Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Why Blair may need to ‘sex up’ the India-Europe strategic cooperation

Why Blair may need to ‘sex up’ the India-Europe strategic cooperation

Talk of Europe and you get a big yawn in Delhi. India’s annual summitry with Europe is always a cold dish amidst the warmth of India’s exciting engagement with the United States and China. When British Prime Minister Tony Blair arrives here tonight on behalf of the European presidency for the sixth India-EU summit, public interest will be focused on Britain rather than on Europe. High unemployment, low growth rates, opposition to migration of skilled labour, and the apparent inability to deal with the imperatives of globalisation amidst the rise of India and China have made the European economic future uncertain. Europeans feel trapped between aggressive American capitalism and perceived Asian mercantilism. Those speculating on the future of world politics increasingly talk of a tripolar system shaped by the US, China and India. Europe and its great colonial powers that shaped our destiny for more than three centuries now seem condemned to become a quaint little ghetto on the north-western edge of Eurasia. All this forced rising powers like India to either tune off from Europe, or treat it like a “theme park” — a high end tourist destination for Asia’s new rich focused on wineries, cuisine, castles and museums. Is Europe, then, irrelevant? Not so fast. Despite the persistent political irritation that Brussels generates in Delhi, it will be a huge mistake for India to write off Europe or treat it as a mere boutique. With barely twelve per cent of the world’s population, Europe still commands 40 per cent of the world’s GDP. While Europe is having problems with globalisation, its capacity to adapt is not exhausted. Europe remains a source of advanced technologies and modern arms. While the relative decline of Europe is inevitable, its capacity to influence the global balance of power in the coming decades will endure well into this century.

U.S. diverting strategic nuke subs to Pacific to keep China in check

The United States is strengthening its strategic nuclear capacity in the Pacific by diverting its strategic nuclear submarines from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean and upgrading nuclear warheads, in an apparent move to keep China and North Korea in check, U.S. Congress sources and nuclear experts said Sunday. The change in balance of the submarine fleet reflects a shift in the U.S. nuclear deployment strategy away from competing with Cold War rival Russia to demonstrating deterrence against China over flash points in Asia such as tensions across the Taiwan Strait and on the Korean Peninsula. In the Defense Department's annual report to Congress in July, the United States expressed wariness over China's rapidly growing military power.


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