Rising Bharat International News Feed: September 25th 2020

  1. India tells China: We will discuss A to Z, not just south bank of Pangong Tso Key points:
  2. Sources said that China is not ready to accept that it first transgressed across the line of actual control (LAC) and is insisting that talks should be held on disengagement from South banks of Pangong Tso where India has occupied strategic heights.
  3. Sources said that China had started breaking protocol after Doklam which said that not more than 15-20 soldiers will patrol the LAC. But Chinese army started sending bigger patrol consisting of 50-100 soldiers and this number kept on increasing every year. These bigger Chinese patrol used to push Indian teams. PLA soldiers first started stone pelting and then brought improvised weapons like iron rods studded with nails to attack Indian patrols.
  4. “Now Indian soldiers are directly warning Chinese soldiers that we will fire if you will come near us for attack. Chinese soldiers have also understood that if they will come in large numbers to attack Indian soldiers they will suffer bigger losses,” said sources.
  5. “Now we will not allow Chinese to follow their old strategy of coming in large numbers with improvised weapons and attacking Indian soldiers,” said sources.
  6. Sources said that China is also preparing to stay in the Ladakh sector during winters. “We cannot believe in everything China says. Joint statement is good but whatever China is saying should also be reflected on the ground,” said sources.

(Deccan Chronicle, 25 September, 2020) News Link.

  • Indian soldiers at LAC have go-ahead to open fire in self-defence, India tells China

Key points:

  1. With no signs of disengagement on the ground in Ladakh, where India and China have been locked in a stand-off since April, both sides will stay dug in during the region’s bitter winter too.
  2. India has made it clear to China that its soldiers will open fire to defend themselves, and Chinese tactics of “using mass” — or seeking to outnumber Indian soldiers, like in the 15 June Galwan Valley clash — will not be tolerated, top government sources said.
  3.  “We have told our soldiers that they can open fire if there is a fear of their own safety. They can fire for self-defence,” a source said, adding that China has been told the same.
  4. The Chinese, sources said, have told the Indian side that five of their soldiers, including a commanding officer, had died in the clash. “If the Chinese are saying five, we can easily double it if not triple it,” a top South Block officer said. “The Chinese tactic was to come in large numbers with clubs and crude weapons and surround Indians, who followed the laid-down protocols and moved in a much lesser manner,” one of the sources quoted above said.
  5. “According to the agreement, both sides are supposed to have a 15-20-member-strong patrol team. Over the last few years (since Doklam), the Chinese started increasing numbers,” the source added..

(The Print, 25 September, 2020) News Link.

  • Indian soldiers at LAC have go-ahead to open fire in self-defence, India tells China

Key points:

  1. With no signs of disengagement on the ground in Ladakh, where India and China have been locked in a stand-off since April, both sides will stay dug in during the region’s bitter winter too.
  2. India has made it clear to China that its soldiers will open fire to defend themselves, and Chinese tactics of “using mass” — or seeking to outnumber Indian soldiers, like in the 15 June Galwan Valley clash — will not be tolerated, top government sources said.
  3.  “We have told our soldiers that they can open fire if there is a fear of their own safety. They can fire for self-defence,” a source said, adding that China has been told the same.
  4. The Chinese, sources said, have told the Indian side that five of their soldiers, including a commanding officer, had died in the clash. “If the Chinese are saying five, we can easily double it if not triple it,” a top South Block officer said. “The Chinese tactic was to come in large numbers with clubs and crude weapons and surround Indians, who followed the laid-down protocols and moved in a much lesser manner,” one of the sources quoted above said.
  5. “According to the agreement, both sides are supposed to have a 15-20-member-strong patrol team. Over the last few years (since Doklam), the Chinese started increasing numbers,” the source added..

(The Print, 25 September, 2020) News Link.

  • India-China stand-off: Must avoid changing LAC status quo, says MEA

Key points:

  1. The government said it was important to avoid changing the status quo in border areas while India and China continue their discussions to achieve complete disengagement in all friction areas and to ensure full restoration of peace and tranquillity along the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
  2. The seventh round of military commanders meeting as well as the next round of Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on India-China Border Affairs (WMCC) talks between Indian and Chinese officials will be scheduled “soon”, the MEA said on Thursday.
  3. LAC stand-off: Complete coverage Responding to questions on the state of play in eastern Ladakh between Indian and Chinese troops after the sixth round of talks between military commanders on Monday, MEA spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said the meeting took place after a gap of 50 days but resulted in the first joint statement by India and China following such discussions.
  4. He interpreted this to reflect “the stated commitment of both sides to disengage along the LAC”. Observing that disengagement was a “complex” affair which would ultimately involve two armies moving back to permanent positions on their own side of the LAC, Srivastava said, “Even as two sides work towards complete disengagement in all friction areas, it is at the same time also necessary to ensure stability on the ground.

