The course of the US-China bilateral relationship after the American election, is what the world is looking on to. The Peoples Republic of China policy of President-elect Joe Biden is said to be a combination of former United States President Donald Trump and Barak Obama.
The US-China, two of the world’s largest economies are in continuous friction recently. Ties between the two countries have reached their lowest in decades. This looks like an ominous sign, according to experts; they believe it is the clear direction towards the crack in one of the most important bilateral relationships in the world.
Mr Biden, has to face profound dilemmas implanted by his predecessor, and a lot of unfinished business instore, piled up from Mr Trump’s onslaught against China over a few years.
US-China relation during Trump’s Era
During the Mr Trump administration, the US has seen to have put sanctions on the Chinese government and many of its officials over issues of human rights in places like Xinjiang and Hong Kong while a noticeable increase is observed in USA’s engagement with Taiwan, including sales of arms. From the outside, it looks like trade deal being brought into existence to end protracted tariff war has obstructed wherein the US has placed more restrictions on Chinese state media.
Hong Kong and Taiwan are particular flashpoints. Soon after Beijing imposing a controversial national security law in Hong Kong, Mr Trump’s administration placed sanctions on officials connected to the crackdown, downgraded the city’s special customs status and warned financial institutions against conducting “significant” transactions with anyone deemed to have undermined the special administrative region of China on the eastern Pearl River Delta of the South China Sea’s autonomy.
In Taiwan, the US is setting in high expectation by sending in high-level government visitors, increased military exercises in the region and introduced a new economic connection with Taipei. Several calls have been made to the US bring an end to its policy of “strategic ambiguity,” this is a way of the cast down Taipei from making a military move by refusing to say if the US would yet again become a saviour and come to Taiwan’s aid.
Meanwhile, Democrats and Republicans have credited Mr Trump with causing to notice China’s security dangers, and it’s out of line monetary practices like intellectual property theft, his dealings with China have likewise been value-based and conflicting. While trying to make sure about an economic alliance, MrTrump showered acclaim on Mr Jinping, postponed sanctions against China’s common freedom infringement for quite a long time and acquitted the Chinese organization ZTE for crossing paths with the US law.
Furthermore, he has utilized racist and xenophobic language, such as calling the COVID the “Kung Flu,” that has energized assaults on individuals of Asian descent around the nation.
Biden’s China policy:
Meanwhile, two decades later, Mr Biden has acknowledged that the Chinese have exploited the international system, and has called for a more aggressive approach. The Democrats along with Mr Biden, referred to the leader of China, Xi Jinping, as one of several “thugs” and Mr Trump had shown a soft heart towards Chinese, he has also assured to take a reflective stance against China.
“We need to be having the rest of our friends with us, saying to China: ‘We play by the rules. You play by them, or you are going to pay the price for not playing by them, economically’,” said Mr Biden.
In response, Mr Jinping replied that the Chinese people had learnt to “speak to invaders in a language they understand.”
He added further: “The Chinese people will not create trouble but nor are we afraid of them and no matter the difficulties or challenges we face, our legs will not shake, and our backs will not bend.”
Mr Biden has pledged to devote more resources to enhancing American manufacturing capacity, infrastructure and technological development, to ensure the US retains an edge over China even as it invests considerable sums in fields like telecommunications, artificial intelligence and semiconductors.
On Thursday, Mr Biden during a meeting with a bipartisan group of governors in his hometown in Wilmington, Delaware said: “It’s not so much about punishing China, it’s about making sure China understands they’ve got to play by the rules. It’s a simple proposition.” He further added that keeping in mind this, the US is planning to rejoin the World Health Organization (WHO).
“The China-US relationship will not go back to where it was before,” said Cheng Xiaohe, an associate professor of International Relations at Renmin University in Beijing. “The relationship is so bad.”
“As Mr Biden has arrived at the White House, we should expect to see increasing US-China tensions across a broad range of economic, political, geo-strategic, human rights and people-to-people issues for the years to come,” said Wendy Cutler, former acting deputy at the Office of the US Trade Representative, focusing on Asia.
“The mutual distrust has never been higher,” said Bonnie Glaser, director of the China Power Project at the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies. “I think many in China think the US has basically abandoned its one-China policy,” she said.
