The restoration of diplomatic ties between Iran and Saudi Arabia marks the end of a seven-year marathon of indirect confrontations and impasses involving a broad spectrum of actors. It allows both to harvest economic and political benefits. Most importantly, it confirms China’s status as a significant power with influence to unlock broad and complex international agreements.
The Edo era in Japan adopted the Buddhist worldview that placed India at the center of the human world. This was reflected in their maps, till the mid-19th century. The geopolitical context of these spiritual maps wielded a profound influence on Japan’s Buddhist clergy and its laity, a world view that echoes the present.
The state visit by Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni on 2-3 March marked the elevation of the India-Italy bilateral to a strategic partnership. Both countries have set the stage for an expanding relationship based on shared interests and priorities in defence, security, trade, and energy sectors – domestically and in the broader Indo-Pacific region.
Courtesy: United Nations Economic Commission for Africa
The Indo-Pacific is viewed by powers within and outside the region as both a strategy and policy to interpret the changing geopolitical dynamics in Asia and beyond. But the question of its geographical and geopolitical definition has varied. Opinions among governments and academics have traditionally differed, but over the years, a viable consensus for a wider definition of the concept seems to have emerged.
Canada is committed to playing a larger role in the Indo-Pacific and has adopted a pragmatic approach to achieving its five objectives. These are promoting peace and security; expanding trade; connecting people; building a sustainable and green future; with Canada serving as an active partner in the Indo-Pacific. India will do well to understand Canada's compulsions and work with it with enthusiasm.
The Ukraine crisis transferred global anxiety away from China and onto Russia. But this has not happened in the Indo-Pacific, where the Quad countries have followed a policy of economic disengagement from China, in the backdrop of the COVID pandemic and the regeneration of some economies. How the Quad managed this, is a worthwhile assessment.
The International Monetary Fund’s recent warning of a slowing global trade comes as a sign for South Asia to reassess its regional trade within the continent. India, in its year of G20 Presidency and as South Asia’s largest economy, can use its platform to lead the way via dialogue, capacity building, and regulatory policies to encourage open regionalism in Asia.
February 1, 2023 marks the second anniversary of the military coup in Myanmar. The country is now in a dire situation with a deteriorating economy, rising poverty and high unemployment. ASEAN, the UN and India continue to work with the Myanmarese military leadership, which is the only player able to provide solutions to alleviate the distress.
Egyptian President El Sisi being the chief guest at India’s Republic Day reflects the importance assigned to it by India. At the crossroads of Africa, Asia and Europe, Egypt is an essential gateway for trade and investment. Its diplomatic presence in the Arab world and Africa, with the largest standing army in Africa, makes it a pivotal player for India which is increasing its footprint in West Asia and Africa.
On 17-18 January, 2023, Rajiv Bhatia, Distinguished Fellow, Foreign Policy Studies Programme, Gateway House participated in the 14th South Asia Conference on the theme “Think20@G20: Towards a Resilient South Asia” hosted by Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses in New Delhi. Amb. Bhatia suggests that in due course, BIMSTEC should be given the status of a permanent guest in G20.