BEIJING (Global Times): US Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin kicked off his three-day visit to India on Friday (March 19), just a week after the first summit of the Quad, an informal security grouping consisting of the US, Japan, Australia, and India. Austin is the first US official from the Joe Biden administration to visit India Austin called the India-US relationship a "stronghold of free and open Indo-Pacific region." This displays the great importance the Biden administration has attached to India and its intent to reinforce bilateral ties with India. In contrast to the US-Japan joint press statement issued on March 16, the joint remarks between Austin and his Indian counterpart Rajnath Singh on Saturday did not mention China. Qian Feng, director of the research department at the National Strategy Institute at Tsinghua University, told the Global Times on Sunday that just as many major powers, India tries to avoid taking sides between China and the US, whose competition ... » Learn More about Difficult for India to fall for US pressure over China: Global Times
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Biden comes out shooting at Russia, China and the Philippines all in the last two weeks. We no longer need to speculate how Biden will act at least in the short term. What is the US trying to do? A chess game’s first move sets the tone of the game, but there is no telling what the tactic really is — just as a movie’s first scene can either divert from or lead to a predictable outcome as circumstances and characters unfold. Openings are always studied by good players. What are these aggressive opening moves by the US in the Russian, Chinese and Philippine chess boards? Is Russia’s Putin a killer, as accused by Biden in an interview? He followed it up with “Russia will soon pay a price.” Some analysts attribute Biden’s hostility possibly to the suspicion that Russia had something to do with the expose that Biden’s son Hunter had been receiving payments from Ukraine’s oil company, and family business partners Bobulinski and Cooney coming out to show corporate communications to ... » Learn More about China to US: What ‘rule-based’ order?
One week ago, the Quad nations met in their first leader-level summit and emerged with pledges to work together on vaccines, supply chains and technology. China was not mentioned but it looms large both as a threat and an opportunity for all four – the US, Japan, India and Australia. How will the Quad engage China? Quad summit underscores Biden administration's focus on Asia Quad countries to deliver 1 billion Covid-19 vaccine doses | Asian Insider EP64 The discordant start to the first high-level US-China meeting on President Joe Biden's watch - on Thursday (March 18) afternoon in Anchorage, Alaska - during which top diplomats from both sides lectured each other in public, will only serve to reinforce the underlying rationale of the Quad: China's increasing assertiveness. The March 12 summit of the Quad - bringing together the leaders of Australia, India, Japan and the US - was notable for the announcement that it will catalyse the delivery of one billion vaccine doses ... » Learn More about How Quad nations US, Japan, India and Australia are squaring up to China
SRINAGAR: The machine guns peeking over parapets of small, sandbagged concrete bunkers and the heavy artillery cannons dug deep into Himalayan Kashmir’s rugged terrain have fallen silent. At least for now. The Line of Control, a highly militarized de facto border that divides the disputed region between the two nuclear-armed rivals India and Pakistan, and a site of hundreds of deaths, is unusually quiet after the two South Asian neighbors last month agreed to reaffirm their 2003 ceasefire accord. The somewhat surprising decision prompted a thaw in the otherwise turbulent relations between the countries but also raised questions about the longevity of the fragile peace, in part due to earlier failures. The crackdown by Indian forces and attacks by rebels have continued inside Indian-held Kashmir. The ceasefire, experts say, could stabilize the lingering conflict that has claimed tens of thousands of lives. Kashmiris say the rare move should lead to resolution of the dispute. ... » Learn More about India, Pakistan sign historic Kashmir peace deal
IN THE latest twist involving the world of cryptocurrencies, India’s government plans to impose a massive ban on the asset class. Reports have indicated that the Indian government plans to pass a bill that would ban just about every activity involving cryptocurrencies, including the possession, issuance, mining, trading and the transferring of crypto-assets. Once passed, this would make it one of the world’s strictest policies on cryptocurrencies. Government officials have said that the move is because they believe cryptocurrencies threaten the stability of financial markets, tend to fund unlawful activities and even resemble ponzi schemes. The move by the Indian government falls in line with the school of thought that cryptocurrencies could increasingly suffer bans by governments around the world. In India’s case, the move comes after an earlier ban two years ago. But last year, the courts in India overturned the decision, citing the ban as “disproportionate” after ... » Learn More about Cryptocurrencies under fire
