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  • Author: Gaurav Sharma, Marc Finaud
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Geneva Centre for Security Policy
  • Abstract: Due to the importance India attaches to potential threats to its maritime security, its diplomacy has increasingly focused on the Indian Ocean region (IOR) and it has increased cooperation with Indian Ocean states. In the last five years, India has also established security partnerships with major IOR strategic stakeholders such as France and the United States. India has increasingly invested in providing military training, weapons support and disaster relief assistance to “like-minded” states in the IOR. Due to the potential risks of escalation to nuclear-weapons use should conflict occur with other countries in the region such as China and Pakistan, it would be in India’s interests to promote more confidence and
  • Topic: Security, Diplomacy, Nuclear Weapons, Military Affairs, Missile Defense
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, China, South Asia, India, Indian Ocean
  • Author: Kyra Lüthi
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for Development and International Relations (IRMO)
  • Abstract: First association most people have when they think about Asia are countries like China, Japan or India, as they are big countries, present for a long time on the world map. During the past decades, Hong Kong and Singapore have also gained a lot of attraction worldwide as business comprise the world’s most ancient civilizations. So regardless of a country’s geographical size and sustainability, each one is vital in playing a role in the global economic and political order. Unfortunately, more often than not, the South East Asian countries and most specifically and finical hubs of Asia. These are indeed the key players in Asia but the biggest continent in the world is not only composed of these few states. It is home to 48 countries and 4.5 billion people with different ethnicities and cultures that the Philippines, if not forgotten, is commonly underestimated in the contribution that it provides in the international arena due to the multiple misconceptions about the country’s general conditions. But in reality, the Philippines has always been in the global scheme from the earliest times up to today, therefore it is important and relevant to learn more about its history, involvement and influence on relations in Asia and globally.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, International Cooperation, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, India, Asia, Philippines, Singapore, Hong Kong
  • Author: Zack Cooper
  • Publication Date: 04-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The issue: China’s increased military presence in the Indian Ocean should not come as a surprise. China is following in the traditional path of other rising powers; it is expanding its military operations to match its interests abroad. The security implications of China’s push into the Indian Ocean region are mixed. In peacetime, these efforts will certainly expand Chinese regional influence. In wartime, however, China’s Indian Ocean presence will likely create more vulnerabilities than opportunities. China’s military forays into the Indian Ocean have triggered a series of warnings. The term “string of pearls” was first used to refer to Chinese basing access in the Indian Ocean by a 2004 report for the U.S. Department of Defense. That report suggested China’s growing regional presence could “deter the potential disruption of its energy supplies from potential threats, including the U.S. Navy, especially in the case of a conflict with Taiwan.” Other scholars have warned that Beijing seeks to “dominate” the Indian Ocean region. Others suggest that the Chinese government is simply following its expanding trading interests and seeking to secure its supply lines against disruption. Although China’s presence in the Indian Ocean may permit it to increase its regional influence, Chinese facilities and forces would be highly vulnerable in a major conflict. Thus, the security implications of China’s push into the Indian Ocean region are mixed. In peacetime, these efforts will certainly expand Chinese regional influence. In wartime, however, China’s Indian Ocean presence will likely create more vulnerabilities than opportunities.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Imperialism, Military Strategy, Maritime
  • Political Geography: United States, China, India, Taiwan, Asia, Indian Ocean
  • Author: Euan Graham, Chengxin Pan, Ian Hall, Rikki Kersten, Benjamin Zala, Sarah Percy
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Australian National University Department of International Relations
  • Abstract: In this Centre of Gravity paper, six of Australia’s leading scholars and policy experts debate Australian participation in the ‘Australia-India-Japan-United States consultations on the Indo-Pacific’ - known universally as the ‘Quad’. A decade since its first iteration, the revival of the Quad presents significant questions for Australia and the regional order. Is the Quad a constructive partnership of the region’s major powers to safeguard regional stability, uphold the rules-based order and promote security cooperation? Is it a concert of democracies seeking to contain China? Or is it an emerging strategic alignment that risks precipitating the very confrontation with China it seeks to avoid? Or is it something else entirely? Euan Graham opens the debate by arguing that the Quad represents a rare second chance for Australia to cooperate with regional powers who have a shared interest is the maintenance of stability in Asia through the preservation of a balance of power. In addition to constraining China’s strategic choices beyond its maritime periphery, Dr. Graham argues that the Quad’s revival aims to send a concerted strategic signal to China along the four compass points of the Indo-Pacific region, but sufficiently restrained to avoid significant blowback from Beijing. Chengxin Pan responds that instead of forcing China to change tack, the Quad, by exacerbating China’s strategic vulnerability, will achieve precisely the opposite: prompting it to further strengthen its military capabilities. Dr. Pan argues that the nature of China’s challenge to the existing regional order is actually geoeconomic in design, as evidenced by the Belt and Road Initiative. To meet this challenge, however, the Quad’s military response is far from the right answer or an effective alternative. Ian Hall next argues that the Quad is neither a proto-alliance nor an instrument for containing China. Given that these states have so far failed to advance a coherent and coordinated line on Chinese initiatives to transform the region, Dr. Hall notes that the Quad offers something more prosaic and evolutionary: a forum for discussion and information exchange intended to lead to better policy coordination between like-minded states with a stake in the rules-based order. Rikki Kersten notes that the Japanese government wants Quad 2.0 to be seen as a Japanese initiative because it aspires to lead an ethical endeavour that reaches beyond the Asia-Pacific region. This represents a stepchange in post-war Japanese foreign and security policy thinking. Japan under Abe is seeking to harness rising insecurity to underpin its own regional leadership credentials and enhance the geographical scope of its security policy ambition. Benjamin Zala responds that the potential risks associated with sending containment-like signals to Beijing in the short-term and the potential for misperceptions over ambiguous commitments during a future crisis in the longer-term clearly outweigh the benefits of the current vague aspiration to cooperation with no clear purpose. Dr. Zala also warns against blurring the lines between formal military alliances and strategic partnerships like the Quad which increase the odds of miscalculation during times of power transition. Finally, Sarah Percy rounds out the debate by arguing that discussions of the Quad’s high politics have thus far obscured the more practical and interesting questions about how it might function and contribute to maritime security. Dr. Percy notes that that the day-to-day operations of most navies are focused on the more proximate security challenges posed by maritime crime. The Quad would yield tangible and possibly lasting benefits from such cooperation.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Diplomacy, Military Affairs, Maritime