“This is likely going to be a period of continuing uncertainty on the US-China front,” said Myron Brilliant, the executive vice president of the US Chamber of Commerce. “There is no question that President Trump has adopted a tough stance on China, and this probably doesn’t give President-elect Biden a lot of political flexibility early on, but we expect a significant departure in tone, style and process.”
Though it is expected to see rising tension under Mr Biden’s administration but the game-changer, according to political analysts, is going to be his approach towards this issue in hand. Mr Biden big plan includes the administrated work with USA’s allies like Europe and Japan to pressurize China through the multilateral organizations that Mr Trump has abstained. Analysts expect Mr Biden, to work with China on issues such as climate change and response to the pandemic.
Meanwhile, Chinese strategic experts said Mr Biden entering the White House is expected to provide an opportunity for breakthroughs in resuming high-level communication and rebuilding mutual strategic trust between the two major countries.
The current scenario of the two countries are very heated with such cross swords being fired by the leaders of the two countries, this indicates the further worsening of the situation in hand and leading to no new scope for improvements in the bilateral relationship of US-China.
Mr Biden will face pressure from both Democrats and Republicans not to revert to the approach that he and many of his predecessors had earlier embraced in trying to transform China’s economic practices by bringing it into the global economy.
Congress is also relatively unified on taking a tough stance on China. Hundreds of China-related bills are circulating, including several bipartisan efforts that echo Mr Biden’s stress on competing with China by investing in the United States industries like quantum computing and artificial intelligence.
Beijing’s tactics are very well open to the world, and the US believe in ‘white man’s burden’ is all set to free the world with the disease inflicted by China on the economic front as well as the political one.
Beijing has as of late supported a policy of more prominent technological independence and a more grounded military to shield itself from a hostile United States, and pushed forward with solidifying other economic associations. On Sunday, China marked the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), a skillet Asian exchange settlement that incorporates Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand and Vietnam, and will help concrete China’s picture as the predominant economic force in the region.
It is important to note that the world shall now experience a unique turn of events with this fiery approach under Mr Biden, who is all set to continue the unfinished business of Mr Trump. Imagining a truce is hard soon between the two countries. All that is to be hoped is a peaceful stance opted by the US-China in the newfound disagreement.
All You Need To Know About National Institute Of Food Technology Entrepreneurship And Management Bill 2021
On July 26, 2021, Lok Sabha passed a bill under the ministry of Food Processing Industry. The bill is titled as National Institute of Food Technology Entrepreneurship and Management Bill, 2021. The main motive of this bill is to address issues with the Food Processing Industry, Entrepreneurship and one Institution for National Importance. With the passing of this bill, the Indian Institute of Food Processing Technology (IIFPT) and National Institute of Food Technology Entrepreneurship and Management (NIFTEM) is now merged as Institutions of National Importance, and it aims at providing various research and advancement in learning about the Food Industry and its associated branches. The bill was first introduced in the house in February 2019 but was pending due to protest by the opposition.
Significance of Institutions of National Importance (INI)
With the passing of this bill, the institutions enjoy greater autonomy through which they can carry out various courses, research attracting skilled faculties and students from all over the country and overseas. Good standards in education will be adopted to improve the present and future of education in this branch and sector, overcoming the technological gap in the country. This law aims to improve and introduce new changes in food, bio-nanotechnology, cold chain technology etc. The desired efforts will be taken in terms of human resources and infrastructure developments, labs for research etc. Liberty to open centres anywhere in India is also granted to INI and include courses regarding food technology certification and improving the workforce of the country.
Some other important features of this act are the Institution has been authorized with the Board of Government, Senate and other acting Authorities. The Council of Board will include 16 members from different branches from the same field. The Head will be Chairperson, who will be a skilled person from the Food Industry, the Director, Dean and Registrar. Members appointed from Centre and State Governments, Members from FSSAI and Council of Agriculture Research, as mentioned in the bill. The 16 members of the board will carry out work of taking administrative decisions, creating annual budgets and paths for institution progress as an organization, establishing departments, their appointment terms of services, faculties etc. The Board of Council also holds power to grant Honorary Degrees and Diplomas. The Senate shall be the principal academic body of the Institute, consisting of the people such as Director as the Chairperson; Registrar; Full-time skilled level Professor; and Three academically skilled Individuals nominated by the board from the field.
