All Posts (33)

Developments in Japan

Japanese PM Abe to visit India in December for Annual Summit

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is scheduled to visit India in mid-December 2019 for the Annual Summit between the Prime Ministers of India and Japan. Indications are that the venue of the Summit is likely to be Guwahati, Assam as Japan has undertaken several infrastructure development projects in the north east of India which aid connectivity with south east Asia. Moreover, PM Modi likes to hold such…

Read more…

The US-China Trade and Technology War

Even though the APEC Summit in Chile has been called off and shifted to Spain, there is still chance of a ‘phase – one’ trade deal between the United States and China by early December 2019. There are also doubts whether such a deal will have anything important for the two protagonists to dial down the tariff hikes which have already been implemented. China appears to have hunkered down to play its usual waiting game without making any serious concessions. Whether that would enable President…

Read more…

Developments in Hong Kong

Huge victory for pro-democracy candidates in District Council Elections

District Council elections in Hong Kong on 24 November 2019 saw a 70% turnout of the electorate a staggering figure never experienced before in that island city. Early results show that pro-democracy candidates have won big in these elections clearly indicating the wishes of the Hong Kong people including on the student led protests which have roiled HK over the past 6 months. What remains to be…

Read more…

Developments in China

Fourth Plenum of 19th Central Committee held at Beijing

Finally, the 4th Plenary Session of the 19th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China was held at Beijing on 28-31 October 2019. Analysts had been commenting on the fact that there was a huge time lag between the 3rd and 4th Plenums speculating about its implications for Xi Jinping’s leadership. The 4th Plenary Session focused on the theme of “System…

Read more…

Overview - November 2019

Japan:

• Japanese PM Abe to visit India in December for Annual Summit
• Japan-South Korea decode to continue with their bilateral GSOMIA

  • Japan hosts G-20 Foreign Ministers Meeting

China:

• Fourth Plenum of 19th Central Committee held at Beijing
• US Vice President Spence elaborates on US Policy towards China

  • India and China announce 70 activities to…
Read more…

The US-China Trade and Technology War

A ray of light in the trade and technology war
 
Chinese Vice Premier Liu He led a Chinese delegation to the United States in early October 2019 for yet another round of negotiations on the trade war between the two countries. On 11 October 2019 a cease fire seemed to have taken effect when the US suspended a tariff hike on $250 billion of Chinese imports from 25% to 30%. In return, China is reported to have promised to $ 40 – 50 billion of US farm products. In…

Read more…

Developments in Hong Kong

Protest and violence continue in HK
 
After a relatively peaceful 2 week period in Hong Kong, protests once again rocked the island city on the week end of 19-20 October 2019 indicating that its troubles may not yet be over and that there is a deep wellspring of support for the over 4-month long protests in that city. Despite a strong warning from President Xi a few days earlier that bones may be crushed in HK if the protests continue, the fact that the…

Read more…

Developments in China

2nd India – China Informal Summit at Mamallapuram
 
President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Modi held their 2nd Informal Summit at Mamallapuram in Tamil Nadu on 11-12 October 2019. Coming about 18 months after the first such Summit at Wuhan in April 2018, the meeting of the two leaders has imparted a sense of balance, of being on an even keel and being forward looking to the relationship between the two most populous countries of the world.…

Read more…

Developments in Japan

Enthronement of Japanese Emperor Naruhito
 
The enthronement ceremonies to mark the rise to office of new Japanese Emperor Naruhito took place at Tokyo on 22-23 October 2019. While he became Emperor on 1 May 2019 upon the abdication of his father Emperor Akihito, the current ceremonies were aimed at the rest of the world with foreign dignitaries being invited for them. Prince Charles of the UK, King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands, King Felipe VI of Spain,…

Read more…

Overview - October 2019

Japan:

• Enthronement of Japanese Emperor Naruhito
• Typhoon Hagibis hits Japan

China:

• 2nd India-China Informal Summit at Mamallapuram
• Pakistan PM Imran Khan’s visit to China
• Chinese President Xi visits Nepal• 9th Xiangshan Forum held at Beijing

Hong Kong:

• Protest and Violence continue in Hong Kong
•…

Read more…

The US-China Trade War

Negotiations between the US and China 

Negotiations between the US and China are to resume on their trade and technology war later in October. While this by itself is a good signal, it appears difficult to see any quick end to this imbroglio. The fact that US President Trump has resisted to implement further tariff increases scheduled for 1 October 2019 is also a positive sign by itself. Where the negotiators of the two countries can find meeting ground given…

