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Harsh V Pant
Articles by Harsh V Pant

When two democracies talk

The United States is willing to listen and learn, India is willing to talk about its domestic evolution. The relationship has matured

Representational image. (AP)
Updated on Aug 02, 2021 06:17 PM IST
ByHarsh V Pant

On China, the end of delusion and persistence of stalemate

While New Delhi wants the boundary issue to be resolved first, China wants to focus on other areas of cooperation and is in no hurry to move forward on the contentious issue

The disengagement around the Pangong lake areas in February, following a series of military and diplomatic talks to resolve the standoff, was supposed to generate conditions for resolving other outstanding issues, but Beijing seems to be in no real hurry to move forward. As a consequence, problems remain unresolved in disputed areas such as Depsang, Demchok, Gogra and Hot Springs. (PTI)
Updated on Jul 20, 2021 07:18 AM IST
ByHarsh V Pant

India’s armed services must prepare for reform

In the last few years, there has been a change and a slew of defence reforms have been brought in. More than at any other time in post-Independence India, there is a commitment to change the way the Indian defence forces are organised

Indian armed forces T-90 tanks pass Rajpath, during the 72nd Republic Day celebrations in New Delhi on January 26, 2021. (PTI)
Updated on Jul 06, 2021 04:15 PM IST
ByHarsh V Pant

Is China backtracking on its wolf warrior diplomatic style?

The wolf warrior diplomatic style was perhaps suited more to the age of Donald Trump, but now that the Joe Biden administration has lowered the rhetoric on “America First”, the challenge for China is even more acute. China’s new-gen diplomats have been asked to defend the indefensible in recent years, from Beijing’s atrocities on minorities and its hyper-militaristic foreign policy to the opacity and mishandling of Covid-19.

It was Xi who wanted to project China as a superpower-in-the-making by moving away from Deng Xiaoping’s “hide-and-bide” strategy of keeping a low international profile. This meant China reacting strongly against perceived violations of its core interests, resulting in a dip in ties with many countries, some of which wanted to keep China in good humour. And now it seems that while Xi’s diplomats have delivered, Chinese diplomacy has suffered seriously. (REUTERS)
Updated on Jun 13, 2021 07:50 PM IST
ByHarsh V Pant

As India-US ties confront new realities, Jaishankar’s visit is critical

Though the situation on the ground seems to be stabilising gradually, the long-term challenge of vaccinating a huge population still looms large. It’s natural, therefore, that a lot of focus during this visit is on health-related bilateral engagement

Minister S Jaishankar. (File photo)
Updated on May 26, 2021 03:00 PM IST
ByHarsh V Pant

Can India and the EU operationalise their natural partnership?

With the EU being India’s largest trading partner and the second-largest export destination, the economic logic of strong India-EU economic relations is self-evident. The two sides have also agreed to commence talks for a standalone investment protection pact and an accord on geographical indications

Prime Minister Narendra Modi attends during the 15th India-EU (virtual) summit via video conferencing, in New Delhi on July 15,2020. (File photo)
Updated on May 12, 2021 04:39 PM IST
ByHarsh V Pant

Vaccine Maitri is a pragmatic response to the pandemic

From supplying hydroxychloroquine to more than 100 nations to providing 64 million doses of vaccines to more than 80 nations, India’s imprint on global health has been substantive. And as the Gulf nations got hit hard as a result of several nations banning food exports and declining oil demand, India ensured uninterrupted supply of food and essential items.

USA, Sep 22 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and other officials during the Howdy Modi event at NRG Stadium in Houston on Sunday. (ANI Photo)
Published on Apr 28, 2021 05:59 PM IST
ByHarsh V Pant

A tale of two visits and a shift in Indian foreign policy

Last week India hosted two important visitors – Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov, and the US special presidential envoy for climate John Kerry. These were routine visits, one to lay the groundwork for a potential Russian presidential visit to India and the other to assess Indian intentions on climate

US special presidential envoy for climate John Kerry (L) and Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov. (File photo)
Updated on Apr 14, 2021 07:12 AM IST
ByHarsh V Pant

China’s hostility, India’s resilience shaped Quad

Just as without Chinese belligerence, a substantive Quad would have remained a distant dream, without a pro-active India, this grouping would not have been able to move so far, so fast. As a new geopolitical order takes shape in the Indo-Pacific, India and China will continue to be at the centre of this emerging order. And New Delhi would do well to remember that the game has only just begun.

