“US elects Donald Trump as President: How he handles China, Russia will be interesting”

When the history of the 21st century is written, 8 November, 2016 will be marked as a day when the worst nightmare of liberal internationalists came true with the election of the 45th President of the United States: Donald John Trump. The road from here to a global free-for-all is not far. All that would take is for Trump to carry out a small fraction of his foreign policy promises – if one can indeed call fragmentary, contradictory, stream-of-consciousness statements as such.

What President Trump means for India has already been dissected to the point where adding anything new becomes impossible, on either side of the ledger – Trump as “positive” or “negative” when it comes to India. And as umpteen commentators have already noted, the broad bipartisan support for India is something no American president can overturn overnight. Having said that the challenge for India does not lie in dealing with Trump’s India-specific policies. It lies with fire-fighting contingencies and spill-overs from his Administration’s policies elsewhere.

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“BRICS Summit: India’s hands full with Pakistan, must bide time to deal with China”

The BRICS Summit this weekend in Goa comes at a time when India-Pakistan relationship has hit a new low. Between Pakistan’s renewed intransigence in leveraging anti-India proxies to prosecute its Kashmir agenda, and India’s signal that will meet the same using limited military options, the discussions in Goa will invariably be coloured by the recent events in South Asia.

Of special interest would be the stance China takes on terrorism during the Summit and whether it will look beyond its all-weather friendship with Pakistan to accommodate India’s concerns when it comes to cross-border – and increasingly Islamist – terrorism. China’s calculations will be driven by the relative weights its puts on its geopolitical imperatives behind supporting Pakistan, its professed desire to upgrade its relationship with an increasingly assertive India, and its own vulnerabilities when it comes to Islamist terrorism in the restive region of Xinjiang.

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“BRICS Summit in Goa: Ahead of 8th conference, the bloc must focus on institution-building”

[Co-authored with Samir Saran]

When India hosts the 8th BRICS Summit in Goa next month, it will need to be the ‘B’ along with the ‘I” in BRICS. The ‘bright spot’ that infuses direction, ideas and momentum into a collective whose individual members have certainly seen better days. With a relatively strong economic performance and a vigorous and imaginative foreign policy (on most counts), India has the capacity to help the BRICS plurilateral discover a new ethos that will channel cooperative sentiments into concrete objectives, durable institutions and constructive internationalism.

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“Asian connectivity and its geoeconomic imperatives”

An essay published in the Firstpost: http://www.firstpost.com/world/raisina-files-asian-connectivity-is-more-about-the-balance-of-power-than-bringing-people-together-2647676.html. This will also be published as a chapter in the Observer Research Foundation’s “Raisina Files” volume.

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