The shadow of the Ukrainian war was visible at the G7 summit. Anti-Russian formations were expected, but the extensive reference to China drew attention. The leaders did their part by extensively discussing challenges relating to climate, energy, environment, health, and food security. It is now for the G7 governments to deliver, to be taken seriously.
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The Galwan crisis, pandemic and the Ukrainian war have weakened the BRICS’ credibility, a forum that has played a pivotal role in articulating the case for reformed multilateralism. Beyond grandiose rhetoric and vested interests, these five nations need to first infuse the grouping with internal solidarity and enhance mutual trust for peace, stability and prosperity in the Global South.
The attempts of responsibility-transfer of asylum-processing and refugee-protection by the UK and Denmark to Rwanda, reflect a fundamental shift from the conventional principle of territorial asylum and set an undesirable precedent. Deporting the vulnerable to countries with perpetual internal socio-political and economic issues and inadequate asylum infrastructure, will gravely compromise their safety, welfare, human rights and benefit claims as refugees.
On May 6, 2022, Amb. Rajiv Bhatia presented his remarks at the BRICS Think Tank Symposium held in Chongqing, China. Ambassador Bhatia traced the Ukrainian war crisis and its linkage to the grouping, while also elucidating that the Sino-Indian stalemate on transboundary disputes, UNSC membership permanency and leadership within the global south has harmed effective resolutions in the multilateral forum.
Africa as a zone of Sino-Indian contestation has intensified in the COVID era, where both countries extended support to the continent in diverse sectors of human security. Africa needs capacity, and building it means it will not make a choice between India and China, but it will prioritise its own needs and select separately what it needs from both countries
The Indian diaspora has played a significant role in deepening the country's engagement with the Indo-Pacific nations. India can leverage this soft diplomacy to play a constructive role in the region.
In the last two decades, there have been three India-Africa summits, a testament to the growth of bilateral relations. Rajiv Bhatia's book, India-Africa Relations: Changing Horizons, highlights Africa’s emergence as a global powerhouse, with several countries vying for a stake in the region. India’s unique political and economic development model appeals to the African, and can be used to forge an enduring relationship with the continent.
On 1 February 2022, Gateway House and the U.S. Embassy, New Delhi, co-hosted a panel discussion on India in the Indo-Pacific: Pursuing Prosperity and Security. The panelists explored the comprehensive role that India can play in the Indo-Pacific from the perspective of business, think tanks, academia and diplomacy.
Nearly two decades since the launch of the India Development Initiative, India-Africa relations have evolved. This book by Rajiv Bhatia, a former high-ranking IFS officer, takes a deep dive into Indo-African engagement. Bhatia outlines the history and presents concise yet informative capsules of India's relationship with individual African countries. It is a useful roadmap for companies looking to do business there.
India has a long-standing and unique relationship with Africa. However, China's presence and influence has resulted in geopolitical competition, with the two Asian nations vying to expand and deepen their engagement with Africa. Beijing's footprint is considerable, with a long-term strategic objective. To strengthen ties with the continent, New Delhi must match Beijing's ascendancy and lay down mutually beneficial goals. The excerpt from this expansive book on Indo-African engagement examines the Chinese presence in Africa, African agency in external partnerships and the importance of recognising African needs to devise better policies by competing nations.