(Times of India, 25 September, 2020) News Link.

  • Relation with US
  1. “If We Can Help, Would Love To Help”: Trump On India-China Border Row

Key points:

  1. “I know that China now, and India, are having difficulty, and very very substantial difficulty. And hopefully, they will be able to work that out,” Trump told reporters at the White House.
  2. “That is, Chinese aggression in this instance has been so blatant that the United States could not stand by and either ignore it or not come to India”s defence,” said Tellis, the Tata Chair for Strategic Affairs.

(NDTV, 25 September, 2020) News Link

  • Statement by China about Bharat
  1. चीन ने पहली बार बताया, गलवान घाटी संघर्ष में मारे गए कितने चीनी सैनिक

Key points:

  1. गलवान घाटी हिंसा में कितने चीनी सैनिक मारे गए थे, इसके रहस्‍य का पर्दा उठता नजर आ रहा
  2. चीन ने भारत के साथ बैठक में पहली बार बताया है कि गलवान घाटी में उसके 5 सैनिक मारे गए थे
  3. इसमें चीनी सेना का एक कमांडिंग ऑफिसर भी शामिल था, भारत के भी 20 सैनिक शहीद हुए थे (Navbharat Times, 25 September 2020) News Link.
  1. India targets Pakistan at UN body over counter-terrorism record

Key points:

  1. “It is very unfortunate that a country which perpetrated terrorist attacks in Mumbai (2008), Pathankot (2016), Uri and Pulwama is now preaching to the world community,” Mahaveer Singhvi, joint secretary (counter-terrorism) in the external affairs ministry said in his intervention during the meeting with the theme “The global scourge of terrorism: Assessment of high risk threats and trends including the rise of violent extremism and hate speech in a pandemic environment”.
  2. “While the world is coming together to battle the pandemic, it is unfortunate that Pakistan, a state which sponsors cross-border terrorism, continues to use every opportunity to peddle false narratives and make baseless, malicious and egregious allegations against India and interfere in our internal affairs,” Mahaveer Singhvi, joint secretary (counter-terrorism) in the external affairs ministry said, adding that the statement by Pakistan’s representative at the meeting was part of this pattern.
  3. Mahaveer Singhvi, joint secretary (counter-terrorism) in the external affairs ministry added, “Even as Pakistan provides shelter and support to terrorists, it continues to peddle a false and motivated narrative on the situation in the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir. It is seeking to portray its military, financial [and] logistical support to cross-border terrorism against India as a freedom struggle. It is also peddling misinformation about India’s domestic legislation and policies.”
  4. “Pakistan’s role as epicentre of terrorism has been well documented by numerous international organisations including UN and FATF. Unlike Pakistan, India does not make any distinction between terrorists and invariably condemns terror attacks anywhere in the world, including the one in Karachi, referred to by Pakistan’s representative in his statement,” Mahaveer Singhvi, joint secretary (counter-terrorism) in the external affairs ministry said.

(Times Now News, 25 September, 2020) News Link

  • Won’t allow India to appoint foreign lawyer for Kulbhushan Jadhav: Pakistan

Key points:

  1. Pakistan has once again made it clear that it will not accept India’s demand of having a foreign lawyer to represent Kulbhushan Jadhav in the review and reconsideration case being heard at the Islamabad High Court (IHC), leaving his fate in the hands of the Pakistani courts.
  2. While responding to a query whether Pakistan would be executing Jadhav or not, Foreign Office spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri, responded at a weekly media briefing: “Pakistan being a responsible member of International community is fully cognizant of its obligation to comply with the International Court of Justice’s (ICJ) decision.”I cannot predict what the decision in the matter would be, but effective review and reconsideration in the case can only be provided by Courts in Pakistan.”Elaborating more about the details and proceedings of the case, Chaudri said Jadhav confessed to his involvement in terrorist activities in Pakistan.

