Global affairs | The Daily Star
  • Five reasons why Kim agreed to meet Trump

    No sitting US president has ever met a North Korean leader before. The historic meeting on June 12 between US Donald Trump and North Korean Supreme leader Kim Jong Un ended with historic results. The meeting generated so much goodwill that the US President expressed his desire to visit North Korea and to invite the North Korean leader to Washington.

  • The new sun that reddens the East

    In China, in the 1950s and '60s, the most popular song was entitled, "Dongfang Hong," or "The East is Red". Unmistakably, and understandably, it eulogised the Great Helmsman of the Peoples' Republic, Mao Zedong. The lyrics, an unabashed paean of fulsome praise to the undisputed leader, ran thus: "Dongfang Hong, from China comes Mao Zedong … Hurrah he is the Great Saviour, Lead us forward,…Hurrah he is our guide!" Much has changed in

  • A watershed moment for global politics

    Since Egypt's President Anwar Sadat shook hands with declared enemy country Israel's Prime Minister Menachem Begin under the appreciating eyes of US President Jimmy Carter on the manicured lawns of Camp David more than four decades ago, no other handshake at that political level has drawn as much global attention as the one between North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump in the serenity of Singapore's Sentosa Island this Tuesday.

  • Trump-Kim meeting: The lure of the Lion City

    The on-again, off-again summit between the leaders of the United States and North Korea are due to be held shortly in Singapore, an ideal setting for many reasons. While it is likely to de-escalate tensions, prudence would dictate limited expectations.

  • Jordanian protests: Revisiting the Arab Spring and setting a benchmark

    Protests that forced Jordan's prime minister to resign and laid bare the country's systemic economic and political crisis shed new light on the root causes of popular protests in the Middle East that swept the region in 2011 and have since continuously erupted at local levels in a swath of land stretching from Morocco to Egypt.

  • BJP's Hindutva vs regional identity dilemma

    It is a bit surprising that the issue of the Indian government's proposed law to give citizenship to six “persecuted” religious minority groups in Bangladesh, Afghanistan and India hasn't got much traction in Bangladeshi media.

  • Mahathir's reforms could put Saudi Arabia and UAE on the spot

    Newly elected Malaysian Prime Minister Mohammed Mahathir is adopting policies that could reshape the Southeast nation's relations with powerful Gulf states. A series of anti-corruption measures as well as statements by Mahathir and his defence minister, Mohamad (Mat) Sabu, since this month's upset in elections that ousted Prime Minister Najib Razak from office, are sparking concern in both Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

  • Politics of polls beyond the Vindhyas

    In terms of heights and magnitude the Vindhyas do not match the Himalayas. Yet both these mountain ranges find mention in the Indian national anthem. This denotes their importance. That of the Himalayas is obvious.

  • The future of Asean

    ASEAN marked its 50th anniversary as a regional organisation last year.

  • Karnataka call for India

    The template for India's next general elections due early next year appears to have been set. It is going to be Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party versus the entire opposition. To keep the BJP at bay, the Congress is ready to play second fiddle to a regional party. These are the two biggest messages emanating from the swiftness with which the main opposition, Congress party headed by Rahul

  • Rohingya Repatriation Needed

    Rohingya crisis: A multilateral approach to forging peace

    The large-scale population displacement from Myanmar has created an unprecedented situation in Bangladesh and highlighted that resilience and mutual trust are embedded values in the state architecture. A country that has the highest population density sits amidst a global crisis, which has been declared as a L3 (highest) level emergency by several UN organisations including UNICEF, WFP and UNHRC.

  • Is China creating dependency among developing countries?

    Ever since Argentine economist Raúl Prebisch and German economist Han Singer proposed the “dependency theory” in the 1950s and 60s, there has been a heated debate between developing and developed countries on the merits of it.

  • Of crises and kite-flying

    With only weeks to go before the planned Summit between the two in Singapore on June 12, both US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un seemed to be focused on a spot of kite-flying, on the backdrop of crises, to test each other's nerves.

  • With Trump's withdrawal from Iran deal, what's at stake?

    President Donald Trump's abrogation of the 2015 international nuclear agreement with Iran is likely to put his America First policy to the test. Trump's decision to walk away from the agreement that curbed Iran's nuclear programme risks fuelling a nuclear race in the Middle East, particularly if Iran decides that the US withdrawal has rendered the deal unbeneficial.

