India and ASEAN / East Asia

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Varoon Shekhar
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Re: India and ASEAN / East Asia

Postby Varoon Shekhar » 06 Mar 2013 09:40

Awesome. Nice to see such straightforward acknowledgement of Indic influence, and its very beneficial effects, by a southeast Asian himself. Too often, SE Asians are uncomfortable with dropping Hindu/Indic references, for whatever stupid reason. There are even Cambodians, for Pete's sake, who are not relaxed and facile with Hindu references. And this coming from a country with one of the greatest of the ancient world's monuments, Angkor Wat. American pop culture influence is fine, it can even be wonderful, but it shouldn't totally override the awareness of a very rich, Indian influenced history and culture. Something got messed up somewhere!

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Re: India and ASEAN / East Asia

Postby svinayak » 06 Mar 2013 11:03

Colonialism and social engineering

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Re: India and ASEAN / East Asia

Postby member_19686 » 06 Mar 2013 18:58

Varoon Shekhar wrote:Awesome. Nice to see such straightforward acknowledgement of Indic influence, and its very beneficial effects, by a southeast Asian himself. Too often, SE Asians are uncomfortable with dropping Hindu/Indic references, for whatever stupid reason. There are even Cambodians, for Pete's sake, who are not relaxed and facile with Hindu references. And this coming from a country with one of the greatest of the ancient world's monuments, Angkor Wat. American pop culture influence is fine, it can even be wonderful, but it shouldn't totally override the awareness of a very rich, Indian influenced history and culture. Something got messed up somewhere!

The same can be said about Indians, after all we are secular!

If we ourselves set a bad example, then what can we expect from others.

In 2003 the Balinese governor supposedly wrote to the External affairs ministry asking for help in protection and promotion of Hindu culture among younger generations in Bali in Indonesia. He was told to use the phrase "Indian culture" rather than "Hindu culture" since India was a secular country.

Though to be fair the Balinese hardly need the help of the secular buffoons inhabiting our country as they take their Hindu roots and rituals seriously including celebrations honoring Saraswati Devi in their schools without seculars & minorities howling like banshee's about the evil Hindu nazis.

http://maraalper.blogspot.ca/2013/01/sa ... emony.html

The Thai national epic is Ramkien (the Thai version of Ramayana), they have portrayals of scenes from Hindu puranas at Bangkok airport (we fill ours with prayer rooms for Muslims) such as the churning of the milk, they do not hesitate to have sculptures of Indra and other gods at their government ministry buildings.
The King was also well-versed in Sanskrit and Hindu literatures, including the Ramayana and the Mahabharata epics. He translated many stories from the two epics into Thai and also wrote many plays with the inspiration from Hindu literatures. Indeed, he was quite influenced by Rama, the incarnation of Lord Vishnu and hero of the Ramayana epic, so much so that he systemized and promoted the use of the name "Rama" as the (English) reign names of all Thai Kings of the Bangkok (Rattanakosin) era. His own reign was dubbed as "Rama VI".

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vajiravudh

A murti of Vishnu in the middle & the sculpture depicting the "Churning of Milk" at the Bangkok Suvarnabhumi airport:

Image

Image
This is a point which we as the last of heathens should closely note. We need to take leadership of the pan-heathen system even as the heathen world seems to be on the brink. Unfortunately, this is not well- understood among Hindus today (only the vaishya luminary of the modern Hindu revival, Ram Swarup appears to have made note of this). Of course one may say that the heathen revivalist movements of Europe are flaky and even deeply flawed in some ways. While this might be true of some of them, there are those that are not, though few in number. In any case, this should not deter us, and we can hardly complain we have shown little to speak about in this regard: rather than being the beacon of heathenism for the whole world, we are presenting ourselves as a secular state, thereby pouring water on the fire of our historic uniqueness of being the most complete heathen tradition around, even by standards of the ancient world. So one of the key objectives of the Hindu revival is to not just stop the slide towards the end of heathenism but actually revert it on a global scale [Footnote 4].

http://manasataramgini.wordpress.com/20 ... -heathens/

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Re: India and ASEAN / East Asia

Postby Agnimitra » 07 Mar 2013 10:16

Bizarre. But gives more insight into the Abu Sayyaf insurgency in the Philippines and the Malaysian connection.

Filipino Sultan’s Quest Sparks Crisis in Malaysia
Although largely forgotten and dismissed as a vestige from a bygone era, Kiram’s sultanate, once based in the southern province of Sulu, has sparked the biggest security crisis in Malaysia and the Philippines in decades — early last month, he sent his younger brother with about 200 followers, dozens of them armed, by boat from southern Philippines to a village in Sabah state in neighboring Malaysia to claim the land the sultanate insists belongs to them.

A stunned Malaysia, which runs the frontier resource-rich region of timberlands and palm oil plantations as its second-largest federal state, poured in elite police and army troops and called in airstrikes to quell what it saw as an armed intrusion.

After weeks of sporadic clashes that killed 19 intruders and eight policemen, troops launched a full-scale assault Tuesday, codenamed “Operation Sovereign,” but failed to account for most of the Filipinos, who according to the Kiram family were unhurt.

The Kirams claim Sabah has belonged to their sultanate for centuries and was only leased to Malaysia, which they say pays them a paltry annual rent of 5,300 Malaysian ringgit ($1,708). Malaysian officials contend the payments are part of an arrangement under which the sultanate has ceded the 74,000 square kilometers (28,000 square miles) of Sabah territory to their country.

Philippine presidents have relegated the volatile feud to the backburner despite efforts by the Kirams to put it back to the national agenda. The Feb. 9 Sabah expedition by the sultan’s younger brother, Agbimuddin Kiram, and the ensuing violence have resurrected the long-dormant issue with the murky history beyond anybody’s expectations.

One big obstacle for the Philippines is a number of the Kiram heirs, all claiming to be the rightful sultan. That put the government in a quandary on who to deal with for the Sabah claim to be pursued, historian Manolo Quezon IIII said.

Overrun by history, the Kirams carry royal titles and nothing much else.

At his Maharlika {there's that Sanskrit-derivative name again, which some dolts told the Filipinos meant "giant phallus"} village home, the sultan, who has failed kidneys and a heart ailment, struggled with slurred speech to proudly recount the saga of his clan’s empire based in the Sulu archipelago in the southern Philippines. Chinese and European leaders, he said, once sent vassals to pay homage to his powerful forebears. The Sulu sultanate, which emerged in the 1400s, preceded both the Philippine republic and Malaysia by centuries.

The exploits of the sultanate’s native Tausug warriors were so legendary, the Brunei sultan at the time sought their help in putting down a rebellion in the 1600-1700s. When the uprising was crushed, the Brunei sultan handed over Sabah — then part of Brunei — to his Sulu counterpart as a gift of gratitude.

A Filipino sultan later leased Sabah to a British colonial-era company {Uh oh.}. The territory was later annexed by Britain. In 1963, six years after colonial Malaya gained independence, Sabah voted to join the new Malaysia.

Some 800,000 Filipinos, mostly Muslims, have settled in Sabah over the years to seek work and stability.

...Worried about straining relations with affluent Malaysia, Philippine President Benigno Aquino III has walked a delicate tightrope, careful to avoid a collision course with Malaysia and at the same time reach out to the Kirams, who accused him of mishandling the crisis and siding with Malaysia. The Sabah standoff erupted as Aquino was grappling with a separate rift with China over contested South China Sea territories.

Malaysia has also brokered peace talks between Manila and the largest Muslim rebel group in the southern Philippines. Both countries are founding members of an influential regional bloc, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations...

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Re: India and ASEAN / East Asia

Postby Agnimitra » 19 Mar 2013 23:42

Philippines: Murad Ibrahim: 'Islam as a means to progress' - i.e. grant autonomy whenever Moslem enclaves create an insurgency in a non-Moslem country..
After 40 years of fighting and 15 years of negotiations the Philippines government is expected to sign a final agreement with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in just a few weeks, creating a semi-autonomous state in Mindanao called Bangsamoro.

This possible deal is a landmark event not just for the Philippines but beyond - with many believing there are lessons to learn on how to deal with armed insurgents.