(Times Now News, 25 September, 2020) News Link

  • Won’t allow India to appoint foreign lawyer for Kulbhushan Jadhav: Pakistan

Key points:

  • Pakistan has once again made it clear that it will not accept India’s demand of having a foreign lawyer to represent Kulbhushan Jadhav in the review and reconsideration case being heard at the Islamabad High Court (IHC), leaving his fate in the hands of the Pakistani courts.
  • While responding to a query whether Pakistan would be executing Jadhav or not, Foreign Office spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri, responded at a weekly media briefing: “Pakistan being a responsible member of International community is fully cognizant of its obligation to comply with the International Court of Justice’s (ICJ) decision.”I cannot predict what the decision in the matter would be, but effective review and reconsideration in the case can only be provided by Courts in Pakistan.”Elaborating more about the details and proceedings of the case, Chaudri said Jadhav confessed to his involvement in terrorist activities in Pakistan.

(Times Now News, 25 September, 2020) News Link

  • Don’t need lessons on human rights from Pakistan’: India hits back at Pak Foreign Minister’s OIC meet

Key points:

  1. It’s a matter of great concern that population of religious minorities has reduced to an insignificant number in Pakistan: India at UN
  2. The world doesn’t need lessons on human rights from a country known as epicentre of terrorism: india

(Times Now News, 25 September, 2020) News Link

  • Proscribed terror outfits in Pakistan collecting funds in name of charity: India tells UN

Key points:

  1. Speaking at the debate ‘Human rights situations that require the Council’s attention’, Pawan Badhe highlighted how “malevolent attempts by terrorists” has been observed whose aim is “to exploit the financial and emotional distress caused by the lock-downs to disturb the cohesiveness of societies”.
  2. India also raised the issue of fake news and detailed how “increased presence of people online and on social media has been targeted by terrorists to disseminate misinformation through hate speeches, fake news and doctored videos” with the intent to “entice and establish links with vulnerable individuals and recruit them in their cadres.”

(DNA India, 25 September, 2020) News Link

  • Pakistan playing SAARC spoiler with terror, trade hurdles: Jaishankar

Key points:

  1. Jaishankar, in his comments on the virtual meeting, said, “Cross-border terrorism, blocking connectivity and obstructing trade are three key challenges that SAARC must overcome. Only then will we see enduring peace, prosperity and security in our South Asia region.”
  2. He urged SAARC member states to collectively resolve to defeat terrorism, including the forces that nurture, support and encourage an environment of terror and conflict, which impede the objective of SAARC to realise its full potential for collective collaboration and prosperity across South Asia, according to a statement from the Ministry of External Affairs.

(Indian Express, 25 September, 2020) News Link

  • Pakistan playing SAARC spoiler with terror, trade hurdles: Jaishankar

Key points:

  1. Jaishankar, in his comments on the virtual meeting, said, “Cross-border terrorism, blocking connectivity and obstructing trade are three key challenges that SAARC must overcome. Only then will we see enduring peace, prosperity and security in our South Asia region.”
  2. He urged SAARC member states to collectively resolve to defeat terrorism, including the forces that nurture, support and encourage an environment of terror and conflict, which impede the objective of SAARC to realise its full potential for collective collaboration and prosperity across South Asia, according to a statement from the Ministry of External Affairs.

(Indian Express, 25 September, 2020) News Link

  • Indian fisherman shot at by Pakistan personnel

Key points:

  1. Five fisherman from Porbandar were fishing near the International Marine Boundary Line (IMBL) separating the marine border between India and Pakistan off Jakhau coast in Kutch district on Wednesday. Suddenly a Pakistan Maritime Security Agency (PMSA) boat intercepted the Indian fishermen’s boat ‘Devlok’ and started firing unprovoked.
  2. Four shots were fired of which one hit fisherman was identified as Dhiru Bambhania (38) in his hand. Bambhania along with four other fishermen had set sail in the boat on September 6.
  3. “The PMSA boat first rammed into the Indian fishing boat and then the PMSA personnel fired four rounds at the Indian boat. One bullet hit Bambhania’s hand,” said Manish Lodhari, former president of Porbandar Fishermen’s Association.
  4. “After the incident, ‘Devlok’ sped towards Porbandar and the boat reached the safety of Porbandar shores on Thursday morning. We have urged the central government to deploy Indian coast guard and Indian Navy at the IMBL to thwart and deter misadventures by the PMSA,” Lodhari added.
  5. Last week, the PMSA had apprehended 16 boats with 56 Indian fishermen on board near the IMBL. At present there are more than 600 Indian fishermen lodged in the Pakistani jails, while more than 1,100 boats are in Pakistan’s custody.

