Saturday, June 28, 2008

Moving to a new location

Namaskar Mandali,

Just wanted you all to know that going forward all blogs will shift from my Blogspot blog site to My own website http://www.pushkarbhat.com/blogs .

I am sure you will keep visiting this new site.

Regards,

Pushkar


Monday, June 23, 2008

Is the N-Deal in National Interest?

The Left-front in the UPA has been claiming that the Nuclear deal is a reason to have more strategic tie-up with the US, and so the opposition. The real question that the Left-Front needs to ask itself is, "Is this deal in the best national interest?" It's interesting to note that basis the instructions from its handlers in Middle East the Samajwadi party has suddenly dropped its opposition to the deal. Part of the opposition may have also gone away as a possible compromise on the cases against Sahara.

The Left has been careful is saying that it opposes the deal because it is pro-US; its opposition is not because it is not in National Interest. The past convergence of the strand of National interest and the Anti-US ideologies has long disappeared. India today cannot afford to have a domestic and/or foreign policy based on ideologies. Its policies should be and are more and more based on only one Ideology and that is one of National Interest. The Jholawala's reasoning does not hold water. They need to come out of their cocoons' if they want to remain relevant in the new India.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

The nuclear deal

I think its time that the Prime Minister gather the resolve to sign the Nuclear Deal. Frankly I don't think he has much to loose. The monsoons are expected to be normal, the Oil price is going to continue to remain in the above $130 range until the US Elections are through, and Manmohan Singh is not likely to serve another term as PM.

On the other hand the communist are most likely to loose in far greater measure then they can imagine. The time to call the bluff has come. If however, the Cong-I cannot gather enough courage to make a stand then I think Manmohan should just hang his gloves. I think he is too good a man represent a party which lacks courage of conviction to do the right thing.




Firefox 2

Monday, March 24, 2008

China - The Tibet Dilemma

Cry for freedom

 

Tibet is back in news and this time not for Beijing-Lhasa Train project, but for the pro-autonomy and Anti-Chinese demonstrations. The current wave of violence happens at a time when China can least afford it and is a renewed wave that takes place after a gap of nearly 20 years. In 2008 Beijing will host the Olympics and the current demonstrations don't augur well with its plan to emerge on the world space as a super power in a otherwise uni-polar world dominated by the US.

The Chinese build up for the Olympics has meant that most of the development and investments have been focused on Beijing and a couple of large cities. This development has been at the cost of Rural China. The situation has reached a point where the Communist Party leaders from the provinces surrounding Beijing have started complaining about the . A case in point being the province of Hebei which has been suffering from a severe drought but has to make arrangements to supply a additional 300m cubic meters of back-up supplies for the 16 Million residents of Beijing.

 

_44456600_china_water_map416 
  • A network of tunnels, pumps and dams will move water from rivers in the south and west to densely-populated areas in the north
  • Two western routes cross the Tibetan plateau and move water from the upper Yangtze to the Yellow river
  • Central route will divert water from the Danjiangkou reservoir underneath the Yellow river to Beijing and Tianjin
  • Eastern route will pump water from the Yangtze to supply Shandong and Jiangsu provinces
  • The entire project is expected to cost at least $60bn, far exceeding cost of the Three Gorges Dam
  • Estimated completion date is 2010 but Beijing hopes some northern sections will alleviate water shortages in time for the Olympics
  • Critics say the diversions will drain farmland, forcibly relocate tens of thousands of people and impair water quality

A critical issue which continuously bothers the Chinese officials as well as Foreign Policy Experts across the world is whether China will implode due to this unbalanced growth. Will this implosision happen before or after the Olympics and what will be the impact of a unstable China on the US and other Western Economies?

From a geo-political perspective it would be worth conducting a scenario analysis of the shape of things to come. China today is straddled with immense internal pressures due to unbalanced growth and it will require to do some huge change in the policy to make growth more equitable for the common Chinese. Communist states have always been pretty efficient in controlling dissidents, but typically once the peoples hands have been unbound they have gone for the Political Juggler of their masters. It will be a interesting change to monitor if it was to happen pro-actively at the hands of the communist.

China will have to make the transition to a more inclusive growth model. The ramifications of this change could mean:

  • a slowdown in China's growth rate
  • a short-term drop in the metal and crude prices in the global market
  • Short to medium term impact on the availability of manufactured good from china in reliable manner
  • creation of a federal system of governance
  • and a long term shift towards a multi-party democracy

All of these and specially democracy and a federal structure will benefit china in the long term. Some real changes will also happen in terms of the current power projection by the PLA and the military-industrial complexes that it controls. The current Tibet crises is only a precursor of challenges that China may face prior the the Olympics and immediately after the event. India due to its immediate proximity will be impacted by any changes in China and needs to closely monitor the situation through all possible means.