacy and implement cybersecurity measures.
During the last decade, cyber threats have steadily expanded in the Indo-Pacific in two distinct dimensions: cyberattacks by state and non-state actors, and cybercriminal syndicates. As a digitized society, India has offered its expertise and technologies to like-minded countries in the region. It must now expand its role by developing cyber norms, capacity-building and technical exchanges.
ASEAN centrality is not what it used to be. Covid, post-pandemic economic recovery, the Ukraine crisis and the challenge of China all tested ASEAN capabilities to manage them. It is now up to ASEAN to work out its unity and centrality with a greater sense of responsibility.
City-level climate action is gaining pace in India. This is crucial, given the country’s climate vulnerabilities and growing carbon footprint. Its success depends on mobilisation of climate finance, targeted devolution of central resources, inter-agency data-sharing and of course, public participation.
The Quad has agreed to launch a satellite-based maritime security initiative to curb illegal fishing by China. India is a global leader in satellite launches, especially in Earth Observation (EO) satellites. The Indo-Pacific nations are looking at the Indian model because it is applicable, economical, and sustainable.
The EU has been working on an India engagement for two decades now – a strategic partnership and a free trade engagement. It is finally being realised – the outcome of the visit of European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen to Delhi this month. The upgraded, ambitious partnership Europe’s long overdue pivot to India.
New global economic, military and political alliances are taking shape, and call for like-minded nations to calibrate their strategic, long term interests. The new India-Australia economic trade agreement is reflective of this. It also folds in a critical element: wide cooperation in cyber security, which now impacts the economy, democratic institutions and warfare. India has much to learn from Australia’s low key but smart cyber expertise.
The India-Russia leaders’ summit and ministerial meetings in New Delhi on Dec. 6, scored big. Differences were set aside to make transformative progress in defence, fintech and connectivity among other sectors, commencing a new era of India-Russia relations fit for the 21st century.