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Only 7% money allotted for Smart Cities spent: Rahul Gandhi’s year-end salvo at PM Modi and his supporters

Even before Prime Minister Narendra Modi could begin his monthly radio broadcast Mann Ki Baat on the New Year’s Eve, this time aimed at the youth between 18 to 25 years, Congress Vice President, Rahul Gandhi accused him of making empty promises.Taking a jibe at Modi supporters by calling them Bhakts, Rahul questioned the government’s failure to utilise the money allotted for the Smart Cities project and to roll out the infrastructure and create jobs which the Modi government promised two years back. “Dear Modi bhakts, of 9,860 crores for the Smart Cities only 7per cent has been used. China is out competing us while your master gives us empty slogans. Please watch this video and advise him to focus on what matters-job creation for India.” – Rahul tweeted with #BJPEmptyPromises posting along a YouTube video showing documentary on Chinese city, Shenzhen.The Smart City Mission was launched on June 25, 2015 with an aim to develop the basic infrastructure of chosen cities to world class level. The project involves delivering assured water and power supply, sanitation and solid waste management, efficient urban mobility and public transport, seamless IT connectivity, e-governance and citizen participation. The development of Smart Cities was expected to generate lot of employment in multiple sectors but the slow take off of the scheme has not yielded the desired results.The YouTube video of ‘Shenzhen’, a city in China also known as ‘Silicon Valley of hardware’ shows how China by focussing on hardware innovation is taking over the technology market in India as well. Shenzhen has wide array of manufacturing industries and as a hardware hub where patents are not created to fight copycats and exert legal pressure, but are used for trades between companies to share information. The Chinese counterfeit consumergoods industry, which are known as ‘Shanzhai’ in China, has been a key for domestic skill and job creation.

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Post Dokalam stand-off, China’s ties with India still fragile, says Global Times op-ed

An opinion piece in a Chinese daily has described China`s ties with India as still being fragile, especially after troops of both countries were engaged in a military stand-off near the trilateral boundary that they share with Bhutan on the Doklam Plateau.The opinion piece further rubs in the fact that Beijing exhibited its prowess and strength and emphatically sent out a message in the neighbourhood that it could not be messed around with when it came to its sovereignty over the territory.”This summer witnessed the Doklam standoff between China and India. The two sides eventually resolved the crisis peacefully. Yet the incident exposed how fragile Sino-Indian ties are, while indicating (at the same time) Chinese capability to push back provocations from other nations (Read India) through its own strength,” says the opinion piece in the state-run Global Times.Also readPost Dokalam stand-off, India and China are working to ‘take their relationship forward’Doklam or Zhoglam (in Standard Tibetan), known as Donglang in Chinese is an area with a plateau and a valley, lying between Tibet’s Chumbi Valley to the north, Bhutan’s Ha Valley to the east and India’s Sikkim state to the west.In June 2017, a military standoff occurred between China and India as China attempted to extend a road on the Doklam Plateau southwards near the Doka La pass and Indian troops moved in to prevent the Chinese.Also readWill continue to engage with China for Dokalam solution: IndiaIndia claimed to have acted on behalf of Bhutan, with which it has a ‘special relationship’. Bhutan also then formally objected to China’s road construction in a disputed area.On August 28, 2017, it was announced that India and China had mutually agreed to a speedy disengagement on the Doklam Plateau, bringing to an end to the military face-off that lasted for close to three months.The Chinese foreign ministry, however, sidestepped the question of whether Beijing would continue the road construction.Latest reports and satellite images of the area indicate that China is continuing with road construction activity on its side of the trilateral boundary.”Needless to say, the neighbourhood around China is the most complex one among major powers. Without stability in the region surrounding the country, the Global Times simultaneously adds that “it is (would be) impossible for Beijing to take its strategic initiative around the world.”Describing China as a rising power, the daily says that “China is getting to know better how to adapt to its surrounding nations. Although individual problems and crisis had at time been troublesome, the strategic stability following the emergence of China has increased.”On tensions related to the South China Sea, it says that the year 2017 has seen an improvement in Beijing’s ties with the ASEAN and this momentum being maintained and sustained with the help of a framework for establishing a Code of Conduct for the South China Sea.”Beijing’s diplomatic efforts have played a significant role in cooling troubled waters. The rise of China is a fact..Tensions in the South China Sea have tested relevant nations in this regard and consensus concerning those questions has been accumulated..The biggest challenge in China`s periphery in 2017 is the situation on the Korean Peninsula. The almost uncontrollable confrontation between Washington and Pyongyang mirrored the limitations of China`s ability to shape the landscape around it,” the Global Times opines.”Yet 2017 tells us that emerging China has the resources to solve and control the problems even as they increase.The self-healing ability of crisis in our neighbourhood is also growing stronger.The biggest driving force for solving China`s problems on its periphery is development. As long as Beijing keeps its strong development momentum, China will be able to implement ever greater strategic initiatives,” the opinion piece concludes.

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Doval meets Chinese State Councillor as India, China hold first border talks after Doklam standoff

India and China agreed today that pending the final resolution of the boundary issue, it is necessary to maintain peace and tranquility in the border areas, and exchanged ideas on various confidence building measures (CBMs) in this regard as the two sides tried to put behind them the Doklam episode.After a meeting between the Special Representatives (SRs) of India and China on the Boundary Question – Ajit Doval, National Security Advisor of India and Yang Jiechi, State Councillor — the external affairs ministry said the talks were “positive”.During today’s border talks, first since the 73-day-long military standoff in Doklam, the two sides underlined the need to build on their convergences while seeking mutually acceptable resolutions of their differences with due respect for each other s concerns, sensitivities and aspirations.Also readPost Doklam, Indo-China boundary talks on FridayWhile the MEA statement did not say whether the Doklam issue was discussed, in Beijing, a spokesperson in Chinese foreign ministry skirted a question on whether it figured during the talks and instead said, “This mechanism is not only a high-level channel for dialogue on border issues between the two sides but also important platform for strategic communication between China and India.”Also readAhead of NSA-level talks, China says lessons should be learnt from Doklam stand-off The Doklam standoff began on June 16 after the Indian troops intervened and stopped the Chinese army from building a road in the area claimed by Bhutan as it posed a security risk to Chicken Neck, the narrow corridor connecting India with its north-eastern states. The two armies “disengaged” on August 28.”The two sides agreed that pending the final resolution of the boundary question, it is necessary to maintain peace and tranquility in the border areas. In this regard, the Special Representatives exchanged ideas on various confidence building measures,” the MEA said in a statement.It further said, “The talks were positive and focused on bringing out the full potential of the Closer Developmental Partnership between the two countries.”The SRs undertook a comprehensive review of earlier rounds of the talks and agreed that an early settlement of the boundary question serves the fundamental interests of both countries.They re-emphasised their commitment to achieve a fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable solution to the India-China boundary question at an early date.

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Post Doklam, Indo-China boundary talks on Friday

After the 73-day Doklam military stand-off, special representatives of India and China will meet in the nation Capital on Friday to carry forward talks on boundary dispute. Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) informed that at the invitation of Ajit Doval — the National Security Adviser and the Special Representative on the boundary question — State Councillor and China’s Special Representative on the issue Yang Jiechi will visit India on December 22 to hold the 20th SR-level meeting.In Beijing, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said this SR meeting is not only a high-level channel for the border issue discussion, but also the platform for strategic communication. “In 2017, China-India relations have generally maintained a good momentum, but the Doklam incident posed a major test for the two countries. We should learn lessons from this incident to avoid any further conflict of this kind in the future,” Hua said.Chinese and Indian troops were locked in the border stand-off from June 16 when Indian soldiers stopped Chinese personnel from building a key road close to India’s ‘chicken’s neck’ corridor.On August 28, India announced the “disengagement” between the soldiers of the two countries. The road was being built by China in an area also claimed by Bhutan.

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Ahead of NSA-level talks, China says lessons should be learnt from Doklam stand-off

China today said that the Doklam stand-off posed a “major test” for the bilateral ties and lessons should be learnt from it to avoid a similar situation of its kind in the future.The comment came ahead of the 20th round of India-China border talks which are expected to be held this week in New Delhi between National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval and China’s State Councillor Yang Jiechi who are designated Special Representatives. Though the talks are scheduled for December 22, an official announcement has not been made yet from both sides.The two sides attach significance to this round of talks as it would be the first round of talks since the 73-day Doklam stand-off in the Sikkim section which ended on August 28. This Special Representative meeting is not only a high- level channel for the border issue discussion but also the platform for strategic communication,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told a media briefing here today. This also allows the two sides to exchange views on the international and regional issues of major concern, she said.Also readIndian Army’s Doklam warning: Any mischief will get ‘nice and proper’ response “In 2017, China-India relations have maintained a good momentum generally but the Doklam incident posed a major test for the two countries. We should learn lessons from this incident to avoid any further conflict of this kind in the future,” Hua said. “We should follow our historical conventions on the border to uphold the tranquillity and peace in the border region as well as safeguard the larger picture of the India- China relations,” she said, adding that is in the best interest of both the countries. Asked about the Doklam stand-off’s impact on the talks, Hua said the issue also figured in the recent visit of Foreign Minister Wang Yi to New Delhi to take part in the foreign ministers’ meeting of Russia, India, China (RIC).On its sidelines, Wang also held talks with his Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj and President Ram Nath Kovind. Wang in his meeting with Indian counterpart also touched about the Doklam issue, Hua said. Besides attempting to resolve the vexed border dispute, the format of the India-China Special Representatives talks covered the whole gamut of relations between the two countries including political, strategic, economic and trade issues.The 3,488-km-long Line of Actual Control (LAC) covers from Jammu and Kashmir to Arunachal Pradesh. Of this, 220-km section falls in Sikkim. The two sides so far held 19 rounds of Special Representatives talks to resolve the dispute.Also readDoklam stand-off put severe pressure on bilateral ties: Chinese Foreign Minister tells Sushma SwarajOfficials say Wang’s visit, the first by a top Chinese official after the Doklam stand-off and the starting of second term of Chinese President Xi Jinping in October facilitated a more candid and frank talks between the two countries to tide over most contentious between the two countries beyond the diplomatic niceties. They said though a solution to the border dispute still eludes the two countries, a lot of headway has been made in the 19th round of talks in terms of working out mechanisms to restore peace and tranquillity along the border to resolve tensions out of the aggressive patrolling by troops.The Doklam stand-off began on June 16 over PLA’s plans to build a road in area claimed by Bhutan after the Indian troops intervened to stop it as it posed a security risk to Chicken Neck, the narrow corridor connecting India with its North- eastern states. India pointed Sino-Indian differences over the tri- junction between India, China and Bhutan in the Sikkim section which is yet to be settled. The stand-off ended on August 28 following mutual agreement between India and China. China, which earlier opened the Nathu La route for Indian pilgrims to visit Kailash and Manasarovar, has closed it after the Doklam stand-off and yet to open it.

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The China-India row that spells disaster for flood victims

China is accused of withholding crucial river data that is essential to prepare for floods.

Doklam stand-off put severe pressure on bilateral ties: Chinese Foreign Minister tells Sushma Swaraj

The Doklam stand-off had put “severe pressure” on India-China ties though the issue was resolved through diplomatic means, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj during their meeting in New Delhi.The bilateral ties went through a serious test after Indian border troops “illegally trespassed” into the Chinese territory in June, Wang told Swaraj yesterday. The Chinese foreign minister was in New Delhi to attend the Russia-India-China (RIC) Foreign Ministers’ meeting. Although the stand-off ended eventually through diplomatic means more than two months later, lessons must be learned and efforts must be made to avoid such an incident in the future, said Wang, whose comments were posted on the Chinese Foreign Ministry website today.”The stand-off put the bilateral relations under severe pressure,” he said. Wang said that the Sino-Indian relations are at a crucial period and the most important thing between the two countries is to really cultivate mutual trust. Leaders from both countries have shared the view that China and India should regard each other’s development as opportunities rather than challenges, and China and India are partners rather than rivals, thus the two sides should sincerely implement the consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries, Wang noted.Also readFlashpoint, as India asks China to give back droneWhile enhancing strategic communication at all levels, restoring dialogue mechanisms that have been established and deepening pragmatic cooperation in all fields, both sides should also properly manage differences so as to maintain peace and tranquillity in the border areas, he said. Wang’s visit to New Delhi is the first by a top Chinese official to India after the 73-day Doklam stand-off and after the commencement of the second five-year term of President Xi Jinping.Also readChinese incursions increased after DoklamThe Doklam stand-off ended on August 28 after Chinese troops stopped building a key road close to India s ‘Chicken Neck’ corridor. India had objected to the construction highlighting its security concerns. The road was being built by China in an area also claimed by Bhutan. Besides Swaraj, Wang also called on President Ram Nath Kovind and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval.In his meeting with Doval, Wang said China and India should make correct choice in development of relations without politicising and complicating issues left over by history. Sino-Indian relations are at a crucial moment when both sides need to make right choice on the future of the bilateral relations, Wang was quoted as saying by the state-run Xinhua news agency. KJV

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Chinese incursions increased after Doklam

There has been a sudden surge in Chinese incursion along the Indo-Chinese border, after Doklam. In the months of October and November, when heavy snowfall starts making the Indo-Chinese border almost inaccessible, and the presence of troops starts thinning, a sudden surge in Chinese activity has made Indian security establishment wary about the future.In the past two months, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) transgressed into India as many as 29 times through vehicles and at least thrice via aerial route. The transgressions happened across the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladkah and Uttarakhand, especially in Trig Height, Despang Area, Pangong Tso in Ladakh and Rimkim in Uttarakhand.Claiming the incursions as serious in nature, sources privy to the development said, on October 11, two Chinese choppers entered Tunjan La height in Rimkhim Uttrakhand 4.5 km inside Indian territory.In November, 15 such incidents were reported in Ladkah and Uttarakhand region. Sources said that generally, the number of transgression decrease during winters. However, this time, there is no stopping.Since the stand-off, the PLA have pitched 386 tents just 200 metres away from the Doka La stand-off point, intelligence agencies said. Each tent has a capacity of four men. Besides, there are 30 tents that can accommodate two men each.”They have also built 59 shelters, 110 bunkers, 10 hangers and stationed two mobile communication vehicles,” said the source.The Doklam dispute had began on June 16, when a construction party of the PLA started building a road near the disputed tri-junction of Indo-Sino and Bhutan border jutting near the Chumbi valley. It continued for 70 days during during which the soldiers of both the armies held their respective positions in what India described as “no war, no peace” mode. New Delhi and Beijing eventually agreed to pull back their troops towards the end of August.