Read more…

Developments in Hong Kong

Protests continue and mar Chinese National Day

Protests continue for the fourth straight month in Hong Kong even marring China’s National Day on 1 October 2019. A protestor was shot by HK police – the first time such an incident has happened during the current round of protests. This indicates that HK people continue to be sore with governance in the special administrative zone. In his speech at Beijing, President Xi continued to pay lip service to the “one country,…

Read more…

Developments in North Korea

North Korea tests an apparent SLBM

On 1 October, North Korea once again tested some missiles which could possibly be sea launched ballistic missiles, according to South Korean experts who tracked the launch. Simultaneously, North Korea also announced that there would be a resumption of dialogue with the United States at the Vice Minister level. So, North Korea continues to desire rapproachment with the US and will continue talks with them, while at the same time…

Read more…

Developments in Japan

Malabar Naval Exercise 2019

The trilateral India – United States – Japan naval exercise Ex. Malabar, the 23rd edition of this exercise (which in its earlier editions was an India – US one) kicked off last week off the coast of Japan. Its objective is to further strengthen naval cooperation and inter-operability amongst the Navies of the three countries based on shared values and principles. The Indian Navy has deployed 2 indigenously designed and built ships – INS…

Read more…

Developments in China

China celebrates the 70th Anniversary of the Founding of the People’s Republic

1 October 2019 marked the 70th Anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. It was marked by a major military parade in Beijing where General Secretary Xi Jinping took the salute and delivered an important address to the nation. Talking from the same Tiananmen Rostrum where Mao Zedong had proclaimed the founding of the People’s Republic, Xi focused on the great strides…

Read more…

Overview - September 2019

Japan:

• Malabar Naval Exercise 2019
• Meeting of Quad Foreign Ministers
• Consumption Tax Hike Comes into effect

China:

• China celebrates the 70th Anniversary of the Founding of the People's Republic
• Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi refers to Kashmir in his UNGA speech
• President Xi Jinping of China slated to visit India for 2nd Informal Summit…

Read more…

Overview - August 2019

Japan:

• Japan-South Korea Relations Deteriorate

China:

• China's Reaction to Revocation of Article 370
• Visit to China of EAM Dr. Jaishankar
• Hong Kong
• Taiwan

The US – China Trade and Technology War


Differences Persist Despite Discussions…

Read more…

Differences Persist Despite Discussions

President Trump tweeted that he was the “Chosen One” as far as the trade war with China is concerned, implying that he was the only one to have the guts to take on China frontally. Further rounds of discussions are scheduled for September this year. Meanwhile, the U.S. has extended a reprieve for Huawei by another 90 days. Both sides continue to increase tariffs levied on the exports of the other side, indicating that…

Read more…

Developments in China

China's Reaction to Revocation of Article 370

China reacted strongly to the abrogation of Article 370 and Article 35A of the Indian Constitution, stating that unilateral changes impacting the boundary issue between India and China are “unacceptable”. In turn, the Indian Government has conveyed our views to China that these changes are entirely domestic and do not have any implications for India’s external boundaries, the Line of Actual Control…

Read more…

Developments in Japan

Japan- South Korea Relations Deteriorate

Over the past few months, relations between Japan and South Korea have taken a sharp downturn and last week the South Korean government announced that it was withdrawing from an agreement to share military intelligence with Japan. The arrangement known as GSOMIA (General Security of Military Information Agreement) was concluded some years earlier at the behest of the United States since it is one of the foundational agreements…

Read more…

About the Author

Ambassador Gautam Bambawale

Former Ambassador of India to China and Distinguished Fellow, Ananta Centre

Ambassador (Retd) Gautam Bambawale was a member of the Indian Foreign Service from 1984 to 2018. He was India’s Ambassador to Bhutan, Pakistan and China.

Bambawale was stationed in Washington DC in 2004-07 during the Indo-US nuclear deal which transformed ties between the two countries. He has been India’s first Consul General in Guangzhou (China) 2007-09. He was Director of the Indian Cultural Centre, Berlin 1994-98.

Ambassador Bambawale worked in the Prime Minister’s Office 2002-04. At the Ministry of External Affairs he was Joint Secretary for East Asia from 2009-2014. Bambawale has dealt with China for 15 years of his 34 year diplomatic career. He is fluent in Mandarin Chinese and German.

Ambassador Bambawale is currently Distinguished Professor, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Symbiosis International University, Pune and teaches a course on Diplomacy and International Governance at the Symbiosis School of International Studies. He has an M.Phil. in Economics from the Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics, Pune.