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Re: India and ASEAN / East Asia

Postby Samudragupta » 07 Apr 2013 01:36

Advancing India-US-ASEAN Cooperation:

http://icrier.org/ICRIER_Wadhwani/Index ... h-2013.pdf

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Re: India and ASEAN / East Asia

Postby Rony » 22 Apr 2013 06:28

One of the very few right things which the Indian commies are doing.One only hope they are not in vietnam as china's stooges and for some "mediation" like they did in Nepal with nepalese commies and helped it to turn into a chinese colony.

Indian communists welcomed in Hanoi

The Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) and the Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI -M) should continue promoting their relations through the exchange of delegations and theories as well as the sharing of experience in party building and economic development, said a senior CPV official.

Dinh The Huynh, Politburo member and Secretary of the CPV Central Committee, made the statement at a reception for a visiting delegation from the CPI -M led by Politburo member M.A. Baby in Hanoi on March 26.

Huynh described the March 25-31 visit as a vivid manifestation of the traditional friendship between the two parties and peoples.

He expressed his wish that the CPI -M, with its important role in the Indian political arena, will continue to make active contributions to further consolidating the Vietnam-India multi-faceted cooperation and strategic partnership.

For his part, M.A. Baby congratulated the Vietnamese people on great achievements they have made in the renewal process.

He said he believes that the Vietnamese people, under the leadership of the CPV, will speed up the nation’s industrialisation and modernisation process, as well as realize the target of turning Vietnam into a strong country with prosperous people and a democratic, fair and civilised society.

He affirmed that the CPI -M will try its utmost to continuously consolidate and further develop the traditional friendship between the two parties and peoples, thus strengthening the two nations’ strategic partnership.

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Re: India and ASEAN / East Asia

Postby kmkraoind » 21 May 2013 08:50

‘Beef-gate’ Transfixes Scandal-Prone Indonesia - Nytimes

Yet throw in political Islam, hotel room sex, luxury automobiles, swimsuit models and even imported beef, and you have the makings of an über-scandal that has transfixed the Indonesian public for weeks and provided endless fodder for television talk shows.

This week has been no different for the continuing scandal, dubbed Beef-gate. On Thursday, investigators from the independent Corruption Eradication Commission summoned the elderly chief patron of Indonesia’s leading Islamic-based political party, as well as a provincial governor, for questioning in connection with the case.

“I’m not sure what will be happening in the next week,” said Johan Budi, chief spokesman for the anti-corruption commission. “But I’m sure there will be something.”

And it could very well be salacious. The scandal began in January, when anti-corruption investigators raided a Jakarta hotel room and found a man named Ahmad Fathanah, a naked 19-year-old female student and a suitcase containing 1 billion rupiah, or $103,000.

Mr. Ahmad is a personal aide to Luthfi Hasan Ishaaq, chairman of the Prosperous Justice Party, or P.K.S., which in the last national elections, in 2009, won the fourth-highest number of seats in the House of Representatives on a platform of personal morality and zero tolerance for corruption. :rotfl: Investigators allege that Mr. Ahmad received the money on behalf of his boss as a bribe from a local company to ensure that it received a larger share of a government-issued quota to import beef, which mostly comes from nearby Australia.


Zuhairi Misrawi, a prominent Muslim intellectual and author, said the beef import scandal could cause a decline in political Islam in Indonesia, since Islamic-based parties that have criticized secular politics as immoral were already struggling to compete against them at the polls. The next national election is expected next year.

“This is a learning experience for the people,” he said. “We cannot again trust that Islamic political parties are the way to develop the country. They are using Islam as a way to be corrupt, rather than to develop the country.”

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Re: India and ASEAN / East Asia

Postby SSridhar » 04 Jun 2013 12:44

India and Singapore ink new military training pact - ToI
India and Singapore on Monday night inked a fresh agreement to extend the use of training and exercise facilities in India by the Singapore Army for a further period of five years from August this year.

The pact was signed by Indian defence secretary Radha Krishna Mathur and Singapore permanent secretary of defence Chiang Chie Foo in the presence of the defence ministers of the two countries, A K Antony and Dr Ng Eng Hen, said officials.

Bilateral agreements for utilization of facilities in India by the Singapore Air Force and Army were first signed in October 2007 and August 2008 respectively. The agreement for training and exercises of Singapore Air Force in India was extended up to October 2017 during the visit of Singapore's permanent secretary of defence to India in July last year. Singapore, a city state which has space constraints to train its armed forces, is the only country to which India has offered such facilities.

Antony, who is now on a three-nation visit, arrived in Singapore on Monday evening. "The two sides held wide ranging talks on defence cooperation. They also exchanged views on global and regional security issues including Asia-Pacific Security," said the official. Antony is now headed to Australia in what will be his first visit to that country.

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Re: India and ASEAN / East Asia

Postby member_19686 » 16 Jun 2013 01:34

Mahendraparvata, 1,200-Year-Old Lost Medieval City In Cambodia, Unearthed By Archaeologists

A lost medieval city that thrived on a mist-shrouded Cambodian mountain 1,200 years ago has been discovered by archaeologists using revolutionary airborne laser technology, a report said.

In what it called a world exclusive, the Sydney Morning Herald said the city, Mahendraparvata, included temples hidden by jungle for centuries, many of which have not been looted.

A journalist and photographer from the newspaper accompanied the "Indiana Jones-style" expedition, led by a French-born archaeologist, through landmine-strewn jungle in the Siem Reap region where Angkor Wat, the largest Hindi temple complex in the world, is located.


The expedition used an instrument called Lidar -- light detection and ranging data -- which was strapped to a helicopter that criss-crossed a mountain north of Angkor Wat for seven days, providing data that matched years of ground research by archaeologists.

It effectively peeled away the jungle canopy using billions of laser pulses, allowing archaeologists to see structures that were in perfect squares, completing a map of the city which years of painstaking ground research had been unable to achieve, the report said.

It helped reveal the city that reportedly founded the Angkor Empire in 802 AD, uncovering more than two dozen previously unrecorded temples and evidence of ancient canals, dykes and roads using satellite navigation coordinates gathered from the instrument's data.

Jean-Baptiste Chevance, director of the Archaeology and Development Foundation in London who led the expedition, told the newspaper it was known from ancient scriptures that a great warrior, Jayavarman II, had a mountain capital, "but we didn't know how all the dots fitted, exactly how it all came together".

"We now know from the new data the city was for sure connected by roads, canals and dykes," he said.

The discovery is set to be published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in the United States.

Damian Evans, director of the University of Sydney's archaeological research centre in Cambodia, which played a key part in developing the Lidar technology, said there might be important implications for today's society.

"We see from the imagery that the landscape was completely devoid of vegetation," Evans, a co-expedition leader, said.

"One theory we are looking at is that the severe environmental impact of deforestation and the dependence on water management led to the demise of the civilisation ... perhaps it became too successful to the point of becoming unmanageable."

The Herald said the trek to the ruins involved traversing rutted goat tracks and knee-deep bogs after travelling high into the mountains on motorbikes.

Everyone involved was sworn to secrecy until the findings were peer-reviewed.

Evans said it was not known how large Mahendraparvata was because the search had so far only covered a limited area, with more funds needed to broaden it out.

"Maybe what we see was not the central part of the city, so there is a lot of work to be done to discover the extent of this civilisation," he said.

"We need to preserve the area because it's the origin of our culture," secretary of state at Cambodia's Ministry of Culture, Chuch Phoeun, told AFP.

Angkor Wat was at one time the largest pre-industrial city in the world, and is considered one of the ancient wonders of the world.

It was constructed from the early to mid 1100s by King Suryavarman II at the height of the Khmer Empire's political and military power.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/1 ... 45545.html

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Re: India and ASEAN / East Asia

Postby SSridhar » 21 Jun 2013 06:16

Singapore acting like 'a child' over the haze issue - Indonesia - Business Line
Tension creeping in the relations between the two countries.
Indonesia today accused Singapore of acting “like a child” over choking smog from forest fires in Sumatra that has triggered an environmental crisis, as the city-state’s premier warned it could last weeks.

The escalation in tensions between tiny Singapore and its vast neighbour came as the levels of haze enveloping the island hit a new record high, shrouding the whole city, from residential blocks to tree-lined parks.

As the acrid smell of burnt wood crept into people’s flats and medical masks sold out at drug stores, the city-state’s environment chief demanded “decisive action” to address the crisis after talks with Indonesian officials in Jakarta.