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Poor benefited from gas connections, not Ambanis, Adanis and Tatas: PM Modi hits back at Congress

On Sunday, PM Modi looked to take the fight back to Congress as he hit back against their jibe that he worked only for rich industrialists.Speaking in Vadodara, he called the city special saying he would never the forget the way he got support in 2014. He said the 2017 Gujarat elections was a battle between ‘development agenda’ of BJP and ‘destructive politics’ of Congress. He claimed that the law-and-order situation under Congress was bad in Gujarat, and that BJP had given importance to Shanti, Ekta and Sadbhavana.He targeted the Congress leaders for meeting the Chinese leaders during the Doklam standoff, as he said, “When our soldiers were fighting in Doklam, Congress leaders were meeting the Chinese Ambassador. When asked why, he said – to get a sense of what is happening in Doklam. Now, you tell me – in such times should we trust our authorities more or the Chinese.” Also readWatch | Gujarat Election 2017: Rahul Gandhi greeted with chants of ‘Modi, Modi’ during his temple visitBrushing aside allegations that his government was for the rich he, said: “My Government is for the poor. I can’t understand the lies Congress keeps saying. When we build a state of the art bus terminus for Vadodara, do we do it because Mukesh Ambani, Tata or Birla uses it? No. We make this to serve the poor. Our lives are devoted to serving the poor.”He added: “During demonetisation the nation stood with me. They embraced short term pain for long term gain. Congress leaders got worried because everything that they accumulated has gone. We give gas connections…are Ambanis, Adanis and Tatas the beneficiaries’ No, the poor are. Congress should stop their lies and focus on development issues. When the Government of India is building toilets, we are not building them for the rich. We are doing this for the poor.”Also readGujarat Election 2017: Congress took ‘supari’ to lose polls, BJP will win, says former CM Shankarsinh VaghelaHe went on to say: “I will never allow anything wrong to happen in this nation. Important to safeguard the rights of the poor and middle class.”Earlier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday took a dig at the Congress Party by saying that there are some people in Delhi, whose sole Mission is ‘Parivar Bachao.’Also readYou are pained by ‘abuses’ but silent on Afrazul’s killing: Owaisi questions PM’s silence‘There are some people in Delhi whose sole Mission is ‘Parivar Bachao’, ‘Rahul Bachao’. These are the same people who, in an hour of voting yesterday, started saying the EVMs are hacked thanks to bluetooths! Some logic this is,’ the Prime Minster said while addressing a public gathering at Kaalol in Gujarat.Yesterday, Congress leader Arjun Modhwadia complained of bluetooth connection in the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) in Gujarat’s Porbandar.Modhwadia had alleged that Porbandar’s Sharda Mandir booth number 145, 146 and 147 voting machines were connected to other devices through bluetooth.Continuing his tirade at the Congress, Prime Minister Modi said, ‘The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is fighting these elections on the issue of development. The Congress is back to their old tricks. A generational shift has not brought in a new political culture for the party. They rely on their same divide and rule politics.’‘When I first stated my intent to ensure electrification of villages in Gujarat, the state Congress leaders mocked me. They said it can never happen, they also asked me- you have not headed a Panchayat how can you promise this’ We proved them wrong, ensured villages get power,’ he added.The Prime Minister also said with the mantra of Shanti (peace), Ekta (unity) and Sadbhavana (goodwill), the BJP government has taken Gujarat to new heights of progress.‘With the mantra of Shanti, Ekta and Sadbhavana, the BJP government has taken Gujarat to new heights of progress,’ he stated.The first phase of polling took place yesterday and recorded a voter turnout of 68 percent.The second-phase voting will be held on December 14. The votes will be counted on December 18.The Congress is eyeing to dethrone the BJP government in the state.The last Congress government in Gujarat was led by Chhabildas Mehta from February 17, 1994 to March 13, 1995.With inputs from agencies

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Chinese media slams India over drone crashing into its territory; says India gone too far

Chinese state media Global Times has slammed India after a drone crashed into Chinese territory on Thursday.In a strongly-worded editorial titled ‘India must apologise for drone intrusion”, China said: “In a time and at a location so sensitive, both sides should have avoided acting in ways that the other might perceive as provocative to prevent new frictions arising”.“But India clearly did not behave itself,” the editorial said.The 70-day military standoff between India and Chinese border troops was resolved end-August when the two countries withdrew troops from Doklam after Beijing indicated it had halted work on a road that triggered the row.Also readIndia, China hold first border consultation mechanism meet after Doklam standoffIndia had acknowledged the drone crashing into the Chinese side and attributed the glitch to a technical error.“Even if it is a technical problem, why is that technical problem happening at the exact wrong place and wrong time? If a Chinese drone flew into Indian territory due to a technical failure, would India accept an explanation that such an incident was a mere accident,” the editorial asked, alleging the Indian military had gone ‘too far’.”New Delhi is relying excessively on China’s goodwill to maintain friendly relations with India,” the article added.On Thursday, the drone had crashed into China and the Chinese had immediately criticised the actions. New Delhi, However, attributed to a technical failure.Also readIndia drone crashed near our border, invaded our air space, claims China

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Gujarat Elections 2017: Constitutionally and financially ‘impossible’ to implement Congress manifesto, says Arun Jaitley

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today termed the Congress party’s Gujarat poll manifesto as ‘constitutionally and financially impossible’ and said the promises like quota to Patidar and farm loan waiver can never be fulfilled.On the day Gujarat went in for the first phase of polling, Jaitley said, “Having no model of development, the Congress party’s manifesto is one of fiscal impossibility. The total revenue earned by the state is about Rs 90,000 crore per annum. The Congress promises a tax waiver of Rs 20,000 crore.”This will bring down the effective revenue income of the state to Rs 70,000 crore, he said in a long Facebook post.Also readGujarat Elections 2017 | Congress releases manifesto five days ahead of polls”To this may be added the Central devolution and the borrowings which under the FRBM Act have a three per cent cap. All these constitute the committed liabilities of salaries, pensions, social and developmental expenditure. There is no surplus money left after this committed expenditure,” he said.He further said, the Congress manifesto promises an additional bonanza of Rs 1,21,000 crore in terms of populist programmes and it doubles the expenditure while reducing the income, which is a fiscal nightmare.Also readGujarat Elections 2017: Congress manifesto promises farm loan, Patidar quota “The two important limbs of the Congress manifesto comprise of one – a constitutional impossibility and the other a fiscal impossibility. The Congress party can well afford this risk since its victory is a political improbability,” he said.The next important limb of the Congress campaign, the finance minister said, is a promise of reservations over and above 49 per cent.Also readGujarat Elections 2017 | BJP releases manifesto just a day before pollsCiting the Supreme Court order, he said, it has repeatedly emphasised that the net total of all reservations cannot exceed 50 per cent since 1992 and states which have attempted to breach this cap have faced constitutional resistance.”A promise of reservations beyond 50 per cent has been made by the Congress and the PAAS to the people of Gujarat. This act of self-deception is a constitutional impossibility – which will never be judicially permissible,” he said.Taking on Congress’ claim that Gujarat model of development does not exist, Jaitley said, this claim has been conclusively demolished by the recent data that Gujarat is the only state in India whose GSDP grew by 10 per cent during the period 2012-2017.”Gujarat grew at least two per cent faster than the nearest growing state i.E. Madhya Pradesh. A double digit growth rate is unheard during the period of economic downturn. Even the Chinese new normal during this period has been 6.5 per cent,” he said.The fact that this growth rate has been sustained for five years in a row is an evidence of the success of the Gujarat model, which the Congress wants to wish away, he said.Another distinct aspect of the Congress party’s campaign, the finance minister said without naming its allies, is that it has clearly demolished its own state-level leadership and outsourced both its leadership and issues to those who had conventionally nothing to do with the party.There is not a single state leader who is touring the state for the campaign, he said, adding the party has disconnected the traditional issues on which it has been campaigning since 2002 and opted for a divisive agenda of social repolarisation.”The state paid a heavy price for such mis-adventures in the 1980s and would be very reluctant to repeat this experiment after having liberated itself from caste wars,” he said.

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India’s new envoy to China Gautam Bambawale invites Chinese investments

India’s new envoy to China Gautam Bambawale has invited firms from the world’s second largest economy to invest in the country, citing heavy sales being registered by Chinese mobile phone manufacturers.Being the sixth largest economy with the seize of USD 2.5 trillion, growing at the rate of 7 to 8 per cent, India offers a huge market and several business opportunities, he said.”We believe that many Chinese companies are well suited and well positioned to take advantage of the large and growing Indian market,” Bambawale said at a seminar on ‘Investment Opportunities in India’ here yesterday.”Chinese mobile phone maker OPPO has just announced that its sales revenue in India in fiscal 2016 grew by 750 per cent, thereby making it a very significant player in India’s mobile phone market. I need not say more,” Bambawale said.He also highlighted India’s move to further liberalise business visas for Chinese travellers to India by introducing an e-visa facility.”The entire process can be done online without a need to visit either our embassy in Beijing or any one of our consulates in China,” he said.The seminar received an overwhelming response with more than 270 representatives from more than 190 Chinese companies attending the event, the Indian embassy said in a statement. Also readSpeaking to China at ‘all levels’ to include India into the Nuclear Supplies Group: RussiaRajiv Kumar, Vice Chairman of NITI Aayog, emphasised the sound economic fundamentals of India – enumerating a young working population, high savings rate and low levels of government debt as important positive indicators for the Indian economy, the statement said.Kumar was here to attend the annual dialogue between NITI Aayog and China’s Development Research Centre (DRC).The DRC, under the State Council, China’s Cabinet, is the agency mainly responsible for doing research on strategic, long-term issues in China’s economic and social development.Also readIndia can grow faster than China: NITI Aayog VCSenior Chinese government officials including Vice Minister of the Development Research Centre of the State Council Wang Liming and Vice President of China Council for the Promotion of International Trade Chen Zhou were also present at the event.Bambawale, who has served as High Commissioner to Pakistan and earlier as India’s envoy to Bhutan, submitted his credentials to President Xi Jinping on Tuesday.
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Yogi Adityanath

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India drone crashed near our border, invaded our air space, claims China

Months after the Doklam stand-off resolution, China on Thursday claimed that India ‘invaded’ its airspace.Beijing expressed “strong dissatisfaction” with New Delhi on Thursday after ‘recent crash’ of an Indian drone in what the Chinese military said was Chinese territory.Beijing also said that the ‘incident’ that could cause further friction along the two countries’ disputed border.”This action by India violated China’s territorial sovereignty. We express strong dissatisfaction and opposition,” said Zhang Shuili, a senior military official in China’s western battle zone command, according to a Defence Ministry statement.”China’s border defence forces took a professional and responsible attitude in conducting an inspection of the device,” Zhang said, adding that the military would resolutely defend national sovereignty and security.It said only that the drone crashed in “recent days” and did not give a location.The drone report comes months after the border stand-off near Doklam in Sikkim sector..In June, July and August, Indian and Chinese troops had been confronting each other at the Doklam plateau .The two sides agreed to an “expeditious disengagement” of troops there about a week before Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi met in an effort to mend ties at a summit hosted by China in September.In November, China again ‘criticised’ a visit by President Ram Nath Kovind to Arunachal Pradesh, which China claims, saying China opposed any activities by Indian leaders in disputed areas.
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Yogi Adityanath

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New Indian envoy Gautam Bambawale presents his credentials to Xi Jinping

India’s new envoy to China Gautam Bambawale today submitted his credentials to President Xi Jinping, a formality which would enable him to officially function as the Ambassador.Xi received the credentials of Bambawale, and 10 other envoys, at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, the state-run Xinhua news agency reported. The Chinese President welcomed the ambassadors to China and asked them to convey his sincere greetings and good wishes to the leaders and people of their countries. The Chinese government will provide convenience and support for the work of the ambassadors, Xi said, adding that he hopes they will actively contribute to bilateral relations between China and their countries.Xi said China will enhance mutual political trust, promote practical cooperation, deepen cooperation in international affairs, achieve common development with the countries and contribute to world peace, stability, the report said. Bambawale, a seasoned diplomat, arrived here last month. Till recently, he served as High Commissioner to Pakistan and earlier as India’s envoy to Bhutan. A 1984-batch India Foreign Service (IFS) officer, Bambawale succeeded Vijay Gokhale who took over as Secretary (Economic Relations) at the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).A deft hand in Sino-India relations, Bambawale earlier handled the China desk at the MEA which also included relations with Japan, China, South Korea, Mongolia and North Korea. A Mandarin-speaker, he had also served as the Deputy Chief of Mission of the Indian Embassy in Beijing earlier. He came ahead of India and China resuming a high-level dialogue this month after Xi assumed his second five-year term after an endorsement by the National Congress of the ruling Communist Party in October this year.Bambawale’s posting here came at a time when the two neighbours are trying to put behind the Dokalam standoff, and work on a “forward-looking” approach in their ties.The Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi is to take part in the Russia, India and China (RIC) dialogue mechanism, expected to be held in Delhi on December 11. During the visit, he is also expected to hold talks with his Indian counterpart, Sushma Swaraj and meet top Indian leadership, officials said here.Following the RIC dialogue, the 20th round of India-China border talks will be held in Delhi between National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi. Both Doval and Yang have been designated as ‘Special Representatives’ who are also mandated to discuss all issues related to India-China relations. For the first time after the Doklam standoff, the two countries held their border consultation and coordination mechanism meeting here last month during which they reviewed the situation in all sectors of their border and exchanged views on confidence building measures and military contacts.The 10th round of the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on India-China Border Affairs (WMCC) was held in Beijing on November 17. The India-China border dispute covers the 3488-km long Line of Actual Control (LAC). China claims Arunachal Pradesh as Southern Tibet while India asserts that the dispute covered Aksai Chin area which was occupied by China during 1962 war.
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Not sure about Doklam next year

