The CPEC may be a bilateral endeavour, but New Delhi cannot ignore its spillover effects on regional governance and regime creation in South Asia.
Arun Mohan Sukumar
At stake is the eventual legal status of weapons that are activated without direct human intervention.
The former NSA believes rightly that India’s foreign policy is best served by engaging with all major powers, while limiting their role and influence in South Asia. This task is difficult, even paradoxical, since it is unrealistic to expect that the US and China will come for the food (bilateral engagement), but won’t stay for the party (regional clout).
The Sinosphere will be no different to Pax Americana and China’s rise should not prompt India to choose sides in a global contest.
Before endorsing arms control declarations, New Delhi’s negotiating lines should be shaped by domestic conversations on the use and impact of new technologies in warfare.
As the political debate over ‘surgical strikes’ degenerates into ‘mine was bigger than yours’, everyone needs to remember that some of the acts claimed are grave and indefensible by their very nature and are illegal under the laws of war – even if described as retaliation for a similar act by the Pakistani side.
Its political manoeuvring may have saved the day, but India is ill-equipped to confront the long term effects of the accord.
India should not ignore the fact that the Non Aligned Movement comprises frontline states in the contest for economic influence between China and the United States.
The US sees the relationship in the context of India’s larger role in Asia, first as a counter-weight to China, and then as a partner in the US-led order. India, unsure of its future role in the region, is mainly looking for transactional benefits.
With marquee Chinese projects running into trouble in the West, it is time Beijing aimed its investments more towards India.
The film reveals the now and how of offensive cyber operations and intelligence gathering, which requires the active support, even connivance, of the private sector.
Some countries may want to use the verdict to needle China, but the neighbourhood has reacted cautiously, to ensure that any gains from political negotiations are not undone by the award.
In its rush to bring China down a peg, New Delhi should not forget to underscore the political basis of its own territorial and commercial interests in the region.
The PCA ruling may be binding but territorial claims will continue to aggravate tensions in the area, with Beijing likely to ask whether continued adherence to UNCLOS is in its national interest.
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If membership in the 2016 UN group of governmental experts is a shot in the arm for Indian diplomacy, the group’s deliberations will require New Delhi to finesse its line and approach negotiations with caution.
The grand bargain that has been struck – India and the US speaking the same language in cyber, climate and intellectual property right regimes, in return for tangible benefits to New Delhi – is not sustainable.
An international regime to regulate lethal autonomous weapons is some years away. Meanwhile, Great Powers have already indicated their willingness to deploy them in battlefield.
Without India clearly articulating its own blueprint to enhance indigenous capacity, agreements like the LSA and CISMOA will be susceptible to political undulation.
After having done some legwork on the connectivity front, India needs to take ownership of its ideas and articulate them cogently, making it clear to regional partners that it is not vying for influence against China or other powerful actors.
New Delhi is currently considering a bilateral cyber deal with Russia, which would be a game-changer not just in this space, but also for India’s foreign policy
What Narendra Modi must do to make sure the “Force” remains with India
The NDA should be open to appointing individuals from the judiciary or the not-for-profit sector as TRAI chairpersons, not officials who bring with them the heavy hand of bureaucracy
An endorsement of multistakeholderism at the highest political level allows India’s negotiators to engage substantively with internet governance concerns at multiple forums
Internet governance as practiced by ICANN has been prone to capture by an elite coalition of US commercial interests, besides being subject to US political imperatives. Does India have an alternative model?