  • Rahul Gandhi's message to multiple constituencies

    On May 8 when the President of India's main opposition party Congress said that he was ready to become the prime minister if his party finished on top in fresh general elections due next year, he sent a message to multiple constituencies and once again set the political circles abuzz. This was not the first time Rahul came out with such an assertion.

  • May 12: A potentially future-shaping day for the Middle East

    With US President Donald J Trump scheduled to announce whether he will uphold the international community's nuclear agreement on Iran and Iraqi elections slated for the same day, May 12 is gearing up to be a day that could shape the future of the Middle East.

  • Better to be rivalrous partners, if not friends

    Nobody wants a trade war”, wrote Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in an opinion piece for The Washington Post, one of the

  • Sino-India ties: A boat ride to a new future?

    In a previous article, I had raised the question: can Asian giants India and China navigate through their competing aspirations to become regional and global powers and find a new template for working together? A tentative answer to this is available after the recent “informal” summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Xi Jingping on the bank of the Yangzte river in the central Chinese city of Wuhan on April 27 and 28.

  • An emerging global policy challenge

    Illicit trade in any of its forms—alcohol, tobacco, pharmaceuticals, diamonds, timber, ivory and oil—sits at the nexus of two social-economic disorders that challenge global stability. Firstly, the global economy remains on unsteady footing, and governments are scrambling to stimulate growth, employment and investment in infrastructure and other public programs.

  • Can India and China find a new template for their ties?

    One of the most enduring images from the first-ever meeting between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping less than four years ago was that of the two leaders sitting together on a swing on the riverfront of Sabaramati river in Ahmedabad city of Gujarat. That was Modi's way of welcoming Xi who had begun his maiden tour of India with a visit to Modi's home state. On April 27 and 28 this year, the two leaders would again come together—this time at a sprawling villa by the Yangtze river in the picturesque Chinese city of Wuhan.

  • BJP's response to Kathua and Unnao rape cases

    Public anger is mounting by the day over two recent horrific cases of rape in India: that of an eight-year-old Muslim girl in the Jammu and Kashmir state and that of a teenager in Uttar Pradesh. Street protests and candle-light rallies were held in several Indian cities and towns with the participation of people from all walks of life and age groups—they came out with placards demanding justice for the victims through bringing the perpetrators of the

  • India-Nepal ties: Leaving bitterness behind

    As Nepal Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Sharma Oli wrapped up his foreign visit to India (April 6-8) two months after assuming power in February, the two countries have put behind them a nearly three-year phase in bilateral ties marred by mutual recrimination, suspicion and distrust. In a media briefing after talks between Oli and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi, Indian Foreign Secretary explained it as a


    Since March, when President Trump announced his plan to slap tariffs on USD 50 billion Chinese imports to the USA, the world has been anxiously waiting to find out about the nature and extent of China's response.

  • The galvanising effects of Dalit protests

    The caste cauldron in India was on the boil once again on April 2. Thousands of activists of Dalit outfits took to the streets and clashed with police in several states leaving nine persons dead and scores wounded. The immediate trigger for the protests was the Supreme Court's ruling on March 20 allegedly diluting some of the provisions of a law that is designed to protect lower-caste people from atrocities by the upper-caste members of society.

  • North Korea out of the cloister

    In an unexpected new development, North Korea has stepped out of its long-standing seclusion and taken a few steps to reach out into its neighbourhood, thereby doing something to breach its self-imposed isolation.

  • Fuelling the fire

    There is no indication that this week's protests in Khuzestan were anything more than an expression of popular anger against perceived denial of an Iranian Arab identity.

  • India's ode to Africa

    IF there has been one segment of India's foreign policy on which there has always been a multi-party consensus all along, it is the ties with Africa.

  • Vladimir Putin

    Where is Putin leading Russia?

    When Vladimir Putin was inaugurated in 2000 as president for his first term in office, he inherited a Russia shrunken by the collapse of the Soviet Union with an economy left in disorder by President Yeltsin. State assets had been seized by a new class of oligarchs while ordinary Russians found pensions unpaid.

  • Towards a new Cold War

    Did you ever get sick on a plane? Some years ago, in Sydney, I was told by someone in the know, “I have a friend who travels a lot and he never eats on planes.” In terms of poisoning, a plane offers advantages. The event will occur in international airspace. National laws prohibiting such activity may not apply and even if they do, will be impossible to enforce.

  • An unexpected setback for Indian EC

    One of the most important reasons behind Indian democracy's remarkable strength is the impeccable and impartial conduct of the Election Commission (EC).