Thursday, April 29, 2021

Pre-COVID Fiction: India Wins US-China War Imagined For 2034

In a recently published fiction imagined for 2034 by former top US Admiral James Stavridis and Elliot Ackerman, China and the United States go to war that ends in India's victory. The authors portray Indians as heroes whose statesmen-ship de-escalates World War III, negotiates peace and helps India emerge as the new global superpower. Patel, the Indian uncle of the Indian-American deputy national security advisor Sandeep Chowdhury tells him, "America’s hubris has finally gotten the better of its greatness." The authors imagine the United Nations headquarters moves from New York to Mumbai after the war. Had this book been written after watching thousands of Indian victims of COVID19 gasping for breath and dying daily on the streets of New Delhi, I think Ackerman and Stavridis would have conceived  and developed a completely different plot line for their novel.  

2034 Book Cover

Elliot Ackerman and James Stavridis, authors of "2034: A Novel of the Next World War", imagine a series of incidents in South China Sea and the Persian Gulf. These incidents trigger cyber warfare, global internet outages and the use of tactical nuclear weapons fired from warplanes and warships. The military conflict results in millions of deaths in the cities of San Diego and Shanghai. India intervenes at this point by attacking and destroying Chinese and American fighter planes and ships to stop the war. 

The end of active fighting is followed by New Delhi Peace Accords arranged by the Indian government. The United Nations headquarters is moved from New York to Mumbai. At one point in the conflict, the authors have Patel lecture his nephew Sandeep Chowdhury, the US deputy national security advisor: 

"America’s hubris has finally gotten the better of its greatness. You’ve squandered your blood and treasure to what end? For freedom of navigation in the South China Sea? For the sovereignty of Taiwan? Isn’t the world large enough for your government and Beijing’s? Perhaps you’ll win this war. But for what? To be like the British after the Second World War, your empire dismantled, your society in retreat? And millions of dead on both sides?"

Rising Positivity Rates of COVID19 Tests in South Asia. Source: Our World in Data

Some reviewers of the book have speculated that China may want to take Taiwan by force for one particular technology company, the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) which is currently the world's most advanced semiconductor technology company. Semiconductor components underlie all cutting edge applications from artificial intelligence (AI) and smartphones to self-driving cars and advanced military equipment.

The possibility of war between China and the United States can not be dismissed. However, the book's portrayal of India's emergence as a global superpower is pure fantasy.  Had this book been written after watching thousands of Indian victims of COVID19 gasping for breath and dying daily on the streets of New Delhi, Ackerman and Stavridis would have conceived  and developed a completely different plot line for their novel.  

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

South Asia Investor Review

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Is India Superpoor or Superpower?

Rape as a Political Weapon Used By Hindutva

Hindu Nationalism Inspired By Nazism, Fascism

Rise of Islamophobia After Sept 11, 2001 Terrorist Attacks

700,000 Indian Soldiers Versus 7 Million Kashmiris

Modi's Kashmir Blunder and India-Pakistan Nuclear Conflict

Is India a Paper Elephant? 

Howdy Modi Rally Exposes Indian-Americans to Charges of Hypocrisy

Modi's Extended Lockdown in Indian Occupied Kashmir

Hinduization of India

Brievik's Hindutva Rhetoric

Indian Textbooks

India's RAW's Successes in Pakistan

Riaz Haq Youtube Channel

VPOS Youtube Channel


Shu said...

Western countries like to tout India, and India is often excited about it and forgets to work hard in the real world

Wali said...

American strategists have overestimated India for the last 20 years, IMO. India was central to USA plans in Afghanistan....result was a failure. India is was also central to USA plans to challenge China and Russia to provide vaccines for developing countries...looks like another failure. List can go on and on.

Imran said...

Not gonna happen if he looks at history of India

Riaz Haq said...

#India's Scientists Beg #Modi to Stop Hiding #COVID Data amid fear that info on variants, tests carried out, recovered patients & #vaccine efficacy secret suggests that the 18.7 million cases reported and 208,330 deaths might be a radical understatement

More than 350 scientists in India have signed a petition begging Prime Minister Narendra Modi to publicly release crucial COVID-19 data in a desperate attempt to mitigate the spread and predict the next surge.

Some fear that Modi’s desire to keep such vital information on variants, tests carried out, recovered patients and vaccine efficacy secret suggests that the 18.7 million cases reported and 208,330 deaths might be a radical understatement of the scale of the problem.

India logged an astonishing 386,452 new cases Friday as new appeals for more space and firewood for cremations compounded the lack of hospital beds and oxygen.

The petition asks Modi to release “granular” data, the Associated Press reports. That data could be used to help mitigate future surges to better prepare with hospital beds, oxygen and even intensive care units. Without sufficient data, scientists are unable to do anything but stand by and watch the situation get worse.

The appeal also blames Modi’s drive to make India self reliant by importing medical raw materials rather than full vaccines and supplies, calling his government’s actions an obstacle. “Such restrictions, at this time, only serve to impede our ability to deal with COVID-19,” the appeal says, according to the AP.

India’s army chief M.M. Naravane has also offered the use of military hospitals to help take pressure off public facilities, telling desperate families to go to nearby bases to ask for help in a move that Modi originally resisted.

Starting Saturday, all Indian citizens over 18 will eligible for a vaccine where they are available. Health Minister Harash Vardhan said aid sent by 40 countries has started to take some pressure off the collapsed health system. On Friday, the first of the the $100 million worth of supplies from the U.S. arrived, including a first shipment of the pledged 1,000 oxygen cylinders, 15 million N95 masks and 1 million rapid antigen tests.

samir sardana said...

Have the American Admirals gone insane ? Does that explain the disasters of the US Navy,in the last 5 years ? Will Americans PAY To read this book ? Is this the result of the antibiotics and drug overdoses,on Americans ?

COVID is a WAKE UP call to the USA, and all other nations,who RELY on the Indians,to stand up to the PRC.

A nation which cannot Plan for Oxygen, Manage Oxygen Production and Logistics,Plan VAXES production and storage,Carry out intensive COVID tests and which MISREAD AND MISJUDGED THE COVID WAVE 2 - is a nation - which has been DESTROYED BY A 100 USD VURUS Made in Wuhan !

These people will stand up to CHINA ? The key learning for PRC,is for the use of Bioweapons on India - as the FATAL FLAW in INDIA,is NOT the INFRASTRUCTURE (which is ABSENT) - BUT THE INABILITY TO PLAN AND STRATEGISE.

At this point in history, the AMERICANS need to note what Beruni said about Indians

The Hindus believe that there is no country but theirs, no nation like theirs, no kings like theirs, no religion like theirs, no science like theirs. They are haughty, foolishly vain, self-conceited, and stolid.


The frames of the crematoriums used to BURN THE HINDOO DEAD BODIES HAVE "MELTED" ! YES - MELTED !








The AMERICANS should not make the mistake of Selecus Nicator (2000 years ago).Also, the Greeks need to note that PORUS was a Pakistani - NOT AN INDIAN !

The Indians were DESTROYED IN GALWAN by the PRC ! dindooohindoo

No need to go into History ! COVID has exposed the worth of the Indian state,Indians and Its Polity .Indians were trying MAGIC COW PISS COLA,MAGIC COW DUNG CAKES, LIGHTING LAMPS AND CELL PHONES, CLAPPING HANDS, BEATUNG UTENSILS - to CURE COVID.

The Net Result is EVIDENT TO ALL.

It is now in the small towns - and OUT of CONTROL !

samir sardana said...

The Book extract says that India will DESTROY Chinese and US ships and planes ???

With the MIG-21 shot down by the PAF ? The IAF will shoot down F35s of the USAF, with Migs and Sukhois ? The ones that keep crashing, at the Chinese border ?

How will an Indian MIG reach the Sea of Japan or Malacca ? It will need an Aircraft carrier ! Malaccs crawls with Chinese Subs - so an Indian Aircraft carrier will just waltz into Malacca and then stay in Yoga pose,for the PLN to admire ?

Indian Aircraft carrier - like the one which ran off to Andaman during 1971 when PNS Ghazi came hunting ?

The Indian Navy will sink CHINESE AND US SHIPS - to stop the war !? I present the GENIUS OF THE INDIAN NAVY !

Case 1 - October 2017: INS Kadmatt (P29), while stern maneuvering to the dock, collided by the stern with Russian ship Irytsh in Vladivostok on 19 October

Case 2 - November 2015: INS Kochi, a Kolkata-class destroyer, conducted BrahMos missile test firings whilst the airspace remained open to traffic

Case 3 - January 2014: INS Betwa, a Brahmaputra-class guided missile frigate, ran aground and collided with an unidentified object

Case 4 - February 2014: On 26 February, INS Sindhuratna, a Kilo-class submarine, had a fire detected on board when trials were being conducted which resulted in smoke leading to suffocation and death of two officers.

Case 5 - A Nuke Sub blows up in Dry Dock in August 2013 ( all sailors killed

Case 6 - Disaster with INS Arihant in March 2017 (


The Piece De Resistance !

US bombs Shanghai and PLA bombs San Diego ????? Y ? For a Shanghai - it was to be NY and for Beijing,it has to be Washington

But the Genius of the Authors !



NEW DELHI - to be with in minutes range of the Chinese Rocket Force in Tibet ? dindooo hindoo

Is it the YOGA that Americans do ? What is happening to the USA ?

Adeel C. said...

that would be so typical of hindustan , they have been very very adept at playing of superpowers against each other, to their own advantage !

Riaz Haq said...

Adeel: "that would be so typical of hindustan , they have been very very adept at playing of superpowers against each other, to their own advantage !"

Ex US President Bill Clinton said in 1990s that India has a Rodney Dangerfield problem: It can’t get no respect, according to his deputy secretary of state Strobe Talbott. In a diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks in 2010, Hillary Clinton referred to India as "a self-appointed frontrunner for a permanent UN security council seat."

Umar said...

The admiral must have missed a famous novel by John Michael Greer, "Twilight's Last Gleaming" published in 2014 speculating a war scenario between China and the US.

samir sardana said...

In Hindsight the story makes eminent sense !

When the Deputy NSA of the USA is a Chowdhry(Jat Donkey herder) and his Uncle is lecturing him on Geo-Politics and is a PATEL (a Gujarati Bania) then America DESERVES DOOM !

If a Bania.Marwari.Gujarati.Jain is at the apex of the Nat Security Grid of the USA - then the doom of the USA is a certainty.

Using these people as cyber coolies and toilet cleaners is 1 thing - but NSA !

And then what is it that the Hindoo scriptures say about Gujaratis ?

The Mahabharata , Book 8: Karna Parva ,Section 45

The Pancalas observe the duties enjoined in the Vedas; ............... the Saurashtras are bastards.

I REPEAT THE UNSAYABALE - "BASTARDS".What does the Mahabharata mean ?

The Gujaratis are also termed as a race of Miscegnation – in the Mahabharata ! That word refers to those born of unnatural sex ! Gujaratis are a Bastard race ! They swap wives ! And they do it openly and ADVERTISE IT OPENLY !


Fahad said...

Dear Sir Riaz Haq and other members of this blog.

I recently saw news related to COVID-19 in India, I can't explain how worse the condition of India has become because of corona virus. According to some news sources, 1 crore people are effected with corona in India and atleast 300,000 people have died from this virus.

Their is huge shortage of oxygen and ventilators in hospitals of Delhi and other parts of India. I saw a video of an Indian doctor and she was crying while explaining the condition of people their. Also their is no space available in cemetry of Hindus to burn the dead bodies of their loved once.

I request all the members of this blog to pls pray for people of India, at the moment we must keep aside the rivalry of both nations and should think about humanity.

samir sardana said...

Y the sympathy for the Indians ? They are getting what they deserve ! They tolerated a debauched and criminal caste system for 5000 years,extolled the genocide in Kashmir and on Dalits and the North East,TOLERATED corruption for 5000 years,voted a gang of lunpen, heathen murderers to power - and so,what else would be their fate ?

Nanak (who Pakistanis call Baba Nanak) said this,to his WAHE GURU,on the subject of the Mughal Invasions,as under:

|| 4 || 4 || 38 || AASAA, FIRST MEHL: Having attacked Khuraasaan, “Baabar terrified Hindustan”. The Creator Himself does not take the blame, but has sent the “Mugal as the messenger death”. There was so much slaughter that the people screamed. “Didn’t You feel compassion”, Lord?



|| 5 || The Hindu women, the Muslim women, the Bhattis and the “Rajputs – some had their robes torn away, from head to foot”, while others came to dwell in the cremation ground. Their “husbands did not return home” and how did they pass their night ?


|| 6 || The Creator Himself acts, and “causes others to act”. Unto whom should we complain?



The same applies to the Old Testament,and the Plagues of Moses,on the Pharoah,and these verses

Zephaniah 2:4 ESV

For Gaza shall be deserted, and Ashkelon shall become a desolation; Ashdod's people shall be driven out at noon, and Ekron shall be uprooted.!!

