14-11-2017

The Indian newspapers have welcomed the joint mechanism of four countries viz., India, US, Australia and Japan to forge closer relations with special reference to the East Asia region. The US administration had already called for a bigger role for India in the Indo-Pacific and the ‘quad’ as the quartet has been called is a move in the right direction. The British cabinet seems to be floundering at the moment, the dailies comment. The British Prime Minister needs to be decisive to steer her government. Twitter is a great medium but diplomacy has

its own nuances that social media cannot emulate say the Indian press.

THE TIMES OF INDIA in an editorial QUAD POWER comments, in a significant geostrategic move India, the US, Japan and Australia resurrected their quadrilateral grouping on the sidelines of the ASEAN summit in Manila. The first meeting of officials from the four countries took place against the backdrop of an increasingly assertive China that has not only made Southeast Asian nations wary but also raised concerns regarding freedom of trade and navigation through the waters of the South and East China seas. China’s aggressive posturing along land borders with countries like India and Bhutan has also added to the situation. It’s welcome that the ‘quad’ has endorsed a free, open, prosperous and inclusive Indo-Pacific region that isn’t monopolised by a single country. There’s no denying that the quad is good for India. It gives New Delhi a powerful platform to advance its interests in East Asia, coordinate strategies with powerful friends and add more strength to its ‘Act East’ initiative. The current geopolitical scenario affords significant strategic opportunities.

THE HINDU in an editorial CABINET OF CHAOS says Britain seems to have lost its way. As the contagion of chaos spreads across government and ‘Brexit’ negotiations across the Channel, Prime Minister Theresa May’s hold on power may be weakening. Over the weekend, The Sunday Times reported that 40 MPs, just eight short of the number required to force a vote on the Conservative party leadership, are ready to sign a letter of no confidence.Additionally, a letter from Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and Environment Secretary Michael Gove to Ms. May, attempting to dictate Brexit strategy to her, was leaked to the press. The demands in the letter and the language used have created a stir, summing up the leadership crisis in the cabinet. Last week, International Development Secretary Priti Patel resigned over unofficial meetings in Israel, and days earlier, Ms. May’s deputy, Damian Green, started facing an inquiry into allegations of inappropriate behaviour. On November 1, Defence Secretary Michael Fallon resigned over brewing sexual harassment accusations, and there have been calls for Mr. Johnson, enfant terrible of Ms. May’s Cabinet, to resign over comments that may have exposed a British charity worker currently in an Iranian prison.

THE HINDUSTAN TIMES in an editorial TWITTER DIPLOMACY IS A DOUBLE-EDGED SWORD writes, the fine art of diplomacy with its subtle nuances has clearly been given short shrift by many world leaders today and not all of this is bad news. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, however, uses Twitter to effectively reach out to people with his messages on development and cleanliness among other things, ensuring that nothing is lost in translation. In a way, Twitter has cut through official red tape and people can speak directly to their leaders. Foreign minister Sushma Swaraj’s has many times shown useful Twitter can be. Twitter cuts through the political verbosity that many leaders favour. However, nothing can take the place of in-depth diplomacy in which personal equations and what is often not said makes all the difference. A thumbed down diplomatic route may be attractive with its instant public responses, but the old fashioned method still wins the day in India, at least for now.