Indo-Pacific would have remained a concept in think-tank reports had it not been for the Chinese belligerence AP (AP)
Published on Mar 19, 2021 09:24 PM IST
ByHarsh V Pant

New Delhi’s new regional calculus

India is giving peace a chance from a position of strength, after showing it can adequately defend its interests when challenged

The single-most important geopolitical development of the last few months has been India making it clear to Beijing and to the world that it is possible to resist Chinese aggression successfully (ANI)
Published on Mar 08, 2021 08:13 PM IST
ByHarsh V Pant

Biden’s foreign policy lacks strategic clarity

The US is stuck in the Cold War-era thinking on Russia and lacks a road-map on China. Partners will be concerned

US President Joe Biden’s first foreign policy speech was certainly in tune with the changing domestic political dynamic in the country. But its lack of a strategic vision will be concerning to America’s partners (AP)
Updated on Feb 11, 2021 06:33 AM IST
ByHarsh V Pant

The Delhi-Beijing battle in South Asia

China’s influence has grown, but contrary to conventional narrative, it is not necessarily ‘winning’. India has retained its focus

By standing up militarily to China on the Himalayan borders, India also made it possible for smaller nations at the receiving end of Chinese aggression to envision the possibility that subservience to China is not the only option(ANI)
Updated on Jan 06, 2021 06:13 AM IST
ByHarsh V Pant

Moscow must come to terms with India’s security imperatives

As India reconfigures its China policy with the Indo-Pacific at its core, India-Russia ties won’t be able to escape this strategic reality

The year is ending with Lavrov once again accusing the West of adopting an “aggressive and devious” policy to engage India “in anti-China games”.(AP)
Updated on Dec 13, 2020 08:39 PM IST
ByHarsh V Pant

The ball is in China’s court, writes Harsh V Pant

With its strong response across spheres, India has shown that it has options and a willingness to exercise them

China’s rise and its attendant consequences was the central determinant of Indian foreign policy even before the border crisis of this year.(AFP)
Updated on Nov 23, 2020 07:53 PM IST
ByHarsh V Pant

Review: The India Way: Strategies for an Uncertain World by S Jaishankar

S Jaishankar’s wide ranging new book covers the emerging global order, the rise of China and its attendant consequences, nationalism and its discontents, and the Mahabharata as a prism to evaluate Indian strategy

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar. In his new book, he writes that “This is a time to engage America, manage China, cultivate Europe, reassure Russia, bring Japan into play.”(Sanjeev Verma/HT PHOTO)
Updated on Oct 23, 2020 04:58 PM IST
Hindustan Times | ByHarsh V Pant

The real anchor of the Indo-Pacific plan

India’s position made others buy into the idea and incorporate it in their security outlooks

External affairs minister S Jaishankar with other Quad foreign ministers, Tokyo, October 6, 2020(PTI)
Updated on Oct 21, 2020 06:23 AM IST
ByHarsh V Pant

Delhi-Dhaka ties: India is doing well in the region

Don’t view India’s neighbourhood policy in terms of wins or losses. Focus on the structural imperatives

Prime Minister Narendra Modi greets Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina , Hyderabad House, New Delhi, October 5, 2019(Mohd Zakir/HT PHOTO)
Updated on Aug 27, 2020 07:50 PM IST
ByHarsh V Pant

Covid-19 has sharpened great power politics | Opinion

Despite being irresponsible and concealing information, Beijing is reaping the dividends of the global disorder

Tedros repeatedly defended China’s handling of the crisis with the WHO even tweeting in mid-January that “preliminary investigations conducted by the Chinese authorities have found no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission”.(REUTERS)
Updated on Apr 26, 2020 06:44 PM IST
ByHarsh V Pant

Covid-19: The crisis will strengthen anti-globalisation voices

The pandemic will lead to a greater backlash against open borders and economies. It is time for a creative rethink

The spread of Covid-19 is challenging the way we have become used to living and arranging not only our daily lives but also the global order(Vipin Kumar/HT PHOTO)
Updated on Mar 16, 2020 12:02 PM IST
ByHarsh V Pant

Think creatively to offset funds crunch in defence

The defence budget is shrinking. The CDS can play a key role in ensuring the most efficient use of resources

If the defence forces have to retain talent, wages of its personnel have to be on a par with other branches of the government and the civilian economy(Sunil Ghosh/HTPHOTO)
Updated on Jan 30, 2020 06:52 PM IST
ByHarsh V Pant and Kartik Bommakanti

Decoding motives behind the Kudankulam intrusion

Was the cyber espionage an effort to access nuclear technology? Was it engineered by strategic rivals?