Singapore has been ratcheting up pressure for Jakarta to act over one of its worst ever environmental crises — but Indonesia, which insists companies in the city-state that own plantations on Sumatra also share the blame, hit back.

“Singapore should not be behaving like a child and making all this noise,” Agung Laksono, the minister coordinating Indonesia’s response, told reporters. “This is not what the Indonesian nation wants, it is because of nature.” {These are not natural fires. These are man-made. Indonesia cannot simply wash its hands off like this}

Singapore’s air pollution index hit a new all-time high today, soaring to 371 at 1:00 pm (1030 IST), well past the previous record of 321 set the night before, before falling later in the afternoon.

Any reading above 300 is “hazardous” while a reading above 400 is deemed “life-threatening to ill and elderly people,” according to Government guidelines.

Singapore’s Prime Minister declined to respond to Laksono’s provocative comments, saying he did not want to engage in “megaphone diplomacy“.

Lee urged people to stay indoors and protect themselves from the haze which has hung over the island since Monday, asking citizens to “look out for one another“.

“We cannot tell how the haze problem will develop,” Lee told a press conference. “It can easily last for several weeks and quite possibly longer until the dry season ends in Sumatra.”

Andrew Tan, the head of Singapore’s national environment agency, said that officials from the city-state and their Indonesian counterparts had a “very frank exchange of views” during the emergency talks in Jakarta.

“The situation is deteriorating,” he said. “We have highlighted to our Indonesian counterparts that it is time now for decisive action.”

Drug stores in Singapore’s central business district were sold out of disposable masks and refused to take advance orders, as the strong odour seeped into homes across the island as well as inside the air-conditioned trains of the metro system.

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Re: India and ASEAN / East Asia

Postby SSridhar » 04 Jul 2013 10:40

Salman Kurshid to Begin Singapore visit today - Business Line
External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid will begin his first visit to Singapore from today, the foreign ministry here has said.

Khurshid’s July 3-5 visit is at the invitation of Singapore’s Foreign Affairs and Law Minister K Shanmugam, it said, adding that the External Affairs Minister will be accompanied by senior officials of his ministry.

He will today call on Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong and Deputy Prime Minister, Coordinating Minister for National Security and Minister for Home Affairs Teo Chee Hean.

Khurshid will also deliver a public lecture today on ’India and Southeast Asia: Today and Tomorrow’ organised by the Institute of South Asian Studies (ISAS). {ISAS comes under the National University of Singapore, NUS and can be reached here}

Shanmugam will host a dinner for Khurshid tomorrow.

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Re: India and ASEAN / East Asia

Postby SSridhar » 25 Jul 2013 07:34

A Wealth of Opportunity - Ram Garikipati, Business Line
Sandwiched between China and Japan, Korea somehow has escaped the sweep of Indian businesses seeking to expand in East Asia. The ‘Look East’ policy seems to somehow overlook the most stable economy in the region.

In the last fiscal, Indian direct investment in Korea, as tracked by the Reserve Bank of India, amounted to only $3.51 million. In comparison, investments in China were pegged at $66.68 million and in Japan at $19.21 million.

In other words, the data on Indian ODI show that investments in Korea were just 3.93 per cent of the total investments in the Big-3 East Asian economies, even three years after the signing of the India-Korea Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), a de facto free trade agreement.

It was widely anticipated that the CEPA that came into effect in January 2010 would lead to more Indian investments in Korea. Seoul has abolished the import tariff of 93 per cent on Indian imports and India has done the same on 75 per cent of Korean imports. Besides, the agreement sought to increase the interactive trade account as it includes investment in various sectors such as goods, services and even intellectual property.

While bilateral trade has comparatively improved (with a target of $30 billion by 2014), few Indian companies have used the deal to make inroads into the Korean market.

To date, the cumulative investment is estimated to be a little over $1 billion, with most of it hardly having any connection to the CEPA. Among the noticeable investors are Tata Motors (which acquired Daewoo Commercial Vehicle in 2004), Novelis Inc., a subsidiary of Hindalco Industries Limited (which acquired Alcan Taihan Aluminum Limited in January 2005) and Mahindra and Mahindra (which acquired Ssangyong Motors in March 2011). Nakhoda Ltd. and Creative are the other smaller investors.

While Indian software companies like TCS, Wipro and L&T Infotech have a small presence in Korea (with representative offices), they have not made any large commitments.

The only noticeable change in the past three years is the influx of professional workers, such as computer programmers and engineers, and a few English language instructors. Under the CEPA, 163 such professions are allowed access to the Korean services market. While a few years ago, it was difficult to spot Indians on the streets; today, it is not an uncommon sight.

Does it mean that Korea does not offer any potential for Indian businesses? On the contrary, as an FDI destination, the nation has several strengths compared to China and Japan.

As noted by Dr Ahn Choong-yong, Foreign Investment Ombudsman, KOTRA, in recent years Korea has emerged one of the prime investment locations in the Asia-Pacific region. Its strong economic growth, increasingly favourable business environment, and rapid transformation into a truly knowledge-based information society have contributed to the creation of a wealth of investment opportunities.

It is also most active in pursuing FTAs with large economic blocs. Korea has already struck a deal with European Union, the US and ASEAN. These are helping foreign investors based in Korea to do business more effectively in the world market.

Business operating costs in Korea are competitive due to the country's advanced IT infrastructure and low overhead costs including electricity and water. In particular, the basic monthly charge for Internet use in Korea is approximately a tenth that in China. Moreover, rental costs in Korea are also lower than in China, Singapore and Hong Kong.

In terms of tax rate comparisons, both corporate and income-tax rates in Korea are higher than in Singapore and Hong Kong, but lower than in Japan and China.

Recently, the World Bank ranked Korea No 8 (among 185 countries) in its Ease of Doing Business category for 2012. This sheds light on how easy or difficult it is for entrepreneurs to open and run a business when complying with relevant regulations.

It measures and tracks changes in regulations affecting 11 areas in the lifecycle of a business: Starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, getting credit, protecting investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts, resolving insolvency, and employing workers. It makes much better sense to identify appropriate industries and then invest in Korea rather than following the bandwagon to China.

Many sectors provide ample opportunities for Indian investments. Indian suppliers with products that have eliminated or lower tariffs from the CEPA should actively look for business with Korean partners. Indian buyers should also keep in mind that they can obtain high quality Korean goods at a better price through the tariff reduction. Financial and legal services, auto-parts, food, pharmaceuticals, fashion and textiles, and IT are just some of the areas Indian businesses should start considering.

Korea is seen as a stable springboard to jump into East Asia, and Indian businesses should not miss it.

(The author is a journalist and commentator based in Seoul, South Korea)

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Re: India and ASEAN / East Asia

Postby SSridhar » 28 Jul 2013 07:38

Singapore Foreign Minister Shanmugam o 3-day visit to India - Business Line

Singapore Foreign Minister K Shanmugam will embark on a three-day trip to India tomorrow to meet the top leadership and visit the Nalanda University archaeological complex in Bihar.

Shanmugam, also the Law Minister, will visit New Delhi and Bihar during July 28-30, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said today.

In New Delhi, Shanmugam will meet External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid and National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon.

Shanmugam will also deliver the inaugural speech of the newly—launched ASEAN-India Centre on “ASEAN and India — The Challenge Ahead” on July 30.

In Bihar, Shanmugam will visit the Nalanda University archaeological complex and meet varsity officials, the ministry said.

He will call on Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar in Patna.

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Re: India and ASEAN / East Asia

Postby Agnimitra » 10 Oct 2013 04:40

31 bombs explode in Thailand’s southern provinces
Bombs were planted at automated teller machines (ATMs) in Thailand's four southernmost provinces.

Thailand is predominantly Buddhist. Opposition to central government rule in the Muslim-majority provinces of Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat has existed for decades, resurfacing violently in 2004.
Since then, more than 5,200 people have been killed in the southern provinces.

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Re: India and ASEAN / East Asia

Postby Philip » 10 Oct 2013 08:08

ASEAN summit: John Kerry presses China and neighbours on maritime issues

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world ... 68155.html


US Secretary of State John Kerry is in Brunei for meetings with top officials from China and its smaller Southeast Asian neighbours, in which he will urge all countries to cool tensions over territorial disputes in the South China Sea.

Kerry will make the case in discussions with China's prime minister and the leaders of the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. US officials said Kerry would call on the Chinese to accept a binding code of conduct to govern maritime behavior until disputes with the ASEAN states are resolved.

