Articles by: M K Bhadrakumar

US’ China policy at inflection point

US’ China policy at inflection point

“The symbolism is stunning”: China-France-Germany climate summit, Beijing, April 16, 2021. The three met without US…It is against the backdrop of the Biden administration’s containment strategy against China. The discussions spilled over from climate change to the entire spectrum of world politics. Considering the US media build-up as President Biden’s climate envoy John Kerry set out for China, the 4-day visit turned[Read More…]

by April 21, 2021 World
President Joe Biden wipes his eye as he walks through Arlington National Cemetery to honor fallen veterans of Afghan war, April 14, 2021.2400 American forces were killed, and 20,000 wounded .

Chronicle of the unavailing Afghan war

The occupation of Afghanistan became an end in itself, with war profiteering turning into a roaring business with money, women, drug trafficking, foreign bank accounts, contractors — all thrown into it…thus a limited punitive mission by two dozen special forces personnel morphed into a Sisyphean exercise that lasted nineteen years. *** One missing part in US President Joe Biden’s remarks[Read More…]

by April 18, 2021 World
India should welcome the end of US occupation of Afghanistan

India should welcome the end of US occupation of Afghanistan

A Taliban unit in Laghman, Afghanistan, Dec. 2020 (File photo) To be sure, the “forever war” in Afghanistan is ending on a sombre note. The US has barely managed to avoid a humiliating defeat. The final legacy will be that there are limits to American power. India will do well to bear this mind as it consorts with the Quad. [Read More…]

by April 17, 2021 World
US: Indian Ocean is not India’s ocean

US: Indian Ocean is not India’s ocean

Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS John Paul Jones prepares to pull alongside aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (File photo)  The “defining partnership of the 21st century” with India will not inhibit Washington from pursuit of American interests. The bottom line is that in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR), India should not punch above its weight… reflect sadly where all the heady[Read More…]

by April 16, 2021 Imperialism
Whither India-Russia ties?

Whither India-Russia ties?

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (L) at press conference with  External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar (R), Delhi, April 6, 2021 That is why today, any signalling that Modi has lost interest looks a cowardly behaviour and can be lethal to the India-Russia relationship… India has already given up its fascination for Russian energy and has settled for US shale oil;[Read More…]

by April 15, 2021 World
The China-Iran pact is a game changer – III

The China-Iran pact is a game changer – III

This is Sixth and the last in the series on the flux in the global scene by the seasoned diplomat, an expert on Middle East, Eurasia, Central Asia, South Asia and the Asia-Pacific… Part III: There is no timetable for an official launch  Yuan as the clearing currency?A non-dollar payment mechanism, between China and Iran is under discussion. It remains[Read More…]

by April 6, 2021 World
Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani received China’s State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Tehran, March 27, 2021

The China-Iran pact is a game changer

Part II: China positions itself on the right side of history  See Part I: China neutralises the US campaign on Muslim Uighur issue  https://www.indianpunchline.com/the-china-iran-pact-is-a-game-changer-part-i/ In an exclusive interview with Al-Arabiya last week, China’s State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi outlined Beijing’s approach to the West Asian region with particular reference to the tensions in the Persian Gulf. Wang lamented[Read More…]

by April 5, 2021 World
The China-Iran pact is a game changer

The China-Iran pact is a game changer

This is Fourth in the series on the flux in the global scene by the seasoned diplomat, an expert on Middle East, Eurasia, Central Asia, South Asia and the Asia-Pacific…   Fifth will follow. Part I : China neutralises the US campaign on Muslim Uighur issue    Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (R) and China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi (L)[Read More…]

by April 4, 2021 World
Refugees fleeing the attack by separatist Karen Liberation Army on Myanmar military outpost on Thai border, March 27, 2021. “Make no mistake, KLA is a creation of British intelligence.”

This is how shingles of Indian interests in Myanmar overlap Russia and China’s

This is third in the series on the flux in the global scene by the seasoned diplomat, an expert on Middle East, Eurasia, Central Asia, South Asia and the Asia-Pacific…Fourth will follow.  “To be sure, Myanmar saga is far from a binary of democracy vs. autocracy….Beware of “colour revolution” that the Western intelligence ,  US and UK in lead role[Read More…]

by April 2, 2021 World
      Baz Ratner/Reuters US troops in Afghanistan, June 2011