Army Chief General Bipin Rawat on Saturday stated that it is good that a 73-day military stand-off on the Doklam plateau in Bhutan has ended, and peace and tranquillity prevailed between the two countries. But he also hinted that they are not sure what will happen next year. He also said that the Central government has given more freedom to the armed force and they have more independence now to take decisions.”Doklam disengagement has happened. There is peace and tranquillity at LAC (Line of Actual Control) and border. This government has given more freedom to armed forces for operations and was more supportive. Let’s see what happens next year,” Rawat said at a function in New Delhi.The stand-off which began in mid-June ended on August 28 after Chinese troops stopped building a key road close to India’s border. India objected to the construction highlighting its security concerns as the road was being built by Chinese troops in the area which is also claimed by Bhutan.Rawat also talked about various other issues ranging from demonetisation, to radicalisation of youths in Kashmir, to surgical strikes carried out by the Indian Army on Pakistan soil.On surgical strike, General Rawat said that it was a message to Pakistan. He also said the Indian Army has many other options, and when the need arises it would be open to exercising those options.He said that in Kashmir the credit for killing 200 terrorists goes to armed forces on ground and intelligence agencies.He also said the forces should focus on targeting leadership of terrorists. “Terror factory, due to radicalisation, is churning out new terrorists. So the focus should be targeting the leadership of terrorists,” he said.However, he said that the the radicalised of youths in Kashmir should be bring back into the society. “We should try to get them back into mainstream. We Want youth to join political system and democratically take up issues within constitution,” he said. He also mentioned that the even after terrorists have targeted some officers, jawans in the valley and trying to lure the youths and radicalise them, many youths over there want to join the armed forces. “And this the best thing,” he said.
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Amid China’s naval build-up, India begins project to build 6 nuclear-powered submarines

India has kick-started an ambitious project to build six nuclear-powered attack submarines that is expected to boost the Navy’s overall strike capabilities in the face of China’s naval build-up and increasing military manoeuvring in the Indo-Pacific region.Confirming the launch of the mega project, Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba also gave a clear indication that Indian Navy was ready to play a bigger role including under the proposed quadrilateral coalition among India, the US, Australia and Japan. In a press conference on the eve of Navy Day, Admiral Lanba also touched on a range of key issues confronting the Navy including acquisition of a range of submarines, warships and weapons systems, asserting that it was ready to face any traditional and non-traditional threats.”It has kicked off and I will leave it at that. It is a classified project. The process has started. I will not comment further,” Admiral Lanba said, replying to a question on the project.On the evolving security scenario in the maritime sphere around India, he said it was odd for China to deploy submarines for anti-piracy operations in the Indian Ocean region and that a threat assessment is being carried out by the Indian Navy on it. “We are all aware of the prevailing security scenario in our maritime domain. The continued presence of both traditional and non-traditional threats in the maritime domain demand constant attention and robust mitigating measures,” he said. He also spoke about possible security challenges in case of presence of Chinese warships in the strategically-important Gwadar port in Pakistan which is being developed by China.”It will be a security challenge. We will have to look at it and mitigate,” he said.Also readWho is Shubhangi Swaroop? 5 things you must know about Indian Navy’s first woman pilotThe Navy Chief said eight ships of Chinese PLA Navy were deployed in the Indian Ocean region at any point of time and that there was a unique situation in August when the numbers had gone up to 14. Additional deployment of Chinese warships and submarines were reported during the over two month-long standoff between Indian and Chinese armies in Doklam. On expanding the Indian Navy’s presence in critical sea lanes, Admiral Lanba said it was gradually increasing its deployment in Andaman seas, Malacca Strait, Gulf of Oman, Persian Gulf, North Arabian and Sunda and Lumbok.”In short, our ships and aircraft are deployed from the Gulf of Aden to the Western Pacific on an almost 24×7 basis,” he said. Referring to the bilateral naval agreement between India and Singapore providing for deeper cooperation including logistics support, he said similar agreements are being negotiated with a number of countries. “We are negotiating similar pacts with a number of other countries,” he said adding the Navy has activated the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) with the US by taking fuel at sea from the US three months ago.Also readIndian Navy’s pilotless aircraft crashes in KochiTalking about the controversy in the Russian media that a US team was allowed to board nuclear-powered submarine INS Chakra, the Admiral said “No US official has even seen it from close quarters.” Talking about modernisation of the Navy, he said 34 ships are under construction and projects worth Rs 40,000 crore have been identified for participation of the private shipyards. He said 23 Indian private sector shipyards have qualified for participation in indigenous shipbuilding projects on the basis of their capacity, capability and infrastructure.The Navy chief said work on Indigenous Aircraft Carrier, IAC 1, is progressing well, adding he was hopeful that the ship would join the Navy by 2020. He said steps have been taken to bolster the aviation arm of the Navy by induction of new fighters, surveillance aircraft and ship-borne helicopters. “The Indian Navy is at the threshold of joining a select league of navies capable of providing Submarine Search and Rescue in the Indian Ocean Region with two Deep Submergence Rescue Vessel Systems scheduled for induction next year,” he said.
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Indian troops on China border told to delete 42 apps including WeChat, Truecaller

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Indian troops posted along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) facing China have been asked to delete a number of apps on their smartphones due to data security implications.Troops have been asked to delete 42 mobile applications such as UC Browser, WeChat, Truecaller, ShareIT, and format their smartphones with immediate effect, reported ThePrint.in. The development comes after the recent stand-off between Indian and Chinese soldiers along the border in Doklam.“Use of these apps by our personnel can be detrimental to…national security,” a report said citing sources. The instructions were reportedly sent to troops on 24 November. ALSO READ Doklam stand-off was ‘safely resolved’ after several rounds of talks: PLA official “If some of them are already using any of these apps, then they should be asked to immediately uninstall the app and format their cellphones,” reads the instruction.”The personnel are expected to maintain the security of their phones, whether official or personal, as well as computers. Such alerts and advisories, especially about Chinese-origin mobile apps as well as electronic devices, are issued from time to time,” an official told Times of India.A fortnight ago, India and China held their first meeting on the border consultation and coordination mechanism here after the Dokalam standoff and reviewed the situation in all the sectors of their border and exchanged views on enhancing CBMs and military contacts.The standoff which began in mid-June ended on August 28 after Chinese troops stopped building a key road close to India’s Chicken Neck corridor. India objected to the construction highlighting its security concerns. The road was being built by the Chinese troops in the area also claimed by Bhutan. ALSO READ China objects to Prez Kovind’s visit to Arunachal, says India shouldn’t ‘complicate’ border dispute

Congress doesn’t believe Army about surgical strikes, celebrates release of Haifz Saeed: PM Modi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Pushing the BJP’s campaign in Gujarat into high gear, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today asked Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi why his party applauded the release of a terrorist in Pakistan and why he hugged the Chinese ambassador during the Dokalam stand-off.Modi, who started his high-voltage campaign with a rally in Kutch district’s Bhuj town, launched a stinging attack against the Congress party. “You are happy to hug Chinese ambassador, you are clapping on the release of Hafiz Saeed, you cannot respect Indian Army’s surgical strike. But why did you speak up about it? You could have just remained silent,” he said.Gandhi had recently tweeted: “Narendrabhai, baat nahi bani. Terror mastermind is free. President Trump just delinked Pak military funding from LeT. Hugplomacy fail. More hugs urgently needed.” The tweet had come after the release of LeT founder and Mumbai terror attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed by a Pakistan court. Modi said the election in his home state is a contest between trust on development and dynastic politics He was addressing a BJP rally in Kutch district’s Bhuj town ahead of the first phase of the elections on December 9. “Recently Pakistani court released a terrorist, I cannot understand why these Congress people are clapping here,” Modi said in his speech delivered in Gujarati.
ALSO READ Gujarat election is contest between development and dynastic politics: Modi attacks CongressHe also alluded to allegations by Congress leaders, including the Congress vice president. “This Gujarat son has no stains in his public life. You come to the state and level baseless allegations on the son of the soil… the people of the state will not forgive you,” he said. During his campaign in the state in the last few days, Gandhi had trained his guns at the Modi-led government over the Rafale fighter aircraft deal. Taking a dig at the opposition party, which is making all out efforts to dislodge the long-ruling BJP in Gujarat, Modi asked, “When our soldiers… were standing eye-to-eye against the Chinese soldiers for over 70 days, at that time you were hugging the Chinese ambassador here…”For whose benefit did you do this? I am asking you,” Modi said, without taking any name. He referred to the Mumbai 26/11 terror strike and the attack in Uri and asked what was the difference between one government and another, one leader and other. The meaning of living and dying for the country can be known by the response, Modi said. “They killed our soldiers in Uri, our soldiers went inside their territory, conducted a surgical strike and came back. The next day a newspaper said they (in Pakistan) carried bodies in trucks,” he said.
ALSO READ Gujarat Elections | All the ‘kichad’ thrown at me will help lotus bloom: PM Modi Modi alleged that the Congress raised questions on the surgical strike in September 2016. “They could not respect Indian Army, they asked questions like none of our soldiers was injured? None of them died? Have you any photo or video evidence? Had they gone to shoot a movie in Pakistan?” he said. “When you go to the house of the poor and eat rotis, you ensure that you are filmed, but does that mean that a surgical strike should be filmed?” the prime minister asked.Modi will address a series of campaign meetings today and on Wednesday in Saurashtra and South Gujarat, which go to the polls on December 9. The second phase of elections to the 182-member Gujarat Assembly will be held on 14. The votes will be counted on December 18.

Gujarat election is contest between development and dynastic politics: Modi attacks Congress

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday launched a veiled attack on Congress party saying the Gujarat election is a contest between development and dynastic politics.The Prime Minister made the remarks while addressing a rally in Bhuj of Gujarat’s Kutch district.He also alluded to allegations thrown at him during the campaign by Congress leaders, including party Vice-President Rahul Gandhi.”I am grateful for all the kichad (muck) being thrown at me. After all, a ‘lotus’ blooms only in ‘kichad’. So, I don’t mind if more is thrown at me. Those slinging mud on us will help the ‘lotus’ bloom even more,” he said.Stating that the Congress is unhappy about demonetization, Modi said, “They keep attacking me but I want to tell them…I have grown up on the same land as Sardar Patel. I will ensure that the poor get their due. We will not allow this nation to be looted.Modi also said that Congress party lack Neeti, Niyat, and a Naata with the people.Taking another dig at the opposition party, Modi asked, “When our soldiers were standing eye-to-eye in Doklam for 70 days, why were you hugging the Chinese ambassador.”Further stating that India was attacked on 26/11 and in Uri, Modi said, “You can see how India responded in wake of both attacks. This explains the difference between their government and ours.”The elections to the 182-member Gujarat Assembly will be held in two phases on December 9 and 14. The counting of votes will be on December 18.(Prime Minister Narendra Modi meeting people before addressing the rally)

No Indian Muslim who believes in Islam will allow ISIS to have a base in the country: Rajnath Singh

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Dismissing reports of the Islamic State gaining a foothold in Kashmir, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said today that Indian Muslims would never allow terrorist outfits such as IS to have a base in the country.Singh also said he has complete faith in the Indian youth that they would not let IS misled them.”Any Indian Muslim who believes in Islam would not allow any opportunity to the Islamic State to have a base in the country,” the Union home minister said.His remarks came in wake of claims that the global terror outfit was involved in an attack on security forces in Srinagar on November 17 in which a terrorist, Mugees, was killed and a sub-inspector, Imran Tak, lost his life.The terrorist group claimed the attack through its propaganda news agency, ‘Amaq’. Photographs of Mugees with the IS flag had surfaced on the social media. Even his body was wrapped in the flag of the banned terror group during funeral.Singh urged the young men, who live near the India- Pakistan border and who have been misled into joining terrorist groups, to return to the mainstream, saying proper assistance would be provided to them.Singh dismissed reports about IS gaining a foothold in the Kashmir Valley and said there was no confirmation about such reports. He said the matter was being investigated by security agencies and any conclusion should be arrived at only after their report was submitted to the government.Commenting on the recent military standoff with the Chinese Army in Dokalam area in Sikkim sector, Singh said India wants cordial ties with its neighbours and even Chinese president Xi Jinping has expressed his views on this.Indian and Chinese armies were engaged in an over two- month-long military standoff in the Dokalam area, which is claimed by Indian ally Bhutan, after Chinese troops tried to build a road. New Delhi opposed the construction of the road, fearing it would allow Beijing to cutoff India’s access to its northeastern states.The Union home minister also visited the house of Hindi author Manu Sharma, who died earlier this month, in Varanasi to pay his respects.

6.9 earthquake hits Tibet close to Arunachal Pradesh; no casualties so far

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A strong earthquake measuring 6.9 on the Richter scale jolted the Nyingchi city and surrounding areas in Tibet, close to the border with Arunachal Pradesh, in the early hours on Saturday.No casualties were reported immediately but the quake caused power failure and damage to properties and roads in several villages of the region.The epicentre of the quake was detected at a depth of 10 km in Nyingchi, the state-run Xinhua news agency reported.Four minor aftershocks measuring between 5 and 3.1 on the Richter scale were reported from the city’s rural areas.Basang Cering, party chief in Zhaxigang village of Lunang Township, told Xinhua that he could not stand still inside his house when the quake struck. Six houses in his village were damaged in the jolt.Sources with local electricity supply said the power grids of both the Tibetan province and Nyingchi are operating normally, though an emergency response mechanism has been launched.The China Seismological Bureau observed that the highest seismic intensity of the quake affected an area of 500 square metres, which is sparsely populated.The tremors triggered falling rocks, blocking a highway linking Nyingchi’s city proper with Tangmai, one of the quake-hit townships. Armed police transport troops are clearing the road.The Fire Department of the Ministry of Public Security said fire fighters from Nyingchi are ready in Tangmai Township. Another team of rescuers will take helicopter to Gyalha village at the epicentre, after road to the village was blocked by rocks.The Ministry of Transport has also dispatched staff to investigate the safety condition of bridges in the affected area.The Tibet subsidiaries of Chinese telecom providers China Mobile and China Tower said that their networks are operating normally. But the Tibet branch of China Telecom reported the disruption of an optical cable for broadband service in Pome and Zayul counties.

