In October 2016, women from across the African continent met at the base of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania with a charter of demands pushing for women’s right to use, control, own, inherit and dispose land. The Women2Kilimanjaro hike’s demand for more inclusive land rights proved not to be in
The forthcoming virtual summit between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison assumes considerable significance for an India-Australia strategic partnership, particularly as it comes against the backdrop of heightened friction with China for both countries.
The tale has become accepted diplomatic folklore. In the telling, it was Australia, back in 2008 in the early days of the Rudd government, that decided to scuttle the then-nascent Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, the four-way talks also involving Japan, the United States and India. To compound
China’s rise and assertive behaviour has been a source of concern to both India and Australia. While India prioritises its territorial disputes with China and China’s growing presence in the Indian Ocean, Australia is concerned about growing tensions in Sino-US relations and the undesirable
India-China tensions have recently escalated at two Himalayan flashpoints: Ladakh and Sikkim. On 5 May, scuffles broke out between Chinese and Indian soldiers near Pangong Tso, a lake that straddles the border in Ladakh. At the same time, there were skirmishes near Nathu La, a mountain pass that
As worrying details about the month-long India-China border dispute continue to pour in, Donald Trump, in his signature style, has muddied waters in two significant ways.
First, on Wednesday morning, he tweeted: “We have informed both India and China that the United States is ready, willing and
A four-country bulwark against Beijing's regional dominance is an idea whose time has come. To make it work, New Delhi must be convinced to join in. Originally published in the Australian Financial Review
As India and Australia prepare for a virtual summit next month between prime ministers amid the coronavirus pandemic, a possible strategic initiative could involve the cooperative use of their respective island territories in the Indian Ocean for strategic purposes. India’s Andaman and Nicobar
The present phase of India-China relations emerged from the desire and imperative to reset relations after the Doklam standoff in 2017 and the realisation that, despite the persistence of major differences between them, India and China have significant areas of cooperation both in the bilateral and
Governments around the world are working hard to convince their populations to download the various Covid-19 infection tracing apps. As well as potentially helping to stymie the spread of the virus, the app download numbers serve another purpose: they could be read to indicate how much trust there
In recent times, Australia has been searching for ways to support its Pacific “family” through the Covid-19 crisis with an eye on China’s moves. India has also been trying to help countries in the Indian Ocean region amid China’s growing influence. Responses to the corona crisis have so far
It remains one of the proudest moments, not only for India’s space program, but as a landmark in the history of the country. Forty-five years ago, on 19 April 1975, the rocket thrusters fired to launch India’s first indigenous satellite. It was named Aryabhata, yet like many initial forays
Many people assume that South Asia is a sitting target for coronavirus, with potentially millions of deaths leading to an impoverished and destabilised region just around the corner. That might well happen, and the countries in the region are locking down. But there are also reasons to think that
Covid-19 will no doubt have many long-term consequences for our region that we can now only begin to imagine. One consequence that is easy to imagine in the face of a distracted and internally focused United States will be Australia’s greater reliance on regional security partners, such as Japan
Crises have a way of shining a penetrating light and exposing the fissures in a society – or conversely, the exact nature of what holds it together. It is something we are seeing right now, the world over.
While India seems to have sidestepped the worst of the pandemic for now, what the crisis
Whatever else the rapidly evolving and increasingly global health crisis may or may not do, it’s shining an unforgiving light on the relative capacities of national health systems. Even more importantly in the longer-term, perhaps, it’s providing a searching examination of political leaders, and
The Indian Air Force last week evacuated 112 people stranded in Wuhan, one of several operations by India to the the Chinese city at the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak. But while India is one of many countries to help its citizens in need, what was also striking about this particular mission&
Parts of India’s national capital have been rocked by the worst communal violence in decades, leaving more than 40 dead.
The violence took place just as Australia’s Trade Minister Simon Birmingham led a large trade delegation to the country, with talk in the lead-up to the visit about the
On a cold winter’s morning in November 1984, after travelling nearly 48 hours from the south of India, I stepped off a train in New Delhi. Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had been assassinated by her Sikh bodyguards, and the capital had become the epicentre of one of the most violent pogroms in
A general rule of South Asian politics might be that every action taken by India has an equal and opposite reaction in Pakistan. This may not be strictly true, but it gives a sense of how Pakistan continues to define itself against India, and how ideas and developments in the country seem to form in
In this month’s election to the Delhi Legislative Assembly, Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Adami Party (AAP or the Common Man Party) won another landslide victory, claiming 62 of the 70 seats. This left only eight for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) that currently rules India under Prime Minister
“India is not going to be a bastion of Western liberalism”, declared Stephen Harper, the former Prime Minister of Canada, at the inaugural session of the Raisina Dialogue, hosted by the Observer Research Foundation in New Delhi. “Although it’s a democracy”, Harper continued, “India has
Created in 2016, the Raisina Dialogue has quickly become India’s premier event on foreign policy and strategic affairs, with the aim to increase engagement of global actors with Asia and of Asia with the world. It is no coincidence that the dialogue started shortly after the Narendra Modi–led
Early in the new year, India’s defence industry witnessed a rare moment of glory when the domestically developed light combat aircraft made its first-ever landing on the navy’s aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya. It was a major achievement for the Indian navy – a force that has spearheaded
At the moment, two of the big stories in the Indian headlines are the country’s persistent economic slowdown and the announcement that the perpetrators of the notorious 2012 bus gang rape will be hanged.