Zechariah 9:5 ESV

Ashkelon shall see it, and be afraid; Gaza too, and shall writhe in anguish; Ekron also, because its hopes are confounded. The king shall perish from Gaza; Ashkelon shall be uninhabited;


This is NOT the time for the Sons of Ishmael,to commiserate,and make shallow pretensions of empathy and sympathy.This is their time to recall, from the Talmud to date - the consequences of evil - which exists,in its PUREST form,in Hindoosthan !

Also,Allah will NOT forgive the Sons of Ishmael,who do NOT take advantage of this OPPORTUNITY - just as Pakistan did NOT take the opportunity offered in 1962 - and then, came 1971 !

History records that the venegance of Allah,on the "so-called believers",has been wreaked the best by ATHEISTS, RATIONALISTS AND AGNOSTICS.dindooohindoo

Sample the destruction of Baghdad and the Abissaids,by the Mongols (and then,the Mongols VANISHED - as their purpose was accomplished - like a Tsunami)
Same for the Tartars

And add to that list,Bio-Scientists and PRC - and their wonderbar revolution in WUHAN !

Riaz Haq said...

#India doesn't want to shut down its #economy again. It may get crushed anyway. In #NewDelhi, crematoriums are overflowing with #Covid victims as the #healthcare system buckled under the sheer volume of daily patients of the deadly #virus. #Modi #BJP

Much of that worry is fueled by the dynamics of the industry's workforce.
"The majority of the workforce is in the 18 to 45 years of age and have not been vaccinated as yet," noted Sanjay Leekha, vice chairman of CLE.
"We're relying on god now"
Shashi Kashyap is senior manager with Indian Leather manufacturer, a leather products manufacturer and exporter based in New Delhi. The 30-year-old family business operates three production facilities in the city, which is currently gripped by worsening health crisis.
In New Delhi, crematoriums are overflowing with Covid victims as the healthcare system buckled under the sheer volume of daily patients of the deadly virus. The country reported almost 380,000 new infections on Thursday, marking yet another global record for the highest single-day case count.
Kashyup said he has Covid, his elderly father is also infected as are other members of his family.
"We are just relying on god right now to get us through this," he said. "There's nowhere to go to get tested, no room in hospitals to get admitted. People are dying on the streets."
As he grapples with his personal reality, the company where he works is in dire straits, too.
Indian Leather Manufacturer employs more than 500 people and produces leather goods -- jackets, bags, boots, belts, equestrian products -- for customers in the United States, Europe and elsewhere.
"We get orders for 5,000 to 10,000 jackets just from one client," said Kashyap. "We can't name our overseas clients but they are in the luxury space," he said.
Walmart sets up vaccine clinics for Flipkart workers as India grapples with Covid crisis

Randa Apparel & Accessories, a large supplier of apparel and accessories like leather belts and wallets to retailers including Nordstrom (JWN), Walmart (WMT), Costco and Kohl's (KSS), is closely watching the situation in India.
Some of its owned and licensed brands include Levi's, Calvin Klein, Cole Haan and Haggar Clothing Co.
"For accessories, most of our raw material for India production (leather) comes from the north and is suffering understandable and considerable delays," said David J. Katz, EVP and chief marketing officer of Randa Apparel & Accessories.
"Our local raw material stockpiles are becoming a concern as demand for belts and wallets in the United States increases. However, our primary factories, suppliers, and new joint venture in India are in the Chennai region, which has been less affected by the pandemic spread. We're hoping it stays that way. Production has been chiefly on schedule. Our deliveries from India have been somewhat delayed due to transportation and logistics backlogs."

samir sardana said...


The issue is NOT the LOCKDOWN and its impact on GST and FISCAL DEFICIT.


That is WHAT will DOOM India.THEY WILL HAVE TO INCREASE DIESEL,PETROL,GAS AND KEROSENE RATES.And that will also INCREASE THE RATES OF EDIBLE OILS from BMD to Brazil as their supply chains are busted and PALM FRUIT picking is a labour intensive process

There will be NO leather and NO LEATHER JACKETS.The entire sector is in UP,Bihar and Maharashtra - which will doom the raw material supplies.

International rates of hides and raw leather will shoot up ! India CANNOT import,as there will be NO LABOUR to process it !

The entire TEXTTLE SECTOR of India - which is labour intensive across the supply chain is DOOMED ! dindooohindoo

Ever seen a tannery or a SME textile/garment unit in India - Imagine working with masks and distancing !





Riaz Haq said...

#COVID Test Positivity Rate in Double Digits in #SouthAsia: #India 21.2%, #Pakistan 10.2%

samir sardana said...

Mr Haq said " Test Positivity Rate in Double Digits"

The Ballistic Missile is in the Terminal Descent and the Multiple warheads have split at different trajectories - and doom is certain

The Positivity rate in Delhi is 32 % (THIRTY TWO %) although the TESTS ARE INCREASING EVERY DAY

Same in Kerala

The Positivity rate in GOA is 53 % (FIFTY THREE %) although the TESTS ARE INCREASING EVERY DAY

It is "THE END".The Movie is over,and it is now TIME TO DIE ! It is time to Dig Graves and collect Firewood.dindooohindoo

Riaz Haq said...

#Modi’s #BJP party loses #WestBengalElections2021 by a wide margin amid #COVID19 #pandemic; #India sees 3,689 deaths , a new record in 24 hours. There were 390,000 new infections in 24 hour period. #CoronavirusPandemic #ModiResign #MamataBanerjee

The holding of elections over the past month even as the number of new cases mushroomed has drawn scrutiny in India. The Madras High Court even went as far as to slam the country’s Election Commission for not stopping political rallies that were flouting coronavirus protocols. Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee called the organization “singularly responsible” for the new surge in cases.

During the past month, Prime Minister Narendra Modi held several massive campaign rallies attended by tens of thousands of people in the eastern state of West Bengal where his party, the Bharatiya Janata Party, or the BJP, was in a close race with an opposition party led by a woman. Modi and his powerful deputy, Amit Shah, addressed more than 50 rallies in Bengal, according to NDTV.

By evening, it was clear Modi’s party had lost the bitterly fought election battle. The BJP was on track to lose in two other south Indian states where they weren’t in the reckoning. The party is set to retain power in the state of Assam.

Modi has been panned by critics for sending the wrong message by holding rallies at a time when India was on its way to becoming the worst-affected country in the world by the pandemic, but losses in these elections may signify only a limited test of the impact of the unfolding crisis on his support.

Mamata Banerjee, the chief minister of Bengal, known for her streetfighter reputation, asked her supporters to remain at home. “Covid is my first priority,” Bannerjee said in her victory speech. The state capital, Kolkata, has in recent days seen a climbing positivity rate with every second person being tested for the coronavirus turning out to be positive.

Riaz Haq said...

Indian Billionaire Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Industries, considered a bellwether for the broader #Indian #economy, warns of more pain unless the surge in #coronavirus cases is quickly curbed. #India #Modi #BJP #COVID19 #Hindutva #Islamophobia via @markets

Reliance Industries Ltd., India’s largest company by market value and one that’s considered a bellwether for the broader economy, said it hasn’t escaped a devastating new wave of the coronavirus and warned of more pain unless the surge is quickly curbed.

“The outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic globally and in India is causing significant disturbance and slowdown of economic activity. The Group’s operations and revenue during the period were impacted due to COVID-19,” the company, led by Mukesh Ambani, Asia’s richest person, said in a footnote in its earnings statement Friday. It added that the group has accounted for the possible impact of the outbreak in preparing its financial results.

The disclosure underscores the impact India’s deep humanitarian and health care crisis is having on its citizens -- billionaires or not -- either through desperate pleas on social media for oxygen or via the earnings of large conglomerates. India has reported more than 300,000 new infections for the last nine days, making it the world’s fastest surging outbreak that can potentially derail the nation’s economy.

‘It’s Like a War’: Inside an India Hospital Desperate for Oxygen

Reliance, whose earnings missed analysts estimates for the March quarter, has signaled more pain in the days ahead unless the virus wave peaks out soon.

“Fresh lockdowns will impact demand growth for fuels,” V. Srikanth, the company’s joint chief financial officer said in the post-earnings call Friday, adding that the resurgence of infections in end of March had hurt the business.

Footfalls in Reliance’s retail stores dropped to 40% of pre-Covid levels in April compared to 88% in the March quarter, according to Dinesh Thapar, who heads Reliance’s retail unit. “We have reshaped our priorities for this quarter to address new Covid wave challenge,” Anshuman Thakur, head of strategy at Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd. told reporters.

Riaz Haq said...

Is There a War Coming Between China and the U.S.?

by Tom Friedman

.....just a few miles away from China sits the largest and most sophisticated contract chip maker in the world: Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company. According to the Congressional Research Service, TSMC is one of only three manufacturers in the world that fabricate the most advanced semiconductor chips — and by far the biggest. The second and third are Samsung and Intel

Most chip designers, like IBM, Qualcomm, Nvidia, AMD (and even Intel to some extent) now use TSMC and Samsung to make the microprocessors they design.

But, just as important, three of the five companies that make the super-sophisticated lithography machines, tools and software used by TSMC and others to actually make the microchips — Applied Materials, Lam Research Corporation and KLA Corporation — are based in the United States. (The other two are Dutch and Japanese.) China largely lacks this expertise.

As such, the American government has the leverage to restrict TSMC from making advanced chips for Chinese companies. Indeed, just two weeks ago, the U.S. made TSMC suspend new orders from seven Chinese supercomputing centers suspected of assisting in the country’s weapons development.

The South China Morning Post quoted Francis Lau, a University of Hong Kong computer scientist, as saying: “The sanctions would definitely affect China’s ability to keep to its leading position in supercomputing,” because all of its current supercomputers mostly use processors from Intel or designed by AMD and IBM and manufactured by TSMC. Although there are Korean and Japanese alternatives, Lau added, they are not as powerful.

China, though, is doubling down on research in the physics, nanotechnology and material sciences that will drive the next generation of chips and chip-making equipment. But it could take China a decade or more to reach the cutting edge.

That’s why — today — as much as China wants Taiwan for reasons of ideology, it wants TSMC in the pocket of Chinese military industries for reasons of strategy. And as much as U.S. strategists are committed to preserving Taiwan’s democracy, they are even more committed to ensuring that TSMC doesn’t fall into China’s hands for reasons of strategy. (TSMC is now building a new semiconductor factory in Phoenix.) Because, in a digitizing world, he who controls the best chip maker will control … a lot.

Just read “2034.” In the novel, China gains the technological edge with superior A.I.-driven cybercloaking, satellite spoofing and stealth materials. It’s then able to launch a successful surprise attack on the U.S. Pacific Fleet.

And the first thing China does is seize Taiwan.

Let’s make sure that stays the stuff of fiction.

Anonymous said...

Beta incompetence aside this explosion of cases is almost certainly due to a super mutant variant..10% of Indians are presently vaccinated and with zero exports Modi to save his skin will vaccinate 90%+ by the end of the year...

You wanna bet Pakistan will fair better when this or a future super mutant variant hits?

Indias problem is sub optimal utilization of its industrial capacity.Pakustan is a non industrialized fakir..let's see how it copes when oxygen demand increases by 500% over night..
I will remember to mock Pakistan at all forums in retaliation to this blog as will tens of thousands of Indians.

He who lasts laugh...

samir sardana said...

This is re Mr Haq's post on RIL and Mukesh Ambani's pain,for COVID patients,at May 2, 2021 at 10:48 AM

RIL profits were double that of last year - which is a cumulative output of the benefits of DEMO/GST and COVID.Taking money out of RIL is impossible - which means that,those who lost business to RIL,have lost it forever.

Mukesh Ambani is the biggest gainer of the COVID doom in India.Oil is rising,and will catalyse RIL profits,in the next few quarters.Lockdown will ONLY impact,the RIL RETAIL business - which will Go ONLINE,to take on AMAZON.


Of course,they did NOT plan the COVID ! It was just PURE CHANCE and PROVIDENCE.

samir sardana said...

This is w.r.t the angst and pain of the Anonymous India on May 2, 2021 at 3:01 PM

The blinkered vision of an Indian does not cease even in such pain - which should evoke some more pitiable empathy.dindooohindoo

He says Pakistan is NOT an industrialised nation ! Pakistan Steel Mills can take care of all the O2 needs of Pakistan,at double the current levels.The CRUX is the logistics - which is easy meat in Pakistan - owing to the length and breadth of the nation.

It might also be possible to move the O2 in pipelines to a certain point.


WARS ARE WON AND LOST ON LOGSISTICS - ONLY ! All the else can be bought or planned !

Mr Anonymous says "what if the super mutant strikes Pakistan".Indians have to take a deep breath and ask


Y ?




