1. Germany launches Indo-Pacific strategy giving key importance to India

Germany launched its Indo-Pacific strategy with India. Berlin also announced that it will work to maintain rules-based order together with partners in the Indo-Pacific region. To this end, it will cooperate with India and Japan for UN Security

“As an internationally active trading nation and proponent of a rules-based international order, Germany – embedded in the European Union – has a great interest in participating in Asia’s growth dynamics and in being involved in shaping the Indo-Pacific region, as well as in upholding global norms in regional structures,” suggested the strategy outlining Germany’s key principle for the region. (Source: Economic Times)

2. Moscow: Indian defence minister meets Chinese counterpart

Indian Defence minister Rajnath Singh held talks with his Chinese counterpart Wei Fenghe in Moscow. The talks are said to have hit a deadlock as observers suggest no common ground for a conclusion between the two.

Rajnath Singh “emphasised that the actions of the Chinese troops, including amassing in large numbers their aggressive behaviour and attempts to unilaterally alter the status quo, were in violation of bilateral agreements and not in keeping with the understandings reached between the special representatives of the two sides,” the Indian statement said.

Wei Fenghe, state councillor and Chinese defence minister, said that “both sides should scrupulously implement the consensus reached between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping and continue to solve the issues through dialogue and consultation, strictly follow the various bilateral agreements, strengthen the regulation of frontline troops and not undertake any provocative actions that might escalate the situation,” the Indian statement said.

Singh stated, “clearly that while the Indian troops had always taken a very responsible approach towards border management, at the same time there should be no doubt about our determination to protect India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

3. China Says It Strongly Opposes India’s Latest Ban On 118 Mobile Apps

The Chinese government on Thursday objected and expressed concerns over India’s decision to ban 118 mobile applications.

Speaking at a press briefing, Gao Feng, the spokesperson of Chinese Commerce Ministry, said India had abused national security by imposing “discriminate restrictions” on Chinese companies, state-run Global Times reported.

Urging India to reconsider its move, Gao said, “China-India economic and trade cooperation yields mutual benefits.” Source: New Indian Express

4. Can’t lose an inch of territory: China after defence ministers meet

After the defence ministers of India and China concluded talks in Moscow, China made a statement blaming India for the Sino-Indian dispute. Beijing claimed that India is “entirely” responsible for the border stand-off in Ladakh and that China will not lose “an inch of its territory.” India and China have been witnessing simmering tensions at the LAC (Line of Actual Control), which serves as the de factor border between the two neighbors.

5. Pakistan trying to politicise UNSC’s terrorist listing process, says India

Five permanent and non-permanent members of the UN Security Council — the US, UK, France, Germany, and Belgium — blocked an attempt by Pakistan to list two Indians under a UN Security Council regime targeting international terrorism.

The 1267 UN list of terrorists is a global list, under the UNSC. The list has numerous Pakistani names featured on it. Pakistan has been trying to get Indian names on the list.

T S Tirumurti, India’s Permanent Representative to the UN in New York tweeted:

6. India proposes G-20 principles on cross-border movement

India on Thursday proposed the development of voluntary ‘G-20 Principles on Coordinated Cross-Border Movement of People’.

A Ministry of External Affairs statement said, “External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar proposed the development of voluntary ‘G20 Principles on Coordinated Cross-Border Movement of People’ with three elements: a) Standardisation of testing procedures and universal acceptability of test results; b) Standardisation of ‘Quarantine procedures’; c) Standardisation of ‘movement and transit’ protocols.”

He also called on governments around the world to ensure that the interests of foreign students are protected and the movement of stranded seafarers back to their home country is facilitated. Source: The Indian Express

7. India to host QUAD

The ministry of external affairs has confirmed that India will be hosting the Quad foreign ministers meet later this year. “We look forward to holding QUAD meet later this year and details are being worked out,” Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said on Thursday.

Australia, Japan and the United States. Apart from the Quad meeting, details are also being worked out for the India-US 2+2 dialogue

8. Thailand halts Kra canal project

Thailand has been delaying plans to conduct a $ 724 million purchase of two Chinese submarines and expressing interest to replace Chinese proposal to build a canal in the Bay of Bengal with its own project. The deal reportedly witnessed public outrage in Thailand.

China aimed at building a canal at Thailand’s Isthmus of Kra to reduce Thai reach to the Indian Ocean Region (IOR). The Kra Canal was supposedly a part of China’s String of Pearls.

Thai government spokesperson Anucha Burapachaisri announced Monday Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha – also defence minister – had “requested the navy to consider a delay” in the purchase of the two additional submarines. Angry Thais took to social media to criticise the deal, and the hashtag “People don’t want submarines” trended on Twitter.

9. U.S. announces accord between Serbia and Kosova

It seems likely that hostility between Kosova and Serbia will dilute as they have agreed to normalise economic relations. U.S. President Donald J. Trump on Friday announced the historic pact. “A truly historic day,” Trump said, with Kosovo Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti and Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic sitting beside him in the Oval Office.

“Serbia and Kosovo have announced economic cooperation on a broad range of issues.”

The United States of America urged Serbia to recognise Kosova as a full-fledged state.

10. Japan adds India, Bangladesh to relocation subsidiary

Japan has added India and Bangladesh to its relocation subsidiary, resulting in which Japanese manufacturers will now be eligible for subsidies if they shift production out of China to India or Bangladesh.

By Kunjan Ahluwalia