(Times of India, 25 September, 2020) News Link

  1. UK plans human challenge studies for Covid vaccine; India says no to the idea  Key points:
  2. UK has become the first country in the world to announce that it will host human challenge studies, in which participants are deliberately injected with a pathogen to assess if a certain vaccine works, for Covid-19 vaccines. This is a proposition that India has considered but chosen not to follow, said senior officials in Union Health Ministry and the ICMR.
  3. What happens if somebody deliberately injected with the virus goes on to have severe form of the disease?” questioned Dr Samiran Panda, chief scientist with the ICMR. “That’s why we are not considering such a testing in Indian context.” Experts pointed out that human challenge trials have been done in the past, but not lately due to ethical issues.

(New Indian Express, 25 September, 2020) News Link

  • West Bengal Government and UK India Business Council Sign MoU to Strengthen the State”s Industrial Development

Key points:

  1. The MoU was signed at a virtual roundtable by Ms. Vandana Yadav, Secretary, Industry, Commerce & Enterprises Department & Managing Director, West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation (WBIDC), Government of West Bengal and Mr Kevin McCole, Managing Director, UKIBC in the presence of Mr Nick Low, Deputy High Commissioner, British Deputy High Commission – Kolkata.
  2. The MoU was signed as part of a virtual roundtable, which examined measures to support businesses in a post-COVID-19 world. What was clear is that Governments and industry are looking beyond the current crisis to re-shape and strengthen economies, supply chains, socio-economic development and business norms post-COVID-19.
  3. Speaking about the MoU, Nick Low, British Deputy High Commissioner – Kolkata, “UK and India share great synergies in trade and investment which have only grown in recent years. I am delighted to see the renewal of the MoU between UKIBC and WBIDC which is a testament to the ever increasing engagement between the UK businesses and the Government of West Bengal.

(Outlook India, 25 September, 2020) News Link

  • Doors Still Open For India To Co-Develop ‘Tempest’ Sixth-Gen Fighter Jet With The UK

Key points:

  1. Officials of the British Ministry of Defense (MoD) along with executives from BAE Systems were expected to brief Indian Defence Ministry and Indian Air Force (IAF) officials regarding the project. Nik Khanna, head of BAE Systems India, while speaking to the Business Standard back then, had said – “We are looking for international partners to access the best-assured capability (for developing the Tempest).”
  2. While referring to the specific role of New Delhi in the Tempest Project, Khanna said – “A big cost driver for a futuristic aerospace system is going to be the requirement for more and more software engineers. India has a huge capability in that area.” However, despite no developments on India’s role in the Tempest project and proposal almost falling through, it seems that New Delhi could still join the program along with the likes of Japan and Netherlands.

(Eurasian Times, 25 September, 2020) News Link

  • European countries
  1. France yet to fulfil technology transfer commitment in India Rafale jet deal

Key points:

  1. India’s audit watchdog has come down heavily on foreign vendors for not fulfilling their commitments to an offset policy for defence procurement, including France in its deal for the sale of 36 Rafale fighter jets. The policy includes conditions for foreign direct investment and technology transfers, which the authority says are not forthcoming.
  2. India’s national auditor, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) sharply criticised the Defence Ministry’s policy for offsets, which also governs the deal with France for 36 Rafale jets made by Dassault Aviation.
  3. In September 2016, India inked a direct deal with the French government to purchase 36 new Rafale fighter jets in a nearly 8 billion euro deal. France has been one of India’s steadfast material suppliers for decades.

(RFI, 25 September, 2020) News Link

  • 36 More Rafales: France Wants India To Order More Rafale Jets For DRDO To Acquire Aero-Engine Tech?

