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

India & The World

India and China end the crisis of Doklam

  • According to other sources, the two sides would also see a meeting between National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and state councillor Yang Jiechi.
  • While neither side spoke about the future of the PLA’s road construction towards Jompelri, which had sparked off the standoff on June 16 after Indian troops moved to assist Bhutanese troops in the area.
  • Chinese officials said “border troops continue to patrol the ‘Donglang’ [Doklam] area” and that China exercised “sovereignty” there, implying that Beijing, so far, did not consider the area as a disputed tri-junction.
  • At least two Indian government sources confirmed that India had agreed to withdraw troops first as a “goodwill gesture”, giving the Chinese side a facesaver. “One side had to move first,” an official said.
  • While officials denied that “any country” other than India and China had been involved, and only Bhutan was informed of the progress of talks, Russian diplomatic sources told.
  • Officials said while the crisis ahead of the BRICS summit had been averted, there was a need for bilateral engagement to clarify China and India’s position on boundary talks, the Sikkim boundary, and the location of the tri-junction.

China reacts to Japan's support for India’s position on Doklam

  • China has reacted sharply to Japanese Ambassador to India, Kenji Hiramatsu’s comments supporting India’s position on Doklam.
  • However, India has refused to react to the comments that came as the first clear show of backing from a major power on the two-month long standoff at the India-China-Bhutan tri-junction.
  • Japanese embassy said “consistent with our position on the international rule of law”, when he advised all parties concerned with the Doklam standoff not to “resort to unilateral attempts to change the status quo by force, and resolve the dispute in a peaceful manner”.
  • In its statement of June 29, the Government of Bhutan had also accused the PLA of violating its agreements, and demanded that the “status quo in the Doklam area be maintained as before 16 June 2017”.
  • As a result, Mr. Hiramatsu’s comments, that have sparked off a war of words with Beijing, are seen as direct criticism of China’s position and unqualified support for India whose troops remain on territory in dispute between China and Bhutan.
  • A Japanese embassy official told that Mr. Hiramatsu’s comments should be read as a reiteration of Japan’s traditional position on resolving disputes, and added that Japan welcomes External Affairs Minister SushmaSwaraj’s statement that the Doklam standoff should be ended through early dialogue.

India deploys more troops on China border

  • India has deployed more troops along the entire 1,400 km of the border with China in Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh in the face of heightened rhetoric by Beijing over the Doklam standoff, senior government officials said.
  • The “caution level” among the troops has been raised, the officials said on condition of anonymity. The decision followed a detailed analysis, they said.
  • The officials declined to give any figure or percentage of increased deployment, saying they cannot disclose “operational details”. The Sukna-based 33 Corps and 3 and 4 corps based in Arunachal Pradesh and Assam have been tasked with protecting the border in the east. The officials, however, said there was no enhancement of troops at Doklam.
  • Defence Minister Arun Jaitley assured the Lok Sabha that the armed forces were prepared for any eventuality amid a tense standoff between India and China in Doklam. He was responding to a question on the issue, and specifically a question based on a senior Army officer’s statement that Pakistan’s defence industry was better than India’s.
  • He said the armed forces had adequate equipment to tackle any exigency. On a CAG report that the forces had ammunition only for 22 days in case of a war, he said “significant progress” had been made on this issue.

Switzerland found India’s data security and confidentiality laws “adequate”

  • Switzerland found India’s data security and confidentiality laws “adequate” for entering into an automatic exchange of information pact, which will open a continuous access to details about alleged black money hoarders in once secret Swiss banks.
  • Swiss government has also cited decisions by other financial centres like Liechtenstein and Bahamas to enter into similar pacts.
  • Besides, Switzerland also took note of the U.S. tax authority, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), recognising India among the countries that provide an “adequate degree” of data protection for mutual exchange of tax information.
  • The fact sheet and the notification also talks about Switzerland looking to explore greater access to the Indian market, including the reinsurance sector and other financial services.
  • Taking the decision forward, the Swiss government has now notified the decision and the notification authorises the Council to notify India about the exact date when such automatic exchange must take place.
  • The implementation is currently planned for 2018 and the first set of data should be exchanged in 2019. The decision is not subject to any referendum — which means there should be no further procedural delay in its implementation.
  • The issue of black money has been a matter of big debate in India, and Switzerland has been long perceived as one of the safest havens for the illicit wealth allegedly stashed abroad by Indians.
  • The notification follows hectic parleys between India and Switzerland for introduction of the AEOI (Automatic Exchange of Information) on tax matters under the guidance of G20, OECD and other global organisations.

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