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...In the past, China has admonished other countries to move beyond a “Cold War mentality”—presumably meaning engaging in relentless global competition using all means available. Yet these developments suggest that China itself may have learnt a lesson or two from it. The much touted Chinese principle of “non-interference” in the workings of other powers is past its sell-by date in Xi Jinping’s China. First, over the summer, Australians found themselves debating growing and pernicious Chinese influence in their society and politics. This has included the use of Chinese citizens as well as Australian nationals of Chinese origin as de-facto agents of China’s spy services. A five-month long investigation by a team of Australian journalists found that China is actively seeking to shape opinion in Australian universities, monitor and coerce Chinese dissidents, as well as funnel money to local politicians. ...Live Mint on Nov. 21, 2017, 11:49 p.m.
...AP For almost two and a half months, Indian and Chinese troops found themselves in a standoff in the Doklam plateau in Bhutan—the worst crisis between the two countries in three decades. That standoff ended on Monday. While both sides seem to have found acceptable face-savers, it is clear that India stands vindicated: the status quo in the Doklam plateau has been restored. Chinese bulldozers have now retreated from the disputed sliver of land (India’s core ask) even though India moved its troops out first (thus meeting a key Chinese demand). What is exceedingly interesting about how the crisis ended was its timing—a week before China hosts the annual BRICS (involving Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) summit in the coastal city of Xiamen. To be sure, the upcoming meet (which would have, by custom, included a bilateral meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi) is not the sole reason why China agreed to, what in effect is, a climbdown. ...Live Mint on Aug. 31, 2017, 4:45 a.m.
...coming soon ...ABP on Feb. 1, 2017, midnight
...What is evident is that the ebb and flow of Turkey’s trajectory in the recent years closely parallel the three of the greatest risks to the post-war liberal international order. These risks are the growing fissure between Islamism and the West – in Europe and its periphery, the rise of authoritarian leaders within ostensibly democratic frameworks, and the visible fragility of American alliances and the security architectures that sustain them. Modern Turkey, as envisioned by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk after the collapse of the Ottoman empire, was to be a staunchly secular state. The Turkish military saw to it that Ataturk’s conception of the state remained intact. ...TOI on Dec. 22, 2016, 2 a.m.
...So when – on October 27, at the sixth plenum of the 18th Communist Party of China (CPC) congress – it was announced that Xi is now, officially, a “core leader” of the Party, this may have appeared unsurprising to many. That, however, does not make this latest announcement from the CPC insignificant. In Chinese political hagiography, a core leader of the Party is one whose teachings and policies determine and drive the grand strategy of the Chinese state. Coupled to increasing speculations that Xi may seek to extend his term beyond 2017, what he and his confidantes embark on now will determine the contours of what China would look like in 2049 – the hundredth anniversary of the communist state. Only three other Chinese leaders have been anointed core leaders: Mao (posthumously), Deng Xiaoping (who invented the notion) and Jiang Zemin. Mao’s legacy was the consolidation of CPC rule. ...TOI on Nov. 1, 2016, 2 a.m.