Posts tagged ‘John Kerry’

16/06/2016

U.S., India and Japan Begin to Shape a New Order on Asia’s High Seas – India Real Time – WSJ

From the waters of the Philippine Sea this week emerged a partial outline of Washington’s vision for a new Asian maritime-security order that unites democratic powers to contend with a more-assertive and well-armed China.

A U.S. Navy aircraft-carrier strike group along with warships from India and Japan jointly practiced anti-submarine warfare and air-defense and search-and-rescue drills in one of the largest and most complex exercises held by the three countries.

The maneuvers were being tracked by a Chinese surveillance vessel, a U.S. Navy officer aboard the carrier USS John C. Stennis said on Wednesday. Last week, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said Beijing hoped the training “will be conducive to regional peace, security and stability.

”Washington and Tokyo have long cooperated closely on defense. And the U.S. has been working to deepen strategic ties with India and to encourage New Delhi to play a more active role, not just in the Indian Ocean but also in the Pacific, as China’s rise shifts the regional balance of power.

Americans are looking for those who can share the burden,” said C. Raja Mohan, director of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace’s India center. A strengthened three-way partnership among the U.S., Japan and India is “an important strategic shift.”

Source: U.S., India and Japan Begin to Shape a New Order on Asia’s High Seas – India Real Time – WSJ

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07/08/2015

China’s Unsinkable Aircraft Carriers – China Real Time Report – WSJ

What should the U.S. do about China’s increased assertiveness in the South China Sea? As the Brookings Institution’s Michael O’Hanlon writes:

Beijing claims almost the whole sea—land formations, seabeds and open waters alike—and of late has been literally creating new facts on the ground, constructing 2,000 acres of artificial islands where only shoals or sand bars once existed. Beijing now says those efforts are nearly complete but acknowledges plans to place military assets on the islands, some of which may include substantial airfields.

Washington is deeply concerned and should continue pushing back against any Chinese enforcement of its “nine-dash line” claim to 85% of the region’s map. But the U.S. can’t stop China from building or modestly militarizing its new islands, nor should it try. Even if it rattles nerves from Tokyo to Manila, Hanoi and Washington, Beijing’s campaign is little more than an asymmetric way of establishing regional military presence—and one that even mimics American behavior over the years.

via China’s Unsinkable Aircraft Carriers – China Real Time Report – WSJ.

18/06/2015

India’s Modi Makes Ramadan Call to Pakistan’s Sharif – India Real Time – WSJ

In the latest gesture between the two nuclear-armed neighbors, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi called his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif to greet him ahead of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which starts this week.

During the conversation, which lasted for around five minutes, Mr. Modi announced the release of detained Pakistani fishermen as “an act of goodwill,” Mr. Sharif’s office said in a statement Tuesday evening.

The released Pakistani fishermen “will be able to be with their families to observe this blessed month,” Mr. Modi said on social networking site Twitter. Details on the number of fishermen to be released and the timing were not disclosed.

In response, Mr. Sharif said in a statement that the two nations should “forget their differences and talk of war, and move towards peace and tranquility.”

Pakistan and India should co-exist peacefully as they are neighbors, and they should not let their bilateral differences become hurdles in that path,” the statement added.

Mr. Modi first extended an olive branch to Pakistan when he invited Mr. Sharif to his swearing-in ceremony after his election last year, but since then, the fragile ties have soured with inflammatory remarks from both sides.

 

During a visit to Bangladesh earlier this month, Mr. Modi accused Pakistan of creating “nuisance” and “constantly troubling” India by promoting terrorism. Meanwhile, Indian military action along its eastern border with Myanmar last week rattled Pakistani leaders, who accused India of backing terrorist attacks on their land and slandering Pakistan at international forums.

Further, Pakistan last month refused to grant visas to Indian yoga instructors ahead of the first International Day of Yoga. India retaliated by rejecting the visa application of a Pakistani official to travel to New Delhi.

India and Pakistan have fought three wars since the partition of British India in 1947. Two of those conflicts were over the disputed region of Kashmir. New Delhi accuses Pakistan of sponsoring extremist groups that target India, while Islamabad accuses India of supporting terror outfits on their soil.

Cricket has often served as a diplomatic tool to ease relations though.

In February, Mr. Modi called Mr. Sharif to convey his best wishes for the 2015 Cricket World Cup. And in March, he again called the Pakistani prime minister to inform him about the visit of the Indian foreign secretary to his country as part of a tour of India’s neighbors.

Analysts feel Mr. Modi’s telephone call Tuesday could help resume dialogue between the two hostile nations.