India, China hold first border consultation mechanism meet after Doklam standoff

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>India and China on Friday held their first meeting on the border consultation and coordination mechanism here after the Dokalam standoff and reviewed the situation in all the sectors of their border and exchanged views on enhancing CBMs and military contacts.The 10th round of the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on India-China Border Affairs (WMCC) was held in Beijing, a press release from the Indian Embassy here said.The WMCC was established in 2012 as an institutional mechanism for consultation and coordination for the maintenance of peace and tranquillity in the India-China border areas.It was established to deal with the tensions over recurring border incursions as well as to exchange views on strengthening communication and cooperation, including between the border security personnel.The India-China border dispute covers the 3,488 km long Line of Actual Control (LAC). While China claims Arunachal Pradesh as Southern Tibet, India asserts that the dispute covered Aksai Chin area which was occupied by China during the 1962 war.Today’s talks were held in a constructive and forward- looking manner, the release said.Both sides reviewed the situation in all sectors of India-China border and agreed that maintenance of peace and tranquillity in the border areas is an important prerequisite for sustained growth of bilateral relations, it said.The two sides also exchanged views on further confidence building measures (CBMs) and strengthening of military-to- military contacts, it said.The talks between the delegations headed by Pranay Verma, Joint Secretary (East Asia), Ministry of External Affairs and Xiao Qian, Director General, Department of Asian Affairs, were the first such dialogue between the two countries after the 72-day-long standoff at Doklam in the Sikkim section.The standoff which began in mid-June ended on August 28 after Chinese troops stopped building a key road close to India’s Chicken Neck corridor. India objected to the construction highlighting its security concerns. The road was being built by the Chinese troops in the area also claimed by Bhutan.This is the first round of talks between the two countries after Chinese President Xi Jinping began his second five-year term as the chief of the ruling Communist Party of China last month.Today’s talks took place ahead of Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s planned to visit to India to take part in the Russia, India and China (RIC) Foreign Ministers meeting expected to be held in New Delhi next month.Chinese officials earlier said Wang is expected to meet his Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj as well as top Indian leaders.The contentious issues bedeviling both the countries, including the $ 50 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) as well as Bejing’s veto blocking UN listing of JeM leader Masood Azhar as a global terrorist are expected to be discussed during Wang’s talks with Indian leaders.Ahead of the talks, Chinese officials have expressed optimism that differences over the listing of Azhar by China in the 1267 Committee of the UN Security Council may be resolved soon. China has blocked India’s application last year and vetoed a similar resolution sponsored by the US, the UK and France twice this year.Also the 20th round of India-China border talks headed by National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi, who are the designated Special Representatives, are expected to be held in New Delhi next month.The dates for both RIC and border talks are yet to be announced.The Special Representatives were also mandated to discuss all issues related to India-China relations.The delegations at today’s talks comprised of diplomatic and military officials from each side.The two sides agreed to hold the next meeting of the WMCC at a mutually convenient time, the release said.

Move to block resolution on Masood Azhar not contradictory to BRICS declaration: China

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>China has asserted that there is no contradiction in its policy to block India’s bid to designate Pakistan-based JeM chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist by the UN, saying the BRICS declaration was against terror groups and not individuals, Pakistani media today reported.A veto-wielding permanent member of the Security Council, China has repeatedly blocked India’s move to impose a ban on the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief under the Al-Qaeda Sanctions Committee of the Council. The latest technical hold by China came on November 2 when it blocked another proposal by the US, France and the UK to list Azhar as a global terrorist by the UN. Beijing had blocked such a move in February this year. Speaking to a delegation of Council of Pakistan Newspapers Editors in Beijing this week, Counsellor and Asia Division Director of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Chen Feng said vetoing a resolution against Azhar after the BRICS declaration against terror outfits did not reflect a contradiction in China’s policy as BRICS members have not entered into any such agreement.The Chinese move was not in contradiction with Chinese policy in the context of BRICS declaration against terrorism, Chen was quoted as saying by the Express Tribune. Chen clarified that the BRICS summit discussed only banned organisations and not individuals, Pakistan Today reported. The BRICS nations – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – at a summit in China in September named, for the first time, Pakistan-based groups like the Lashkar-e- Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammed and the Haqqani network in a joint declaration condemning terror.In early November, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said: “we raised a technical hold so as to allow more time for the committee and its members to deliberate on this matter. But there is still absence of consensus on this matter.” Defending the repeated technical holds, Hua said China’s actions are meant to ensure and safeguard the authority and effectiveness of the 1267 Committee of the UN Security Council. China in the past has also asked India to discuss the issue directly with Pakistan to reach an understanding on Azhar’s listing.In the last two years, China has stonewalled efforts by India to declare Azhar as a global terrorist. The senior Chinese Foreign Ministry official also briefed the Pakistani editors about the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), an ambitious project that is opposed by India as it is passing through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK). Chen said Beijing was trying to convince India that the multibillion dollar project is based on economic cooperation and that its main aim is to promote peace and prosperity in the region.”The CPEC is neither a way to achieve political aims nor to be used in regional conflicts. Basic aim of the economic plan is to expand the mutual relations. China wants to engage other countries in the economic corridor too,” Chen said. He said China had time and again clarified it to India that it had no hegemonic designs in the region.”We rather view CPEC as a way of forming equal relationships with regional countries and to promote friendship and neighbourhood in the region,” he added. Feng clarified that China was not a party in the Kashmir dispute. “India’s accusation of Chinese occupation on any part of Kashmir is baseless. We have denied such claims in the past as well. Kashmir is a bone of contention between India and Pakistan, peaceful solution of which is the only way to regional peace and prosperity,” he was quoted as saying.

Ring Road: Dilemma over China link now

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A new hurdle has stalled much awaited Jaipur ring road project. NHAI is in dilemma over China connection of Haryana based ‘Gawar’ company, which placed the lowest bid for this project. The matter was sent to union ministry of surface transport and national highway, which forwarded it to ministry of external affairs. Now, the NHAI will wait for foreign ministry’s nod to go ahead with bidding process.Ring road project has been facing problems from the beginning. Initially, the company, which was awarded contract in 2011 couldn’t complete the project in stipulated 24-months due to tussle with its partner. Jaipur Development Authority (JDA) then handed over project to NHAI but went too slow in annulment of contract with the old company. Now, there is a new hurdle. Of the 15 companies in race for this project, Gawar had the lowest bid but before NHAI could issue letter of interest (LOI) to the company, it was revealed that a Chinese has 5% stake in Gawar. The NHAI then sent the matter to union surface transport ministry and subsequently it reached ministry of foreign affairs. Sources said that LOI can now be issued only after clearance from the foreign ministry.After years of delay, the government was hoping that the NHAI would complete the project by September 2018.MONEY MATTERSProject cost Rs 1,190 crore
Rs 960 crore for first phase of six-lane CC road
Rs 230 crore second phase, includes three flyovers

PM Modi briefly meets Trump and other world leaders at ASEAN gala dinner

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prime Minister Narendra Modi tonight held separate pull-aside meetings with US President Donald Trump and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on the sidelines of a gala dinner to mark the 50th anniversary of the ASEAN.Modi was also seen chit-chatting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak at the reception for the leaders who have arrived here for the 31st ASEAN summit and related meetings. He also held brief interactions with several other leaders who attended the reception hosted by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte at the mega SMX Convention Centre in Pasay City here.The prime minister as well as all other leaders wore Barong Tagalong, an embroidered shirt which is the national dress of the Philippines. Renowned Filipino designer Albert Andrada has designed the shirts. Modi also tweeted pictures of his interaction with several leaders.The menu of the gala dinner featured various Filipino cuisines including Filipino steak sushi. The brief interaction between Modi and Trump came ahead of their scheduled bilateral meeting tomorrow. The two leaders are expected to deliberate on a number of key issues of mutual interest including the evolving security situation in the Indo-Pacific region where Washington favours a greater role by India.There have been concerns over China’s growing military presence in the Indo-Pacific and the issue was understood to have figured in a meeting of officials from India, the US, Japan and Australia today under the proposed Quadrilateral coalition of the four countries. “The discussions focused on cooperation based on their converging vision and values for promotion of peace, stability and prosperity in an increasingly inter-connected region that they share with each other and with other partners,” the ministry of external affairs said in a statement.”They agreed that a free, open, prosperous and inclusive Indo-Pacific region serves the long-term interests of all countries in the region and of the world at large,” it said. On Tuesday, Modi will attend the ASEAN-India and East Asia summits where he is likely to reassert India’s push for crafting a global approach to deal with growing challenge of terrorism and radicalisation besides pitching for steps to boost regional trade. Modi will hold bilateral meetings with Duterte tomorrow. He also had a conversation with Li at the dinner. “PM @narendramodi had a warm and cordial conversation with the Chinese Premier Li Keqiang at the Gala Dinner,” MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted.

Not bothered with someone else’s stand on Arunachal: Nirmala Sitharaman snubs China

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Rebuffing China’s objection to her visit to Arunachal Pradesh, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today said the northeastern state is an Indian territory and the country is not concerned about someone else’s opinion on it.On Monday, China had objected to Sitharaman’s first visit to the border state on Saturday and Sunday, saying her tour of the “disputed area” was not conducive to peace in the region. India had rejected Beijing’s objection and asserted that Arunachal Pradesh is an integral part of the country. “What is the problem? There is no problem. It is our territory, we will go there,” she said in a reply to a query on China’s reaction on her visit to Arunachal Pradesh.”We are not concerned with someone else’s opinion on this,” the minister, who is campaigning for the BJP in poll- bound Gujarat, said in a press conference here. Sitharaman had visited forward army posts in remote Anjaw district of the state bordering China to take stock of defence preparedness. The minister had visited Nathu La area on the India-China border in Sikkim last month and greeted the People’s Liberation Army soldiers across the border. Her “friendly gesture” had earned appreciation from the Chinese media.Asked if giving shelter to Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama was the reason for strained relationship between India and China, she said it was not so. “One issue can not make or break a relationship. There are many issues. Every issue has its own weight,” she said.

Ahead of PM Modi’s visit to Manila, Donald Trump bats for India’s inclusion into 21-member APEC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>US President Donald Trump will be pushing for India’s membership to the 21 member Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC ) early next week when Prime Minister Modi and President Trump will be at the APEC summit in Manila, according to Dennis Wilder, former high ranking CIA expert on China and who is currently professor of Asian Studies at the Georgetown University in Washington, DC.In an exclusive interview with ANI, Wilder said, “This idea has been kicking around between the US, Japan, Australia and India for a while. I think President Trump and Prime Minister Modi have a very good relationship and when they meet in Manila they will discuss APEC. The US will take a stand and be vocal about India’s participation and the importance of India joining the forum.”The support of the United States for India’s inclusion into APEC will not only be seen as a major gesture towards Prime Minister Modi’s government by the Trump administration, but will also be a move that would be a boost to India’s economy and will give India a stronger control and a better standing in its relationship with China. “It would be a step towards realising the United States’ strategic objective of involving India more fully into the region something I think that will help India to stand with China,” said Wilder.Apart from pushing for India’s full membership to the APEC, the Trump administration is also keen on expanding the Malabar naval exercises which currently involve India, Japan and US to include Australia. A meeting of the India-Japan-US-Australia quadrilateral is expected in Manila on the sidelines of the East Asia Summit. These four regional democracies would ideally like to emerge as guarantors of free trade and defense cooperation across a stretch of ocean from the South China Sea, across the Indian Ocean to Africa, said Wilder.A communique that came out of Tokyo during President Trump’s first leg of the Asia visit stated that “There was a discussion that came up on the Indo-Pacific concept and the idea that there is a need to work on infrastructure, just what the Chinese are doing on the One Belt, One Road project as a competitive strategy,” said Wilder in the interview. “Indo- Pacific is the new geopolitical word game that is being played out by the US lately. Trump administration officials have started to refer to Asia as the ‘Indo-Pacific,’ rather than the ‘Asia-Pacific’ region.“The United States is an Indo-Pacific power,” said a senior administration official traveling with Trump. “We’ve been one since the dawn of our republic. Our security and our prosperity depend on the United States maintaining access for free flow of commerce to this region, because we’re a Pacific nation.” In the Indo – Pacific Worldview of the Trump Administration India plays an important role.Asked if the new policy was aimed at containing China’s rise, Wilder said ‘certainly not’ and instead emphasised the importance of India, which views China as a political rival and potential military threat ‘to U.S. security and prosperity. “We have strong and growing ties with India. We talk about an Indo-Pacific in part because that phrase captures the importance of India’s rise. If you look at President Trump’s Asia trip so far, the phrase Indo Pacific has traveled with him. It has clearly become the new American strategy. “Experts say China reads ‘Indo Pacific’ wordplay as a containment strategy and the Chinese have immediately jumped into calling the Indo US alliance as a containment strategy because that’s the easy way to knock it down. “It’s not a containment strategy, because there is a substantial amount of trade that China does with the US and also with India. Who is containing China? We are not containing China? The White House is very clear this is not a containment strategy, but it is a competitive strategy. Now, is that going to worry China if India and US get closer? Obviously it will,” said Wilder a former CIA expert on China.The Trump administration is also going to offer a much closer Defence relationship to India in line with the President’s Indo-Pacific Worldview. The US will offer not just military components but will also include economic, geopolitical and cultural components that will together form a stronger Washington-Delhi strategic partnership, said Wilder. It would be upto India to take the next steps towards the Asian partnership that President Trump is proposing, said the former CIA expert on China.President Trump in his speech in Vietnam has initiated the process by praising India’s growth story and this say experts is a clear signal from the U.S. Government to the Modi Government to come forward

