(Current Affairs) India and The World | August : 2017

India & The World

No ban on Chinese firms: Sushma

  • External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said that denial of security clearance to a particular Chinese company which wanted to invest in India was not done as a “matter of policy” and it “cannot determine the relation between the two countries.”
  • In the Rajya Sabha, T. Subbarami Reddy (Congress) asked Ms. Swaraj that while security clearance was denied to a Chinese company, it was given to those from Japan, Korea, Italy and other countries.
  • Recently, the Home Ministry denied clearance to China Railway Major Bridge Engineering Group Ltd., which planned to construct a proposed 22-km sea-link in Navi Mumbai.
  • Ms. Swaraj replied that there was no policy under which Chinese companies were denied security permission. She objected to a member raising the issue of a particular Chinese company in the House.
  • She said Japanese or Korean companies might have got the clearance as per the existing procedure.
  • She also said there was “no quid pro quo with China” on the issue of sufferings of the Tibetan people and stapled visas being given to Arunachal Pradesh residents by Beijing.
  • On the issue of whether India remained a mute spectator towards the alleged atrocities in Tibet, she said, “We are not sitting as a mute spectator. Whenever there are differences, we raise them.”
  • The Minister said the Dalai Lama wanted to visit Tawang and “we allowed him to do so”. This is not the first time but the fifth or sixth time that he was visiting that place.

Palestine believes Israel’s closeness to India could be the reason for recent problem

  • India’s friendly ties with Israel could ‘interfere’ with the ongoing Israel-Palestinians conflict over the Al Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem, said the envoy of Palestine.
  • The Ambassador, Adnan Abu Al Haija, termed Israel’s latest security measures in Al Aqsa compound a ‘religious war’ and said Palestine expected a “positive attitude” from the Indian government.
  • “India’s present government is friendly to Israel. Previous governments were also close to Israel but this government is particularly so. India’s friendly ties with Israel could interfere with the present situation in Jerusalem,” said the envoy.
  • “The Al Aqsa mosque is an Islamic place of worship. Jerusalem is a city of three religions and we respect all religions.” He said
  • He, however maintained that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent visit to Israel which excluded a visit to the Palestinian territory did not impact ties between two sides.
  • The envoy said Israel had been trying to disturb the sanctity of the Al Aqsa mosque for a long time but for the first time since 1967 has begun the Judaisation process of the site which is holy to both Muslims and the Jewish.

India and China should work together for peace

  • India and China should work together to come up with “some better sort of arrangement” for peace, the U.S. said, expressing concern over the military stand-off in the Sikkim sector.
  • Chinese and Indian soldiers have been locked in a face-off at Doklam for over a month after Indian troops stopped the Chinese from building a road in the disputed area.
  • Expressing concern over the People’s Liberation Army’s growing assertiveness in the strategic Asia-Pacific region, a top U.S. commander said that China was exploiting its economic leverage to advance its regional political objectives.
  • The modernisation of the PLA emphasises the development of capabilities with the potential to degrade core U.S. military-technological advantages, General Paul Selva of the U.S. Air Force said.
  • Noting that a long-term, sustained presence would be critical to demonstrating the U.S. commitment to the Asia Pacific region, Gen. Selva said the U.S. would continue to develop a security network through multilateral partnerships.
  • “China’s growing military is being designed and postured to be able to protect its interests both in the Asia-Pacific region and abroad.”

India has critical role to play in breaking the stalemate in Afghanistan says US

  • India has a “critical role” to play in breaking the stalemate in Afghanistan, the U.S. Senate Committee on Armed Forces has said, calling for enhancing trilateral cooperation between Afghanistan, India and the U.S.
  • In a report accompanying the National Defense Authorisation Act (NDAA) 2018, the committee also called for enhancing the overall defence cooperation between the U.S. and India, and “eventually joint naval patrol of the Indian Ocean.”
  • Report said the committee was “concerned by a growing gap between the overarching goals of the bilateral defence relationship and the Department’s implementation of these objectives”.
  • The committee specifically noted the delay by the Pentagon in designating an individual within the Department to “coordinate and expedite bilateral defence cooperation,” as required by last year’s NDAA.
  • The lawmakers’ body said “appointing such an individual would bring a refined approach to prioritising defence cooperation and aligning it with missions like maritime awareness and anti-submarine warfare, and eventually joint naval patrol of the Indian Ocean.”
  • India has been less than enthusiastic about joint patrol and cautious while expanding cooperation with the Afghan government. India has a strategic partnership agreement with Afghanistan, but its military component remains limited.
  • The report noted the “positive adjustment of U.S. export controls for defence articles sold to India” after last year’s NDAA, but called for faster progress and focussed approach.
  • It said the 2012 Defense Technology and Trade Initiative has six ‘‘pathfinder’’ initiatives, which need to be more in alignment with the Joint Strategic Vision between the two countries.

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