“It is an optimistic development, a sign of goodwill in breaking the ice with Pakistan,” said Lalit Mansingh, a former Indian foreign secretary and one-time ambassador to the U.S.

But, “there is far too much a negative experience between the two countries to call it a diplomatic breakthrough,” Mr. Mansingh added.

Referring to Tuesday’s telephone call, Mr. Sharif said it reflected Mr. Modi’s wish “for good ties.”

via India’s Modi Makes Ramadan Call to Pakistan’s Sharif – India Real Time – WSJ.

29/01/2015

China eyes mass innovation, entrepreneurship as new engine – Xinhua | English.news.cn

China’s State Council pledged to take various steps to create an amicable environment for innovation and entrepreneurship in order to power growth and generate jobs.

China should embrace the trend of mass entrepreneurship and innovation in the Internet age, a statement released after an executive meeting of the State Council presided over by Premier Li Keqiang said.

The statement said China will foster a platform offering low-cost services in a variety of areas to micro businesses and individual start-ups that show innovation.

The government will also step up policy support, such as simplifying registration procedures and giving subsidies, to innovative businesses. They will improve financing systems to give special support to start-up companies, according to the statement.

Although China’s broader economy is slowing, China’s young entrepreneurs are driving a wave of startups that has become a bright spot for the economic landscape and an important engine for future growth.

The number of newly founded companies in China surged almost 46 percent year on year to 3.65 million in 2014, the latest data showed.

via China eyes mass innovation, entrepreneurship as new engine – Xinhua | English.news.cn.

12/01/2015

India’s industrial output likely recovers as Modi pushes reforms | Reuters

Indian industrial output probably made a tepid recovery late last year due to weak demand at home and abroad, underscoring the challenges faced in 2015 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi as woos global investors this week.

Employees work on an assembly line of Hero Motocorp during a media tour to the newly opened plant in Neemrana, in the desert Indian state of Rajasthan, October 20, 2014. REUTERS/Anindito Mukherjee

To accelerate the recovery in Asia’s third largest economy from its longest slowdown since the 1980s, Modi has pushed through a raft of economic reforms, mostly by executive orders.

But global headwinds, lukewarm domestic demand and unused industrial capacity mean capital investment has not picked up and the economy remains way below potential.

Retail inflation – still a major issue for Asia’s third largest economy though it fell to an all time low in November – probably rose sharply in December fueled by higher food prices.

via India’s industrial output likely recovers as Modi pushes reforms | Reuters.

26/10/2014

Three major nations absent as China launches World Bank rival in Asia | Reuters

Australia, Indonesia and South Korea skipped the launch of a China-backed Asian infrastructure bank on Friday as the United States said it had concerns about the new rival to Western-dominated multilateral lenders.

China's President Xi Jinping (R) meets with the guests at the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank launch ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing October 24, 2014.  REUTERS/Takaki Yajima/Pool

China’s $50 billion Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank(AIIB) is seen as a challenge to the World Bank and Asian Development Bank, both of which count Washington and its allies as their biggest financial backers.

China, which is keen to extend its influence and soft power in the region, has limited voting rights in these existing banks despite being the world’s second-largest economy.

The AIIB, launched in Beijing at a ceremony attended by Chinese finance minister Lou Jiwei and delegates from 21 countries including India, Thailand and Malaysia, aims to give project loans to developing nations. China is set to be its largest shareholder with a stake of up to 50 percent.

Indonesia was not present and neither were South Korea and Australia, according to a pool report.

Japan, China’s main rival in Asia and which dominates the $175 billion Asian Development Bank along with the United States, was also not present, but it was not expected to be.

Media reports said U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry put pressure on Australia to stay out of the AIIB.

However, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said: “Secretary Kerry has made clear directly to the Chinese as well as to other partners that we ‎welcome the idea of an infrastructure bank for Asia but we strongly urge that it meet international standards of governance and transparency.

“We have concerns about the ambiguous nature of the AIIB proposal as it currently stands, that we have also expressed publicly.”

In a speech to delegates after the inauguration, Chinese President Xi Jinping said the new bank would use the best practices of the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank.

“For the AIIB, its operation needs to follow multilateral rules and procedures,” Xi said. “We have also to learn from the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank and other existing multilateral development institutions in their good practices and useful experiences.”

via Three major nations absent as China launches World Bank rival in Asia | Reuters.