Kerry is filling in at the summit for President Barack Obama, who had to cancel his participation due to the government shutdown in Washington.

One senior official traveling with Kerry said he would be encouraging the ASEAN countries to continue to work “for enhanced coherence and unity” among themselves to bolster their position with China in negotiating a code of conduct.

China has bristled at what it sees as US interference in its backyard and has only reluctantly agreed to open consultations with ASEAN on a code of conduct. It has also lobbied some ASEAN members hard to prevent a consensus on the matter.

The US weighed in on the issue during Obama's first term, when Washington announced it had a national security interest in keeping the world's busiest commercial sea lanes open and peacefully resolving competing territorial claims based on freedom of navigation.

The US official said the United States and ASEAN are now in “violent agreement” on the principles of freedom of navigation and negotiated settlements to the territorial disputes.

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Re: India and ASEAN / East Asia

Postby SSridhar » 10 Oct 2013 08:28

Philip wrote:ASEAN summit: John Kerry presses China and neighbours on maritime issues

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world ... 68155.html

. . . . One senior official traveling with Kerry said he would be encouraging the ASEAN countries to continue to work “for enhanced coherence and unity” among themselves to bolster their position with China in negotiating a code of conduct.


China does not want to deal with ASEAN as a group on the maritime issues though it has the problem with a large number of them (Brunei, Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam). It wants to deal with them bilaterally while the ASEAN has been pushing for collective bargaining.

China has bristled at what it sees as US interference in its backyard and has only reluctantly agreed to open consultations with ASEAN on a code of conduct. It has also lobbied some ASEAN members hard to prevent a consensus on the matter.

Last year was the first occasion when ASEAN could not issue a joint statement after the summit since the hosts Cambodia threw a spanner in the works on references to the maritime issues with PRC. China has been wooing Indonesia for some time now (at least since c. 2011) and lately Malaysia also. Just a few days back, Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Indonesia and addressed a joint session of its parliament, claimed to be the first by a foreign leader. Later, he also visited Malaysia where China has invested USD 1 Billion in an industrial park. These two events coming ahead of the ASEAN summit and in the backdrop of the cancellation of Obama's visit make it interesting to watch the events unfolding in the two summits.

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Re: India and ASEAN / East Asia

Postby SSridhar » 10 Oct 2013 08:34

India to Setup a Separate ASEAN Mission - Anita Joshua, The Hindu
As a testimony to the intensity of the relationship that India seeks to have with Asean (The Association of Southeast Asian Nations), New Delhi has decided to open a separate mission for this 10-nation bloc that is billed as the growth centre of Asia.

An announcement of an Ambassador is expected to be made by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in Brunei, where he will participate at the 11th Asean-India summit on Thursday. Dr. Singh arrived here late on Wednesday afternoon to participate in the Asean-India engagement and the 8th East Asia Summit (EAS).

Nalanda University

At the EAS, India is expecting to sign inter-governmental agreements with half-a-dozen countries to reinforce the international character of the historic Nalanda University.

“This is the first time such an agreement is being promoted from the EAS platform,” official sources said.

While India is the biggest financier of this venture, several countries including China, Singapore and Australia have pledged money for the university.

The Nalanda University (Amendment) Bill is before a parliamentary standing committee and provides for having representatives from five EAS countries on the university’s Board.

“We are trying to make it a truly international university; the way it was when it flourished between the 5th and 12th centuries,” officials said.


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Re: India and ASEAN / East Asia

Postby SSridhar » 18 Oct 2013 10:02

Ponni Rice Catches Singaporean's Fancy - Ramakrishnan, The Hindu
“Ponni,” the most preferred variety of rice in the State, has caught the imagination of people in Singapore too.

Between January and August this year, the South East Asian country consumed 92,865 tonnes of Ponni rice, compared to 85,816 tonnes of Jasmine rice (“Thai Hom Mali”) of Thailand and 77,459 tonnes of Jasmine of Vietnam, according to a report published in Straits Times a few days ago.

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Re: India and ASEAN / East Asia

Postby SSridhar » 19 Oct 2013 14:23

Kurshid to Visit Philippines & Singapore - Business Line
The External Affairs Minister, Salman Khurshid, will be visiting the Philippines and Singapore from October 21 to 24 this year, the Ministry of External Affairs announced on Saturday.

In the Philippines, External Affairs Minister will co-Chair the 2nd Meeting of the Joint Commission on Bilateral Cooperation with Philippines Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Del Rosario.

The External Affairs Minister would have wide ranging discussions to consolidate and expand bilateral relations and exchange views on regional and international issues during the meeting. He would also call on President Acquino.

During the Singapore leg of the visit, the External Affairs Minister will co-Chair the third meeting of the Joint Ministerial Committee with the Singapore Foreign Minister, K. Shanmugam.

The JMC would focus on reviewing the steady development in our strategic partnership and also explore new mechanisms to add momentum to our relations, apart from discussion on regional and multilateral issues. The External Affairs Minister will also call on the Singapore President and the Defence Minister, the External Affairs Ministry announced.
{It appears that something is cooking in the defence arena with Singapore. This is Kurshid's second visit to Singapore within two months or so}

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Re: India and ASEAN / East Asia

Postby SSridhar » 29 Oct 2013 06:56

SSridhar wrote:India to Setup a Separate ASEAN Mission - Anita Joshua, The Hindu

The above was posted two weeks back when Man Mohan Singh made the announcement in Brunei during the Asean meet. Now, more development.

Suresh Reddy to be First Indian Envoy to Asean - Indrani Bagchi, ToI
India has dragged its feet for long about appointing a full-time envoy for Asean. In fact, it had become a symbol for India's "non-presence" in a region that has climbed to the top of the charts in terms of both security and economic importance.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh finally set this right when he was in Brunei recently for the East Asia Summit (EAS). Observing Indo-Asean ties were on the "threshold of the third decade" of engagement, Singh said, "in keeping with our substantial achievements, the recent elevation of our ties to a strategic partnership and the rich potential of our cooperation, I feel it would be appropriate for me to take this opportunity to announce that India will soon set up a separate mission to the Asean in Jakarta with a full-time resident ambassador."

South Block has moved fast. India is prepared to announce the name of Suresh Reddy as the first Indian ambassador to Asean. Reddy is currently ambassador in Iraq and has been credited with turning around the Indo-Iraqi ties. The Indian mission would be based out of Jakarta, which houses the Asean secretariat.

In recent months, as Asean has been buffeted by territorial concerns with China and the future of the regional grouping appeared in doubt, India has steadfastly stood by its "centrality", using an Indo-Asean summit last December to push it. Even on the issue of the territorial claims in the South China Sea, India has taken an Asean-centric approach. The PM at the EAS summit clarified, saying a "stable maritime environment is essential for meeting the common developmental aspirations of countries in the South and South East Asian region". This is very different from the approach that China takes that aims to directly deal with the affected states.

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Re: India and ASEAN / East Asian

Postby sanjaykumar » 10 Nov 2013 11:23

India needs to share meterological data with ASEAN. Or perhaps it is more mass casualty event/ emergency measures planning. There has been an horrific death toll in the Philippines from the typhoon of over 10000 dead.

However it does beg the question of why, unlike for the Asian tsunami, why the Christian god proved to be weaker than the false Hindu gods. (Recall the preposterous and idiotic comments made by some Christian clergy at that time). I hope there is an explanation forth coming.

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Re: India and ASEAN / East Asia

Postby SSridhar » 21 Nov 2013 09:22

Vietnam Offers India Seven Oil Blocks in South China Sea - Sandeep Dikshit, The Hindu
Vietnam has offered India seven oil blocks in South China Sea, including three on an exclusive basis, and joint prospecting in some Central Asian countries with which both Hanoi and New Delhi have good political ties.

Following talks between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and visiting Vietnam Communist Party general secretary Nguyen Phu Trong here on Wednesday, the two sides signed eight pacts of which the ones on energy cooperation and protection of information in defence will intensify the already close ties in these two sectors.

The MoU on oil exploration is for three years and its contents have not been made available. Hence it could not be ascertained whether the allocation will fall foul of China which lays claim to a portion of South China Sea that has been under Vietnam’s jurisdiction.

