China

Payne and Raab

Intelligence Spats: Australia, Britain And Huawei

A note of fraternal tension has been registered between the United Kingdom and Australia.  It began with Britain’s decision to permit China’s technology giant Huawei a role in the construction of the country’s 5G network.  While the decision is qualified to non-core functions, as UK officials term it, the irritations […]

Germany Munich Security Conference

Cutting The US-Iran Gordian Knot At Munich

The External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar chose the annual Munich Security Conference (February 14-16) as the forum to espouse a world order characterised by nationalism that is legally legitimate, constructive and vocal. It was intended probably as an optimal diplomatic outreach to burnish the image of India’s Hindu nationalist government […]

Surgical Masks And Coronavirus

Fashion Fetishism, Surgical Masks And Coronavirus

Entering Singapore’s Changi Airport gives the visitor a glimpse of a mask fetish.  Security guards wear it.  As do the nurses and the various personnel who man cameras like anti-aircraft batteries, noting the approaching passenger in transit with due suspicion.  The passenger, in turn, wishes to avoid showing anything that […]

Сhina And The Coronavirus Problem

Сhina And The Coronavirus Problem

Authoritarian responses, with the gloved heavy hand, will always find its admirers.  The reaction by Chinese authorities to the novel coronavirus (now named COVID-19) outbreak has been receiving its fair share of gushing praise from some medical circles.  No country builds hospitals as quickly as they do; or seal off […]

US Central Asia strategy

US Rolls Out New Central Asia Strategy

Every five to six years, roughly, the United States comes out with a ‘new’ Central Asia strategy. The Indian automobile industry might call it “facelift” — cosmetic changes to create an air of novelty, such as  a new radiator grill, a tweak in the rear bumper, exciting colour options and […]

Financial Action Task Force

Pakistan May Get Out Of The FATF Grey List Soon

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is an inter-governmental body established in 1989 by the Ministers of its Member jurisdictions, with the objectives of the to set standards and promote effective implementation of legal, regulatory and operational measures for combating money laundering, terrorist financing and other related threats to the […]

New virus in China

Is Another Black Death On The Way?

Plagues from the east are nothing new. The Black Death and other epidemics arrived in Europe from China during the 1300’s, killing a large percentage of its population. Much of this pestilence came from rats that stowed away on merchant ships coming from the east. At the end of World […]