Without a single solid case, the genocide story is being peddled by Western media that over a million Uighur Muslims are being imprisoned, tortured and killed by China, and a new round of international multibillion dollar restrictions are being applied. This is being widely spread in BBC, CNN, etc., even in various Philippine news organizations such as Rappler, Philippine Daily Inquirer and Philippine Star. On such a serious charge against an entire country, did they do research or is the usual planted data with conflicted sources being quoted and echoed around as facts — the way Western media did with the fake WMD (weapons of mass destruction) that became the excuse for invading Iraq that led to over a million civilians dead and takeover of the oil trade there? Is it the same with a dozen wars? What do the substantial facts show? Possible “outright genocide,” according to Elfren Cruz. Did this intellectual or the supposed “fact checkers” bother to check or try to reconcile ... » Learn More about Another big lie by the West: Xinjiang genocide
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The United States and China leveled sharp rebukes of each others’ policies in the first high-level, in-person talks of the Biden administration on Thursday, with deeply strained relations of the two global rivals on rare public display during the meeting’s opening session in Alaska. The United States, which quickly accused China of “grandstanding” and violating the meeting’s protocol, had been looking for a change in behavior from China, itself having expressed earlier this year a hope to reset sour relations. On the eve of the talks, Beijing had presaged what would be a contentious meeting, with its ambassador to Washington saying the United States was full of illusions if it thinks China will compromise. Sparring in a highly unusual extended back-and-forth in front of cameras, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and national security adviser Jake Sullivan opened their meeting with China’s top diplomat Yang Jiechi and State Councilor Wang Yi in Anchorage, ... » Learn More about Top US, Chinese diplomats clash publicly at start of first talks of Biden presidency
KATHMANDU (THE KATHMANDU POST/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Much has been written and spoken about Myanmar's military coup d'état of Feb 1. It has been widely condemned by all the world's democratic leaders, human rights activists and genuine friends of the people of Myanmar. Predictably, many authoritarian and semi-democratic regimes in Myanmar's neighbourhood, including fellow Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) members and China, initially issued the usual platitude of 'non-interference in the internal affairs of a sovereign state'. However, the military junta's brutal and violent crackdown on peaceful protestors is making even the presumed allies of the regime very embarrassed and uncomfortable. The justification used by the junta for overthrowing a popularly elected democratic government was the allegation of massive voting irregularities in the November 2020 general elections in which the National League for Democracy (NLD) won a thumping 83 per cent of the votes. ... » Learn More about Myanmar needs a Padauk Revolution: Kathmandu Post contributor
MANILA, Philippines — The Armed Forces of the Philippines will deploy more ships to the West Philippine Sea, not to wage war on China but to ensure the safety of Filipino fishermen. A new law recently passed by China authorizes its coast guard to use any means necessary, including firing weapons, against foreign vessels it sees as intruding on its territory. “As part of our mandate to secure the people, we will increase our visibility through the deployment of more assets,” Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, the AFP chief of staff, said at a press briefing. “I just want to make clear that our Navy presence there (West Philippine Sea) is not [aimed at waging] war against China but to secure our own people,” Sobejana added. On Monday, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana expressed concern that because of China’s new law, “accidents” might happen between patrolling ships of countries laying claim to parts of the South China Sea. DND chief ‘very concerned’ Even then he assured Filipino ... » Learn More about Military to deploy more ships to West Philippine Sea
After weeks of silence as Myanmar ’s military cracked down on civilians protesting against the Feb 1 coup, the Arakan Army (AA), a major player among the country’s more than two dozen ethnic armed groups, this week announced it was on the side of the people. “The current actions by the Burmese army and police are very cruel and unacceptable,” AA spokesman Khine Thu Khahe said on Tuesday (March 23), adding that “the oppressed ethnic people as a whole will continue to fight for their freedom from oppression”. ‘They are shooting at our kids’ heads’: in Myanmar, a dead 17-year-old’s family mourns the loss of hope The AA’s statement was significant, as it comes just weeks after Myanmar’s junta removed the militia from its list of terrorist groups as a means of establishing peace across the nation of 55 million. The AA, in seeking greater autonomy for the western Rakhine State – which is home to the Rohingya Muslim ethnic minority group – has battled against army troops since 2018. ... » Learn More about Could Myanmar’s ethnic armed groups turn the tide against the junta, with a little help from Beijing?