China had not objected to Vietnam allotting the lucrative Block 6.1 to India during the Cold War years in Nam Con Son Basin of South China Sea. But it objected to India taking up exploration in blocks 127 and 128 in Phu Kanh Basin. Chinese objections have included demarches, pressure on companies not to sell equipment to India and the alleged buzzing of an Indian warship that had transited through the disputed portion of South China Sea.

India returned block 127 some years ago after no oil was found and will return 128 next year after a financially disastrous experience with putting a rig in place.

Defence cooperation

For the defence pact, preparatory work was done during meetings between high ranking officials such as Vietnam’s Chief of General Staff Do Ba Ty and Defence Secretary R.K. Mathur during which they agreed to have greater cooperation in capacity building, joint projects and training.

India has already agreed to train 500 Vietnamese submariners and will transfer four naval boats under a $100-million credit line.

As Dr. Singh noted, “we reaffirmed the importance of defence and security cooperation and agreed to strengthen it further. India will continue to assist Vietnam in modernisation and training of its defence and security forces.

In a joint statement, both leaders termed defence cooperation a “significant pillar” of strategic partnership and noted the increased pace of defence dialogue, training and exercises, ship visits, capacity building and exchanges between think tanks.

On the economic front, an MoU formalised Vietnam’s decision to award Tata Power a $1.8-billion thermal power project after a failed bid by the same company to set up a $5-billion steel plant. An air services agreement, which was also among the eight to be signed, could lead to direct flights giving a boost to trade and tourism.

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Re: India and ASEAN / East Asia

Postby SSridhar » 23 Nov 2013 09:24

Connectivity with ASEAN, a piority for Assam: Gogoi - The Hindu
Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Friday said connectivity with the ASEAN was a strategic priority for his government as it was the key to regional development, building capacities and enhancing trade and investment.

“What is important is establishing people-to-people contact and rekindling cultural ties for bringing about durable relationship between India and South-East Asia,” Mr. Gogoi said.

Speaking at the plenary session of the Second South Asian Diaspora Convention organised by the Institute of South Asian Studies at the National University of Singapore, he said both the Central and State governments are committed to forging strong partnership with ASEAN.

A release from the Chief Minister’s office here quoted Mr. Gogoi as saying, “I am happy that today this partnership has become an important pillar of our Look East Policy. Under this policy, the road and rail infrastructure in Assam, which provides vital links to all the states of the North East and to the rest of India, are being developed.”

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Re: India and ASEAN / East Asia

Postby kmkraoind » 03 Jan 2014 14:11

Jang's execution bodes ill for China - Straitstimes

Posting in full. Wondering is it all true.

THE execution of Jang Song Thaek, the No. 2 man in North Korea, took Beijing by surprise and will adversely affect bilateral relations.

Beijing's displeasure is expressed through the publication of a detailed account of Jang's brutal execution in Wen Wei Po, its official mouthpiece, in Hong Kong, on Dec 12.

According to the report, unlike previous executions of political prisoners which were carried out by firing squads with machine guns, Jang was stripped naked and thrown into a cage, along with his five closest aides. Then 120 hounds, starved for three days, were allowed to prey on them until they were completely eaten up. This is called "quan jue", or execution by dogs. {spine chilling}

The report said the entire process lasted for an hour, with Mr Kim Jong Un, the supreme leader in North Korea, supervising it along with 300 senior officials.

The horrifying report vividly depicted the brutality of the young North Korean leader. The fact that it appeared in a Beijing- controlled newspaper showed that China no longer cares about its relations with the Kim regime.

Two days later, the Global Times, associated with the People's Daily, a Chinese Communist Party organ, followed up with a sternly worded editorial saying that the abrupt political change epitomised the backwardness of the North Korean political system. It warned the Chinese government not to coddle North Korea any longer, saying that the majority of Chinese were extremely disgusted with the Kim regime.

The incendiary story, plus the stern editorial, provided a measure of the extent of Beijing's loathing, which is quite understandable.

In purging a top official known for his close ties with Beijing in such a brutal manner, Pyongyang did not hide its antagonism towards China.

The official litany of Jang's treason implicated China three times. Jang was accused of underselling coal and other natural resources for which China was virtually the sole customer. He was also charged with "selling off the land of Rason economic and trade zone to a foreign country for a period of five decades under the pretext of paying debts". Finally, he was accused of selling precious metals, thus disrupting the country's financial stability. In fact, China purchased some of North Korea's gold reserves several months ago.

He was also accused of aiding Chinese businessmen in securing low prices for North Korean goods and commodities.

The purge of Jang reflected the longstanding suspicion and apprehension of the North Korean regime towards China, which dates back to the time of Kim Il Sung, North Korea's founder.

Although China fought the Korean War to preserve the Kim regime, he was less than grateful. Once the war was over, Kim started purging the Yan-an faction within his party. This faction received its training in Yan-an, the capital of the Chinese Communist Party in the 1940s.

Stanford University research fellow David Straub recalled that when he accompanied former United States assistant secretary of state James Kelly to North Korea in 2002, the North's then Vice-Foreign Minister Kang Sok Ju made comments that minimised Chinese assistance during the Korean War.

When the son, Kim Jong Il, took over the helm, he did not hide the fact that his nuclear weapons could be used against China.

Dr Xue Litai, a research fellow at Stanford University's Centre for International Security and Cooperation at the time, disclosed that he received further confirmation from an American source who accompanied former US president Bill Clinton in his visit to Pyongyang in 2009. According to the source, a North Korean senior official told Mr Clinton that their nuclear weapons could not reach the US but could be "pointed West" in the direction of the Chinese mainland.

The North Korean official also reportedly suggested that if the US changed its policy towards Pyongyang, the latter could become a strong bastion against China.


The Korean peninsula was a vassal state of China in the 17th century. A deep-rooted suspicion remains among the North Korean leadership that China wants to make North Korea its satellite state. Pyongyang also resents Beijing establishing ties with Seoul, which it sees as an act of betrayal.

Nuclear-armed China is seen as having double standards when it exerts pressure on Pyongyang to halt the latter's nuclear programme.

So when the grandson, Mr Kim Jong Un, took over the helm, this family tradition of suspecting China prompted the young leader to take drastic action to cleanse the party of any pro-China elements.

Recent developments have posed a number of issues for China.

First, China's own security is at risk. The erratic and ruthless behaviour of Mr Kim Jong Un suggests that China should not underrate the likelihood of a nuclear threat from Pyongyang.

The Internet version of the Global Times carried an article last Monday by Lieutenant-General Wang Hongguang, former deputy commander of Nanjing Greater Military Region, saying that the recent incident showed North Korea had become increasingly provocative and was getting out of (Chinese) control. He urged a complete reassessment of security threats originating from that direction.

Second, China's political and strategic influence on the Korean peninsula has been drastically reduced. China was widely considered to be able to rein in the unruly Kim regime, thus acting as a force for peace in the region. But it now appears China's influence over its neighbour is close to zero.

This is clear from the fact that Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi telephoned his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov for urgent consultation on Dec 13. This was followed by Ambassador Wu Dawei's trip to Moscow. Both moves suggest that Beijing realises it can no longer tame the Kim regime by itself.

Third, China had hoped to nurture a less belligerent neighbour by encouraging reform, open- door policies and economic development in North Korea. Jang had been working closely with China to bring about a Chinese-style transformation in his own country. With Jang brutally executed, the idea of a peaceful transformation seems unrealistic.

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Re: India and ASEAN / East Asia

Postby SSridhar » 03 Jan 2014 14:46

kmkraoind wrote:Wondering is it all true.

Don't know, but I won't discount the possibility of the US planting misinformation to drive a wedge between NoKo and PRC.

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Re: India and ASEAN / East Asia

Postby ramana » 07 Jan 2014 01:19

ramana wrote:http://www.eastasiaforum.org/2014/01/06/japans-strategic-predicament-behind-the-yasukuni-curtain/


Japan’s strategic predicament behind the Yasukuni curtain
6 January 2014
Author: Hugh White, ANU

Why did Prime Minster Abe visit Yasukuni Shrine? Tessa Morris-Suzuki says:

His core aim is to ‘escape from the postwar regime’ — that is, to reverse the liberalising reforms introduced to Japanese politics and society in the wake of the Asia Pacific War — and his visit to the Yasukuni Shrine is a very explicit expression of that aim.

I don’t doubt that she is right, but her answer does lead us straight on to another question: why does he want to ‘escape from the post war regime’? What is driving him?