Ban all Flights from India and Humans who were in India in the last 60 days and all those TRANSITING from any city in the world with a population of more than 1 million Indians


Ban all TRAVEL OF INDIANS to PAKISTAN as soon as possible - to protect the lives of the Maltese

The Indian VAX is a FAILURE.The Indian can neither PRODUCE, nor STORE AND DELIVER THE VAXES
Every Day,the VIRUS expands GEOMETRICALLY
The Russian VAX will FAIL ON INDIANS
The LETHAL Mutants are STILL NOT DETECTED AS THE MOST DANGEROUS MUTANT - RESIDE IN THE HEALTHIEST - and their JUMP ON THE TARGETS - and that will be detected in the 3 months


What people do NOT understand is that,the virus is in 1.3 billion Indians, for the last 12 months, and will last in at least 1.2 billion UNVAXED INDIANS,for the NEXT 12 MONTHS



Riaz Haq said...

#Indian #Americans Don’t Know What to Feel Right Now. Sheer govt negligence is compounding the feelings of déjà vu. Anger toward #Trump administration, which downplayed the threat of the #virus, has been replaced by rage over #Modi’s response. #COVID19

Although no Indian is spared from this virus, marginalized communities such as Dalits—the low-caste workers who are keeping the country’s crematoria and other essential services running day and night—are facing the brunt of the disaster in India. By contrast, many Indian Americans come from middle-to-upper-class and privileged upper-caste communities. Sruti Suryanarayanan, the communications and research associate at the nonprofit South Asian Americans Leading Together, hopes that the crisis will become an inflection point for Indian Americans to confront difficult questions about privilege, home, and belonging.


As family members in India face the catastrophe, relatives who have lived through waves of the devastating pandemic in America are trying to offer emotional and psychological support for what lies ahead. Shindé, who was based in New York last spring, has been remembering the weeks when the city became the world’s epicenter. Days before her aunt Vijaya’s death, Shindé texted her: “You’re going to get better and dance at our wedding party 💃🏾💃🏾💃🏾!!” On the same day, she texted her mom in India that Vijaya might not pull through. “We saw this in NYC,” she wrote. “There were signs of improvement, and they just slipped.”


In some instances, sheer government negligence is compounding the feelings of déjà vu. Shindé’s anger toward the Trump administration, which downplayed the threat of the virus, has been replaced by rage over Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s response, which she calls “a mirror image of what we went through last year.” In February, India’s ruling party claimed that the country had defeated the virus before Modi plowed forward with massive preelection rallies.

Out of the guilt and confusion of this moment, many in the diaspora are searching for ways to help. Indian Americans make up the wealthiest immigrant community in the country, and have been using their clout in tech and politics to push the U.S. government to act. The Biden administration, which was initially slow to respond to the growing crisis in India, this week promised to immediately begin delivering AstraZeneca vaccine doses, ventilators, coronavirus tests, personal protective equipment, and other materials to India. The outcry from the Indian American community has had “an enormous” impact on the government’s response, says Ashish Jha, the dean of the Brown University School of Public Health, who has been among those pressuring the Biden administration.


Like everyone I interviewed for this story, I too am oscillating between waves of emotions—anger, helplessness, and guilt—as reports come in from my family in India. In recent weeks, at least two relatives have tested positive for the virus. Although I can look forward to picnics in the park this summer, India’s parks are becoming grave sites. All the justified optimism around me now feels unjust and even irresponsible. For many of us with friends and family around the world, the trauma feels like a never-ending loop: When your immediate situation improves, another loved one enters a crisis.

Shindé is mourning the loss of her relatives, but she is also mourning her homeland. As an immigrant, “you’re always living half in nostalgia,” she said. “In a state of having lost your home, you carry a sadness with you. And I think there’s these moments that just heighten that in a way that is powerless. Everything that has shaped you as a child is there. You feel just lost; your family is lost.”

samir sardana said...

Mr Haq quotes as under :

Under Modi, Jaishankar once boasted, diplomacy “is having many balls up in the air at the same time and displaying the confidence and dexterity to drop none.”

You need BALLS to juggle BALLS,especially when,MODI is shooting the JUGGLED Balls.Since Jaishankar is the Juggler,he has to HOPE that MODI DOES NOT MISS THE BALLS - else, Jaishankar will be hit,by the shot fired by Modi.


That is the MIRACLE !

Riaz Haq said...

#India's #G7 Delegation Led by its Top Diplomat #Jaishankar Forced To Self-Isolate in #London After Testing Positive to #COVID19. Jaishankar has met #Blinken and other FMs since arriving in #UK. #coronavirus #pandemic #Modi #BJP

"We deeply regret that Foreign Minister Jaishankar will be unable to attend the meeting today in person but will now attend virtually, but this is exactly why we have put in place strict COVID protocols and daily testing," a senior British diplomat was quoted by Reuters as saying.

Jaishankar's meeting Monday with Blinken was their first in-person meeting since the Biden administration assumed office. U.K. Home Secretary Priti Patel also met Tuesday with Jaishankar, tweeting a photo of them wearing masks.

The news of Jaishankar's trip to London, as well as the positive coronavirus tests among his staff, sparked criticism back home in India. Some Indians questioned the wisdom of his travel at an all-hands-on-deck moment in the pandemic.

The country has confirmed more than 300,000 coronavirus cases daily for the past two weeks, and its health care system is collapsing. On Wednesday, India confirmed more than 382,000 new cases and 3,780 deaths — its highest single-day death toll since the pandemic began.

"Man travelled to London just to hold virtual meeting with G-7 leaders. Why wasted so much money and time?" one Indian wrote on Twitter. "You should have stayed in India and held meeting virtually."


India's top diplomat and his entourage have been forced to self-isolate, participating in a G-7 foreign ministers meeting only virtually — from hotel rooms near the venue in London — after at least two members of the Indian delegation tested positive for the coronavirus.

India is currently battling the world's biggest COVID-19 wave, and is thus on the United Kingdom's Red List, meaning travel from India into the U.K. is restricted. The rules stipulate that while regular Indians are barred from entering the U.K., diplomats may do so, but are required to self-isolate.

It appears that India's minister of external affairs, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, was granted an exception to that rule, because he has held several in-person meetings, including with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, since arriving in London on Monday.

British media reported that two members of Jaishankar's delegation had since tested positive.

In a tweet, Jaishankar said he had been made aware of the exposure Tuesday evening. "As a measure of abundant caution and also out of consideration for others, I decided to conduct my engagements in the virtual mode," he wrote. "That will be the case with the G7 Meeting today as well."

Fahad said...

Sir pls check latest news

Some doctors in hospitals of India have committed suicide ,government of India has cancelled their leave and his ordered them to stay in the hospitals for maximum number of hours to treat corona patients .1 doctor is treating atleast 7 corona patients daily in hospitals . Some Indian doctors have committed suicide because they couldn't tolerate the grief and tragic situation in the hospitals .

samir sardana said...

The Hindoos have conquered the COVID !

They are now using Oxy meter,scanners,help desks and COVID shields for cows !


The Indian IQ of the INDIAN INSTITUTE OF TOILET CLEANERS ! They failed to predict the WAVE 2 DISASTER and its peak


Riaz Haq said...

#Modi's Hand-Picked #UP CM #YogiAdityanath Sets Up 700 Help Desks across the state for #cows & cow shelters with 51 oximeters, 341 thermal scanners to treat cows suffering #COVID19. #India #Hindutva #BJP #coronavirus #pandemic via @NewIndianXpress

Amid the prevailing pandemic, the Yogi Adityanath government is taking forward its cow protection agenda and has issued directives to set up help desks for protection of cows in every district.

The state government has also issued instructions that all the cow shelters (gaushalas) must strictly follow the Covid-19 protocols, and has made the usage of masks and frequent thermal screening mandatory.

The cow shelters will also be equipped with all the medical equipment's such as oximeters and thermal scanners for cows and other animals as well.

In view of the current Covid situation, a total of 700 help desks for the welfare of cows have been set up across the districts of Uttar Pradesh. With this, 51 oximeters and 341 thermal scanners have also been provided to ensure better animal care and testing.

According to the government spokesman, destitute cows, in large numbers, are being provided shelter in the gaushalas. The government is also rapidly increasing the number of the existing cowsheds and cow shelters to deal with stray cattle menace.

According to the official data, there are over 5,268 cow protection centres which have, till now, ensured the well-being of as many as 5,73,417 cattle in the state.

About 4,64,311 cows in both, villages and cities, have been kept at 4,529 temporary cow shelters.

Of these, 40,640 cows are in 161 Kanha Gaushalas and 10,827 cows in 407 Kanji houses.

Apart from this, 171 large cow-conservation centres / cow sanctuaries have been constructed in the state, which have provided shelter to as many as 57,639 cows.

The fodder bank model, developed by the state government, is ensuring timely fodder through 3452 Fodder Banks which are feeding lakhs of stray cattle in Uttar Pradesh amid the covid crisis.

Under the Mukhya Mantri Besahara Gau-Vansh Sahbhagita Yojana, the UP government also made a provision of giving a financial assistance of Rs 900 per month to every farmer taking care of stray cattle. So far, a total of 85,869 cows have been provided to 44, 651 beneficiaries.

In addition, the well-being of over 1,05,380 cows has been ensured by 533 registered cowsheds and 377 functional cow shelters, whereas, a total of 47, 040 cows have been preserved in about 304 unregistered cowsheds.

Riaz Haq said...

#India breaks its own #COVID19 records again with 412,000 new cases & nearly 4,000 deaths in 24 hours. Epidemiologists believe that India’s surge could hit 500,000 cases a day. That would be a ruinous burden for a #healthcare system already reeling

India’s devastating coronavirus crisis deepened Thursday, as the country reported 412,000 infections and nearly 4,000 deaths in the previous 24 hours.

Epidemiologists believe that India’s surge could hit 500,000 cases a day in the coming weeks before retreating. That would represent a ruinous burden for a health-care system reeling from too many patients and a shortage of crucial supplies such as oxygen.

Last month, the United States advised its citizens to leave India, and the State Department on Thursday authorized the voluntary departure of non-emergency personnel.

Here are some significant developments:
The Biden administration said it will support waiving intellectual property protections for coronavirus vaccines, arguing that the global health crisis calls for extraordinary measures — a move sought by developing nations. In a tweet following the U.S. announcement, Britain’s international trade secretary Liz Truss did not back patent waiver, saying the U.K. is “in discussions with the US and others to facilitate the increased production and supply of Covid-19 vaccines.”
Coronavirus infections could be driven to low levels and the pandemic at least temporarily throttled in the United States by July if the vast majority of people get vaccinated and continue with precautions, said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Free drinks, plants and a chance to win a car: Local leaders have turned to audacious incentives to push people — especially younger populations — to get vaccinated.
The Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine provides strong protection against two concerning variants of the virus, including the one that has most worried scientists because it can evade parts of the immune response, according to new data from Qatar.
Canada became the first country in the world to authorize use of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for children between 12 and 15 on Wednesday. The United States is expected to follow shortly.

Riaz Haq said...

#India’s worsening #Covid crisis could spiral into a big problem for the world. #Indian variants are already spilling into #Nepal & #SriLanka. Both reported increases in infections, while other regional economies #HongKong & #Singapore have imported it too

India has reported more than 300,000 new cases daily in the last two weeks, and overtook Brazil in April to become the second-worst infected country in the world. Cumulatively, coronavirus infections in India reached around 20.67 million with more than 226,000 deaths, according to health ministry data on Wednesday. Several studies of India’s data, however, found that cases were likely severely underreported.

There are already signs that India’s outbreak is spilling over to other countries. Its neighbors Nepal and Sri Lanka have also reported increases in infections, while other regional economies including Hong Kong and Singapore have seen imported Covid cases from India.

Here’s how India’s coronavirus crisis could spiral into a wider global problem.

Potential new Covid variants
Prolonged large outbreaks in any country could increase the possibility of new variants of Covid-19, health experts warned. Some of the variants could evade immune responses trigged by vaccines and previous infections, they said.

“Here’s the bottom line: We know when there are large outbreaks, that variants arise. And so far our vaccines are holding up okay, we’re seeing a few breakthrough infections but not much,” Dr. Ashish Jha, dean of Brown University’s School of Public Health, told CNBC’s “The News with Shepard Smith.”

“But India is a big country and if there are large outbreaks there, of course we’re gonna all worry about more variants which will be bad for Indians and of course, it will spread around the world,” he added.

India first detected the B.1.617 variant — also dubbed the “double mutant” — in October last year. The variant has since been reported in at least 17 countries including the U.S., the U.K. and Singapore.

Dr. Ashish Jha: We don’t have to get into herd immunity to get our lives back
WHO has classified the B.1.617 as a variant of interest, which suggests the mutated strain could be more contagious, more deadly, as well as more resistant to current vaccines and treatments. The organization said more studies are needed to understand the significance of the variant.

Global vaccine supply at risk
India is a major vaccine manufacturer, but the health crisis at home has led authorities to halt exports of Covid-19 vaccines as the country prioritizes its domestic needs.

The Serum Institute of India (SII) — the country’s main producer — has the rights to produce the Covid vaccine co-developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford. Some of its production is slated for Covax, the global initiative to supply poor countries with Covid vaccines.