Foreign Secy S Jaishankar wants resolution of maritime disputes through UN body

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Describing maritime security as an important dimension of foreign relations, Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar on Wednesday said India would ensure freedom of navigation over flight rights and unimpeded commerce, as the country’s trade volume along Indian Ocean amounts to 40%. In an oblique reference to Chinese attempts to flex military muscles to block other countries in South China Sea, despite an international tribunal voting against it, Jaishankar advocated a resolution of maritime disputes through the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), saying all oceanic states were equal stakeholders.He noted the economic dimensions and security challenges in the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) states and called for defining collective naval and national strategies. The 21-member IORA including states bordering Indian Ocean is seen as a front to challenge Chinese attempts to block sea-lanes. Describing the association as a collective platform to highlight common challenges, the Foreign Secretary said that IORA is an important instrument in promoting cooperation and ensuring stability in the region, and that India supports the intensification and invigoration of IORA activities in areas like renewable energy, blue economy and maritime safety.”Security challenges do not respect borders and need to be tackled through effective partnerships at the regional level. India has been working with like-minded countries to preserve the integrity, inviolability and security of maritime domain, much of which is a global commons,” he said.The remark is seen as a veiled reference to Pakistan. In November 2008, Mumbai witnessed a terror attack from Pakistan-based terrorist outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), who used the Arabian Sea to enter India. He added that maritime cooperation is one of the “key pillars” of India’s cooperation in Asia and Africa and listed out initiatives New Delhi has undertaken to help its coastal neighbours.Maintaining that a favourable maritime environment in the Indian Ocean was a broad objective that requires coordination between India’s military, diplomatic and economic institutions, he said India has initiated help to its maritime neighbours to set up their network and contribute to the shared development of Maritime Domain Awareness. He said persevering efforts to secure shipping traffic in the area from pirate attacks has contributed to the greater maritime safety in the region and enabled the reduction of the High Risk Area in December 2015.In order to safeguard mainland and islands, defend interests, ensure a safe secure and stable Indian Ocean, he recommended that countries should deepen economic and security cooperation, envisage collective action and cooperation to advance peace and security and respond to emergencies and also seek a more integrated and cooperative future for the region that enhances sustainable development.

JeM Chief Masood Azhar is a ‘bad guy’, should be called global terrorist: US

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pakistan-based JeM chief Masood Azhar is a “bad guy” and should be declared a global terrorist, the US today said as China blocked a bid at the UN to list Pathankot terror attack mastermind as a designated terrorist. Last week, China for the fourth time had blocked a proposal backed by the US, France and Britain to list Azhar as a global terrorist, citing a lack of consensus among the members of the Al-Qaeda Sanctions Committee of the UN Security Council.The JeM, founded by Azhar, has already been in the UN’s list of banned terror outfits. “We certainly think that he is a bad guy. We would like to have him on that list,” State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert said at a press conference when asked about China’s move.“There are some committee discussions that are underway over whether to add him or the entity to the sanctions list. That list is confidential under the United Nations, so unfortunately, I am not going to be able to comment on the deliberations at the UN under that,” Nauert said. “I’d have to refer you to the Chinese Government to explain why they voted the way they did, but we certainly think that this guy is a bad guy,” she said when asked about China’s action.“We consider the organisation to be a foreign terrorist organisation under the US law,” Nauert said. A veto-wielding permanent member of the Security Council, China has repeatedly blocked India’s move to put a ban on the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief under the Al-Qaeda Sanctions Committee of the Council.China had in August extended by three months its technical hold on the US, France and UK-backed proposal to list Azhar as a global terrorist by the UN after having blocked the move in February this year at the United Nations. Notably, China was the only country opposing the designation of Azhar by the Security Council as a terrorist.All other 14 of the 15 members of the UN Security Council were supporting the bid to place Azhar on the sanctions list that would subject him to an assets freeze and travel ban. Azhar is accused of several terrorist attacks in India, including one on the Pathankot air force station in January 2016.

Rahul Gandhi asks PM Modi about two crore jobs he promised

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Taking a dig at the BJP on the issue of unemployment, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Monday said that he’s waiting for the day when the Chinese youth will use Indian phones. “I’m waiting for the day ‘Made in India’ gets displayed when Chinese youth turn their mobiles for taking selfies,” said Gandhi at a rally in Sirmour. Gandhi attended three rallies in Himachal — at Sirmour, Kangra and Chambal — apart from paying a visit to the Paonta Sahib. In the last two days, the Congress has come under severe attack from the BJP, notably from PM Modi who has attacked the Congress on the issues of corruption, and even likened the Congress to ‘rakshas’ (demons) and ‘termites’. He said PM Modi had promised over two crore jobs in election rallies, but is yet to keep his promise. “There are so many young men here without jobs. It is a major issue. Modi has failed to provide any jobs. He is simply working for the benefit of corporate majors. China has taken away our jobs. The Chinese government creates over 1 lakh jobs in a span of two days, while in India only 450 jobs are created in a day. Isn’t that shameful,” asked Rahul. Comparing Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh on the basis of studies conducted by the Niti Aayog, Gandhi said that Himachal fars were in several parameters, including education and healthcare. “Unlike the BJP, we work very hard here in Himachal. Look at these numbers and you’ll know that the ‘Gujarat Model’ needs to be discarded,” said Gandhi.He also criticised the BJP on the implementation of the GST and said the state’s economy, including apple traders are reeling under the effects of the tax. “We brought in the GST, so we are not against it. We simply said that the government should have conducted a pilot study,” he said.On gst frontRahul said the govt did not listen to Congress on GST, for which people are now facing the brunt“When we come to power in 2019, we will make new tax regimepeople-friendly,” he said

Even during peace, militaries prepare for any eventuality: Army Chief Bipin Rawat plays down China’s call to be ready to fight wars

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Chief of Army Staff General Bipin Rawat on Saturday said there is nothing new in Chinese President Xi Jinping’s call to the country’s army to be ready to fight and win wars.Commenting on this, General Rawat said, “Every army has to prepare for a conflict. That is the task of every army. There is nothing new anybody is saying. I also have to keep preparing. In peace time, we all train and prepare for any eventuality. So, there is nothing new in that.”The Army Chief was here to unveil the statues of Field Marshal K M Cariappa, and Padma Bhushan and Distinguished Service Order (DSO) awardee General Kodendera Subayya Thimayya, at Cauvery College in Karnataka’s Kodagu District.Recently, President Jinping instructed the Chinese armed forces twice to improve their combat capabilities and readiness for warOn October 27, he urged the country’s army to develop itself into a world-class military by the mid-21st century.He was addressing military officers after being re-elected as CPC Central Committee General Secretary and Central Military Commission (CMC) Chairman at the 19th National Congress of the CPC.On Friday, the Xinhua news agency quoted President Xi, as saying that “The CMC should lead the armed forces to be ready to fight and win wars, and to undertake the missions and tasks of the new era entrusted to them by the party and the people.”His repeated calls for war preparedness left defence experts speculating about its impact on India-China relations, especially after the recent Doklam standoff.The Doklam standoff started on June 16, 2017, when Chinese troops with construction vehicles and road-building equipment began extending an existing road southward in Doklam, a territory which is claimed by both China as well as Bhutan. Indian troops objected to this advance and saw it as an act of Chinese aggression.Finally on August 28, both India and China announced that they had disengaged their troops in Doklam.

In Himachal Pradesh, PM Modi launches stinging attack on Congress

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday mounted a sharp attack on the Congress in both his rallies in poll-bound Himachal Pradesh calling them a ‘laughter club’ and compared them to demons in a veiled attack. “Himachal Pradesh is a ‘dev bhoomi’ (land of the gods), and everyone knows that when the ‘rakshas’ (demons) descended here to create trouble, it was the ‘devs’ (gods) who defeated them. People know that the devs will overpower the ‘danavs’ (demons), and that the time has come to choose the ‘devs’ so that evil can be overpowered,” said Modi during his rally at Kangra. He also called the Congress a “laughter club” and said that the party now functions on the tenets of ‘bhrashtachaar’ (corruption), ‘pariwaarwaad’ (nepotism), ‘jaatiwaad’ (casteism). He questioned the charges of corruption on CM Virbhadra Singh, who he said was out on bail, and said that the BJP will rid Himachal of the five mafias – mining, forest, tenders, drug and transfer mafia. He further trained his guns on Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi and said that he refused to believe his own soldiers on Doklam during the stand-off. “A person who was born in a family of two former prime ministers does not have his trust on the elected government, and went and spoke to the Chinese ambassador. Isn’t that an insult to the jawans in the army,” said Modi, adding that the party’s talk of ‘azaadi’ in Kashmir has added insult to injury. Reacting to criticisms of demonetisation, Modi said that only those who had money to hide are complaining. Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala said that Modi is raining ‘jumlas’ on the people of the state. “Modi should remember that the country is not run on false promises, but on their responsibility to the people. Under their governance, farmers are committing suicide, the youth have no jobs, soldiers have suffered deeply and the economy is in ICU,” said Surjewala. He further said that Modi has, in his rallies, promised a special status to Himachal, rail connectivity from Chandigarh to Ladakh, and levying an import duty on apples.

Jammu and Kashmir: Picture of Hizbul terrorrist holding US-made AR-15 M4 rifle goes viral

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Security agencies have launched an investigation after a photograph showing a Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist brandishing a US-made AR-15 M4 rifle in an orchard in Kashmir went viral on social media.An intelligence officer said prime facie it looked like a “morphed” picture but “we are investigating the matter”.This is the first time a terrorist in Kashmir has been spotted with an AR-15 M4 rifle, widely used by the US Army in Iraq and Afghanistan wars.The militants operating in Kashmir have mostly been using AK assault rifles — both Chinese and Russian made.A senior police official said there was nothing surprising about a Hizbul terrorist being spotted with a US rifle in the valley as weapons of all kinds are freely available in Pakistan’s FATA (Federally Administered Tribal Areas) region.”You can buy any rifle there. What is the big deal? We have been taking on the terrorists and we will continue to do so. The change in weaponry hardly matters,” the official said.

China uses veto again to block move to list Masood Azhar as ‘global terrorist’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> China today blocked another bid by the US, France and the UK to list Pakistan-based JeM chief and Pathankot terror attack mastermind Masood Azhar as a global terrorist by the UN, saying it has rejected the move as “there is no consensus”.A veto-wielding permanent member of the Security Council, China has repeatedly blocked India’s move to put a ban on the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief under the Al-Qaeda Sanctions Committee of the Council.The JeM, founded by Azhar, has already been in the UN’s list of banned terror outfits. China had in August extended by three months its technical hold on the the US, France and UK-backed proposal to list Azhar as a global terrorist by the UN after having blocked the move in February this year at the United Nations.”China has rejected the move as there is no consensus,” sources in the Chinese Foreign Ministry told PTI here. The comment came as the China’s technical hold on a proposal by the US, France and Britain to list Azhar as a global terrorist was set to lapse today. The official’s comment indicates that China will veto the application in the 1267 Committee of the UN Security Council to allow it to lapse.This is the second year in succession that China has blocked the resolution. Last year, China had done the same to stall India’s application before the same Committee.Earlier, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told a media briefing: “we raised a technical hold so as to allow more time for the committee and its members to deliberate on this matter. But there is still absence of consensus on this matter.” Defending China’s consistent technical holds, Hua said China’s actions are meant to ensure and safeguard the authority and effectiveness of the 1267 Committee of the UN Security Council.”We will continue to follow the mandate of the Committee and its rules of procedure and remain in constant communication and coordination with the members of the Committee,” she said.To the follow-up questions, Hua said the Committee has its rules. The committee is yet reach the consensus.”The Committee is yet to reach an agreement. This is a fact,” Hua said. China had in August extended by three months its technical hold on the proposal to list Azhar as a global terrorist after having blocked the move in February this year at the UN.Hua’s remarks indicate that China will continue its policy to block moves by India and other countries led by the US to block Azhar’s listing during the second term of Chinese President Xi Jinping, which began over a week ago.China in the past had asked India to discuss the issue directly with Pakistan in order to reach an understanding on Azhar’s listing.In the last two years, China has stonewalled efforts by India to declare Azhar as a global terrorist.Last year in March, China was the only member in the 15- nation UN organ to put a hold on India’s application with all other 14 members of the Council supporting New Delhi’s bid to place Azhar on the 1267 sanctions list that would subject him to an assets freeze and travel ban.

China denies report of plan to build 1,000- km long tunnel to divert Brahmaputra waters

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>China rejected as ‘false and untrue’ a media report that it was planning to build a 1,000- km long tunnel to divert water from the Brahmaputra river in Tibet close to Arunachal Pradesh to the parched Xinjiang region.Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post on Monday said that Chinese engineers were testing techniques that could be used to build the tunnel, the world’s longest.”This is untrue. This is a false report,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told a media briefing when asked about the report.China will continue to attach great importance to cross- border river cooperation, she said.According to the report, the proposed tunnel, which would drop down from the world’s highest plateau in multiple sections connected by waterfalls, would provide water in China’s largest administrative division, comprising vast swathes of deserts and dry grasslands.The water would be diverted from the Yarlung Tsangpo River in southern Tibet, which turns into the river Brahmaputra once it enters India, to the Taklamakan desert in Xinjiang, the report had said.India as riparian state has already flagged its concerns to China about various dams being built by it on the Brahmaputra river, which is known in China as Yarlung Tsangpo.Beijing has been assuring India and Bangladesh that its dams were not designed to storing water.