China resents US presence in Afghanistan

This is second in the series on the flux in the global scene by the seasoned diplomat, an expert on Middle East, Eurasia, Central Asia, South Asia and the Asia-Pacific…Third on Myanmar will follow. The “hidden agenda” of the war on terror in Afghanistan has been an open secret. The first inkling of its geopolitical character came when it transpired[Read More…]

by April 1, 2021 Imperialism
India’s agony and ecstasy over Quad

India’s agony and ecstasy over Quad

Aren’t the lotus-eaters in India in a state of blissful forgetfulness or foolish ecstasy that Blinken raised Ladakh at the Alaska talks? The NATO statement after the Ministerial didn’t contain a word on China…European allies are reluctant to be pushed into an American-led confrontation with China… *** A flurry of diplomatic activities through the past fortnight starting with the first-ever[Read More…]

by March 31, 2021 World
India has lessons from Sino-Russian normalization

India has lessons from Sino-Russian normalization

India has had a closed mind, and influential sections of national opinion cling to the notion that bellicosity is the signature element of China’s approach to India. The unfortunate coincidence is that many who indulge in such seasonal tirades against China also happen to be passionate advocates of a US-Indian strategic embrace. Their hysteria dovetails into an ulterior agenda.  [Read More…]

by March 1, 2021 India
A meeting between special representatives of India and China on  boundary question – Ajit Doval (L) and Wang Yi (R) – is on the cards

The Zen Of Ladakh Disengagement

The reduction of military tensions in Pangong Tso has become a matter of heartburn for sections of the media and the fraternity of India’s ‘China hands’ — and possibly, hawkish elements within the establishment — who scoff at the very notion of peaceful resolution of territorial differences with China now or ever. What we see is a calibrated attempt to[Read More…]

by February 27, 2021 India
Disengagement between Chinese and Indian forces at the banks of the Pangong lake in Eastern Ladakh 

India’s forever wars and forever warriors

India also has a powerful pro-American lobby clamouring for “forever wars”. Sinophobia feeds into it seamlessly. This lobby will only gain ascendancy, as India develops a defence industry and the corporate interests and their eventual nexus with the defence establishment come into full play, inevitably, in the domain of foreign and security policies. *** The Washington-based Quincy Institute, arguably the[Read More…]

by February 25, 2021 India
India completes two years of operations in Chabahar Port

With eye on Biden, India’s Iran diplomacy shifts gear

By a fortuitous happening, the top South Block official  heading the Pakistan-Afghanistan-Iran Division in India’s External Affairs Ministry, J.P. Singh was in Iran in the weekend, hot on the heels of the senior Taliban leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar. It is improbable they met. It is equally improbable that the Indian diplomat failed to take note of the Taliban co-founder’s[Read More…]

by February 9, 2021 World
Biden’s Idea of India and Savarkar’s are poles apart

Biden’s Idea of India and Savarkar’s are poles apart

According to media reports, the US President Joe Biden has picked as many as 20 Indian-Americans for senior positions in his government, and the common thread running through them is that none of them had anything to do with the RSS or the BJP even remotely. What a curious yardstick to apply — avoid like plague India’s high-flying cultural organisation[Read More…]

by February 7, 2021 World
China cherishes Hanoi’s nay to ‘quad’

China cherishes Hanoi’s nay to ‘quad’

The 13th National Congress of the ruling Communist Party of Vietnam got under way in Hanoi on January 25, 2021. It will go on for nine days. Succinctly put, another profound test of socialist democracy is unfolding in Asia, second only to China’s. The 13th national congress of Vietnam’s ruling communist party, which began in Hanoi on Jan 25 Monday[Read More…]

by February 3, 2021 World
Preview signals Biden’s foreign policy shifts

Preview signals Biden’s foreign policy shifts

In his first media interview, the incoming US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan has given a preview of Joe Biden administration’s foreign policy directions in regard of Russia, Iran and China. Major shifts can be expected in the policies toward both China and Iran while selective engagement of Russia is on cards. First, Russia. Sullivan noted that it was “most[Read More…]

by January 15, 2021 World
Nepal’s Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli (R) received the vice-minister of International Department of Chinese Communist Party Central Committee Guo Yezhou (L) at Kathmandu, Dec. 27, 2020

China’s mission to Nepal gains traction

The route India took has been bullying and it ultimately isolated India. By treating Nepali politicians as shabby buffoons to be pampered one day and collared another day, India badly exposed itself. A belief got entrenched in the Nepalese mind that we are a dangerous neighbour with evil intentions, undependable and far too self-centred and cynical. Tragically, this was despite[Read More…]

by January 11, 2021 South Asia
Modi marks distance from Trump, finally

Modi marks distance from Trump, finally

No doubt, it was a Himalayan blunder to have staged the Howdy Modi (Houston) and Namaste Trump (Ahmedabad) spectacles… Therefore, it is just as well Modi decided to mark a certain distance from Trump’s agenda, even if belatedly. Apropos of the dramatic happenings in Washington, DC, — with President Donald Trump’s ardent supporters and acolytes ransacking the Capitol Hill on[Read More…]

by January 9, 2021 India