India accounts for 1 in 3 new Covid cases being recorded. Here is its second wave in 5 charts

India’s worsening Covid crisis could spiral into a problem for the world

India is the home of the world’s biggest producer of Covid vaccines. But it’s facing a major internal shortage

India’s economy will likely contract this quarter as Covid cases soar, economists warn

Developing countries are lagging advanced nations in securing vaccine supplies in what the WHO has described as a “shocking imbalance” in distribution.

A delay in vaccine exports by India could therefore leave lower-income countries vulnerable to fresh outbreaks of the coronavirus.

Some economists have downgraded their growth forecasts for India. But they remained optimistic about the economy’s outlook for the year given that restrictions to curb the virus spread have been more targeted compared to the strict nationwide lockdown last year.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has warned that the health crisis in India could drag down the U.S. economy, reported Reuters. That’s because many U.S. companies hire millions of Indian workers to run their back-office operations, according to the report.

Riaz Haq said...

#India’s national government looks increasingly hapless. Confronted with catastrophe, the state has melted away. A sense of utter abandonment, especially among the politically noisy middle class, is driving the anger. #Modi #BJP #COVID #COVIDSecondWave

Two short months ago Narendra Modi’s government was one of the most popular and confident in India’s history. Now, judging by fresh election results, by the eruption of criticism even in the largely docile mainstream media, by sharp reprimands issued by top courts, by thumbs-down judgments by seasoned analysts and by a level of rage on social media unusual even for India’s hothouse online forums, the prime minister and his government are in trouble.

It is not simply that evidence has mounted of repeated failures to heed warnings of an impending second wave of covid-19, including from the government’s own health experts. Nor is it just that Mr Modi and his team have struggled to respond to a calamity greater than India has experienced in generations. Indians are accustomed to ineptitude and meagre support. Rather it is a sense of utter abandonment, especially among the politically noisy middle class, that is driving the anger.

Anonymous said...

Indian & EU about to sign free trade pact, and at the same time EU cancelled and penalized China. Guess such news must be hard to swallow for you.

Riaz Haq said...

Vir Sanghvi @htTweets: "The dream of a modern India is dying... Such is the despondency over our politicians that many people are now actively considering emigrating to other countries" #India #Modi #COVIDEmergency2021 #ModiResign

It is a conversation I have had with so many people over the last fortnight that I know how it will go as soon as they started speaking. Usually, the conversation is with young people or with those in what we might call early middle age (35 to 45).

They all say the same thing: there is no hope for India. Things will never get better.

They cannot see themselves as having a future in this country. If they are young, they talk about wanting to raise a family outside this environment. If they are older they talk about pulling their children out of school and trying to make new lives in Dubai, Australia, Singapore or wherever.

I will be honest. Even before the current spate of conversations began, I had heard similar things before.

But there was a difference. Most of the people who told me that they were ready to leave were Muslims.

They no longer felt wanted in this country, they said. On Twitter and other social media, there was so much abuse and prejudice that they felt physically assaulted by the bigots. At every election campaign, Hindus would be asked, either in coded phrases or more directly, to hate Muslims and to unite under a communal cause.

Eventually, for worried Muslims, it boiled down to one thing: did they really want to condemn their children to life in a country where politicians won power by demonising their community?

I would tell my Muslim friends to be patient. This was a phase, I would say. The majority of Hindus did not think of Muslims as fanatics and closet Pakistanis. There is a circle to everything. The bigotry will fade. The mood will change.

But now, it is not just the Muslims who are eager to leave. It is middle class Hindus; usually Hindus with impressive educational qualifications and good jobs. They have bought houses here; they have advanced in their careers.

And still, they are prepared to walk away from it all and start all over again.

Many people of my generation faced this kind of choice when we were young. Several of us chose to work abroad. And the generation after us found that they were even more attracted by the West. They left India, found good jobs, and made new lives. (And many of them now run I-Support-Modi groups from the safe distance of New Jersey or wherever.)

But enough of us stayed. When I finished university in 1979, India was not yet the economic success story it would become after the 1991 reforms. We would all have made much more money if we had stayed on abroad.

We came back anyway. Partly because we believed in India. And partly because this was home. This is where we felt the most comfortable.


Perhaps this will happen. Perhaps it won’t.

But either way, what is happening today is a betrayal of hope and a slap in the face of the dream that was a modern progressive India.

We will beat Covid eventually. But by then thousands more will have lost their lives. Thousands of others, our best and brightest, will have left the country.

And the dream is dying.

Riaz Haq said...

Callous #Modi presses ahead with $1.8 billion #Indian parliament renovation even as #COVID19 ravages #India and hospitals plead for life-saving oxygen while Covid-19 patients die in their thousands gasping for breath. #BJP #Hindutva

While hospitals plead for life-saving oxygen and Covid-19 patients die in their thousands, India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi is pushing ahead with a $1.8 billion parliamentary revamp -- including a new home for the country's leader.

The decision to continue with the project in the capital, New Delhi, has infuriated the public and opposition politicians, who have pointed to the apparent disconnect in pouring millions into a construction project when the country is struggling with its worst-ever public health crisis.
The pricey renovation, known as the Central Vista Redevelopment Project, has been categorized as an "essential service," meaning construction is allowed to continue even when most other building projects have been halted.

Construction work underway on the Central Vista redevelopment project at Rajpath on April 17, 2021 in New Delhi, India.
Two citizens -- including one with Covid-19 whose mother also has the virus -- lodged a case with the Delhi High Court on Wednesday to try to halt construction, which has continued even while the capital is in lockdown.
The petitioners argue the parliament buildings don't constitute an essential service and construction work could even become a Covid super-spreader event, according to special leave petition filed by lawyer Nitin Saluja. Workers are continuing to be ferried from their labor camp to the construction site, according to the document.
The High Court offered to hear the case later this month, but petitioners took the matter to the Supreme Court, arguing the lower court had "failed to appreciate the gravity" of the situation.
"Since there is a public health emergency in the matter, any delay could be detrimental to the larger public interest," Saluja wrote to the Supreme Court. Saluja said the case will most likely be heard Friday.
India has reported more than 3,000 Covid-19 deaths in each of the past few days. The country accounted for a quarter of global coronavirus fatalities over the past week, according to the World Health Organization's (WHO) weekly Covid-19 report.

Even before the second wave, Central Vista had attracted controversy, with critics saying the redevelopment would come at the cost of history and heritage. But opposition has become more heated recently, with politicians slamming the plan as a vanity project.
Proponents of the 86-acre (35-hectare) revamp say it is necessary as the current 100-year-old buildings are not fit for purpose.
"The launch of the construction of the Parliament House of India, with the idea of Indianness by Indians, is one of the most important milestones of our democratic traditions," Modi said in December at the laying of the building's foundation stone. "We the people of India will construct this new Parliament building together."

Riaz Haq said...

India’s Covid crisis exposes its great power delusions | TRT World

India’s arrival as a global power is prematurely pronounced and is emblematic of a pattern replayed in recent years.
The scenes out of India these days are harrowing. Human beings lying on the pavement, begging for a bed in a hospital, or at the very least, some supply of oxygen. Space has run out not just for the dying, but also for the dead, as cremation and burial sites struggle to deal with the surge.

Last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared India as the “pharmacy to the world.” And it was only a month or two ago that some in the international commentariat proclaimed India as an early victor in the vaccine diplomacy race. But India’s vaccine exports have since come to a halt. As its death toll soars, India is now seeking vaccine supplies from countries like the United States.

The Imagined India meets the Real India

India’s Covid-19 crisis is not just a nightmare of mass human suffering. It is also a massive systemic failure. Indeed, it is emblematic of a pattern replayed in recent years: India’s arrival as a global power is prematurely pronounced — often by Western voices eager to see New Delhi’s aspirations realised — and then this Imagined India is shown to be hollow when struck by the Real India.

When India conducted airstrikes in Pakistan in February 2019, it claimed that it hit “terror camps” and killed hundreds of terrorists. India’s assertions were readily accepted by South Asia watchers in the West, some of whom hailed it as establishing a new normal in the region with India supposedly developing the capability to conduct Israeli-style strikes in Pakistan at will.

But then India’s claims were rubbished by the international media, which made clear that the only casualties were “some pine trees” and “a crow.” And, later that month, Pakistan’s air force knocked down at least one Indian air force jet. Prominent US media outlets disproved claims by New Delhi — parroted by the Indian media — that it took down a Pakistani F-16.

Many within India and its boosters abroad continued to see its global rise as inevitable. But India’s great power delusions were dealt yet another blow last year when it was blindsided and hit hard in clashes with China in the Galwan Valley. India has not only faced setbacks in clashes with adversaries, but it has also lost influence to China in more friendly countries in the region: Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka.

Indiscipline and punishment

The ongoing crisis in India has brought to fore its governance challenges and the extent to which it lags behind China on this critical element of national power.

To be clear, India is a vast country with significant regional disparities. States like Kerala have witnessed admirable gains in human development and public service delivery in the past generation. But, in contrast, places like Uttar Pradesh — India’s most populous state — remain stuck in another era, with characteristics of a failing state: crumbling public health and education systems, rampant corruption, and frequent mob violence. Continued Hindu nationalist rule at the center risks the Uttar Pradeshisation of India.

Modi’s disapproval rating shot up by eight points over April, but he remains a popular figure despite the suffering he’s brought to his people with his poor handling of the deadly second wave and his sudden announcements of demonetisation in 2016 and the first Covid lockdown in 2020.

Until recently, Modi’s charisma as a champion of a muscular Hindu identity made his reputation impervious to his government’s many policy failures. There now appear to be real dents in his armour. But there is little competition to Modi and the BJP at the centre. They will continue to rule India for the foreseeable future, but the country’s aspirations to serve as vishwaguru or “teacher to the world” will remain a fantasy.

Amit S. said...

An Open Letter to Modi Bhakts in America: Your God has Feet of Clay and Blood on His Hands
Vineetha Mokkil
MAY 5, 2021

Stop leaving offerings on his bloodied altar. Stop funding his campaigns of hate. Stop enabling the annihilation of secular India’s soul.

It’s time to face facts. Your God does not have a 56-inch chest. Your God is all bluster, no action. All swagger, no substance. Your God has failed the people of India on every count as the worst crisis in modern times ravages the country. Your God has no interest in protecting the citizenry he is expected to serve. While India gasps for breath, while patients die in hospital after hospital for lack of oxygen, while the sick collapse on the streets and beg for medicines and beds at overcrowded hospital gates, your God is lavishing ₹22,000 crore on building himself a glitzy new palace in the heart of Delhi. Consumed by his vanity project, he forgot to instruct his government to procure adequate vaccines supplies — the one thing that could save countless Indian lives as the second wave explodes in the country.

Your God is deaf to the cries of millions of Indians in distress. He is blind to the living, the sick and the dying. His hearing is faulty — neither the dying nor the living can get through to him. He only hears the sound of his own voice.

Wake up, dear Bhakts! All those odes to India’s ancient glory, the shiny promises of turning India into a Vishwa Guru who dazzles the world, all the bombastic words he uses to cast a spell on you at his Madison Square Garden rallies are a means to an end. Your god mouths the words to make sure you donate your dollars to his political campaigns and rallies. Keep the dollars coming, and he’ll keep telling you what you want to hear.

Instead of glory, he has heaped misery on Bharat Mata’s head. Under his stewardship, India has been dragged into the dirt. His demonitization drive broke the backbone of small businesses across the country. Much like the hare-brained Mughal emperor, Tughlak, your God’s ill-conceived move sowed chaos and hardship in the life of the common man.

As we speak, India is desperately seeking foreign aid to tackle a health emergency that your God’s lack of foresight caused. After a gap of 17 years, ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ has had to solicit foreign aid to bail itself out of a crisis.

Under your God’s watch, India had been brought to her knees. It is a pariah nation now. The Covid hotspot every nation dreads. The country every person across the world is watching in horror. Indian travellers are banned from flying out to almost every spot on the planet. Your God has no ‘masterstroke’ at this moment to flaunt.

Please understand. Your God is no God. He is a conman, a scamster, a talking head who trades exclusively in hate and vitriol. Inside his Photoshopped 56-inch chest there is no beating heart. He has not consoled the families of the dead or met with them. No condolences. No hospital visits. No regrets. Your God does not feel the pain of others or acknowledge his role in inflicting the worst on them.

He has not consoled the families of the dead or met with them. No condolences. No hospital visits. No regrets. Your God does not feel the pain of others or acknowledge his role in inflicting the worst on them.
Think about it. What kind of God stays unmoved as Indians continue to die of lack of oxygen, hospital beds, and access to medical care? What God retreats into silence as 120 Indians die — every hour, every day — from a second wave that could have been averted if he had acted on time? Who holds road shows and campaign rallies and chases after votes with zero regard for human life as death stalks the land?

Riaz Haq said...