Growing Chinese presence in Doklam raises concerns

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Members of various political parties, including Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi, raised questions over reports of China maintaining a sizeable presence of its troops near the site of the Doklam standoff as a Parliamentary panel on Monday took up briefings from top officers of ministries of Defence, Home and External Affairs.The matter came up when the Parliamentary Standing Committee on External Affairs, chaired by Congress leader Shashi Tharoor, examined the issue of Sino-india relations, including Doklam, the border situation and co-operation in international organizations.The briefing was made by officials on the topic ‘Sino-India Boundary Disputes and Border Security including Doklam’.Officials who briefed the panel included Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar, Defence Secretary Sanjay Mitra and Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba.A media report recently showed satellite images of Chinese troop build-up near standoff point on the Doklam plateau. Alluding to it, Rahul Gandhi, according to sources, asked the government officials about reports in media that China is augmenting its military presence in areas close to Doklam.Responding to it, the foreign secretary said the Chinese army is within its own territory and even Indian forces are present on the other side in good number.A source said some members also raised questions about growth possibility of trade between the two countries vis-a-vis road construction activitiesThe over two-and-half-month-long stand-off between Indian and Chinese troops in Doklam had begun mid-June over the Chinese Army constructing a road close to the tri-junction.At the height of the controversy, the government had held two special briefings on the issue for Opposition members the same month during which both sides have batted for resolving the issue diplomatically.The panel, which had earlier also discussed the issue on October 18, has now decided to call experts for a briefing on the issue of Sino-India relations in the next meeting.Monday’s meeting was attended by only odd a dozen of the total 30 members in the panel, prompting a BJP MP to ask Tharoor questions about quorum for holding such a meeting.In the panel’s last meeting as well, Gandhi had asked a number of questions to the government regarding the Doklam issue.BJP had in past attacked Gandhi when he had met the Chinese Ambassador in Delhi in July during the peak of the Indo China row over Doklam. Gandhi had defended the move saying It was his job to be informed on critical issues.SINO-INDIAN RELATIONSThe matter came up in a meeting of Parliamentary Standing Committee on External Affairs
The committee is chaired by Congress leader Shashi Tharoor
The meeting was held on the topic ‘Sino-India Boundary Dispute, including Doklam.
The panel has decided to call in experts for a briefing in the next meeting

China plans world’s longest tunnel to divert Brahmaputra water from Tibet to Xinjiang

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Chinese engineers are testing techniques that could be used to build a 1,000-km long tunnel, the world’s longest, to divert water from Brahmaputra river in Tibet close to Arunachal Pradesh to the parched Xinjiang region, a media report said today.The move, that is expected to “turn Xinjiang into California”, has raised concerns among environmentalists about its likely impact on the Himalayan region, Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post reported.The proposed tunnel, which would drop down from the world’s highest plateau in multiple sections connected by waterfalls, would provide water in China’s largest administrative division, comprising vast swathes of deserts and dry grasslands.The water would be diverted from the Yarlung Tsangpo River in southern Tibet, which turns into the river Brahmaputra once it enters India, to the Taklamakan desert in Xinjiang.China’s longest tunnel is the 85-km Dahuofang water project in Liaoning province, while the world’s longest tunnel is the 137-km main water supply pipe beneath the city of New York.India, a riparian state, has already flagged its concerns to Beijing about various dams being built by it on Brahmaputra river, which is known as Yarlung Tsangpo in China.Beijing has been assuring India and Bangladesh, which is also a recipient of the waters from the river, that its dams were of the run of river projects and not designed to storing water.Wang Wei, a researcher who helped draft the latest Tibet- Xinjiang water tunnel proposal, which was submitted to the central government in March, said more than 100 scientists formed different teams for the nationwide research effort.He was part of the team which was led by China’s top tunnelling expert, Wang Mengshu.The team, according to the report suggested to drain Brahmaputra at Sangri county in southern Tibet, close to Arunachal Pradesh.”Sangri county featured a large, relatively flat valley that was ideal for the engineering project. An artificial island would be built in the middle of the river to create rapid turbulence, which could filter out sediment, and direct water to a well. The well could control the amount of water flowing into the tunnel,” the report said.The Chinese government started building a tunnel in the centre of Yunnan province in August that will be more than 600-km long.Researchers said building the Yunnan tunnel would be a “rehearsal” of the new technology, engineering methods and equipment needed for the Tibet-Xinjiang tunnel, which would divert the Brahmaputra river to the Taklimakan Desert in Xinjiang, it said.Chinese engineers say the Tibetan Plateau, often referred to as “the roof of the world”, stops the monsoon from Indian Ocean reaching Xinjiang leaving the Gobi Desert in the north and the Taklimakan Desert in the south unsuitable for human settlement.In recent decades, Chinese government departments, including the Ministry of Water Resources, have come up with engineering blueprints involving huge dams, pumps and tunnels, the report said.The project’s enormous cost, engineering challenges, possible environmental impact and the likelihood of protests by neighbouring countries have meant it has never left the drawing board.But Zhang Chuanqing, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Rock and Soil Mechanics in Wuhan, Hubei province, said China was now taking a quiet, step-by- step approach to bring it to life.”The water diversion project in central Yunnan is a demonstration project,” said Zhang, who has played a key role in many major Chinese water tunnel projects, including the one in Yunnan.”It is to show we have the brains, muscle and tools to build super-long tunnels in hazardous terrains, and the cost does not break the bank,” he was quoted as saying by the Post.The construction of the tunnel on the Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau, the country’s second-highest, would make political leaders more confident about the Tibet-Xinjiang project and more likely to approve it, he said.

Parl panel members grill govt officials on reports of increased Chinese troops near Doklam

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi along with other members of a parliamentary panel today raised questions on media reports that China was ramping up its military presence in areas close to Doklam at a meeting where the MPs were briefed by top government officials.The Parliamentary Standing Committee on External Affairs headed by Congress MP Shashi Tharoor was briefed by the top officials, including Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba and Defence Secretary Sanjay Mitra, on the Sino-India boundary disputes and security, including in Doklam area. Gandhi asked the officials about a recent media report showing satellite images of Chinese troop build-up near the standoff point on the Doklam plateau, a member who was present in the meeting said.In his response, Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar said that the Chinese Army is in its own territory and similarly the Indian forces are also present on the other side, the member said. Gandhi, who had the maximum number of queries during the panel’s last meeting on the issue earlier this month, again raised various questions about the situation on the India- China border, he said. The 73-day face-off between Indian and Chinese troops in Doklam started on June 16 after the Indian side stopped the construction of a road by the Chinese Army.The meeting lasted for more than two hours in which a BJP MP also questioned the panel-chairman that how could the meeting be held when there was no quorum. Out of the 30 members of the panel, only 12 were present at the meeting. The panel now will also invite experts to brief it on the issue of Sino-India relations.

RSS wing holds ‘swadeshi’ rally against Chinese goods

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The year-long campaign of RSS’ economic wing Swadeshi Jagaran Manch (SJM) against the influx of Chinese goods and it’s negative impact on the indigenous products in the domestic market culminated into a mega rally on Sunday at the the Ramlila Maidan in Delhi.In its memorandum presented to the Centre, the SJM has set demands for preferential treatment to domestic industry, particularly MSMEs, to boost employment, apart from asking for imposition of quality restrictions on Chinese goods. They also demanded that no new trade agreement be signed with the Chinese government and urged states to not allow any Chinese investment. It also asked private companies to desist partnering with Chinese companies.Further, the SJM demanded that Chinese companies not be granted contracts in the northeastern states as it poses a “security threat” and that the Centre must take initiative “to provide impetus to Tibetans to restore their sovereignty from the cultches of China”.The rightwing economic organisation urged the Centre to open ‘Special Chinese Cells’in the Ministry of Commerce and Finance to undertake studied to gauge the impact of the huge Chinese imports and “increasing stranglehold of Chinese investments in India.Some members of BJP had been apprehensive of the rally, which they feared would embarrass the Modi government after the SJM statement on the continuance of UPA’s economic policies. The organisers, however, said that they had had a Swadeshi agenda for a long time and the move was not to cause unease but enlighten policy makers.”For the last one year we have been boycotting Chinese goods and have collected more than 2.5 crore signatures of people from various walks of life in favour of our demands. We have been trying to raise awareness by way of rath-yatras, distribution of pamphlets, student interactions. We reached out villages, too. The maharally is the culmination of our efforts,” said SJM’s national co-convenor R Sundaram.”For the past 25 years we have been propounding our ideas. Just as Ayodhya is the symbol of Hindu pride, this rally, with an immediate focus on the adverse impact of Chinese goods on our economy, will be the symbol of a larger debate on economic policies,” Sundaram said, hinting at NDA policies.The SJM has also decided, said sources, that the organisation’s agenda for the coming year would be to churn out an alternate economic model for India’s growth.National convenor Arun Ojha told DNA that the rally was not against or for any government. Rather, it was against an economic menace and for changing the fate of the country. “If some people think otherwise, they can; but, I am sure not all think so,” said Ojha.

China urges India to shed reservations on ‘Belt and Road Initiative’; says it won’t change stand on Kashmir

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>China on Thursday said India should shed its reservations over President Xi Jinping’s ambitious ‘Belt and Road Initiative’ and join the project as it will not change Beijing’s stand on the Kashmir issue.The BRI, which includes China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), has been included in the Constitution of the ruling Communist Party of China in the just concluded once-in-a- five-year Congress.”We welcome other countries including India to participate in the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) on the basis of voluntarism,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told media briefing on Thursday.The BRI’s goal is to promote connectivity between regional countries and common prosperity of all countries, the spokesman said.”The initiative will not affect China’s position on relevant issues and our position on relevant initiatives will not be changed,” he said.China has been reiterating that the USD 50 billion CPEC which traverses though the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir is a connectivity project and will not affect its stand that the Kashmir issue should be resolved between India and Pakistan through talks.India has objected to the CPEC as it is being laid through the disputed territory and boycotted a high-profile Belt and Road Forum organised by China in May.The BRI will bring tangible benefits to those who are participating in the project at an early date, Geng said.BRI has been included in the CPC Constitution as part of President Xi’s ideological thought putting more pressure on Chinese officials to work for early harvest from the massive amount of investment being poured by China in Pakistan and other countries.According to a senior CPC official, the Chinese firms so far have invested USD 560 billion overseas under the BRI since 2013 and paid over USD 100 billion in taxes and created millions of jobs.

With an eye on China, Indian Navy to deploy warships along critical ‘choke points’ in Indian Ocean

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Indian Navy has approved a major programme that will upscale the warships deployment in the Indian Ocean region.According to latest media reports, Navy chief Admiral Sunil Lanba has given nod for the programme that will see as many as 15 warships, aircraft and patrol vessel would be deployed across the Indian Ocean Region that stretches from the Persian Gulf to the Malacca Strait.The development to expand naval footprint in the geostrategic region is seen as an effort by the Narendra Modi government to check China.Beijing has been flexing military muscle and various sightings of Chinese warships and intelligence gathering vessels in the Indian Ocean were reported earlier in May and June.In July, China opened its first overseas base in Djibouti. The small-yet-significant location of this East African nation means that China has better access in the Horn of Africa.In September, China also conducted first military drill in Djibouti. State television CCTV showed armoured vehicles moving on a desert track, groups of soldiers firing automatic weapons, and cannon pointing towards the horizon.Dozens of soldiers have been deployed in temperatures above 40 degrees Celsius “to reinforce their hardiness in combat and their mastery of military techniques”, the report said.“This is the first time that officers and soldiers stationed in Djibouti have left their camp to conduct live-fire exercises,” Liang Yang, the base commander, told the broadcaster.Indian Navy’s new deployment plan will see ‘mission-ready warships’ along critical sea lanes and ‘choke points’.At present, the Indian Navy has 138 warships and 235 aircraft and choppers. The Navy is also stepping-up its cooperation with other navies in the region through a series of exercises and special drills.

India-China border: Govt wants temperature-controlled posts for ITBP jawans

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The government is looking into a proposal for 50 temperature-controlled posts along the India-China border for ITBP jawans who guard the Himalayan heights in sub-zero temperatures, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said here on Tuesday.Addressing personnel of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police, established on this day 56 years ago to guard India’s borders with China, the home minister announced a slew of other measures to boost the capabilities of the force.These include the construction of 25 border roads in Arunachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh.There are 176 border posts along the India-China border, from Karakoram Pass in Ladakh to Jachep La in Arunachal Pradesh.According to Singh, the government is considering using technology to maintain a temperature of 20 degrees Celsius in the proposed new posts. These will be located in high-altitude areas where ITBP jawans have to bear the brunt of snow blizzards and sub-zero temperatures.”We are committed to enhancing your operational and infrastructure capabilities. Recently, we got a proposal to build 50 new border posts for the force and we are working on it,” the home minister said.The setting up of more posts is aimed at ensuring that they are not abandoned during extreme snow and cold.The government is also considering special lightweight winter clothing for troops deployed above 9,000 feet and an enhanced fleet of snow scooters to patrol the high-altitude areas of the 3,488-km Sino-Indian frontier.The force guards the border in altitudes ranging from 9,000 feet to 18,700 feet in the Western, Middle and Eastern sectors of the Indo-China Border.Singh said he is not satisfied with housing and infrastructure facilities and is “seriously” working to improve these areas.The minister said 35 old border posts in very high- altitude areas are being upgraded as “composite” units.”We are working to enhance road, mobile and satellite connectivity in the border areas for the ITBP,” he said.The minister asked ITBP troops to ensure and build good relations with border dwellers as they are “strategic assets” of the country and important stakeholders in keeping the borders safe.Singh lauded the ITBP for introducing Mandarin during basic training of its troops. This was done so they can converse with the Chinese Army during face-offs.He also asked ITBP officers to take the responsibility of at least one family of those killed in the line of duty.The ministry is working to help jawans who have suffered 50 per cent disability during operations through the Bharat Ke Veer benevolent fund, he said.ITBP Director General (DG) R K Pachnanda said the force has been nominated as the “nodal agency” for obtaining and channelising satellite communication for all border-guarding forces in the country.He said the home ministry has also approved the ITBP’s proposal to hire helicopters for high-altitude border posts.The paramilitary is enhancing its intelligence set-up, Pachnanda added.