For the former, India’s growth expectations have declined alarmingly. The IMF this week
India’s decision in the final months of last year to withdraw from negotiations for the mega-regional trade agreement known as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) disappointed the countries of Southeast Asia, which are also members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (
Recent years have witnessed a dramatic transformation of the Indian-Australian strategic relationship. While Australia worried about India’s naval expansion in the late 1980s, and recalled its high commissioner from New Delhi after India’s 1998 nuclear tests, India and Australia are fostering a
When the Indian government imposed a communications gag on Kashmir in the middle of night on 4 August this year, no one expected it to be so prolonged.
The next day, India removed the region’s autonomy, which Kashmir had secured after its king acceded to Indian union following the partition of
As 2019 winds up, Lowy Institute staff and Interpreter contributors offer their favourite books, articles, films, or TV programs this year.
A comedian with a keen eye for the ridiculous, Hasan Minhaj could not have plotted a more paradoxical situation. Sitting outside the “Howdy Modi” (yes
India is planning a more expansive approach to economic engagement with Australia just as Australia gears up to restart formal negotiations on a bilateral trade deal, which may possibly involve a narrower agreement than the previous lapsed talks.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison’
Scott Morrison is due to make his first trip to India as Australian Prime Minister next month, with stops expected in Delhi, Mumbai, and Bangalore. He has announced that he will give the keynote speech at the Raisina Dialogue, a multilateral annual global conference hosted by the Indian government
It’s a testament to India’s founding fathers that the country is home to more than 200 million Muslims, and it has been a source of pride for many Indians that the country’s constitution was drafted to guarantee everyone equality under the law.
Earlier this month, the world’s
India is the most capable resident power in the Indian Ocean, but its expanding military footprint is uneven and reliant on partnerships with likeminded states.
India’s military posture and activities have been largely weighted to the western Indian Ocean. A recently published Asia Maritime
The US base on the island of Diego Garcia, in the middle of the Indian Ocean, is among the most important US military facilities in the world, and is the foundation stone of the US presence in the Indian Ocean region. It’s been a vital element in Australia’s strategic position in the region for
The word “protest” has become part of the common vocabulary in the last few months, with demonstrations in Hong Kong, the Middle East, India, and across Latin America making headlines around the world. The recent protests in Iran, particularly, have brought into focus a longstanding issue:
India has long had a reputation in Australia as being a challenging negotiator that may not share the same enthusiasm for concluding free trade agreements. India may argue that Australia has generally failed to understand the drivers of obvious offensive and defensive interests in the relationship,
In the wake of escalating US-Iran tensions in the Persian Gulf, the geopolitical realities of the Asian region are rapidly changing. New strategic alliances are being formed as old partnerships give way.
A good example is the trouble surrounding a three-way transit agreement between Iran, India,
Last week, India’s Supreme Court decided in favour of Hindus in a decades-long dispute over a holy site in the country’s north. By doing so, the court also did a number of other things: it planted a flag in the judiciary’s siding with the Hindu right, and with it, the government, and it
Review: William Dalrymple, The Anarchy: The East India Company, Corporate Violence, and the Pillage of an Empire (Bloomsbury, 2019)
In his new book, The Anarchy, renowned historian William Dalrymple tells the remarkable story of how the East India Company (EIC) managed to replace the mighty Mughal
Over its 18-year existence, Shanghai Cooperation Organisation has mostly been in the spotlight as a forum for security cooperation, starting with the 2001 Convention that branded crimes of extremism, separatism, and terrorism as extraditable offences. The region is still facing significant security
On 2 November, the Government of India’s Press Information Bureau released two maps that show all of the former (but contested) princely state of Jammu and Kashmir as now comprising two entities: the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and the Union Territory of Ladakh. Both belong to India. All
As India struggles to manage China’s economic and diplomatic influence in its immediate neighbourhood, it has recently made progress in building more robust ties with four crucial island states in the Indian Ocean: Mauritius, the Maldives, Seychelles, and Sri Lanka. What has been done – and what
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo gave a foreign policy speech to the Heritage Foundation on Tuesday. Australia’s foreign policy analysts can be very grateful for these candid remarks, because they should prompt Canberra to rethink its policy stance on the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (the “
The Indian government’s lockdown of the strategic and volatile region of Kashmir is entering into its third month. Thousands of troops are deployed in the valley with shoot on sight orders in place, the internet remains cut off, while mobile phones lines have only just been restored.
You may have seen photos in recent days of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi hunched over a beach, picking up rubbish. While the images presented an opportunity for media to write about ocean pollution, there was actually an even bigger event at play: an informal summit between India and China.
Despite the modern proliferation of free trade agreements, there is an enormous gap between free trade as it is understood and advocated by those who benefit from it, and free trade as it is practiced today. The understanding of economic integration is diverse and complicated – at its heart sits a
Increasingly, we are seeing reports that senior Indian politicians want India to obtain what New Delhi calls “Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir” (POK). It’s hard to know how seriously to take such remarks. Some Indians certainly aspire to reunify India by obtaining areas “occupied” by other
A rare image on social media of Indonesian paratroopers dropping into the troubled West Papua province this month was a stark reminder that, even in the age of 24/7 news, governments are good at keeping the cameras, and the world’s attention, away from persecuted communities.
West Papua – the
During Narendra Modi’s first five years in office, the Indian prime minister made 93 foreign visits, equalling the number of trips his predecessor, Manmohan Singh, made over an entire decade. At an average of more than 18 visits every year, Modi also travelled far more than his counterparts. In