The second wave and the Indian State

By Yamini Aiyar

Pritchett turned to India’s public health system to illustrate his argument. When you talked to the top tiers of India’s government, he said, you get an elaborate story of facilities, human resources, health services and programmes. But travel to any part of India, particularly in the north, Pritchett noted, and it became clear that this description of India’s “health system” was, in fact, a complete fiction.

As the horror and suffering of the second wave of Covid-19 unfold, one thing is clear. In the short decade between when Pritchett first posited the idea of the flailing State and today, India has transitioned to a failed State. The “fiction” of India’s health system is now exposed. And as hapless citizens struggle to find oxygen, basic medicines, hospital beds, the once sound and functional “head”, or more specifically the national government, is no longer visible. Indeed, it has abdicated from all responsibility, from leadership and governance.

The flailing State, in Pritchett’s formulation, was capable of undertaking “thin”, logistical, tasks. Tasks where goals are clear, outputs visible and command-and-control actions could be deployed. After all, India managed to conduct large-scale elections, vaccination programmes (the irony is inescapable), even handled natural disaster relief with relative competence.

Yet, when it comes to Covid-19 management, the Centre has failed to perform even these logistical tasks — oxygen supply, availability and access to basic medicines, treatment protocols, data systems, vaccinations. The political leadership, from the prime minister (PM) downwards, is completely absent and the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) — whose “brain power”, as Pritchett saw it, could capably formulate excellent policies — is drafting botched-up and confused policy. It is extraordinary that oxygen supply chains and aid distribution cannot be streamlined weeks after hospitals and state governments sounded alarm bells. Of course, when all else fails, we are reminded that health is, after all, a state subject.


Battling Covid-19 requires political maturity. This cannot be done in an institutional vacuum. One option is to set up an inter-state council within the National Disaster Management Authority, comprising the PM, chief ministers, senior ministers and bureaucrats from both states and the Centre. Institutionalised coordination will send the right signals to the limbs of the once flailing State. But this requires political leadership and trust. It’s not too late. But soon it will be.

samir sardana said...


It is time to BAN INDIANS forever !

The Daily VAX count is 3 lacs ! ??????????
There is no VAX stock !
There is no SURPLUS VAX STOCK IN THE WORLD to export to India
No 10 VAX suppliers in the world can feed Indians as THERE ARE NO RAW MATERIALS AND THE RW MATERIAL SUPPLY CHAIN goes via PRC





 The Mahabharata, Book 13: Anusasana Parva: Section CLV

 Burning with the energy of Agastya, the Danavas, abandoning both heaven and earth, fled "towards the southern direction".

THE TIME HAS COME ! dindooohindoo


Riaz Haq said...

#COVID19India: Desperation Is Spreading Across #India, hitting states and rural areas with many fewer resources. Positivity rates are soaring across rural India where #healthcare is scarce. #COVID19 #Modi #BJP #Hindutva #FailedState #CoronavirusPandemic

Some of the worst affected states are now in the south, especially Karnataka, home to India’s tech hub, Bangalore. An oxygen express train, part of the Modi government’s effort to rush liquid oxygen to Covid-19 hot spots, chugged into Bangalore on Tuesday morning.


Infections, deaths and breakdowns that began in big cities a few weeks ago are rapidly advancing into rural areas, unleashing deep fear in places with little medical safety net.

Dozens of bodies washed up on the banks of the Ganges this week, most likely the remains of people who perished from Covid-19.

States in southern India have threatened to stop sharing medical oxygen with each other, fiercely protective about holding on to whatever they have as their hospitals swell with the sick and infections skyrocket.

And at one hospital in Andhra Pradesh, a rural state in southeastern India, furious relatives went on a rampage in the intensive care unit after lifesaving oxygen suddenly ran out — the latest example of the same tragedy repeating itself, of patients dying while gasping for air.

The desperation that engulfed New Delhi, India’s capital, over the past few weeks is now spreading across the entire country, hitting states and rural areas with many fewer resources. Positivity rates are soaring in those states, and public health experts say that the rising numbers most likely fall far short of giving the true picture in places where sickness and deaths caused by Covid-19 are harder to track.

It seems the crisis is reaching a new phase. Cases in New Delhi and Mumbai may be leveling off. But many other places are getting bowled over by runaway outbreaks. The World Health Organization now says that a new variant of the virus detected in India, B.1.167, may be especially transmissible, which is just adding to the sense of alarm.

Every day the Indian media delivers a heavy dose of turmoil and grief. On Tuesday, it was televised images of distraught relatives furiously beating the chests of loved ones who had died after the oxygen ran out, and headlines including “Bodies of Suspected Covid-19 Victims Found Floating” and “As Deaths Go Up 10 Fold, Worrying Signs from Smaller States.”

This was always the burning question: If New Delhi, home to the country’s elite and scores of hospitals, couldn’t handle the surge of coronavirus cases from a devastating new wave, what would happen in poorer rural areas?

The answer is now coming in.

On Monday night, the Sri Venkateswara Ramnarain Ruia Government General Hospital, in Andhra Pradesh, was running low on medical oxygen. More than 60 patients were in critical condition, oxygen masks strapped to their faces. Doctors frantically called suppliers for help.

But the oxygen ran out, killing 11 people. Distraught family members became so enraged, hospital officials said, that they rushed into the intensive care unit, flipped over tables and smashed equipment. Televised images showed women clutching their heads, overwhelmed by grief. Doctors and nurses fled until police officers arrived.

India is suffering from a worrying shortage of medical oxygen, and at least 20 other hospitals have run out. Nearly 200 patients have died because of this, according to an Indian news site that has been tracking the string of deadly incidents.

Riaz Haq said...

How #India Can Survive the #COVID #Virus. Decision-making based on data is a casualty, as the pandemic in India has spun out of control. The human cost we are enduring will leave a permanent scar. #Modi #BJP #OxygenEmergency #VaccineShortage #Variant

by Dr. Shahid Jameel

The estimates vary widely. The Supermodel Group, preferred by the Indian government, estimated cases to have peaked at about 380,000 cases per day in the first week of May. The simulation model by the Indian Scientists Response to COVID-19, a voluntary group of scientists, predicts that daily cases will reach a peak sometime in mid-May, but it forecasts a much higher peak, about 500,000 to 600,000 daily cases. The COV-IND-19 Study Group at the University of Michigan predicts a peak by mid-May with about 800,000 to one million daily cases.

All models predict India’s second wave to last until July or August, ending with about 35 million confirmed cases and possibly 500 million estimated infections. That would still leave millions of susceptible people in India. The timing and scale of the third wave would depend on the proportion of vaccinated people, whether newer variants emerge and whether India can avoid additional superspreader events, like large weddings and religious festivals.


As of Tuesday, India had over 23 million reported cases of Covid-19 and more than 254,000 deaths. The real numbers may be much higher, as the country reported an average of more than 380,000 new cases per day in the past week.

As a virologist, I have closely followed the outbreak and vaccine development over the past year. I also chair the Scientific Advisory Group for the Indian SARS-CoV2 Consortium on Genomics, set up by the Indian government in January as a grouping of national laboratories that use genetic sequencing to track the emergence and circulation of viral variants. My observations are that more infectious variants have been spreading, and to mitigate future waves, India should vaccinate with far more than the two million daily doses now.

In India the virus was mutating around the new year to become more infectious, more transmissible and better able to evade pre-existing immunity. Sequencing data now tells us that two variants that fueled the second wave are B.1.617, first found in India in December, which spread through mass events; and B.1.1.7, first identified in Britain, which arrived in India with international travelers starting in January. The B.1.617 variant has now become the most widespread in India.

On Monday the World Health Organization designated B.1.617 a variant of concern. When tested in hamsters, which are reasonable models for human infection and disease, B.1.617 produced higher amounts of virus and more lung lesions compared with the parent B.1 virus. Global data shows the B.1.617 variant to be diversifying into three sub-lineages. In a preliminary report posted on Sunday, British and Indian scientists found the B.1.617.2 variant in vaccine breakthrough infections in a Delhi hospital.

On Monday, American researchers reported the B.1.617.1 variant to be neutralized with reduced efficiency by serums from recovered Covid-19 patients and those vaccinated with the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. Indian researchers reported similar findings in a preliminary report on April 23.

With these variants circulating through India’s still mostly unvaccinated population, public health officials here are trying to determine when the second wave might peak, how big it will be and when it will end.

Riaz Haq said...

India’s #coronavirus crisis spreads to its villages, where #healthcare is hard to find. 75% of all districts in #India are reporting a positivity rate of more than 10%, a #health official said Tuesday, an indication of how widely the #virus had spread.

The illness traveled silently through the narrow lanes of this prosperous village in Uttar Pradesh, infecting both young and old. People complained of fevers, cough and breathlessness. Then they began to die.

Vipin Kumar, a farmer in his 40s, was one of them. Last week, a feverish Kumar lay in pain on a cot in the courtyard of his family’s modest home, which abuts a maize field.

On the fifth day, his breathing became labored, and the family was advised by a local doctor to rush him to a big city 25 miles away — a formidable task the family could not manage, according to his son, Devendra. That evening, on May 10, his body began to shake violently and he died soon after.

More than 20 people with coronavirus symptoms have died in the village over the past two weeks, according to locals, a significant increase over the three or four deaths per month the village saw before the pandemic. Most of them, like Kumar, were never tested.

“Not a day goes by when there are no deaths,” said Hariom Raghav, a farmer and businessman who had just returned from a cremation. “If things continue like this, the village will empty out soon.”

The story of Banail has been playing out in villages across India as the virus continues its deadly surge: Rural areas, where over 65 percent of India’s 1.3 billion people live, had been spared in the first wave of the pandemic but are now facing devastating numbers of infections. Three quarters of all districts in India are reporting a positivity rate of more than 10 percent, a health official said Tuesday, an indication of how widely the virus had spread.

With more than 23 million reported cases, India is the global epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic. The country is recording more than 4,000 deaths a day, which experts say is an undercount. This week the World Health Organization classified the variant first found in India as a variant of “concern” and said initial studies suggested it spreads more easily.

Health-care infrastructure in villages — deficient at best or missing altogether before the pandemic — is ill-equipped to service the current needs. India’s rural health-care system has far fewer specialist doctors than needed. Low levels of awareness among villagers about coronavirus prevention and a slow rollout of vaccines has added to worries.

At the center of this crisis in the hinterland is the state of Uttar Pradesh — home to 230 million people, more than the population of Brazil. It is also one of the poorest and least-developed states. In April, local elections were held in villages across the state, which officials say led to the surge in rural areas. According to a teachers’ organization, more than 700 government teachers who were assigned to poll duty died after the elections, many after testing positive for the coronavirus. At the start of the month, the state was recording just over 2,500 cases. By the end of the month, as the elections wrapped up, cases surged to nearly 35,000.

This week, dozens of bodies suspected to be coronavirus patients have been found floating in India’s holy Ganges river in areas of Uttar Pradesh and its adjoining state, raising fears that corpses are being cast into the river because crematoriums are overwhelmed.

Activist and farmer leader Yogendra Yadav wrote that “sheer political callousness” has made the state the epicenter of “one of the worst” disasters in 21st century India. Recently, legislators from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party wrote to the state chief minister to raise an alarm over the situation in rural areas.

Riaz Haq said...

As #India Hunkers Down to Fight #COVID19, Its Wounded #Economy Braces for More Pain. Poor #migrants were hit last year but the middle class is also reeling now amid #lockdown. Many Indians have no savings to fall back on. #Modi #BJP #coronavirus #Hindutva

the second wave is pummeling small and medium-size businesses, which were already wounded after last year’s shutdown, economists said. Any further curbs on spending could permanently wipe many of them out, said Vishrut Rana, an economist at S&P Global Ratings.

“There could be a number of closures,” he said.

Delhi salon owner Nima, who goes by one name, said she decided to shut down her business for good after the city went into lockdown in late April. The salon barely managed to survive last year, she said, but life was slowly getting back to normal. Now, Ms. Nima said she can no longer afford to keep paying her staff.

“How long can we keep investing with no returns?” she said.

The biggest unknown is how long the current surge will last. The long-term economic impact will depend on when it ends—and whether another wave of infections can be kept at bay.

Some epidemiological models, including one prepared by advisers to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, have predicted the surge will peak around mid-May. In that case, the pain could be limited to the April-to-June quarter, economists said, with the economy rebounding soon after.

GDP growth for the fiscal year ending March 2022 would take a modest hit, down to 9.8% from an original estimate of 11%, Mr. Rana said. But if the peak comes a month later, in June, the outlook is more grim. In that scenario, GDP growth would fall to 8.2%, he said.

“That’s a longer period of time where people are indoors and not spending,” he said.

India has avoided imposing the kind of sweeping national lockdown that brought the country to a virtual standstill for months last year. That has blunted some of the pain by allowing heavy industries such as agriculture and manufacturing to keep operating.

Data firm IHS Markit’s purchasing managers index for manufacturing in India—a measure of activity in the private sector—rose to 55.5 in April, up slightly from 55.4 in March. A reading above 50 indicates that activity is increasing, while a reading below points to a decline in activity.