The Union Minister of Food Processing Industry, Mr Pashupati Kumar Paras, expressed his gratitude to PM Modi for this landmark step in this industry from his Twitter handle, indicating new opportunities in Food Technology Industries. Therefore, this Act looks promising on paper with new opportunities and in Educational Development. Amidst the Pegasus Spyware and repeal of the farm laws, this looks positive from the Modi Government.
लोकसभा में आज, राष्ट्रीय खाद्य प्रौद्योगिकी, उद्यमिता और प्रबंध संस्थान विधेयक, 2021 (निफ्टेम विधेयक, 2021) को पारित किया गया।
इस विधेयक के पारित होने पर इससे जुड़े हर व्यक्ति को बधाई देता हूँ और साथ ही खाद्य प्रसंस्करण से जुड़े छात्रों को भी बधाई देता हूँ। @MOFPI_GOI
— Pashupati Kumar Paras (@PashupatiParas) July 26, 2021
Curious Case Of Pegasus: Explained
Pegasus is a spyware that can hack the victims’ mobile phones and read their SMS messages and emails. The Pegasus spyware is owned by an Israeli software company named NSO Group. According to the various reports, this company has targeted more than 50,000 phone numbers at the Global level, of which 300 are in India for surveillance.
The news broke out after the 17 media partners investigated. This investigation brought into the picture information about a leaked database of mobile telephone numbers of Indian Ministers, Opposition leaders, journalists, the legal community, business people, government officials, scientists, activists and many influential personalities of the nation.
Pegasus Spyware and India
According to the report by the agency, the Israeli company which sells Pegasus around the world says that its clients are confined to ‘vetted governments”, believed to number 36. The NSO Group also says that ‘the target list in India is not ours, never was.’ Their refusal of the leaked database has created a loophole in understanding this case.
This whole case has violated the integrity of democratic institutions. According to the report by the agencies, after the mobile phones of the opposition leader Rahul Gandhi and various other leaders were hacked under the Pegasus spyware surveillance. Multiple tweets were made against the Bharatiya Janata Party(BJP) government in India. This whole case has become one of the major threats in the political arena and the Indian Democracy.
Though at the start, it was used for national security purposes. The explosive expansion of surveillance technology vendors has become a vast human rights and a global security issue. If such surveillance technologies increase, it might cause a lot of problems to countries around the globe. Hence, as a precaution, all these countries need to work on regulating this technology.
According to the reports by the agency, one of the targeted phones by the Pegasus spyware was of the former election commissioner of India, Ashok Lavasa. Various such people and such opposition leaders were somehow against the BJP government having their phones hacked with the NSO-owned spyware. All these instances and the names in the leaked list have pointed figures towards the Modi Government.
The Modi government’s stand on this case was put forward in Lok Sabha by two serving ministers, Ashwini Vaishnaw and Prahlad Singh Patel. These two leaders were also featured in the leaked database. The recent Information Technology Minister, Ashwini Vaishnaw defended the BJP government in the parliament by saying, “the expose was an attempt to malign Indian democracy and its well-established institutions.” She even said, ‘any form of illegal surveillance is not possible with the checks and balances in our laws and robust institutions.’
This case has adjourned the parliament proceedings due to the protests inside and outside the house of parliament by the opposition party.
Pegasus Spyware and World.
In the statement given to the agency, Access Now, an organisation defending the digital rights of global users, said it was outraged that products sold by NSO were allegedly “used to hack and invade the private communications” of thousands of people across the globe.
At a global level, France’s Emmanuel Macron was targeted in the Pegasus spyware case. As the phone of French President Emmanuel Macron was hacked, the investigation was carried out and later on was published which was directed by the Paris-based non-profit journalism group Forbidden. After this case came in front of the whole world, the Pegasus spyware surveillance came into the picture.
If this continues for some more time, it will ruin India’s Democratic values at a global level. As well as this might become a huge technological threat between the different nations around the globe.
Modi Cabinet 2.0: Young and Dynamic Leadership or Otherwise
On the 7th of July, the union government announced the biggest cabinet expansion in the 7 years of NDA rule. The recent expansion increased the size of the Council of Ministers from 53 to 77. About 43 new ministers were sworn in, 15 of which were Cabinet Ministers and 28 Ministers of State (MoS). This is the first cabinet overhaul in the second term of NDA governance.