Key points:

  1. According to the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report quoted by PTI, the French aviation giant – Dassault and European conglomerate MBDA are yet to meet their commitments of offering high technology to India as part of the deal relating to the acquisition of 36 Rafale jets.
  2. The French side assured to transfer more work for the production of the M-88 engine that powers its Rafale fighter jets, only if New Delhi orders 36 more Rafale jets.(Eurasian Times, 25 September, 2020) News Link
  • Relation with African countries
    • India executed 194 developmental projects in 37 African countries; working to complete 77 more such projects: MoS MEA

Key points:

  1. India has executed 194 developmental projects in 37 African countries and is currently working to complete 77 more projects in 29 countries in the continent, with a total outlay of USD 11.6 billion, Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan said on Thursday.
  2. India has also significantly increased its diplomatic footprint in Africa and now has residential diplomatic missions in 38 African countries, he said. “As we speak, today, India has executed 194 developmental projects in 37 African countries; currently working to complete 77 additional development projects in 29 countries, with a total outlay of USD 11.6 billion,” Muraleedharan was quoted as saying in a statement released by the Ministry of External Affairs.
  3. Grants in aid worth more than USD 700 million have been extended to African partner countries for projects in infrastructure, connectivity, skill development, security and health sectors, he said. “India is acutely aware of the needs of our African partners for skilled and trained manpower. Therefore, capacity building has always been one of the key components of India’s development assistance to Africa,” he said.
  4. “In the run-up to the IAFS Summit this year, we had planned to hold the India-Africa Agriculture Ministers’ Meeting in mid-March 2020. We had already received the confirmation of many of our African colleagues to participate in this meeting. Unfortunately, that was the first major meeting to be postponed due to the pandemic,” he said.
  5. “Our external Affairs Minister Dr. Jaishankar, has also spoken to his counterparts in several African countries and offered assistance in our joint struggle and has also discussed matters of mutual bilateral and multilateral interest,” Muraleedharan said. (Financial Express, 25 September, 2020) News Link
  • Relation with Bangladesh
  1. India and Bangladesh to boost slew of projects at Sep 29 foreign ministers level meetKey points:
  2. Foreign ministers of both the countries will lead their respective delegations in the meeting to be held on September 29 through virtual platform. Another key focus of the JCC this time will be the finalisation of the programmes for the Mujib Birth Centenary and for the 50th anniversary of creation of Bangladesh.

(Economic Times, 25 September, 2020) News Link

  • Relation with Afghanistan
  • Afghanistan signs $160 million renewable energy deal with US, Turkey and India

Key points:

  1. Solar and wind power projects will be developed in Kabul, Balkh and Herat provinces
  2. Afghanistan imports 1,200 megawatts of energy from Iran, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan
  3. The projects will be developed in Kabul, Balkh and Herat by a local company with partners from Turkey, India and the US Agency for International Development (USAID).
  4. Tawhidi told Arab News that the projects will be developed in partnership with USAID by an Afghan company, a firm from Turkey, and one from India.

(Arab News, 25 September, 2020) News Link

  • Relation with Japan
  • High-speed train, Quad figure in 1st call between Japan’s Suga, PM Modi

Key points:

  1. Days ahead of a meeting of the foreign ministers of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, or Quad, to be hosted by Japan, Yoshihide Suga said he would promote cooperation through the grouping.
  2. India and Japan committed themselves on Friday to take forward the Mumbai-Ahmedabad high-speed rail project and welcomed a memorandum of cooperation on specified skilled workers to be signed in the near future.
  3. Both issues figured in the first phone conversation between Japan’s new Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi. Suga said he will promote bilateral cooperation in security and economic matters and work with India to achieve a free and open Indo-Pacific.
  4. The text of the agreement on specialised skilled workers has been finalised by the two sides. India has focused on similar agreements with several countries to ensure better mobility for its skilled professionals in fields such as information technology.
  5. The commitment to India’s first bullet train project is significant as the venture has been hit by delays and other issues, people familiar with developments said on condition of anonymity. The 508-km project is being built with an 80% loan from Japan with an interest rate of 0.1% and a 15-year moratorium on repayments.

(Hindustan Times, 25 September, 2020) News Link

  1. India’s Royal Enfield to begin making motorcycles in Thailand

Key points:

  1. India-based motorcycle maker Royal Enfield is setting up an assembly plant in Thailand next year as it continues its Southeast Asian expansion drive.
  2. “We are bringing our success from India into Thailand with the goal to be number one in the midsize motorcycle market in Thailand,” Royal Enfield Thailand CEO Siddhartha Lal said in an email to the Nikkei Asian Review, referring to motorcycles in the 250 cc to 750 cc class.
  3. The Thai factory will be a completely knocked-down facility in Chachoengsao Province, part of an industrial zone the government has been keen on promoting. Such factories assemble individual parts into finished vehicles. At least 40% of parts will be local, while the rest would be shipped from India, with operations expected to start in April 2021.

(Asian Nikki Review, 25 September, 2020) News Link

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