“Power consumption, railway, freight—all these things have held up fairly well,” Mr. Rana said. “It’s a positive sign for at least the heavy side of the economy.”

Even after the current crisis ends, a slow vaccination campaign will continue to hamper India’s ability to safely open up, said Kunal Kundu, an India economist at Société Générale Corporate and Investment Banking. Only 2.8% of the country’s more than 1.3 billion people are fully vaccinated, according to the health ministry.

India is unlikely to achieve herd immunity from vaccinations before the first half of 2022, Mr. Kundu wrote in a research note. Opening up the economy too quickly, he said, could bring about another surge, which would hamper the economy in the long term.

“There is now an increased possibility that localized lockdown will continue until June or maybe even beyond,” he said. “India still needs to maintain all of its Covid protocols to prevent a further deterioration until mass vaccination can be achieved.”

Mr. Kundu revised the forecast for GDP growth down to 8.5% from 9.5% for the fiscal year ending March 2022. There is a likelihood for further downward revision, he wrote.

Riaz Haq said...

Cyclone #Tauktae moves towards #India to make landfall in #Modi's home state of #Gujarat, bringing wind speeds of around 150-16 kilometers per hour. It will skirt #Pakistan altogether. The #cyclone will not make a landfall along Pakistan's coastal belt.

Cyclone Tauktae – which has intensified into a “very severe cyclonic storm” – drifted further northwestward on Sunday and will reach India’s Gujarat state on May 18, the Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) said in its sixth cyclone alert.

According to AFP, the cyclone is expected to make landfall in coastal Gujarat as early as Monday night, bringing wind speeds of around 150-16 kilometres per hour. Four people lost their lives on Saturday as torrential rain and winds battered Karnataka state, authorities said on Sunday.

Several Indian towns and villages were flooded and properties damaged, officials added. Two others were reported dead and 23 fishermen were feared missing in the state of Kerala.

Up to 75,000 people are set to be evacuated from coastal districts in Gujarat, where the ongoing Covid-19 vaccination rollout will be suspended on Monday and Tuesday, officials told AFP.

The cyclone is, however, not likely to make a landfall along Pakistan's coastal belt.

“The cyclone will pass without any impact on the country’s coastal belt. It will not make a landfall in Pakistan,” said PMD Director Sardar Sarfraz while talking to Radio Pakistan on Sunday.

A landfall is the event of a storm moving over land after being over water. “However, the cyclone will cause moderate rains along with strong winds in Thatta, Tharparkar, Badin, Mirpurkhas and Umerkot districts of Sindh,” he added.

According to the PMD official, dusty winds currently blowing in Karachi may intensify, bringing up the city’s temperature, mainly due to the cyclone's activity in the Arabian Sea.

The PDM on Sunday released cyclone alert-6, stating that Tauktae, intensifying into a “very severe cyclonic storm”, is moving further northwestward during the last 12 hours.

Located at a distance of 1,210km from Karachi, the cyclone on Sunday had the maximum sustained winds of 100-120 kilometres per hour around its centre, gusting to 140kmph. “The system is likely to move further northwestward and reach Indian Gujarat by 18th May morning,” it said.

The PDM said due to shift in the cyclone’s course, “dust/thunderstorm-rain with few moderate to heavy falls with gusty winds of 60-80kmph are likely to occur in Thatta, Sujawal, Badin, Tharparkar, Mirpurkhas, Umerkot and Sanghar districts form May 17-19”.

“Karachi, Hyderabad, and Shaeed- Banzirabad, districts [are] likely to experience hot/very hot weather with gusty winds and blowing dust during the next two days. Sea conditions will remain rough to very rough and fishermen are advised not to venture in the sea till May 19,” it added.

On Saturday, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah, while presiding over a meeting regarding Cyclone Tauktae, declared emergency in all the districts located along the coastline as a precautionary measure to avoid any untoward situation.

The provincial government also announced setting up a central control cell in Karachi to deal with all emergencies that may arise from the tropical cyclone. The cell will work round the clock to resolve issues related to rain emergencies throughout the province.

Riaz Haq said...

World's deadliest day in #India with 4,500 #Covid_19 deaths. Official stats significantly understate fatalities. Crematorium figures, obituaries and death certificates have repeatedly indicated higher numbers of deaths. #ModiMustResign #BJP #Hindutva

For a doctor, it was another 18-hour day trying to rescue patients who could not be saved. For a crematorium official, it was one more procession of victims. For the family of a young academic, it was a time to mourn its second loss to the virus just this month.

India reported more than 4,500 deaths from covid-19 on Wednesday for the prior 24 hours, the worst single-day death toll in any country since the pandemic began and a grim marker of the scale of the outbreak ravaging this nation of 1.3 billion people.

The previous high for daily fatalities in the pandemic — 4,400 — occurred in the United States on Jan. 20, according to data from The Washington Post.

While the official statistics on covid-19 deaths in India are devastating, they do not capture the full scope of the calamity. Crematorium figures, obituaries and death certificates have repeatedly indicated higher numbers of deaths in this wave of infections than are reflected in the data from local and national authorities.

Deaths from covid-19 lag infections by several weeks, and there are signs that after an exponential rise, the surge in India appears to be moderating. The country has reported fewer than 300,000 new infections each day this week, still a large number but lower than the record-shattering 414,000-plus daily cases recorded earlier this month.

In New Delhi, India’s capital, the number of new cases has fallen sharply after more than a month of lockdown measures. The slowing growth rate has helped ease the immense pressure on the city’s hospitals, which were turning away patients and grappling with shortages of oxygen earlier this month.

Yet the situation remains dire, notably in rural areas, where the majority of Indians live and where health care is scarce. In India’s vast hinterland, scores of people are dying with covid symptoms without being tested. Hundreds of bodies have been found floating in the Ganges River or buried in shallow graves near its banks.

Sanjeev Goyal, a civil servant with the Defense Ministry, lost his 23-year-old wife, Nidhi Goyal, a teacher, to the virus in April. The family found her a hospital bed in Delhi after a frantic search, but when her condition turned critical, no ventilator was available, Goyal said. She was six months pregnant.

Goyal returned to his small ancestral village in the state of Bihar to immerse his wife’s ashes according to tradition. The number of people complaining of fever, coughs and sore throats in the village is on the rise, he said. But officially there are no coronavirus cases there because “not even a single person has been tested.”

He blames the Delhi authorities for forcing him to search for a ventilator and criticized a lack of preparation by the central government for the second wave. “I will carry this pain for the rest of my life that I couldn’t see her face properly one last time,” Goyal said.

A covid-19 patient receives oxygen outside a government-run hospital in Jammu, the winter capital of Jammu and Kashmir, on May 19. (Channi Anand/AP)
The deadly surge has spurred anger against the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who held election rallies and allowed a massive religious gathering to proceed even as cases spiked. Modi last addressed the nation on the coronavirus crisis on April 20. In recent days, he has talked about the need to help rural and remote areas combat the pandemic.

Riaz Haq said...

#COVIDEmergency : The poor, the rich: In a sick #India, all are on their own. Well-connected bureaucrats, and the people who clean the sewers. Wealthy businessmen fight for hospital beds, & powerful govt officials send tweets begging for oxygen. #Modi #BJP

For the family of the retired diplomat, the terror struck as they tried desperately to get him past the entrance doors of a private hospital. For the New Delhi family, it came when they had to create a hospital room in their ground-floor apartment. For the son of an illiterate woman who raised her three children by scavenging human hair, it came as his mother waited days for an ICU bed, insisting she’d be fine.

Three families in a nation of 1.3 billion. Seven cases of COVID-19 in a country facing an unparalleled surge, with more than 300,000 people testing positive every day.

When the pandemic exploded here in early April, each of these families found themselves struggling to keep relatives alive as the medical system neared collapse and the government was left unprepared.

Across India, families scour cities for coronavirus tests, medicine, ambulances, oxygen and hospital beds. When none of that works, some have to deal with loved ones zippered into body bags.

The desperation comes in waves. New Delhi was hit at the start of April, with the the worst coming near the end of the month. The southern city of Bengaluru was hit about two weeks later. The surge is at its peak now in many small towns and villages, and just reaching others.

But when a pandemic wave hits, everyone is on their own. The poor. The rich. The well-connected bureaucrats who hold immense sway here, and the people who clean the sewers. Wealthy businessmen fight for hospital beds, and powerful government officials send tweets begging for oxygen. Middle-class families scrounge wood for funeral pyres, and in places where there’s no wood to be found, hundreds of families have been forced to dump their relatives’ bodies into the Ganges River.

The rich and well-connected, of course, still have money and contacts to smooth the search for ICU beds and oxygen tanks. But rich and poor alike have been left gasping for breath outside overflowing hospitals.

“This has now become normal,” said Abhimanyu Chakravorty, 34, whose extended New Delhi family frantically tried to arrange his father’s medical care at home. “Everyone is running helter-skelter, doing whatever they can to save their loved ones.”

But every day, thousands more people die.

Riaz Haq said...

As #covid19 devastates rural #India, #Modi focuses on covering govt incompetence. #Media focus is on lack of oxygen in cities but the real carnage is unfolding in #Indian villages, where access to basic #healthcare is virtually nonexistent. #BJP #Hindutva

Rana Ayub

The disturbing video went viral across India in a matter of hours: Scores of bodies, feared to be of covid-19 victims, washed up on the shores of the holy Ganges River in the northeastern state of Bihar. The villagers were surprised and suspected the bodies had floated from far away, according to a reporter on the ground.

Investigators are still trying to understand what happened, but it appears to be another grim reminder of the raging death toll in the country — a death toll that is going largely undercounted, especially in rural areas, even as the official figures break records: On May 19 there were more than 4,500 deaths reported in a single day.


India’s leading Hindi newspaper, the Dainik Bhaskar, has dispatched brave reporters to several towns in Uttar Pradesh, which neighbors Bihar and is governed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party, and their dispatches should shame the collective conscience of the nation. The journalists counted more than 2,000 bodies that had either been dumped or hurriedly buried by local officials in a clear effort to underplay the coronavirus casualties in the region.

Village after village is being wiped out in Uttar Pradesh, and it’s impossible not to draw a link to local elections that were not postponed. People traveled to the state from cities like Mumbai and Delhi to cast their votes, and they brought the virus with them, infecting an already vulnerable population.

Vikas Singh, a villager from Lalganj in Uttar Pradesh, developed a cough and fever a few days after casting his vote. Six of his relatives developed similar symptoms. The local doctor, who had no coronavirus tests, suggested it was a flu and treated the entire family with what he said was medicine that would help cure them of their breathlessness. Within four days, Singh succumbed to covid-19 as the virus ravaged his lungs. His daughter, Mirsha, 22, who was to be married in two months, died from the virus, too. When the time came to cremate Singh, none of the villagers were willing to help. His wife had to pay $300 from the only savings in the house to get locals and priests to help her perform the last rites. Singh was fortunate: He got dignity in death, a privilege that is not being accorded to thousands of Indians who are dying in villages, and whose bodies end up on river banks and sometimes even dragged by stray dogs.

In a village in Darbhanga in Bihar, Madan Mohan Jha’s family pleaded for an ambulance as he struggled to breathe. The village had no local hospital, and by the time his son and uncle found an ambulance, Jha had already exhaled is last breath. His son Ramu, 20, devastated by the fact that he was unable to get medical help for his father, reportedly went to a neighbor’s field and took his own life.

Similar stories are emerging from across rural India. In Ghazipur, in Uttar Pradesh, villages are reportedly experiencing deaths in “almost every second” house. A district magistrate from a town in Uttar Pradesh, who has been very active on social media attending to requests for medical help, tells me that he feels as complicit in the death of the people he needed to take care of as the elected representatives who were last seen during the local elections. The magistrate told me that his office has received orders to not make a “spectacle” of the covid-19 deaths.

But as hard as officials try to hide the truth, people are suffering and showing their discontent. Yogi Adityanath, the radical monk who is the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh and is seen by many as a possible successor to Modi in the next general elections, is now facing the wrath of the villages — his party suffered a defeat in the local elections.

Riaz Haq said...

#India #COVID : Dirty oxygen cylinders, ventilators behind ‘black fungus’? A rapid rise in cases of mucormycosis, also known as “black fungus”, has added to the challenges as India deals with a massive second wave of COVID-19 infections. via @AJEnglish

COVID-19 has been associated with a wide range of secondary bacterial and fungal infections, but experts say India’s second COVID wave has created a perfect environment for mucormycosis.

Low oxygen, diabetes, high iron levels, immunosuppression, as well as several other factors including prolonged hospitalisation with mechanical ventilators, creates an ideal milieu for contracting mucormycosis, researchers wrote in the journal Diabetes & Metabolic Syndrome: Clinical Research & Reviews.

“It is a new challenge and things are looking bleak,” said Ambrish Mithal, the chairman and head of the endocrinology and diabetes department at Max Healthcare, a chain of private hospitals in India.

Riaz Haq said...

