I2U2 and its Significance in the Indo-Pacific Region

The arrival of the I2U2 as a quadrilateral security structure in West Asia will act as a strategic group. Coupled with QUAD and the AUKUS, it will strengthen the position of the West in the Indo-Pacific Region. As the I2U2 focuses on the strategic concerns in West Asia as a geopolitical shift is taking place in the Western Indian Ocean, it will become a feature of the broader region with greater implications. I2U2 provides the opportunity for its members to collaborate and assist one another in six key areas. Being an economic group, it addresses the vacuum in West Asia and allows the Middle Eastern countries to view it as an alternative. With the smooth access and supply of oil being a prime aim across the world, the development of a security net under I2U2 will ensure peace and stability in the region.

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Crossing China’s Red Line: Pelosi’s Taiwan Visit on the Cards and Challenges Ahead

Recently leaked information regarding the possible visit of Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, to Taiwan in August created a diplomatic row between the US and China, pushing China to object to such a visit strongly. Pelosi is a long-time critic of China. Newt Gingrich was the last US Speaker to visit Taiwan, 25 years ago. With August being critical for President Xi Jinping’s leadership, it coincides with the Biden-Xi virtual summit. Although a statement from President Biden regarding the visit is concerning for the US-Taiwan ties, the visit being called off will only convince China that its deterrence worked and will strengthen its position over the Taiwan Issue.

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Decoding China’s Hegemony in Indo-Pacific Region and Its Repercussions

The Chinese economy is faltering, the business sector is more indebted than ever, the fertility rate (1.702) remains below replacement level, the population is ageing, and the benefit of cheap labour is eroding. China’s debt-to-GDP ratio (US$27 trillion) is 159 percent. However, China’s objective has been to reclaim its former glory by controlling Asia in the short term and the rest of the globe in the long run. The Russian invasion of Ukraine and the western world’s response have introduced a new dimension to the Indo-Pacific power struggle. China may be emboldened by the western world’s reluctance to intervene directly in the Ukrainian situation. India would need to tread carefully and traverse the rough waters in this new geopolitical context.China’s rise will continue to be a source of contention for states in the Indo-Pacific and beyond.

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Decoding the Objectives of FM Wang Yi’s Visit to India

The visit to India of Wang Yi, China’s foreign minister and State Councillor, which was kept secret until he arrived in New Delhi following visits to Pakistan and Afghanistan, had multiple objectives. China appeared to have attempted to advance its agenda in this region in light of the larger objective in the South China Sea, after assessing the geopolitical changes resulting from the Russia-Ukraine conflict. Unfortunately for Wang, Indian National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Foreign Minister Jaishankar made it abundantly clear to him that normal relations between the two countries are impossible until the border situation improves. Wang, as is customary in Chinese diplomacy, used subtly disguised concepts to argue that normalization of relations between the two countries should take precedence and that the border issue should be placed in an appropriate position—that is, given no weight.

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The Lessons for Taiwan from Russia-Ukraine Conflict

Against the backdrop of the ongoing Russia-Ukraine Conflict, there is an increasing suspicion that Beijing would follow Moscow’s lead and attempt to conquer Taiwan militarily. Ukraine’s experience should instil a stronger sense of urgency in Taiwan regarding the need to overcome bureaucratic and partisan impediments to coalescing around a military plan that is fit for Taiwan’s security environment and resource restrictions. This is an opportunity for Taiwan’s current and future leaders to instil confidence in the country’s future.

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In Search of Allies: Washington and the World

The high-profile statements of the White House administration about the reorientation of the foreign policy course from the Middle East to the Indo-Pacific region have now become a reality and are reflected in the fact that Washington has focused on the formation of military-political blocs among the countries of the region. However, the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan has raised great doubts about the reliability of US security guarantees for its allies. India is not sure of Washington’s support in the event of another escalation of the Indian-Chinese border conflict. Moreover, Beijing has become the largest market for Australia and the largest exporter of goods to the UK. It is also the main trading partner, both for Tokyo and Seoul.

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The Achilles’ Heels of China in 2022

The aggression against Taiwan, the ‘China virus’, the oppression of human rights in Hong Kong and Xinjiang, the seizure of islands in the South China Sea, and industrial espionage are phrases that have shaped the international community’s attitude towards China in the past few years. Anti-Chinese sentiment in the world has grown significantly with the onset of the pandemic and continues to grow. The lack of information about Beijing’s true role in the origin of the virus and other crimes against humanity does not allow for a final verdict on Xi Jinping’s government.
However, the ‘China containment policy’ of the United States allows us to predict what the new pain points of the People’s Republic of China in 2022 will be.

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China’s South China Sea Claims Threaten India’s Economic and Geopolitical Interests

The continued flow of commerce and naval movement in the South China Sea is vital for India. It handles around 55% of India’s trade with the Indo-Pacific region. Sustaining regional peace and stability is, thus, crucial for India. To counterbalance China’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) effort, India must leverage its geographical advantage, increasing its naval profile, ASEAN collaboration, and heritage of goodwill.

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Deuba’s Foreign Policy Amid Fluidity: Continuity or Change?

Deuba’s Foreign Policy is being watched by its neighbours as it will decide the fate of its international relations across borders. On the Nepali side, new Prime Minister Deuba has an opportunity to reach out to India and establish an honest line of communication to discuss all outstanding issues and find common grounds. Will his fifth-inning into the corridors of Singh Durbar be different or similar to his predecessors?

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Afghanistan: A New Opportunity for the Quad?

The Quad’s Indo-Pacific policy is not limited to China’s containment or the promotion of a free and open Indo-Pacific, since there are several additional areas of concern, most notably in Central Asia. US army withdrawal provides a chance to engage the Quad partners in discussions on Afghan policy and to explore alternatives to existing peacekeeping arrangements. The Quad’s participation in Afghanistan will not only rebalance power in the wider Indo-Pacific region, but will also close a crucial continental chasm in the area’s conceptualization.

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End of Oli Era: A New Start for Indo-Nepal Relations

For the second time in five months, the Supreme Court of Nepal reversed President Bidya Devi Bhandari’s decision to dissolve the House of Representatives (HoR) of Nepal. This time, it further ordered President Bhandari to appoint Nepali Congress leader Sher Bahadur Deuba as the Prime Minister by July 13, 2021. The ensuing end of the KP Sharma Oli era is likely to provide a renewed impetus to the relations between India and Nepal.

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Indian Ocean and South China Sea: Jugular Vein as Gordian Knot

At a time when China’s protracted pre-meditated military moves along India’s northern boundary are drawing the nation’s attention, it is important that India doesn’t lose sight of its surrounding seas and maritime environment.

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