All Posts (23)

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…

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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,…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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Negotiations Resume

President Trump and President Xi met on the sidelines of the G-20 Summit at Osaka and announced after their discussions, the resumption of negotiations between the two countries on their trade and technology conflict. The US stated it would not levy further tariffs, as threatened, on about US $ 300 billion worth of Chinese exports to the U.S. but would also not remove any of the additional tariffs already levied. The Chinese side played up the…

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DPR Korea (North Korea)

Chinese President Xi visits Pyongyang

Chinese President Xi Jinping made a State visit to North Korea on 20-21 June 2019, the first time in 14 years that the top leader of China was visiting that nation. Ostensibly, the visit was part of the celebration of the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the countries, but it also marked a kind of rapproachment between the two. Xi was given all the protocol courtesies…

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Developments in Japan

G-20 Summit

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe hosted the 14th G-20 Summit at Osaka on 28-29 June 2019. Although the G-20 is a gathering of countries and organizations representing the majority of the world’s GDP and should have focused on the problems of the international trading system, particularly the WTO, it was symptomatic of the times we live in that the most important meeting at Osaka was the bilateral one between President Trump and President Xi. There was a feeling…

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Overview - July 2019

Japan:

• G-20 Summit
• Japan-USA-India (JAI) interaction at Osaka

China:

• Russia-India-China (RIC) Trilateral Summit Meeting at Osaka
• BRICS Leaders Meeting at Osaka
• Hong Kong
• Next India-China Informal Summit

DPR Korea (North Korea)

• Chinese President Xi visits Pyongyang
• President Trump meets…

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Developments in China

Russia-India-China (RIC) Trilateral Summit Meeting at Osaka

PM Modi of India, President Putin of Russia and President Xi of China held a trilateral meeting on the sidelines of the Osaka G-20 Summit. While RIC have been meeting at the Foreign Minister level for several years now, a recent innovation has been the meeting of the leaders of the 3 countries on the sidelines of multilateral meetings. The fact that India was part of two very significant…

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The US - China Trade War

The US – China trade war continues without resolution, since the negotiations between the two sides broke down in acrimony in mid-May 2019. That it is not merely a trade war, but also a technology war spilling into the realm of 5G development was clear earlier too. Now it appears that the United States Government has begun to restrict the number of Chinese students being permitted to study at US Universities and in retaliation the PRC may be reducing the number of Chinese tourists visiting…

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Developments in Japan

US President Trump visits Japan

President Trump accompanied by the First Lady Melania Trump visited Japan 25-27 May 2019 as the first foreign leader to make a State Visit in the new Reiwa Era of just enthroned Emperor Naruhito. The visit symbolized the strong alliance between the two nations as well as Japan’s geo-strategic priorities. PM Abe and President Trump held discussions in which the Japanese leader described the alliance as…

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Overview - June 2019

China:

• China hosts Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilizations
• President Xi Jinping’s visit to Russia
• Protests in Hong Kong
• PM Modi and President Xi meet in Bishkek

Japan:

• US President Trump visits Japan
• PM Abe visits Iran

The US – China Trade War…

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Developments in China

China hosts Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilizations

In the backdrop of the US-China trade and technology conflict, with a view to negating the Huntington theory of a ‘clash of civilizations’, China hosted a Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilizations in Beijing on 15 May 2019. Its objective was to show Asia and the world that different civilizations could live harmoniously together. The event was considered important enough for General Secretary Xi Jinping to…

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North Korea Launches Two Short-Range Missiles

North Korea tested 2 short-range missiles on 9 May 2019, one with a range of 420 kms and the second with a range of 270 kms from its Kusong missile test site. The launches were overseen by Kim Jong Un himself and can be interpreted as an attempt by North Korea to pressure and push forward the denuclearization dialogue.

May 21, 2019

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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.