Top #Pakistan #health official doesn't foresee #India scenario. Says Pakistan avoided a similar scenario to India because thousands of beds were added to hospitals and the production of #oxygen was increased as part of a contingency plan. via @YahooNews

Pakistan recently offered medical aid to India to help handle the COVID-19 crisis there, but the Foreign Ministry says New Delhi did not respond. Pakistan and India have a history of bitter relations and they have fought two of their wars over Kashmir since gaining independence from Britain in 1947.

Sultan said Pakistan avoided a similar scenario to India because thousands of beds were added to hospitals and the production of oxygen was increased as part of a contingency plan.

However, Sultan said that “we are not out of the woods yet" and people should get vaccinated if they want to return to a normal life.

His comments came hours after Pakistan reported one of the lowest single-day death tolls from COVID-19 in recent months, with 57 fatalities

Pakistan has repeatedly expressed grief over the COVID-19 situation in India, where authorities reported 4,454 new deaths in the last 24 hours, bringing India’s total fatalities from the virus to 303,720 out of 27 million cases.

Pakistan has registered about 903,600 cases and 20,308 confirmed deaths since the pandemic began in early 2020.

Sultan said Pakistan would try to vaccinate a third of the country's population by the end of this year. “Pakistan is offering free vaccinations to all, there is no discrimination between rich and poor," Sultan said.

The government offers Pakistanis the Chinese-made Sinovac, Sinopharm and CanSino vaccines as well as AstraZeneca doses.

Sultan said the Pakistani government has so far vaccinated more than 5 million people, compared to only 35,000 who were vaccinated with doses imported commercially.

He said Pakistan after months of wait received its first supply of COVID-19 vaccines through the U.N.-backed COVAX initiative, over 1.2 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, earlier this month. However, he said Pakistan is relying on vaccines purchased from China and enough funds were available for such purchases.

Riaz Haq said...

Modi's Hindu Nationalism (Islamophobia) Hurts Everyone, Including Hindus

Chain reactions sparked by Hindutva ideologies have claimed the lives of innocent people—a Muslim lynched on the suspicion that he eats beef, a Hindu woman who suffered a miscarriage while imprisoned for marrying a Muslim man, an 8-year-old Muslim girl raped and killed in a Hindu temple, and countless others. The lie has transformed nearly every aspect of Indian society beyond recognition.

Now, as India is ravaged by COVID-19, it faces the latest casualty of this lie: the official and likely undercount of 4,000 lives lost every day to a deadly second wave that was precipitated and exacerbated at every turn by Hindu nationalism.

In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, Hindu nationalists jumped on the opportunity to link the virus to Muslims, inventing the conspiracy theory of “coronajihad.” That had real consequences: Muslims were beaten and denied hospital beds, and Muslim health care workers were ostracized.


The Modi government and right-wing media particularly seized upon a conference hosted in Delhi in March 2020, by a Muslim organization, the Tablighi Jamaat. This conference with just 9,000 attendees took place before any government COVID-19 restrictions were in place, at the same time as India’s largest Hindu temples were welcoming tens of thousands of devotees. The Tirupati temple, the world’s richest and most visited Hindu temple, limited its visitors to 4,000 people per hour on March 17, and it did not fully close until March 20.

Yet, unlike Hindu temple officials, organizers and attendees of the Tablighi Jamaat’s conference were met with widespread hate and criminal charges for hosting a superspreader event. Many were arrested, and some are still awaiting trial. All of this was done in the name of public health.

One year later, the BJP is directly responsible for putting millions of Hindu lives at risk—and it doesn’t have a convenient Muslim scapegoat to pin the blame on. In the name of upholding Hindu traditions and beliefs, the BJP government decided to hold the Kumbh Mela, the world’s largest religious gathering, in the middle of a pandemic. The Kumbh was scheduled for 2022, but the BJP government of India’s Uttarakhand state moved it forward to 2021 based on the recommendations of astrologers. Many, including some ministers in the BJP itself, argue that the true reasons were political and economic. In advancing the Kumbh by a year, the BJP allowed 9 million Hindus to gather without masks and social distancing, ushering in the deadliest phase of the pandemic.

Thanks to the BJP’s claim of protecting Hindu interests, India has been plunged into its biggest crisis since the bloodbath of the 1947 Partition, which took the lives of as many as 2 million people. Just as the violence of 1947 targeted Hindus, Muslims, and Sikhs alike, today’s coronavirus is wreaking equal-opportunity havoc on all faith communities, with the poorest being the hardest hit.

Riaz Haq said...

#SiliconValley is in a high-stakes standoff with #India. #Modi's government insists that the new regulations are reasonable and will help protect national security, maintain public order and reduce crime. #media #democracy #BJP #Hindutva #COVID19

The biggest names in tech are locked in an increasingly tense stand-off with India over strict new social media rules they fear will erode privacy, usher in mass surveillance and harm business in the world's fastest growing market.

This week's events underscore the challenges facing Facebook (FB), Twitter (TWTR) and Google (GOOGL) as they try to navigate an increasingly tricky Indian political landscape and deal with the new regulations, which were due to take effect on Wednesday.
On Monday, Indian police visited Twitter's offices after it labeled a tweet from a prominent official of the governing party as "manipulated media." On Tuesday, WhatsApp sued the Indian government over the new rules. On Wednesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's administration rebuked the Facebook-owned platform for its "clear act of defiance" when it comes to following the "law of the land." And on Thursday, Twitter said it was "concerned" about the safety its employees in the country.
Modi's government insists that the new regulations are reasonable and will help protect national security, maintain public order and reduce crime by making it easier to identify the sources of viral misinformation. The tech companies say the rules are inconsistent with democratic principles.

This is just the latest tussle in an increasing contentious relationship between American tech companies and one of their largest markets. India's ruling party has intensified its crackdown on social media and messaging apps this year, particularly since a second Covid-19 wave engulfed the country.

Twitter's decision to label the tweet from a spokesperson for the Bharatiya Janata Party earned it a visit from the Delhi police. The police said the visit was a "part of a routine process" to get Twitter to cooperate with its investigation. The social media giant called it "intimidation tactics."

"We, alongside many in civil society in India and around the world, have concerns with regards to the use of intimidation tactics by the police in response to enforcement of our global terms of service, as well as with core elements of the new IT Rules," the company said in a statement Thursday.
"We plan to advocate for changes to elements of these regulations that inhibit free, open public conversation," it added.

The new rules, which were issued in February, include demands that companies create special compliance officers in India. There are also requirements that services remove some content, including posts that feature "full or partial nudity."
Additionally, tech platforms would have to trace the "first originator" of messages if asked by authorities — a requirement that compelled WhatsApp to file its legal complaint against the government. The company said this demand would break the platform's "end-to-end encryption and fundamentally undermines people's right to privacy."
A government "that chooses to mandate traceability is effectively mandating a new form of mass surveillance," WhatsApp has written in a blog post about why it opposes the practice.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan reports first confirmed case of #Indian #coronavirus variant. Health ministry: "The (genome) sequencing results confirmed [the] detection of seven cases of B.1.351 (#SouthAfrican variant) and one case of B.1.617.2 (Indian variant)" #COVID19

Pakistan has reported its first confirmed case of a coronavirus variant first identified in India, the federal health ministry said on Friday.

The Indian variant case was detected by the National Institute of Health which conducted whole-genome sequencing of SARS CoV-2 samples collected during the first three weeks of May 2021, health ministry spokesperson Sajid Shah said in a statement.

"The sequencing results confirmed [the] detection of seven cases of B.1.351 (South African variant) and one case of B.1.617.2 (Indian variant)," the statement said, adding that this was the first in-country detection of the Indian strain.

Shah said in accordance with protocols, the contact tracing of all the cases was in progress by the Field Epidemiology and Disease Surveillance Division and the Islamabad district health officer.

Explainer: What we know about the Indian variant as coronavirus sweeps South Asia

"Continued detection of global strains highlights the ongoing need for observation of guidelines, usage of masks and [the] need for vaccination," he added.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) had earlier this month classified the B.1.617 strain as a variant of global concern.

The variant, along with the government decision to allow most activity to return to normal including mass religious and political gatherings, was considered to be responsible for a devastating spike in infections and deaths in India last month.

Coronavirus patients died in droves outside hospitals or at home because of a lack of beds, medical oxygen and drugs, prompting a flood of desperate pleas on social media.

Although infections are now falling in major Indian cities after weeks of restrictions, the rural areas of the country are seeing the brunt of a surge that has overwhelmed the health care system and killed at least 160,000 people since the start of March.

Earlier this month, health authorities in Thailand had reported the country's first cases of the Indian Covid-19 variant in a Thai woman and her four-year-old son who had arrived from Pakistan.

Head of the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) and federal minister Asad Umar had said at the time that it was "out of the question" that the two Thai nationals had contracted the Indian variant from Pakistan as it was not present in the country.

In late April, the health ministry had said that Pakistan had so far not reported any case of the Indian strain.

To prevent the spread of the B.1.617 variant in Pakistan, the NCOC had last month placed India in the category C list, banning entry of passengers from the country through air and land routes.

Authorities in Pakistan have urged the public to adhere to Covid standard operating procedures and get vaccinated, citing the havoc wreaked by the virus in India.

The B.1.617 variant contains two key mutations to the outer "spike" portion of the virus that attaches to human cells, according to senior Indian virologist Shahid Jameel.

The WHO has said the predominant lineage of B.1.617 was first identified in India last December, although an earlier version was spotted in October 2020.

The variant has already spread to other countries, and many nations have moved to cut or restrict movements from India.

Riaz Haq said...

Around 23 crore people (in INdia) have slipped below the poverty line, constituting a 15 to 20% increase in poverty since Covid-19 struck the country a little more than a year ago. An estimated 1.5 crore people have been left jobless; those with a job have found their income levels reduced — for an average household of four members, the monthly per capita income stood at Rs 4,979 in October, which is 16.8% lower compared to Rs 5,989 in January 2020. India’s middle class shrank by 3.2 crore people, while a further 7.5 crore people were pushed below the poverty line in 2020 says a report by US-based Pew Research Centre. 

Read more at:

Riaz Haq said...

Why is Modi getting such bad international press?
He has, by all accounts, earned it.
By Tanishka Sodhi 11 May, 2021

Almost invariably, they (international media) bring up Modi’s address to the World Economic Forum early this year where he declared a victory against the virus. India, he said, had “saved humanity from a big disaster by containing corona effectively”. They also point out that Modi held massive election rallies in April even as infections spiked, and hold him responsible for not just allowing but encouraging people to attend the Kumbh Mela, which would become a superspreader event.

The BJP’s claim from around two months ago that India, under the “sensible” leadership of Modi, had contained pandemic effectively, and health minister Harsh Vardhan’s boast in March that India was in the “end game” of the pandemic are also frequently mentioned as a key context to the current situation. The country recorded 3,66,161 new Covid cases on Monday and the total death toll rose to 2,46,116, although these figures are widely suspected to be undercounts.

Instead of addressing the shortcomings pointed out by the foreign media, the Modi government is trying to “manage” coverage, in the process drawing more attention to it. S Jaishankar, the external affairs minister, last week told Indian diplomats to "counter the 'one-sided' narrative on international media" which said that the Modi government had "failed the country by their 'incompetent' handling of the second Covid wave”.

Riaz Haq said...

India’s suspect ‘Quad’ credentials. #COVID19 #pandemic has brutally exposed the hollowness of #India’s pretensions to power, status and influence and boasts of being a #vaccine superpower and #pharmacy to the world. #Quad #Modi #US #China #Hindutva #BJP

A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. The Quadrilateral Security Dialogue process brings together Japan, Australia, India and the United States as an informal grouping of democracies to cooperate around the vast and critical Indo-Pacific maritime space.
India has always been the weakest link in the chain. Its sizable armed forces equipped with nuclear weapons are a bulwark against China’s much superior military might. Still, it’s a very poor country with a per capita income of only 3% to 5% of the other three; a weak state with limited capacity to govern a billion plus population; and a soft state without the political will to make and implement tough decisions.
The second wave of COVID-19 in April and May is India’s biggest national tragedy and international embarrassment since partition in 1947. The national and world press covered this in graphic detail (more than they would in their own countries), with images of people gasping to death on the streets, bodies piled up awaiting last rites and cremation and mass numbers of corpses floating in the Ganges River, many of which having washed up on its banks. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s carefully cultivated competence bubble has been punctured by the open display of mass ineptitude.
In the wake of this stark and grim reminder of its manifold pathologies and weaknesses, the question must be asked: at which point would India become a liability rather than an asset for the other “Quad” partners? The question is important because the other three are bound together in formal alliances by security treaties and India is not, demonstrating less commitment.
The excitement, expectations and hopes of the Modi government in 2014, with promises of “minimum government, maximum governance” and “sabka sath, sabka viswas, sabka vikash” (with all, with everyone’s trust, development for all), are fading memories. On June 1, India’s official COVID-19 deaths per million was 238 compared to the world average of 457, the U.S. at 1,832, the U.K. at 1,873 and Brazil reporting 2,163.
The crux of the problem thus is not the unmitigated spread of COVID-19 but the lack of a fit-for-purpose public health infrastructure and the availability of medical supplies, equipment and drugs. India is a sobering reminder of why a strong economy is not an optional luxury but an essential requirement for good health.
Modi’s neglect of urgent economic and governance reforms in addition to requirements for a good public health infrastructure — choosing instead to go into a semipermanent campaign mode in every state election and focusing on a Hindu nationalist agenda — further aggravated the COVID-19 misery.
People’s health is vitally dependent on a healthy economy that gives the government the financial wherewithal to create an efficient universal-access public health system. No country achieves better health outcomes by becoming poorer.
The pandemic, for its part, hastened an economic decline that had already begun. According to World Bank figures, India’s annual GDP growth tumbled from 8.3% in 2016 to 4.2% in 2019. It contracted by 7.3% in 2020–2021 and the 2021 GDP forecast has been downgraded by around 17% — the worst among the G20 countries.
India got the worst of both worlds: a smashed economy and a massive COVID-19 toll that peaked in May with the official count recording nearly 400,000 daily new cases and over 4,000 daily new deaths. Recovery will be a long haul on both the disease and the economy front.