Experts however claim that the new cabinet expansion is a pre-emptive measure to balance electoral formulae in different states ahead of the 2022 State Assembly elections. It is also conjectured that the reshuffle comes as rectification of prolonged criticism about BJP’s governance in the past 2 years, including the Healthcare management during the Pandemic.
The Performance Paradox
This recent cabinet expansion is a report card of the BJP government’s performance in the last 2 years. Major ministerial changes, such as the resignation and replacement of Dr. Harshvardhan as the Health Minister indicate a confession of their mismanagement of the pandemic.
He has been replaced by Mansukh Mandaviya, a 2 time Rajya Sabha MP who has also been awarded by the UN for initiatives in Women’s healthcare in the past. His appointment as the Health Minister is one of hope for BJP, to change and streamline (a.) the COVID-19 Pandemic response and (b.) BJP’s image in the name of healthcare management.
On the contrary, Anurag Thakur’s promotion from MoS Finance to a Cabinet Minister defies all logical explanations for awarding performance. Not only has India’s economic condition worsened under his management, his controversial statements like “Desh ke Gadaaro ko…” do not present a strong case for him. His appointment is a political investment by BJP in Himachal Pradesh’s state elections next year which happens to be Thakur’s home state.
Similarly, Sitharaman’s finance ministry has remained untouched, after historical mismanagement of our Finance capabilities. All of this reflects a selective approach adopted by BJP, which is one of political hesitation and hyperopic ignorance.
BJP’s Political Calculator
Apart from the ‘punishment’ narrative, the new cabinet expansion has also given an insight into BJP’s political planning. This expansion has incorporated key leaders from several states that go to elections next year. Moreover, it has also been carefully planned to cover the losses BJP has incurred in the past two years.
As a reward for dismantling the elected Madhya Pradesh government and tipping scales in BJP’s favor, Jyotiraditya Scindia was appointed as the Cabinet Minister for Civil Aviation (a post held by his father as well in ’91) almost after 3 years.
On the contrary, Pashupati Kumar Paras got an early reward for breaking down Lok Janshakti Party’s (LJP) representation in Lok Sabha. He was appointed as the Union Minister for Food Processing, after the attempted coup on Chirag Paswan’s leadership.
Sarbananda Sonowal, who was replaced by Himanta Biswa Sharma as the Chief Minister of Assam after the fresh elections, was also awarded a berth in the Cabinet. It is conjectured that this development was in talks ever since Himanta Biswa Sharma was chosen as the CM.
As the Uttar Pradesh elections near, BJP also made sure to improve representation from the state. Major appointments such as Niranjan Jyoti (MoS Food Processing), Anupriya Patel (Mos Commerce and Industry), and Bhanu Pratap Singh Verma (MoS MSME) were made majorly because of their heavy support base in UP.
Following the same lead, Ajay Bhatt from Uttarakhand was appointed as MoS Defence and Tourism. As seen earlier, BJP has made major organizational changes in Uttarakhand which goes to elections next year.
In the mirage of calculated placements and image reconstruction, BJP has hit a few rights with this organizational change. The new cabinet includes a maximum number of women to have ever served in a Union Cabinet, a first in a nation with largely patriarchal tendencies.
The cabinet has also tried to focus on bringing people with commendable background experience and education on board. Ashwini Vaishnav, former IAS and an alumnus of Wharton School have been given major ministries such as Railways, Communications, and IT. Similarly, Anupriya Patel who has been given the Commerce and Industry as an MoS has also served as an educator at Amity University.
Moreover, the diffused reliance on regional strength has become the overarching theme in this cabinet reshuffle. Even though the ruling party intends to balance the voter dynamics, this regional unity has become something to watch out for.
Yet, the big story remains the ouster of major politicians who have served loyally and faithfully to this government. Ravi Shankar Prasad, Prakash Jaavedkar, and Dr. Harshvardhan are major losers in this dynamic reshuffle. While the current government has tried to modernize the leaders of this nation, it has set a new precedent that loyalty is not the most critical virtue anymore; Election Commission’s schedule is.
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