30/09/2014

Obama-Modi Meeting Offers Chance to Reset U.S.-India Ties – Businessweek

President Barack Obama and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s meetings in Washington give the two leaders to chance to reinvigorate an economic relationship that both see crucial to growth and security.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi

The two days of talks, which began with a private dinner for Modi at the White House last night, are pivotal, U.S. officials said ahead of the summit. In addition to Obama’s sessions with Modi, Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State John Kerry will host today a luncheon for the Indian leader.

This is the first time Obama and Modi have met, and it also is Modi’s first visit to the U.S. since he was denied a visa in 2005 over anti-Muslim riots in his state of Gujarat three years earlier. Modi won a landslide election win in May, and the U.S. is seeking to repair relations while India is wooing foreign investors to revive its economy.

“The U.S. is eagerly trying to move forward with Modi in order to put the past behind them,” Milan Vaishnav, an associate in the South Asia program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, said in a phone interview. “The two sides have a foundation in terms of a bilateral government-to-government relationship and a people-to-people relationship to build on. In terms of a leader-to-leader relationship, this is almost like starting anew.”

via Obama-Modi Meeting Offers Chance to Reset U.S.-India Ties – Businessweek.

30/07/2014

US official vows to expand India trade, investment – Businessweek

The U.S. secretary of commerce has pledged to help expand investment in India’s infrastructure and to promote trade.

Penny Pritzker spoke Wednesday to business leaders in the Indian financial capital, Mumbai.

She said two-way trade has lagged in recent years but has still expanded by fivefold to $96 billion a year since 2000.

via US official vows to expand India trade, investment – Businessweek.

28/02/2014

* Report Details India’s Worst Recent Human Rights Abuses – India Real Time – WSJ

Abuses by the police and security forces including extrajudicial killings, torture and rape, as well as corruption at all levels of government, are the most significant human rights problems in India, according to a report commissioned by the U.S. Congress and published by the State Department this week.

The world’s largest democracy is also dogged by separatist violence, life-threatening prison conditions, sex trafficking of children and an atmosphere of impunity resulting from the overburdened judicial system, the “India 2013 Human Rights Report” said.

The 68-page document, released by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday to mark the 65th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights sets out a timeline of recent human rights abuses by the police, bureaucrats and security forces.

The U.S. report found continuing allegations that the police raped women, including while in police custody. Tribal girls were gang-raped in government hostels, and 48,338 child-rape cases were recorded from 2001 to 2011, the authors said.

“Some rape victims were afraid to come forward and report the  crime due to social stigma and possible acts of retribution, compounded by lack of oversight and accountability, especially if the perpetrator was a police officer or other official,” they added.

The Armed Forces Special Powers Act, which gives state governments the right to declare any state a “disturbed area,” allowing security forces to fire on any person to maintain law and order and to arrest anyone without informing the detainee of the reason for doing so, was also a cause for concern, according to the report. The law gives security forces immunity from civilian prosecution in regions where it operates.

A government-commissioned report on changes needed to the law after the gang rape of a young woman in Delhi in Dec. 2012 had said the AFSPA was being used to legitimize “impunity for systematic or isolated sexual violence in the process of internal security duties” and needed to be reviewed. The government had taken no action in this direction during 2013, according to the authors of the human rights report.

They also provided evidence of a complaint long-held by Indians: that corruption exists at all levels of government and leads to a denial ofjustice.

Nonprofit organizations, the report said, had noted that bribes typically were paid to expedite services, such as police protection, school admission, water supply, or government assistance.

“The CBI [Central Bureau of Investigation] registered 583 cases of corruption between the months of January and November,” of last year the report said.

via Report Details India’s Worst Recent Human Rights Abuses – India Real Time – WSJ.

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14/02/2014

China says 11 ‘terrorists’ killed in new Xinjiang unrest | Reuters

Eleven “terrorists” were killed during an attack in China’s far western region of Xinjiang on Friday, state news agency Xinhua said, in the latest violence to hit a part of the country with a large Muslim population.

A leading member of the ethnic Turkic Uighur community in exile said such attacks were a response to heavy-handed Chinese rule in the region and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, on a visit to Beijing, expressed concern over the state of human rights in Xinjiang, to the annoyance of his hosts.

“The terrorists, riding motorbikes and cars, attacked a team of police who were gathering before the gate of a park for routine patrol at around 4 p.m. in Wushi County in the Aksu Prefecture,” Xinhua said in an English-language report.

“Police said the terrorists had (an) unknown number of LNG cylinders in their car which they had attempted to use as suicide bombs. Several terrorists were shot dead at the scene,” it added.

Eight were killed by police and three died “by their own suicide bomb”, Xinhua said.

via China says 11 ‘terrorists’ killed in new Xinjiang unrest | Reuters.

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