There seem to be two possible answers to the question of Abe’s motives. One looks inwards, focusing on Abe himself — his family history, political values and personality — and on the elements in Japanese society and politics with whom his ideas and values resonate. I think this is the answer Tessa favours, and it seems to be taken for granted by most people outside, and possibly many inside, Japan who have commented on the issue. No doubt there is a lot of truth in it, and it leads to a satisfyingly simple response: blame Abe.

But this does seem to overlook another, more outward-looking explanation. Japan today faces its toughest strategic crisis since 1945, which is challenging the foundations of the post-war strategic posture that has served it so well for so long. To put it simply: as China grows, Japan has more and more reason to be anxious about China’s power, and less and less confidence in America’s willingness to protect it.

The Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands dispute shows how real those concerns are. China’s escalating pressure and America’s ambiguous response send an ominous message to Tokyo: that America would rather see Japan’s interests sacrificed than risk a confrontation with China, and that Beijing knows this. This is fatal to the Yoshida Doctrine of dependence on the US alliance as the foundation of Japan’s security. Japan can no longer afford to be a status quo power in Asia, because the old status quo no longer provides a reliable basis for Japan’s security.

{And the US since Nixon which is responsible for Japan's security has been feeding the rise of China all along.}

No one in Japan seems to know how to deal with this. Abe’s instinct, shared by many others, is to move in two directions at once. On the one hand, to pull closer towards America by building up Japan’s capacity to support America throughout Asia, thus making America a better ally for Japan. At the same time to push away from America by asserting greater independence. Needless to say this push-and-pull policy won’t work, so Japan’s strategic policy is headed for a muddled and dangerous patch.

What has this got to do with visiting Yasukuni? There might be answers to this at two levels.

First, at the level of diplomacy, it seems worth wondering whether Abe is not trying to send some messages. The visit could be a message of defiance to Beijing — Abe’s answer to China’s ADIZ. He is saying to Xi Jinping, ‘You can’t stop me doing this’. And it could be a message of displeasure and disappointment to Washington for its timid and tepid support against China, and for its willingness to blame Tokyo as much as Beijing for the escalating dispute.

In other words, the visit to Yasukuni might, in part, be Abe’s way of saying that Japan is not willing to accept a new strategic order in Asia under which Japan’s interests are sacrificed by Washington to avoid problems with Beijing. One can see why that might be a message that Abe wants to send.

At a second, deeper, level the visit to Yasukuni is not just an assertion of a particular view of Japan’s past but also of its present and future. The strategic posture built around dependence on the United States has always been inextricably intertwined — in American as well as Japanese thinking — with Japan’s acceptance of the interpretation of history sponsored by the Americans after 1945. Visiting Yasukuni is therefore a repudiation not just of the US-sponsored view of history but of the whole idea of Japan as a strategic client of the United States.

The tragedy for Japan is that this melding of history and policy makes it so hard for everyone — Japanese and non-Japanese alike — to separate questions about Japan’s past as a strategic actor in Asia from very different questions about its future, and makes it all too easy to assume that moving on from the Yoshida Doctrine necessarily means rehabilitating Japan’s militarist and imperialist past.

That of course is quite wrong, but Abe himself may well believe it. As Tessa suggests, there is real weight in the inward-looking explanation of Abe’s conduct, because he does have his own ambitions to reshape Japan’s political and social milieu along reactionary lines, and to reinterpret Japan’s history. That makes it very unfortunate that he is leading Japan at this moment in its history as it wrestles with a strategic transition that would in any case be complex, risky and traumatic.

So we can blame Abe for using Yasukuni to convey messages about Japan’s strategic anxieties, and for the fact that this only amplifies Japan’s problems. But his visit did not create the problems, and the anxieties that they give rise to are real and legitimate. We can’t blame Abe for them. So while we criticise Abe, we should also start taking Japan’s strategic predicament seriously. No one — especially no one in Washington — seems so far to have done that.

What would that mean? Well for America it means facing a tough choice. The United States must either commit itself unambiguously to defending Japan’s core interests whatever the cost, or it must help Japan move away from the US–Japan alliance and regain the strategic independence it surrendered after 1945. This may be the most important implication of Abe’s much-heralded excursion.
Hugh White is Professor of Strategic Studies at the Australian National University.


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Re: India and ASEAN / East Asia

Postby SSridhar » 30 Jan 2014 04:32

Time We Pushed ASEAN Pact on Services - Rajrishi Singhal, Business Line
India’s resolve to get closer to Asean countries is faltering at the altar. After signing a free trade agreement on goods with Asean, a similar pact on trade in services and investment — unarguably India’s strong suit — still eludes the country. Marked by public squabbling between ministries, it is quite likely that the final agreement will be signed only after elections.

Make that one year from now. Once the new government takes over, it will be another six-seven months before it can sink its teeth into bilateral trade deals. This is tragic because while India has an advantage in services, India’s existing trade balance with Asean is negative.

Confusion, delays

India signed a free trade agreement (FTA) with Asean — an economic bloc of 10 countries — for only goods in 2009. This was to be followed up with the signing of a separate FTA on services and investment, negotiations on which have been continuing for some time now. There is no clarity on the benefits that such an FTA will offer since the agreement is not yet in public domain, but it can be safely said that it will allow India to leverage its competitive offerings in finance, education, health, IT, telecommunications, transport and movement of professionals.

Consequently, Indian service providers will be able to offer services to Asean customers with greater ease than what is available currently.

A formal conclusion to negotiations was signalled through an Asean secretariat communiqué in Delhi on December 20, 2012: “...we welcome the successful conclusion of the negotiation on ASEAN-India Trade in Services and Investment Agreements.” The session concluded with Prime MInister Manmohan Singh also endorsing the end of negotiations.

This led to speculations about probable dates, with August 2013 emerging as consensus deadline. On October 10, 2013, at another Asean Summit, Manmohan Singh provided another deadline: “India stands ready for the signature of the India-Asean FTA on Services and Investment by the end of this year and its early implementation.” The Cabinet then on December 19, 2013, approved a services and investment treaty with Asean, raising hopes that the deal would be sealed soon.

Sadly, that cut-off date too has lapsed and the agreement seems to have fallen into the cracks that lie between promises and approvals. The delay is being blamed on shadow-boxing between Ministry of Commerce and Industry, which wants India to push ahead with the agreement, and Ministry of Finance, which wants a detailed study on the performance of all FTAs signed so far. While the Cabinet over-ruled all opposition, a delay is now inevitable.

India’s economic strength lies in services, given that over 50 per cent of GDP comes from services. It is, therefore, counter-intuitive that bickering and delay should bog down an advantageous trade pact.

Missing the target

The unsigned, unconsummated FTA is to be formalised under the umbrella framework of Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) which India and Asean inked in 2003. CECA — which has two components, goods, as well as services and investment — is similar to most FTAs, but earns the “comprehensive” sobriquet by including investment. India has signed CECAs with Japan, Singapore and Australia.

Under CECA with Asean, the Agreement on Trade Goods was signed in 2009. Asean comprises Singapore, Brunei, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, the Philippines and Myanmar. Indo-Asean trade has grown from $30 billion in 2008 (before FTA on goods was initialled) to $76 billion in 2012. But, given the pace of progress, it seems the 2015 target of $100 billion will be missed.

The source of inter-ministerial conflict lies in the disaggregated numbers. The Finance Ministry’s contends that there should be a proper study on performance of all FTAs. Specifically, it feels that Asean countries have gained more than India — in simple terms, that means India has imported more from Asean countries than it has exported to them.

For example, India’s trade deficit with Thailand has grown by 111.55 per cent between 2008-09 and 2012-13.


Finance Minister P Chidambaram found vocal support from three sources. First, RBI governor Raghuram Rajan alluded to misaligned FTAs in a November speech: “I am worried because we seem to be reverting to a dialogue of protection and subsidies that we left behind long ago...While we should not enter into free-trade agreements that give foreign manufacturers an undue advantage, that is no reason for us to now respond by giving domestic manufacturers protection.”

Industry lobbies Ficci and Assocham also pitched in. A Ficci survey among its members showed that many respondents felt trade in goods with Asean either had no impact on exports or had an adverse impact, but only a minimal beneficial effect.

An Assocham report was a bit more hard-hitting and cautioned the government to incorporate lessons from the Asean goods FTA into the Indo-EU trade negotiations.

