Sheikh Hasina’s India Visit: China in the Background

Jabin T. Jacob, PhD, Fellow, Institute of Chinese Studies

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina state visit to India from 7-10 April came after at least two postponements. The difficulty in getting the visit to take off is a far cry from the warmth and cordiality that was on display in words and deeds during Indian Prime Minister Modi’s visit to Dhaka in June 2015.

Hasina’s reservations had to do with her fear of coming away from New Delhi without any agreement either on sharing the Teesta river waters or on constructing the Ganges Barrage on the Padma river at Pangsha near Rajbari, which is what has happened. The agreement has fallen through multiple times during both the UPA tenure as well as during Modi’s visit and despite Dhaka agreeing to major India’s major demands of allowing transit of goods to Northeast both from Indian mainland overland through Bangladesh territory and by sea through the Bangladeshi ports of Chittagong and Mongla.

The Contrast

The coming state visit will be Hasina’s first in seven years to India and it might be useful to compare and contrast the progress in Dhaka’s ties with China – India’s principal challenger for Bangladesh’s affections – in the meantime. Continue reading “Sheikh Hasina’s India Visit: China in the Background”

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Xi calls for Innovation and ‘Jointness’ in PLA

M.V. RappaiHonorary Fellow, Institute of Chinese Studies.

Within a short span of ten days Chinese President and Chairman of Central Military Commission (CMC), Xi Jinping met with key members of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and exhorted them to adopt innovation and ‘jointness’. On 23 March 2016, Xi paid his first formal visit as the Party Secretary and Commander in Chief to the National Defence University, premier training institute of PLA. During his visit Xi wanted the NDU to “overhaul its courses and teaching methods, gearing them to foster officers who can command joint operations”. Earlier Xi Jinping met with all the representatives of PLA attending the annual National People’s Congress session on 13 March 2016. During his talks with them Xi wanted, innovation should be given a key position in China’s military development and “urged the armed forces to turn cutting edge technology into real combat capacity.” He further added that, “innovation is the core competitiveness of the military and number one driver to energize growth, and added that China is in urgent need of innovation driven development.”

Continue reading “Xi calls for Innovation and ‘Jointness’ in PLA”