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, India, Asia, Australia
  • Author: Lavanya Rajamani
  • Publication Date: 11-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: Article 15 of the Paris Agreement establishes a mechanism to facilitate implementation of and promote compliance with the provisions of the Paris Agreement. Along with the global stocktake and the transparency framework, this mechanism provides a means of assessing and enhancing the effectiveness of parties’ efforts toward the agreement’s long-term goals. Article 15, and the decision adopting the Paris Agrement, provide some guidance on the mechanism’s design and operation. But important aspects—including how the mechanism would be triggered and the outcomes it could produce—are among the issues to be addressed in 2018 when parties adopt detailed implementing guidance for the Paris Agreement. This brief identifies key overarching considerations, and explores the range of issues and options that have emerged with respect to specific elements of the mechanism’s design and operation.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Diplomacy, Treaties and Agreements, Policy Implementation
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: Shyam Saran
  • Publication Date: 04-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: Pupul Jayakar was influenced deeply by theosophy and became a follower of one of its best known spiritual masters, J. Krishnamurti. One of my treasured possessions is an autographed copy of her celebrated biography of the spiritual guide and teacher. This was her gift to me in the midst of the Festival of India in Japan in 1987/88, which I regard as one of our most successful forays in cultural diplomac y, showcasing the breathtaking range of cultural experiences that India has to offer. The Festival in Japan, just like the earlier Festivals in the US and France, was meticulously choreographed by Pupul Jayakar. As coordinator of the Festival in the Indian Embassy in Japan, I had the rare privilege of working closely with her, putting in place nearly 30 events – performing arts, theatre, exhibitions, fashion shows and film festivals, which eventually covered as many locations throughout Japan. Japanese TV channels carried Festival related programming of over 100 hours, all without cost, bringing Indian culture as a living phenomenon into the homes of millions of Japanese. And over this veritable cultural feast presided Pupul Jayakar, not inappropriately known as the Czarina of Indian culture. I am honoured to have been invited to deliver this address in her memory.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Culture, Soft Power, Spirituality
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: Sumona Dasgupta
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies (NTS)
  • Abstract: This paper explores how the contentious issue of Kashmir has been framed in the India- Pakistan composite dialogue which aims at building a peace process between the two nuclear armed countries locked in an adversarial relationship for over six decades. Through an item by item analysis of the eight heads of the composite dialogue, it demonstrates that barring one item, the script of Kashmir — its land, resources, livelihoods and security — runs through all of them in some form or another. Yet this top- down composite dialogue conducted by the political leadership of India and Pakistan has yielded no tangible results in resolving any of the issues around Kashmir. It is time for a new imaginative peace-building paradigm to be given a chance where the people of Kashmir, in all their diversity, are recognised as legitimate stakeholders in an inclusive dialogic process. The paper suggests that intra-Kashmir people-to-people dialogues, both within Indian-administered Kashmir and between Indian and Pakistan administered Kashmir, be allowed to acquire a meaning and momentum of their own and advocates consultative mechanisms to allow community voices and narratives to percolate into and inform the official Indo-Pakistan composite dialogue. A more people centric peace process in Kashmir is an idea whose time has come.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Military Strategy, Conflict, Peace
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, India, Asia, Kashmir
  • Author: C. Christine Fair
  • Publication Date: 06-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Gateway House: Indian Council on Global Relations
  • Abstract: Pakistan continues to receive succour from its long-time ally, the U.S., despite blundering about in its neighbourhood unabashedly- be it through righteous indignation or through generous courtesies. The external affairs ministry needs to improve its approach towards U.S. officials who are visiting India in order to better its relation with the country.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, India
  • Author: Neha B. Joseph
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: Several countries have embarked on nationwide processes to devise their ‘contributions’ towards a new global climate agreement set to be adopted at Paris in 2015. Sixty-two countries have already communicated their contributions to the UNFCCC, in pledges covering around 62.9% of global emissions in 2012. These contributions, formally known as ‘intended nationally determined contributions’ (INDCs) are expected to be the bedrock of post 2020 climate action and the building blocks of the 2015 climate deal, that is currently being negotiated by Parties. This paper discusses the emergence of this concept and outlines some of the legal and technical aspects of a contribution and their implications on ambition, adequacy and political feasibility. Section 3 analyses pledges in the submitted INDCs, with a special focus on G20 countries. The term ‘INDC’ first emerged in 2013 at the Warsaw negotiations of the Conference of Parties (COP) in a decision inviting Parties “to initiate or intensify domestic preparationsfor their intended nationally determined contributions….. and to communicate them well in advance of the twenty-first session of the Conference of the Parties (by the first quarter of 2015 by those Parties ready to do so)” For developed countries, INDCs will replace their Kyoto Protocol commitments; for developing countries, Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs) will continue to be in force as implementation tools supporting the mitigation component of their INDCs. Over the past year, countries have been negotiating to iron out differences on issues like differentiation, legal nature, scope, form and review of contributions with varying levels of success on each front.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Diplomacy, Environment, International Cooperation, Treaties and Agreements, Legislation
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia, Global Focus