China promotes official in-charge of border talks with India, elected to Central Committee of CPC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> China’s top diplomat and Special Representative for India-China border talks has been elected to the powerful Central Committee of the CPC, belying speculation that he is set to retire.Yang Jiechi, 67, along with Foreign Minister Wang Yi, 64, were elected to the 204-member central committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) which concluded its once-in- five-years Congress here today. Former Chinese Ambassador to India, Le Yucheng was among the 172 alternate members elected to the Central Committee.Yang, a former Chinese foreign minister who took part in the India-China border talks with his Indian counterpart Ajit Doval also played a major role in the talks to resolve the 73-day Dokalm standoff which ended on August 28.Observer say that Yang may get elevated to the 25-member Politburo of the CPC which will be unveiled tomorrow along with the seven-member Standing Committee which governs the country. If he gets into the Politburo, Yang could become vice premier becoming first Chinese foreign ministry official to get the post in over a decade, observers said.If he gets elevated, Wang could become state councillor and the new Special Representative of India-China border talks in March. The elevation of Yang, Wang and Le shows President Xi Jinping’s plans to give a big diplomatic push for his multibillion dollar Belt and Road Initiative as well as to counter US push into Asia-Pacific. The absence of the country’s top diplomat from the Politburo was largely due to an unwritten party rule which favoured seniority over competence, the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post said in a recent write-up.It quoted officials as saying that Yang appeared keen to cling on to power and he had been particularly active in the past few months, taking personal credit for establishing a personal rapport between Xi and Trump and bringing an end to China’s border stand-off with India. Beijing was “seriously considering” the elevation of the country’s top diplomat because China now saw itself as a global power and the increased prominence would help implement Xi’s ambitious initiatives such as the ‘Belt and Road’ infrastructure and trade development scheme, it said.

50 new ITBP posts along China border, troops to learn Chinese: Rajnath Singh

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The government is considering building 50 more ITBP posts along the India-China border and using technology to ensure a round-the-year temperature of 20 degrees Celsius in all its high-altitude bases, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said on Tuesday.Addressing jawans and officers of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) during its 56th Raising Day celebrations here, Singh announced a slew of measures to bolster its capabilities.These include construction of 25 border roads in Arunachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh; special lightweight winter clothing for troops deployed above 9,000 feet and an enhanced fleet of snow scooters to patrol the high-altitude areas of the 3,488-km-long Sino-Indian frontier.”We are committed to enhancing your operational and infrastructure capabilities. Recently, we got a proposal to build 50 new border posts for the force and we are working on it,” the home minister said.There are 176 border posts along the India-China border at present.He said the government is considering using technology to ensure a temperature of at least 20 degrees Celsius is maintained in all high-altitude ITBP posts that bear the brunt of snow blizzards and sub zero climate.A senior officer said the move is aimed at ensuring that forward border posts are not abandoned during extreme snow and cold.”We have created a model border post in Ladakh where a temperature of 20 degrees Celsius can be maintained. We will create more such BoPs in Sikkim and the eastern sector of this border,” he said.Singh said he was not satisfied with housing and infrastructure facilities available with the 1962-raised force and he was “seriously” working to improve these areas.The minister said 35 old border posts of the force in very high-altitude areas are being upgraded as “composite” units.”We are working to enhance road, mobile and satellite connectivity in the border areas for the ITBP,” he said.The minister asked ITBP troops to ensure and build good relations with border dwellers as they are “strategic assets” of the country and important stakeholders in keeping the borders safe.Keeping in mind the frequent face-offs between the Indian and Chinese troops, ITBP personnel are now learning Chinese during their basic training, he said.Lauding the force, Singh asked ITBP officers to take responsibility for at least one family of personnel killed in the line of duty.The ministry is also working to help jawans who have suffered 50 percent disability during operations through the Bharat Ka Veer benevolent fund, he said.ITBP Director General (DG) R K Pachnanda said the force has been nominated as the “nodal agency” for obtaining and channelising satellite communication for all border-guarding forces in the country.He said the home ministry has also approved the ITBP’s proposal to hire helicopters for high-altitude border posts.The paramilitary was also enhancing its intelligence setup, he added.

Doklam stand-off was ‘safely resolved’ after several rounds of talks: PLA official

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The 73-day-long Doklam standoff was “safely resolved” after several rounds of talks with India, a top Chinese military official said today on the sidelines of the ongoing Congress of the ruling CPC.People’s Liberation Army (PLA) official Liu Fang spoke about the resolution of the Doklam standoff citing it as an example of how the Chinese military is trying to resolve issues through dialogue mechanisms with different countries. “We also conducted a lot of practical cooperation,” she said referring to the Doklam standoff which began on June 16 when the Chinese military attempted to build a road in the territory claimed by Bhutan close to the Chicken’s Neck area connecting India’s north eastern states with the mainland.The standoff ended on August 28 with mutual understanding after China halted the construction of the road. “Of course it is safely resolved right now,” Liu said. “My colleagues in the military and other ministries worked very closely and held negotiations with the Indian side many times,” while China clearly reiterated its position, she said. “All of this contributed a lot to the peaceful resolution of China-India cross border dispute,” she said, referring to the standoff.Observers attach significance to the PLA acknowledging peaceful resolution of the Doklam standoff, at the CPC Congress which is set to endorse a second term for President Xi Jinping.The Chinese military is working hard to build up new platforms and measures to improve international cooperation she said, adding, “we already have dialogue mechanisms with 28 organisations”. Referring to the address of President Xi at the once-in- five-years Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) on October 18, Liu said she is “very very inspired” by the report delivered by him outlining “tremendous progress and achievements”.In his address, Xi had spoken about plans to turn the PLA into a world class force. Terming the speech as “profound and fundamental,” she said “we totally agree with it”. Besides being president, Xi also heads the CPC and the country’s military as chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC), the overall high command of the 2.3 million-strong PLA, the world’s largest army. Liu said China is playing a larger and greater role in increasing its international influence.China is making efforts in international peacekeeping, maritime cooperation and disaster relief. “All this shows our responsibility as a big power nation. We keep our voice louder and louder at the international stage,” she said. The Chinese military is showing its confidence in the international arena and its spokesmen actively interacted with the international media to explain the version of Chinese army and also correct misunderstandings, she said.”By doing so we want to convey the correct, clear and accurate information about China’s military development,” Liu said.She along with other young military officials interacted with the media sharing their experiences in the military and their appreciation of Xi’s leadership. The Chinese military, which has undergone a massive reform drive since Xi took power in 2012, has an annual budget of over USD 141 billion, next only to the US.

RSS-affiliate seeks economic clarity with a ‘Chinese cell’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>RSS-affiliated economic body Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM) has sought a separate “Chinese cell” at the Centre to assess the economic damage caused by Chinese imports to India and deliberate on the possible ways to nullify them.Upping its ante against Chinese goods, it has also organised a mega rally towards the month end seeking boycott of Chinese goods by people in national interest and urging the government to adopt policies helping the domestic industries. SJM has been advocating indigenous production and has campaigned against purchase of Chinese firecrackers ahead of Diwali.Dr Ashwani Mahajan, co-convenor of the Swadeshi Jagran Manch told DNA that he had sought the establishment of the Chinese cell in the Ministry of Commerce from the Centre that will not just study the impact of Chinese imports in the domestic market, but also chalk out a plan to mend the “injury.” He added that he is hoping that the cell would come up soon.”Indians understand the importance of boycotting Chinese products. The government is also realising the damage caused by Chinese imports and hence at its end, taking several initiatives on its end to control the influx of Chinese goods. The Chinese cell will help in a concrete assessment,” Mahajan said.He added that the anti-dumping duty on several Chinese products is already in effect and around 40 more are in the pipeline. This includes recent notifications on products like tempered glass and imports of certain steel wire rods for five years.Mahajan said different ministries are also working on a way to bar participation of Chinese companies in certain bids of sectors, where Indian companies are not allowed to participate in China.

Ahmedabad City to celebrate New Year, long weekend

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The joy of Diwali and New Year is here. Embracing the spirit of the two festivals, members of the business community of the city has set aside economic woes and GST troubles on Thursday. Sweet shops saw people making the last-minute purchase even as fire-cracker sellers did brisk business. Although, across the city retailers complained that overall the business has been down. Diwali and New Year, which falls in the middle of the week, also combined with the weekend has given Amdavadis a long spell of holidays.The fire department and doctors are also bracing for a surge in emergencies. The Ahmedabad Medical Association and the 108 Emergency Services have made special arrangements to deal with the rise in emergencies. A central helpline number has also been created to quickly reach out to the emergency team. It should be noted that Ahmedabad is expected to see a surge of 21% in emergencies during the holiday season.Meanwhile, the police department has put a ban on the sale of Chinese lanterns. The lanterns had been a major cause of fire during the past many years until their ban leads to a drop in a number of such incidents. This year, the fire-related emergencies on account of Chinese lantern will be low.Meanwhile, some in the city are heading to their villages to celebrate Diwali the traditional way. “I go to my village every year for Diwali. We have garba and community lunch and dinner over all four days. People donate to the cause and it is fun to celebrate it with the entire village,” said Vijay Patel a professional, who is heading to his village in Gandhinagar.

China delays high speed train project for Chennai-Bangalore-Mysore route

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>An ambitious high speed train project in south India has been delayed after Chinese railways, that completed a feasibility study a year ago, did not respond, railway officials have said, suggesting that the “lack of response” may be due to the Dokalam standoff.An internal brief of the Mobility Directorate on the status of nine high-speed projects of the railways, accessed by PTI, shows that the Chennai-Bangalore-Mysore corridor, a 492 km stretch, lies in limbo because the Chinese railways has failed to respond to the ministry’s communiques.”The Chinese company submitted the final report in November 2016 and after that the Chinese team has suggested for a face to face interaction. No date has been fixed from their side,” said the note prepared by the Mobility Directorate.On the reason for the delay, the brief states — “lack of response” from Chinese railways.The brief also states that the feasibility study by the China Railway Eryuan Engineering Group Co Ltd (CREEC) was submitted to the Railway Board in November 2016 and after that the Chinese company had sought meetings with officials of the Board.However, officials say that the Board has been unable to get in touch with officials of CREEC despite repeated communications sent to them via mails in the last six months.”We have even tried to get in touch with them through their Embassy here, but we are yet to hear from them,” said an official.The ministry officials said that it was the standoff between the two countries in Bhutan’s Dokalam area between June 16 and August 28 this year that seems to have derailed the project.”The study began in 2014 and they submitted the report in 2016. The entire cost was borne by them. In fact they have shown so much interest in collaborating with us for other projects as well, so we think that it was the standoff that must have raised doubts,” said a senior rail official.An email to the Chinese Embassy by the PTI on the issue did not elicit any response.Troops of India and China were locked in a 73-day-long standoff in Dokalam since June 16 after the Indian side stopped the building of a road in the disputed area by the Chinese Army. Bhutan and China have a dispute over Dokalam.The brief, prepared by the department in charge of all the high speed corridors, also states that except the Chinese roadblock, work on the eight other projects was on track.China had in fact not only pitched for the Mumbai- Ahemdabad high speed network, which was finally bagged by Japan, but also for the bullet project in the Mumbai-Delhi sector, which is yet to be finalised.China is also training railway engineers in heavy hauling and it is with Chinese collaboration that India is setting up its first railway university.The Chennai-Bangalore-Mysore corridor is one of nine such high speed corridors being developed by the ministry. The aim was to increase the speed from the present 80 kmph to 160 kmph.While the Delhi-Agra route was made operational in 2016 with the country’s fastest train Gatimaan Express running between the two cities, the work on rest seven of eight of 8 is going at a fast pace, the brief indicated.​

Man-eating Indian tiger faces ‘shoot-to-kill’ order

Forest officials are scrambling to catch the tigress responsible for killing four people.