The only two States which will gain the most from the KKNP spyware intrusion are China and Pakistan(Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Published on Nov 22, 2019 08:15 PM IST
ByHarsh V Pant and Kartik Bommakanti

Military reforms have put China’s combat capability way ahead of India’s

Following deep manpower reductions and a commensurate expansion in firepower, the PLA today stands better poised to wage a decisive war against India at low cost.

China’s military reforms have elevated the importance of the other service arms relative to the ground fighting forces. This represents a significant shift, as the PLA was the most dominant of the three services historically.(HT Photo)
Updated on Feb 07, 2019 07:44 AM IST
ByHarsh V Pant and Kartik Bommakanti

The China-US trade war is a thinly disguised strategic battle

Under the garb of a trade war, this is a high-stakes strategic conflict between a power which wants to preserve the status quo in its favour and one which wants to usurp that throne.

An online video about US-China trade tensions produced by China's state television broadcaster plays in Beijing, August 23(AP)
Updated on Sep 17, 2018 12:57 PM IST
ByHarsh V Pant

A Trump-Putin summit is good news for India

A one-on-one Trump-Putin meeting being proposed by sections of the Trump Administration would be a big win for Putin who desperately wants recognition as a global statesman

A file picture of US President Donald Trump with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The Kremlin and the White House have announced on June 28 that a summit between Putin and Trump will take place in Helsinki on July 16(AP)
Updated on Jul 13, 2018 08:11 PM IST
ByHarsh V Pant

Delhi-Beijing aligning can work to Kabul’s advantage

This was reportedly decided at the informal summit in Wuhan on April 27-28 between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping during a boat ride on the East Lake, Wuhan, China, April 28, 2018(Reuters)
Published on May 07, 2018 12:38 PM IST
ByHarsh V Pant

India’s ability to deliver in the Indian Ocean region is being scrutinised

The BJP government has been giving the Indian Ocean due attention. Yet as the crisis in the Maldives has indicated, India’s position in the Indian Ocean is being challenged

President Ram Nath Kovind is visiting Mauritius and Madagascar, two key island nations in the Indian Ocean region. During this visit, India has announced a new $100 million line of credit for defence procurement by Mauritius(PTI)
Published on Mar 20, 2018 01:59 PM IST
ByHarsh V Pant

Hassan Rouhani in India: Will India-Iran ties match the rhetoric?

As New Delhi welcomes Rouhani, the two sides will be hoping to assuage each other’s concerns even as they will try to build partnership, which has often struggled to match the rhetoric surrounding it.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Iran's President Hassan Rouhani, Tehran, Iran, May 23, 2016.(Reuters)
Updated on Feb 16, 2018 10:09 AM IST
ByHarsh V Pant

An inconsistent United States, an assertive China and Asia’s Hobbesian order

China is luring the region and the world with its ambitions and the US is offering incoherence. This mismatch is at the heart of the present turmoil in the region

US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping during a business event, Great Hall of the People, Beijing, November 9(AP)
Updated on Nov 13, 2017 08:43 PM IST
ByHarsh V Pant

India cannot ignore military reforms in China ushered in by Xi Jinping

Indian polity’s obsession with Pakistan means that it continues to ignore the far-reaching changes happening in China

The Communist Party of China’s Congress, which is held once in five years, starts on October 18, marking the formal countdown to the gathering at which President Xi Jinping will begin his second five-year term as head of the ruling party(AP)
Updated on Oct 18, 2017 05:56 PM IST
ByHarsh V Pant

Pakistan’s isolation is responsible for its recent rants at UNGA

Pakistan continues to live in its own world as was reflected in its PM’s statement that there is no role for India in Afghanistan. Many in Pakistan are now putting all their eggs in China’s basket. The Xiamen BRICS declaration, which listed Pakistan-based terror organisations for the first time, should be a warning to Pakistan than an isolated Pakistan would be of little use to even China.

Pakistan's Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Islamabad, Pakistan, September 11, 2017(REUTERS)
Updated on Sep 26, 2017 02:18 PM IST
ByHarsh V Pant
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