Interestingly, apart from the Indian side, Asean members have been also holding up the talks, even as tariffs on a number of items keep coming down every year. For instance, it is believed some Asean countries are opposed to free movement of professionals, given rising unemployment in their countries.

Some of them are insisting that Indian professionals should obtain local qualifications; for instance, a doctor wanting to practice in Thailand must obtain a licence from Medical Council of Thailand.

India, on the other hand, wants to sign a mutual recognition agreement with Asean so that there is a mutual recognition of professional qualifications; in case there is no such agreement at the Asean level, India will then have to sign such an accord with each country separately.

The clock is ticking. Every wasted moment results in India importing more goods (which eventually affects domestic manufacturing) while being handicapped in using its competitive advantage of services export.

(The author is Senior Geoeconomics Fellow at Gateway House: Indian Council for Global Relations)

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Re: India and ASEAN / East Asia

Postby Varoon Shekhar » 30 Jan 2014 21:42

Are those ASEAN countries so sophisticated that they have the upper hand on India, in manufacturing? It feels counter intuitive! Because India positively has a longer history of manufacturing all kinds of items, than any of those countries. It's hard to name one product that those countries made first, before India. Is it simply a case of their growth in specific goods, low cost and mass produced, being considerably higher than India's? That would make sense. But in sheer diversity of manufacture, none of them compares to India.

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Re: India and ASEAN / East Asia

Postby Paul » 07 Mar 2014 14:15

If the experiement in Thailand succeeds then India could be the next target as the AAP experiment shows.

Not many people realize that Thailand managed to hold off two colonial powers successfully in the 19th centuury.

Image

Thailand Tomorrow

The next high profile targets will most likely be Iran, with the AYM already gearing up, and Thailand. Thailand has balked Western ambitions toward its territory for centuries, not without making concessions, and has already put down 2 staged color revolutions in 2009, and 2010.


Some say the "red shirts" have moved beyond Thaksin - his
monthly call-ins to their rallies, and his lawyer Robert
Amsterdam co-defending them suggests otherwise.

These "red shirt" color revolutions are the work of former Thaksin Shinwatra and a myriad of foreign backers. Thaksin was a former Carlye Group member before taking up the Premiership in 2001. He pursued a campaign of power consolidation, elimination of the nation's checks and balances, and a program of economic liberalization (read: selling out the country to foreigners).

On September 18, 2006, Thaksin was in New York City standing in front of the Council on Foreign Relations giving them a progress report on "democracy" in Thailand. The next day the Thai military staged a coup and swept his treasonous government from power.

It was previously reported that since his ouster from power in 2006, he has been backed by fellow Carlyle man James Baker and his Baker Botts law firm, International Crisis Group's Kenneth Adelman and his Edelman Public Relations firm, and now Robert Amsterdam's Amsterdam & Peroff, a major corporate member of the globocrat Chatham House. His proxy political party maintains the "red shirt" mobs which in turn are supported by several NGOs including the National Endowment for Democracy funded "Prachatai," an "independent media organization" that coordinates the "red shirt" propaganda efforts.

Also interesting to note is that the above mentioned Edelman PR firm is also a sponsor of AYM, and so it should come as to no one's surprise that AYM has been reporting favorably on the globocrats' "red shirts" since 2010, here and here.

The International Crisis Group, upon which Thaksin's former lobbyist Kenneth Adelman sits, has shown its support by issuing a paper on the color revolution, berating the Thai government's handling of the protests. Robert Amsterdam's Chatham House also issued a paper, in an attempt to define the "official" narrative. There are also several statements from Freedom House, a NED clone of which Kenneth Adelman is also a member, all coming to the general and unsurprising consensus that the "red shirts" demands are reasonable and should be met.

Recently the US National Endowment for Democracy funded Prachatai bemoaned the banning of a recent Economist issue in Thailand in what it calls a display of government censorship. When we consider the Economist's corporate membership within the Chatham House, a membership shared with Thaksin's lobbyist Robert Amsterdam, and the Economist's depraved reaction to the military conquest and economic plundering of Iraq in their article "Let's all go to the yard sale," it seems more of a matter of countering overt enemy propaganda than "draconian censorship."

It's these games of calling governments oppressive for reacting to intentional provocations they themselves are a part of, that allows them to then vilify a nation in the eyes of the world, for they control the global mass-media. BBC, also a Chatham House corporate member, illustrates this in their "defense" of the NED funded Prachatai.

Keeping all of this in mind, it is quite clear that the globocrats have an expressed interest in regime change for Thailand and are attempting to accomplish this through Thaksin, his political party and the mobs they command in the streets. Their goal is nothing less than it was in 1855, to turn Thailand, or Egypt, or Iran for that matter, into an extension of their business and banking empires. The only difference is that instead of gunboats, they are using color revolutions to extract concessions. It is an attempt to seal a Bowring Treaty 2.0.

Conclusion

Thailand's institutions, like anywhere on earth are far from perfect, but conditions in Thailand do not justify mobs coming out into the streets, conducting violence and insisting their extra-legal demands be met, especially when those demands come from a deposed traitor, backed in turn by foreign investors. Considering the largest "red shirt" protest to date gathered a mere 100,000 for less than a day, in a nation of over 70 million people (0.1%), it doesn't even intuitively appear legitimate
.

As it should have been for Egypt, reform for Thailand must come entirely from within, pursuing pragmatic solutions to address specific problems independently and head-on. This is something politicians in general, worldwide are incapable of doing, and so it must come from real grassroots activism and charity, not street mobs and rigged elections.

Instead of building real schools, Thaksin's
"red shirts" run political indoctrination camps.

Demagogues leading the "red shirts" offer socialist handouts in exchange for servile dependence on their political party instead of empowering people with the education and technical skills needed to solve their own problems indpendently. What's worse is that "red shirt" leaders are not only neglecting to address the ignorance of their followers, but are compounding it by actually conducting political indoctrination camps instead.

The ruling government, for its part, has created this exploitable mass of needy, dependent people in the first place by equally side-stepping their responsibility to provide the proper education necessary for empowering society. It is real empowerment through knowledge and education that defines true freedom and is the very foundation of a sovereign society.

Many people in Thailand realize this, and it is real grassroots activism and charity that is slowly changing and improving society within the status quo and stability afforded to them by the current ruling government and Thailand's traditional institutions. It's these people that stand up for local villagers when their land is being encroached upon by industrial estates, not the ruling government, and certainly not Thaksin's globocrat-backed "red shirts."

Raising awareness of what transpired in Egypt, of what is sure to spread to Iran, Thailand, and beyond, is an essential key to balking the globocrats' plans. For each nation that falls, no matter how far from your own shores it may be, it empowers these already megalithic corporations to become even bigger and more domineering both at home in the West and abroad.

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Re: India and ASEAN / East Asia

Postby Prem » 08 Mar 2014 07:40

Bad news. A Malaysian airline flight have gone missing on the way to Peking carrying 227 people on board..
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Malaysia Airlines said Saturday it lost contact with a plane carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew on its way from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.Flight MH370 lost contact with the Subang air traffic control at 2:40 a.m. Saturday (18:40 GMT Friday). The flight was operated on the Boeing 777-200 aircraft. It departed Kuala Lumpur at 12:41 a.m. Saturday (16:41 GMT Friday) and was expected to land in Beijing at 6:30 a.m. Saturday (22:30 GMT Friday).The airline said it was working with the authorities who activated their search and rescue team to locate the aircraft.The flight was carrying 227 passengers, including two infants, and 12 crew members, the airline said
.

http://news.yahoo.com/malaysia-airlines ... 19976.html

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Re: India and ASEAN / East Asia

Postby Rony » 16 Mar 2014 00:48

A Plane Disappears, Malaysia's Flaws Emerge

Confusion doesn't normally make for a great economic indicator. But the chaos that's marred the hunt for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 is revealing quite a bit about Malaysia's potential -- or lack thereof.

The Southeast Asian nation has long been hobbled by a political culture that places the ruling party's needs over those of the Malaysian people. For six decades, Prime Minister Najib Razak's United Malays National Organisation has appeared to have only one goal: to maintain its hold on power. It's thus promoted -- and recently reinforced -- Malay-first racial policies that benefit its political base. The side effects, including stagnant living standards, waning competitiveness, and the humiliation of Malaysia's sizable Chinese and Indian minority populations, are all overlooked in the service of this larger goal.