Gautam Bambawale, India’s former high commissioner to Pakistan, will be country’s next envoy to China

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Seasoned diplomat Gautam Bambawale, India’s high commissioner to Pakistan, was today appointed as the country’s next envoy to China.This was announced tonight by the external affairs ministry.A 1984 India Foreign Service (IFS) officer, Bambawale is expected to take up the assignment shortly, the ministry said.He will replace Vijay Gokhale.A deft hand in Sino-India relations, Bambawale opted to learn Mandarin Chinese as his foreign language and served in Hong Kong and Beijing between 1985 and 1991.He was first the desk officer for China in the Ministry of External Affairs and served as director in the Americas Division of the ministry, responsible for relations with the US and Canada (1993-94).He has also functioned as the Deputy Chief of Mission of the Indian Embassy in Beijing.His appointment comes at a time when India and China are trying to put behind the Dokalam standoff, and work on a “forward-looking” approach in their ties. PTI PYK ZMN

Watch: When Nirmala Sitharaman gave Chinese soldiers at Nathu La a Hindi lesson

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On Saturday, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman visited Nathu La area on the Sino-India border. She interacted with Indian Army and ITBP officials. She also said about ‘acknowledging’ Chinese soldiers who were waving from across the border. On Sunday however, Raksha Mantri Twitter handle shared a snippet of Nirmala Sitharaman’s interaction with the Chinese soldiers. The short clip shows Sitharaman exchange greetings with the Chinese soldiers. She says Namaste, and then explains its meaning to the Chinese soldiers. They reciprocated with their traditional greetings ‘Ni Hao’ and also introduced themselves. It was certainly a warm gesture from the Defence Minister and may go a way to break the ice in the current Sino-india relationship that has run into some rough weather recently. Sitharaman however couldn’t do aerial survey of Doklam owing to rough weather. Sitharaman, on a day’s visit to Sikkim, travelled by road to Nathu La, 52 km from Gangtok, and interacted with Army and ITBP officials posted there.Sitharaman was accorded a guard of honor on her arrival at Nathu La.She was also briefed about the security preparedness along the China-India border in the Sikkim sector by the Chief of Eastern Command Lt Gen Abhay Krishna. Vice-Chief of Army Lt Gen Sarath Chandra was also present there.With PTI inputs

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman ‘acknowledges’ Chinese soldiers taking her pic at Nathu La

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today visited Nathu La area on the Sino-India border and interacted with Army and Indo-Tibetan Border Police officials.However, her scheduled aerial survey of Dokalam and forward posts in the border areas of Sikkim was cancelled due to inclement weather, a statement issued by the Department of Information and Public Relations, Government of Sikkim, said.Earlier in the day, state government officials had said the defence minister made an aerial survey of the Doklam-Nathu La area. She interacted with officials, was given a guard of honour on her arrival and even handed out sweets to our brethren who bravely guard the border.She also had some time for Chinese soldiers across the border, as she appeared in a picture waving at them from across the border. Nirmala Sitharaman wrote on Twitter: “Acknowledged a row of Chinese soldiers from across the fence who were taking pictures on my reaching Nathu La.”Sitharaman, on a day’s visit to Sikkim, travelled by road to Nathu La, 52 km from Gangtok, and interacted with Army and ITBP officials posted there.”The Union Minister who was scheduled to make her aerial survey of Doklam and forward posts along the Indo-Sino border in Sikkim was cancelled due to inclement weather. However, she made her aerial survey of Gangtok and surrounding areas from the new Greenfield Pakyong Airport in east Sikkim after her return from the Nathu-la Border during the afternoon,” the statement said.Sitharaman was accorded a guard of honour on her arrival at Nathu La.She was also briefed about the security preparedness along the China-India border in the Sikkim sector by the Chief of Eastern Command Lt Gen Abhay Krishna. Vice-Chief of Army Lt Gen Sarath Chandra was also present there.The defence minister’s visit to the border area comes more than a month since Indian and Chinese troops disengaged after nearly a 70-day standoff at Dokalam.On her twitter handle, she said Chinese soldiers from across the border took pictures of hers when she reached Nathu La. “Acknowledged a row of Chinese soldiers from across the fence who were taking pictures on my reaching Nathu La,” she tweeted.She later met Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Chamling at his official residence and sought the state government’s intervention in sorting out issues, mostly concerning land, between the Army and the state’s forest department.Chamling assured all intervention from the government, the release said.The chief minister apprised Sitharaman of the hardships being faced by Sikkim due to the ongoing agitation in the neighbouring Darjeeling hills of West Bengal.He said that due to blockades on NH-10, the only national highway that connects the landlocked mountain state, Sikkim has incurred huge economic losses.He reiterated his request to the Centre for speeding up the construction of an new highway to Sikkim.With inputs from PTI

Chinese forces still deployed in Tibet’s Chumbi Valley post-Doklam standoff, reveals Air Chief BS Dhanoa

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Chinese forces are still present in Tibet’s Chumbi Valley, Air Chief BS Dhanoa said today.Addressing media during the annual press conference of the Indian Air Force in New Delhi on Thursday, the Air Chief said despite Doklam resolution Beijing has still not withdrawn the forces from ground completely.“We expect them withdraw,” Air Chief Marshal Dhanoa said.The news comes almost two months after both India and China agreed to “expeditious disengagement” over Doklam.The diplomatic success came at a time when Prime Minister Narendra Modi was scheduled to visit China for the BRICS summit.The stand-off started in mid-June when Chinese troops entered Bhutanese territory to build a road, sparking India’s intervention, citing agreements to maintain a status quo in the region. India had deployed about 350 Army personnel in the area.The status of Chinese troops in geopolitically crucial Chumbi Valley, which was at the heart of Dokla standoff, will have its implications.Talking about surgical strikes, the Air Chief Marshal said, “Surgical strike is a decision that has to be taken by the government. Indian Air Force has the capability to carry out full spectrum of air ops.”“Our losses during peace time are cause of concern. We are making concentrated efforts to minimize accidents and preserve our assets,” he added.

India, China should start a new chapter: Luo Zhaohui

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>It is time India and China turn the old page and start a new chapter, Chinese envoy to India, Luo Zhaohui said today, adding the countries have made a lot of progress at bilateral level.He said Chinese President Xi Jinping met Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the BRICS Summit in Xiamen earlier this month, and the two leaders sent a clear message of “reconciliation” and “cooperation”.”We should turn the old page and start a new chapter with the same pace and direction. We should dance together. We should make one plus one eleven. China is the largest trading partner of India. We have made a lot of progress at the bilateral level, as well as in international and regional affairs,” Luo said.The Chinese envoy was speaking on the 68th anniversary of founding of the People’s Republic of China.His comments come in the backdrop of the disengagement of Chinese and Indian troops in Dokalam, where the army of the two nations were locked in a stand-off for over two months.India and China, who went to war in 1962, share an uneasy relationship with territorial dispute being a major bone of contention between the two countries.The Chinese diplomat also recalled one of his teachers, Prof Xu Fancheng, who lived in Aurobindo Ashram in Puducherry from 1945 to 1978. Xu is known for his work of translating Upanishad, Bhagawad Gita and Shakuntala from Sanskrit to Chinese.”In our bilateral engagement, there have been thousands of prominent persons like Prof Xu Fancheng, (Buddhist monk) Bodhidharma, Faxian (a Chinese Buddhist monk who traveled to India in the 3rd century) and Rabindranath Tagore.”We should never forget their contribution and legacies.The history could do a lot of things. Standing on their shoulders, we should do more today,” Luo said.The Chinese envoy added that the speed of Chinese high speed trains from Beijing to Shanghai was increased from 300 kmph to 350 kmph two weeks ago.”We have started the feasibility study of hyper loop trains at the speed of 1,000 to 4,000 kmph,” he said.He added that the high speed trains were one of the four latest inventions of China.

Senior journalist, writer Arun Sadhu passes away at 76

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Noted writer Arun Sadhu, who straddled the worlds of literature and journalism with equal elan, passed away early on Monday at a hospital following a heart condition.He was 76.Sadhu breathed his last at the Sion Hospital, where he was admitted on Sunday for a heart ailment. He was in a critical condition and put on ventilator support in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), hospital sources said.”He was suffering from cardio myopathy,” Dr. Jayshree Mondkar, dean-in-charge of the hospital, said.He was known for his work in Mumbai Dinank, which was his first novel, and the book Simhasan, which was adapted into a Marathi film.Sadhu, who worked with several newspapers, also wrote various novels in Hindi, English and Marathi for which he received a Sahitya Akademi award.He was conferred with the Bharatiya Bhasha Parishad, N C Kelkar and Acharya Atre awards also.The veteran scribe wrote on the rise of Shiv Sena, the Vietnam war and the Chinese revolution, besides several short stories. ​

Post Dokalam stand-off, India and China are working to ‘take their relationship forward’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>China and India are working together to “take forward” their relationship leaving behind the Dokalam episode, the Chinese Consul General here has said.Chinese Consul General Ma Zhanwu also asserted that by working together cooperation and exchanges can be further enhanced.”India and China are working together. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping had a meeting on September 5 to discuss how to enhance the relationship,” Zhanwu said here last night while addressing an event to mark the 68th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.”As long as the two countries work together, we will able to enhance and develop exchanges and cooperation,” he said.Asked if both the countries have left behind the Dokalam episode, Zhanwu said, “Yes we have left that behind and are working together to take forward the bilateral relationship”.Prime Minister Modi had met President Xi on the sidelines of the 9th BRICS Summit on September 5.The two leaders had agreed that both the countries should put in more effort to strengthen the cooperation between their security personnel and ensure that Dokalam-like incidents do not recur.The Chinese and the Indian troops were engaged in a prolonged standoff in the Dokalam area of the Sikkim sector since June 16 after the Indian side stopped the construction of a road by the Chinese Army.On August 28, India’s External Affairs Ministry announced that New Delhi and Beijing have decided on “expeditious disengagement” of their border troops in the disputed Dokalam area.

India has every right to develop country within its boundary: Amit Shah rebukes China

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>BJP President Amit Shah asserted that India has the sovereign right to develop the country within its boundaries, dismissing China’s objection to Japan showing interests in investment in the north eastern states.”India’s policy has been very well clarified by Sushmaji (External Affairs Minister). It is our sovereign right to develop the country inside our boundaries and we will utilise that right,” Shah told a press conference here while replying to a query on the issue.Amid Japan’s push for stepping up investments in India’s north east, China had yesterday stated that it was opposed to any third-party involvement in the resolution of the Sino- India boundary disputes or any foreign investments in areas over which it has claims in the region.A joint statement, issued by India and Japan on Thursday following talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe, had announced the setting up of the Act East Forum and referred to plans to take up infrastructure projects such as road connectivity and electricity in India’s northeastern states.Reacting to it, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Hunyin had said, “You also mentioned Act East policy. “You must be clear that the boundary of India and China border area has not been totally delimited. We have disputes on the eastern section of the boundary.””We are now trying to seek a solution through negotiations that is acceptable to both sides. Under such circumstances, various parties should respect such aspects and any third party should not be involved in our efforts to resolve the disputes,” she said.

Indo-Japan ties unnerve China

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Japan’s proposals to invest in infrastructure projects such as road connectivity and electricity in India’s northeast have rattled China which said on Friday that is opposed to any foreign investment in what it called a “disputed” region. China also said that it is against any third party’s involvement in resolving its border disputes with India.On Thursday, PM Narendra Modi and his visiting Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe laid the foundation for India’s first bullet train project.At the ceremoney, New Delhi said that it welcomed proposals for increased Japanese investment into infrastructure projects in India’s northeast.Japanese investment into the northeast “would give legs to our Act East policy,” Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar had told reporters.On Friday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said: “You also mentioned Act East policy. You must be clear that the boundary of India and China border area has not been totally delimited. We have disputes on the eastern section of the boundary,” she told reporters in Beijing. China claims parts of India’s north-eastern state Arunachal Pradesh as southern Tibet.”We are now trying to seek a solution through negotiations that is acceptable to both sides. Under such circumstances, various parties should respect such aspects and any third party should not be involved in our efforts to resolve the disputes,” she was quoted by news agency reports as saying. Abe’s visit looks to deepen economic and defences ties with India to balance China’s growing power in the region. Northeast is a region India sees as its gateway to Southeast Asia. Beijing is also rattled because Tokyo wants to grab other high-speed rail lines India plans to build, to edge out Chinese ambitions to do the same.”To be frank we are also closely following the Japanese Prime Minister’s visit to India. I read the joint statement carefully but I have not found the statement mentioned the term China at all,” Hua Chunying said.She, however, said that India and Japan are important countries in Asia and China hopes the normal development of the relationship can be conducive to regional, peace and development and play a constructive role in this process.On Friday, Modi and Abe also held summit talks and signed 15 agreements to enhance strategic partnership, agreeing to strengthen cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region.China and Japan also have dispute over the uninhabited islands called Senkakus by Japan and Diaoyu islands by China in the East China Sea where naval ships of both the countries aggressively patrol the waters around the islands.(With agency inputs)

China: Volkswagen to recall 5 million cars over airbag concerns

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Volkswagen will recall almost five million vehicles in China over airbag concerns, Chinese authorities said today, dealing a new blow to the German automaker in the world’s largest car market.VW and its joint ventures with Chinese partners FAW and SAIC will start withdrawing 4.86 million vehicles fitted with potentially faulty airbags made by Japan’s bankrupt airbag giant Takata from March 2018, according to China’s top consumer watchdog.The announcement came just 10 days after VW and its local partners agreed to recall 1.82 million vehicles owing to a faulty fuel pump.In March Volkswagen recalled nearly 680,000 premium Audi cars in China over defects in coolant pumps that could lead to engine fires, and another 572,000 due to potential problems arising from leaks in the panoramic sunroof.The latest recall involves vehicles made between 2005 and 2017, according to the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine.Of the vehicles being recalled, more than 4.7 million units were made in Chinese factories and 103,573 are imports.Takata has recalled some 100 million airbags produced for some of the largest automakers, including about 70 million in the US, due to the risk that they could improperly inflate and rupture, potentially firing deadly shrapnel at the occupants.The defect has been linked to 16 deaths and scores of injuries worldwide.China is a crucial market for VW, which sold nearly four million vehicles in the world’s biggest auto market last years.VW is still trying to recover from the controversy after it admitted in 2015 to equipping its diesel cars with defeat devices to evade emissions tests.The company pleaded guilty in March to charges stemming from “dieselgate” and agreed to pay $4.3 billion in penalties — on top of $17.5 billion in civil settlements.Volkswagen still faces legal challenges in Germany and worldwide, and has so far set aside more than 22 billion euros ($24.4 billion) to cover costs. Experts estimate the final bill from the scandal could be even higher.

Doklam stand-off: Chinese PLA General shuts down commentators calling for military action against India

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The People’s Liberation Army in China has shot down suggestions from hawks who have demanded military action against India over the stand-off in Doklam.According to a Times of India report, a general from the PLA said that anti-India commentators do ‘not have a clear understanding of China’s strategic positioning.’”China and India are both neighbours and competitors, but not all competitors must be treated in the toughest way,” Maj Gen Qiao Liang, also military strategist, wrote in the Beijing-based Global Times.Qiao wrote: “The Doklam confrontation was solved in the way it should have been… we should spare no efforts to avoid pushing the country into a war as peace is the best outcome.” This is the first time since the Doklam crisis that a Chinese military officer has talked about the need to avoid war.”Many people would say that road construction in China’s territory was none of India’s business. Is this belief right? It’s reasonable to some extent because road construction in this area is not a matter of right and wrong, but we need to understand that it’s not always right to do something right at any time. Only doing the right thing at the right time is correct,” Qiao said.China on Wednesday had expressed interest in establishing a high-speed railway network in India. The move comes after Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the Indian government have spoken extensively on launching a bullet train between Mumbai and Ahmedabad.

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