VIF Information Alerts - 4 February 2019
India cautions US on peace deal with Taliban, looks at China
Published: The Economic Times
04 Feb 2019

As the Donald Trump administration seeks to unilaterally cut a deal with the Taliban, the Indian government has conveyed to the US that any such agreement must safeguard existing political and constitutional structure in Afghanistan and that India doesn't doesn't favour installation of any interim government in the country which goes to polls in July.

TOI has also learnt that India is looking to open a dialogue with China on the crisis-like situation in Afghanistan brought about mainly by what is seen by many as a hasty and irresponsible attempt by the Trump administration to declare victory and get out of the country, almost half of which is now controlled by the Taliban. Click here to read...

Russia seeks Central Asian buffer ahead of US withdrawal from Afghanistan
Published: The National
03 Feb 2019

Russia is stepping up efforts to reinforce security in vulnerable former Soviet Central Asian states as the US prepares for a possible troop exit from nearby Afghanistan, risking greater instability in the conflict-torn country.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov embarked on a Central Asian tour on Sunday, on which he will meet the leadership of three nations. His first stop is Kyrgyzstan, where Russia has an airbase. The impoverished country may agree to Russia establishing a second military base, its ambassador to Moscow told state news agency Tass in an interview last week.Click here to read...

Taiwan takes dig at China’s lack of democracy in new year message
Published: The Indian Express
04 Feb 2019

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen took a dig at China’s lack of freedom in a message to mark Tuesday’s start of the Lunar New Year, saying she hoped ethnic Chinese all over the world could experience the “blessing” of democracy.

Self-governed Taiwan is China’s most sensitive issue and is claimed by Beijing as its sacred territory. President Xi Jinping has stepped up pressure on the democratic island since Tsai, from the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party, became president in 2016. He kicked off 2019 with a speech warning that China reserves the right to use force to bring Taiwan under its control, though it will strive for peaceful “reunification”.Click here to read...

China sanctions $2.5 billion loan to boost Pakistan's forex reserves
Published: Business Today
02 Feb 2019

China will provide $2.5 billion in loans to Pakistan to boost the foreign exchange reserves of its "all-weather ally", a media report said on Saturday. Pakistan is nearly broke with the drying up of foreign cash reserves and mounting external debt. The country's $8.12 billion reserves, which are below the minimum level that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank (WB) prescribe, are sufficient to cover only seven weeks of imports.Click here to read...

U.S. to withdraw from nuclear arms control treaty with Russia, raising fears of a new arms race
Published: The Washington Post
01 Feb 2019

The Trump administration announced Friday that the United States will pull out of a nuclear arms control treaty with Russia, ending a cornerstone Cold War agreement and raising fears of a new nuclear arms race in Europe and Asia.

President Trump said Russia is violating the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, a charge Moscow denies, leaving the United States at a disadvantage because of its own compliance at a time when global threats have changed considerably in the more than 30 years since the pact was signed.Click here to read...

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