The bungled search for Flight 370 has simply made manifest the consequences of this cynical bargain. How does someone like Hishammuddin Hussein become defense minister and acting transport minister in Southeast Asia's third-biggest economy? Even with his nearly 20-year stint as a legislator and more than a decade in ministerial posts, it can't hurt that he's also the scion of a powerful political family. The lamentable manner in which he has fielded questions about the search underscores how unaccustomed Malaysia's leaders are to being questioned by anyone.

This mind-set also explains why Malaysia is ensnared in the middle-income trap that South Korea and Thailand escaped years ago. Rather than free the economy from race-based quotas and business preferences, the party has expanded them. Never mind that these policies make Malaysia even less attractive to multinational companies and encourage so many of the nation's best and brightest to move to Singapore and Hong Kong. Or that the Philippines and Indonesia are surging ahead as Malaysia looks backward.

The country is proving to be all hardware and no software. For years, UMNO acted as though top-quality roads, state-of-the-art ports and bridges, iconic skyscrapers and a swanky new capital in Putrajaya would inevitably pave the way to prosperity. But economic software is even more important. And on that front, Malaysia has never bothered to cut red tape, level the playing field for non-Malays, or introduce the competitive forces necessary to stimulate entrepreneurship.


Why bother when all the party needs to do to stay in power is redraw voting districts, bribe the masses with fat handouts, invoke religion when necessary, and muzzle any pesky publications that dare to write about corruption and privilege? All this explains why per-capita income in a resource-rich nation with an enviable geographic position in Asia has stalled at near the $10,000 mark. Malaysia is stuck in the middle-income trap because its leaders are stuck in time.

The families of the victims of Flight 370 deserve better. But then, so do the Malaysians whom Najib claims to serve.

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Re: India and ASEAN / East Asia

Postby PrasadZ » 23 Mar 2014 07:37

http://www.straitstimes.com/breaking-news/singapore/story/singaporean-being-investigated-allegedly-planning-take-part-syria-conf

Haja Fakkurudeen Usman Ali, a 37-year-old supermarket manager, is a former Indian national who obtained his Singapore citizenship in 2008. A member of the public informed the authorities of his alleged travel to Syria after he had already left Singapore.

MHA also said it was established that Gul Mohamed Maracachi Maraicar, a 37-year-old Indian national and former Singapore permanent resident, had abetted and assisted Haja in his radicalisation and plans to participate in armed violence in Syria.

Gul, who worked as a system analyst with a multinational company here, was investigated under the Internal Security Act and deported and banned from entering Singapore for his role in abetting and aiding Haja.


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Re: India and ASEAN / East Asia

Postby A_Gupta » 27 Mar 2014 00:38

Today, unlike in the 1970s and 1980s, there is very little intermingling, between Malays, Indians and Chinese. The country now has Malay teachers telling their third, fourth and fifth generation Malaysian-born Chinese and Indian students to go back to where their forefathers came from and as time goes by, the Chinese and Indians are finding themselves increasingly politically and economically crowded out of their home.


http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinio ... 15905.html

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Re: India and ASEAN / East Asia

Postby harbans » 28 Mar 2014 20:22


member_19686
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Re: India and ASEAN / East Asia

Postby member_19686 » 30 Mar 2014 17:00

Large Crowds Fill Taipei Streets in Protest Over China Trade Bill
By AUSTIN RAMZY MARCH 30, 2014, 6:49 AM

Large crowds of demonstrators took to the streets of Taipei to protest efforts by the government to approve a trade pact with Beijing and show support for the students who have occupied Taiwan’s legislature for nearly two weeks.

Organizers estimated that at least 350,000 people were gathered, as of 2 p.m., on the streets around the Presidential Office Building to express discontent over a pact that would open up dozens of service fields to cross-strait investment. Police counted 116,000 demonstrators by 4 p.m., according to Taiwan’s Central News Agency, while some television news stations put the number as high as 700,000.


After President Ma Ying-jeou’s ruling party, the Kuomintang, pushed the pact onto the floor of the legislature without an item-by-item review, as previously promised, hundreds of protesters, mostly college students, stormed the legislature chamber on March 18. They have remained, with crowds of supporters filling the streets outside.

The trade pact has spurred concerns that it would harm local businesses and increase Beijing’s influence over Taiwan, a self-ruled island it claims as part of its territory. While many demonstrators are opposed to the service trade pact, the most widely held complaint was that the measure has not been sufficiently examined. A poll before the occupation of the legislature indicated that more than 70 percent of respondents supported a line-by-line review of the pact.

“The level of public trust with President Ma and his government is really low throughout the country, and the review of this pact has been very cursory,” said Wu Hsiang-min, a 30-year-old engineer who joined the black-clad protesters Sunday in central Taipei. “So I felt that if the students were willing to stand up on this matter, then I should stand up, too.”

On Saturday, Mr. Ma attempted to respond to some of the students’ demands, saying he would back an itemized review of the trade pact and a law that would allow the legislature to more closely monitor agreements with Beijing.

Mr. Ma said he was opposed to demands that the pact, which was signed by quasi-governmental organizations representing Taiwan and China last year but still needs legislative approval, should be withdrawn. The president has said that the deal is necessary for Taiwan’s economy to maintain its competitiveness with regional rivals like South Korea, and that failure to approve it could harm Taiwan’s ability to enter into other trade agreements.

Mr. Ma’s Kuomintang controls the legislature, with 65 of 113 seats, meaning it can eventually win approval of the measure. Protesters had called for Mr. Ma, as the party’s chairman, to relax rules that enforce discipline on voting by its members in the expectation that some K.M.T. legislators might oppose aspects of the pact. Mr. Ma said Saturday that such decisions were made by the party’s legislative caucus and not directly under his control.

On Saturday, a much smaller demonstration of a few thousand people gathered outside Taipei’s central train station to show support for Mr. Ma’s government. “I want the students to leave the legislature,” said Chang Wei-feng, 24, from Taichung in central Taiwan. “You can’t use this sort of occupation in the middle of a democratic process.”

http://sinosphere.blogs.nytimes.com/201 ... blogs&_r=0

pankajs
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Re: India and ASEAN / East Asia

Postby pankajs » 05 Apr 2014 10:20

Reuters Top News ‏@Reuters 1h

Japan orders military to strike any new North Korea missile launches http://reut.rs/1q2Ns52

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Re: India and ASEAN / East Asia

Postby Multatuli » 11 Apr 2014 11:22

Japan Prepares to Shoot North Korean Missiles Out of the Sky

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2 ... rticles%29


China's booming military spending belies caution

http://news.yahoo.com/chinas-booming-mi ... 25697.html

But Ogawa said Beijing had a clear strategy despite its reluctance to start an armed conflict.

"China is sending non-military ships to the area," he said, to assert its claim, gauge the reactions of Japan and the US, and show nationalistic elements at home it is flexing its muscles.

"China's policy is to win without a battle, taking the path of Sun Tzu's 'Art of War'."


The legal question that could stop China's maritime power grab

http://theweek.com/article/index/259525 ... power-grab

The case is meant as a frontal challenge to China's infamous "Nine-dashed line," Beijing's vague but threatening effort to lay claim to nearly the entirety of the South China Sea to the detriment of neighbors including the Philippines, Vietnam, and Malaysia. Beijing inherited that map, and its ambitious claims, from the Nationalist government it defeated in the Chinese civil war in the 1940s. The expansive map has even become a fixture inside new Chinese passports.

Many scholars, though, think that China's claims are essentially bunk. The Law of the Sea Convention, which China signed and ratified, abolished the idea of historical claims as a way to determine maritime rights. Not surprisingly, Paul Reichler, the Washington lawyer who helped craft Manila's lawsuit, agrees. China, he says bluntly, "is violating international law and the [Law of Sea] Convention."

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Re: India and ASEAN / East Asia

Postby A_Gupta » 08 May 2014 02:11


Kati
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Re: India and ASEAN / East Asia

Postby Kati » 09 May 2014 09:18

The bully on rampage again.
What I have gathered from my colleagues in Vietnam is that the entire Vietnam is seething with
anger, though the international media is paying scant attention. (They are too busy with Ukraine.)

http://vietnamnews.vn/politics-laws/254 ... aters.html


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