Riaz Haq said...

#Modi wants #UNSC permanent seat for #India; Offers to make #Covid #vaccine for the world!

The Prime Minister emphasised that the inter-governmental body needs equilibrium and empowerment and that India was committed to be a force multiplier to the global economy

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday made a strong case for a permanent seat for India in the United Nations Security Council, emphasising that the inter-governmental body needs equilibrium and empowerment and that India was committed to be a force multiplier to the global economy.

PM Modi assured world leaders in his virtual address at the 75th annual UN General Assembly session that India stands for the world’s prosperity and that its people are eagerly waiting for reforms in the UN.

“In the UN, equilibrium and empowerment is essential for the world’s well being," Modi said.

'Reform is the need of the hour'

Modi also assured that when India extends the hand of friendship to one nation, it is by no means, aimed at weakening a third country. India, he said, supplied the essential drugs that more than 150 nations needed during the pandemic and was committed to do more.

“Today, I wish to give one more assurance. Our vaccine production and vaccine delivery capability will be useful in helping humanity out of the current pandemic. We are now proceeding towards phase three clinical trials," the Prime Minister said. He said India will also help other nations in developing cold chains.

At least five Indian vaccine manufacturers are at present working on indigenous vaccines -- Serum Institute of India, Pune; Bharat Biotech, Hyderabad; Zydus Cadila, Ahmedabad; Gennova Biopharmaceuticals, Pune; and Biological E, Hyderabad.

The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), Russia’s sovereign wealth fund recently announced a deal with Dr Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd for conducting clinical trials and distribution of Russia’s covid-19 vaccine --Sputnik V in India. Upon regulatory approval in India, RDIF will supply 100 million doses of the vaccine to Dr. Reddy’s. Serum Institute of India is conducting the phase 3 clinical trials for the adenovirus-based covid vaccine jointly developed by AstraZeneca Plc and the University of Oxford.

Riaz Haq said...

Stealthy Variant Of China's Z-20 Black Hawk Clone Emerges In Concept Model Form
This is our first look at China's own Stealth Hawk-like transport helicopter concept and they would have a leg-up in developing it thanks to Pakistan.

When the downed stealthy Black Hawk was demolished via an explosive charge at Bin Laden's Abbottabad compound, its tail, which was sitting high atop the wall that surrounds the residence, remained intact. We may have never known these helicopters even existed if it was destroyed. Pakistan subsequently carted off the tail, which was of an extremely exotic design, and used it as a geopolitical bargaining chip in the turbulent aftermath of the raid. It is known to have been closely examined by America's adversaries, namely by Pakistan's other top weapons provider, China. The tail was eventually returned to the U.S. after roughly three weeks of fiery diplomacy.


The Chinese stealthy Z-20 model in question has some interesting features, including a trapezoidal airframe that is similar to the earliest U.S. 'Stealth Hawk' studies, which you can read all about here. Note the shrouded main rotor hub, and, like America's actual Stealth Hawks, this design still uses the Z-20's main hub (five blades instead of four on the H-60/S-70). Also of note is the exhaust appears to be ducted into an enlarged tail boom and exhausted out of a spread-out upper vent system to minimize infrared signature. It is possible that air induction vents on the tail's bottom's lower 'soffit' are meant to mix the engines' hot exhaust gasses with cool air. They could even help provide air to the engines themselves. The blades, with their cranked tips, and which appear to droop significantly, could be indicative of a new composite design.

Riaz Haq said...

China Sends A Record 28 #Military Planes Into Airspace Controlled By #Taiwan. #China describes such flights as routine. Monday's incursion came a day after #NATO leaders described China as a growing security threat.

China has flown 28 warplanes into Taiwan-controlled airspace, the biggest sortie of its kind since the Taiwanese government began publishing information about the frequent incursions last year.

The flights are widely seen as part of an effort by Beijing to dial up pressure on Taiwan, a self-governed democracy of about 24 million people off the Chinese coast that the Chinese government considers a part of China.

Taiwan's defense ministry said it scrambled planes, deployed missile defense systems and issued radio warnings as the Chinese planes entered Taiwan's air defense identification zone to the south of the island on Monday.

China describes such flights as routine. Large sorties have often followed actions by Taiwan or the United States that Beijing disapproves of.

Monday's incursion came a day after NATO leaders expressed concern about China as a growing security threat. A day earlier, leaders of the Group of Seven nations meeting in Europe pledged to work together against China's "non-market" economic policies and criticized China over human rights.

China's foreign ministry decried both statements.

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China has reacted to criticism with warplanes
In April, China sent 25 military planes into Taiwan's air defense identification zone after the State Department said it was making it easier for U.S. officials to meet Taiwanese officials.

And last August, China flew planes across the midway line between Taiwan and the mainland when Taiwan hosted then-U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar.

The latest flights included 20 Chinese fighter jets, four H-6 bombers (a variant of which is nuclear capable), several early warning planes and an anti-submarine aircraft, according to Taiwan's defense ministry.

A defense ministry graphic showed that the planes followed a similar route to previous flights, flying to the southeast between the southern tip Taiwan and the Pratas Islands, which Taipei controls. Some then turned northeast, flying on the far side of the island before backtracking and heading home.

Hong Kong's Tiananmen Square Vigil Is Banned As Authorities Arrest Organizers
Hong Kong's Tiananmen Square Vigil Is Banned As Authorities Arrest Organizers
The G-7 statement last week also mentioned Taiwan by name, emphasizing the importance of peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait. That prompted Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen to tweet her thanks.

"#Taiwan is dedicated to maintaining a free & open Indo-Pacific, & will continue to work with our global partners to ensure regional security," she said.

The Biden administration has pledged closer ties with Taiwan, even though the two do not have formal diplomatic relations. The State Department has urged Beijing to stop efforts to intimidate the island and instead to engage in dialogue.

Riaz Haq said...

#China appoints Harvard-educated chip czar to accelerate domestic #semiconductor #manufacturing #technology. Vice Premier Liu will be in charge of industrial policy to catch up with #US, #Taiwan and #SouthKorea in advanced #semiconductors.

The Harvard-educated career bureaucrat is not an engineer, but more of an expert in economics and industrial policy.

That means the 69-year old Liu will have to rely on experts when it comes to decisions in his remit: semiconductor materials, equipment and processes.

But rather than merely catch-up, Liu’s chip strategy will likely be to explore areas rivals have yet to master in the hope that China can colonize these technologies.

It’s the kind of moonshot approach that the People’s Republic already practices. China last week released the first images taken on Mars as part of its Tianwen-1 interplanetary mission.

That success, according to Beijing-based consultancy Trivium, “validates the focus on pursuing leapfrog development,” focusing on next-generation technologies where no country has a clear advantage.


“Failure is not an option” is an epic phrase associated with Gene Kranz and the Apollo 13 Moon landing mission, which went terribly wrong, but ended happily thanks to some Mission Control heroics.

Likewise, with a newly-appointed vice premier at the microchip helm, China is leaving itself no more excuses to fail.

The nation’s decision to anoint a “chip czar” is the latest step to advance its semiconductor industry in the face of harsh US sanctions.

While China still has a ways to go in catching up to the US, Taiwan and South Korea, Vice Premier Liu He is a worthy choice to spearhead the development of future semiconductor technologies, Business Standard reported.

He’s headed China’s technology reform since at least 2018, acted as chief negotiator in US-China trade talks and his position within leader Xi Jinping’s inner circle ensures his recommendations get heard.


Beijing is right to trumpet this success in space, and the results ought to boost morale within its struggling chip sector.

According to the South China Morning Post, China’s output of integrated circuits (IC) in May reached an all-time, single month high, as the country pulled out all stops to produce chips, according to central government data.

China’s chip output in May surged 37.6% from a year ago, to 29.9 billion units, the National Bureau of Statistics date showed.

While China’s chip makers are not able to produce high volumes of advanced 14-nm node chips — the type needed to power the latest iPhones — the country’s chip designers and manufacturers can produce mature technology ICs for home appliances and automobiles, SCMP reported.

In the first five months of this year, China produced 139.9 billion IC units, a 48.3% surge compared to the same period last year, data showed.

The latest data confirms that China is sparing no effort in its pursuit of self-sufficiency in semiconductors, SCMP reported.

In March, Beijing moved to waive levies on imported semiconductor parts and materials until 2030, SCMP reported. The Chinese government has declared its ambition to cultivate a US$237 billion domestic component market by 2023.

Meanwhile, Huawei Technologies is adamant in its pursuit of developing world-beating semiconductors, despite toughened US sanctions, according to Catherine Chen, a Huawei director and senior vice-president, Nikkei Asia reported.

Chen said the company has no intention of restructuring chip design subsidiary HiSilicon, despite the fact it has more than 7,000 workers on its payroll and is expected to go years without contributing to earnings.

But Huawei is privately held and unaffected by external forces, and its management has clearly shown it intends to retain HiSilicon, Chen said.

Riaz Haq said...

Xi Jinping Picks Top Lieutenant to Lead China’s Chip Battle Against U.S.

Liu He, Xi’s economic czar whose sprawling portfolio spans trade to finance and technology, has been tapped to spearhead the development of so-called third-generation chip development and capabilities and is leading the formulation of a series of financial and policy supports for the technology, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

It’s a nascent field that relies on newer materials and gear beyond traditional silicon and is currently an arena where no company or nation yet dominates, offering Beijing one of its best chances to sidestep the hurdles slapped on its chipmaking industry by the U.S. and its allies. The sanctions, which emerged during Donald Trump’s presidency, have already smothered Huawei Technologies Co.’s smartphone business and will impede longer-term efforts by chipmakers from Huawei’s HiSilicon to Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp. to migrate toward more advanced wafer fabrication technologies, threatening China’s technological ambitions.

“China is the world’s largest user of chips, so supply chain security is of high priority,” said Gu Wenjun, chief analyst at research firm ICwise. “It’s not possible for any country to control the entire supply chain, but a country’s effort is definitely stronger than a single company.”

The involvement of one of Xi’s most-trusted lieutenants in China’s chip efforts highlights the importance accorded by Beijing to the initiative, which is gaining urgency as rivals from the U.S. to Japan and South Korea scramble to shore up their own industries. The Chinese president has long called upon his Harvard-educated adviser to tackle matters of top national priority, making him the chief representative in trade negotiations with the U.S. as well as chairman of the Financial Stability and Development Committee, where Liu leads the charge to curb risks in the nation’s $5-trillion-plus financial sector.

In May, Liu spearheaded a meeting of the technology task force that discussed ways to grow next-generation semiconductor technologies, according to a government statement. The 69-year-old vice premier, who has led the country’s technology reform task force since 2018, is also overseeing projects that could lead to breakthroughs in traditional chipmaking, including the development of China’s own chip design software and extreme ultraviolet lithography machines, one of the people said, asking not to be identified as they weren’t authorized to speak to media.

The State Council and the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology didn’t respond to faxed requests for comment.

During trade negotiations with the Trump administration, Liu emerged as one of the most visible advocates of Beijing’s agenda. He’s known Xi since childhood -- both are sons of veteran Communist Party leaders and were among masses of young people dispatched to work in impoverished rural areas during the Cultural Revolution. Now, Liu is leading the charge to reform the tech sector, which was identified in China’s latest five-year economic plan as a key strategic area in which the “whole nation system” should be used to mobilize any necessary resources.

First introduced under Mao Zedong to help the then-fledgling Communist China industrialize, the approach was crucial to helping Beijing attain a number of top national priorities, from developing its first atomic bomb in the early 1960s to achieving Olympic sporting success. After that it was largely set aside as officials shifted to focus on economic growth. But following a series of U.S. sanctions that exposed the vulnerabilities of China’s chip capabilities, Xi is once again reactivating the mechanism to achieve breakthroughs in advanced chip development and manufacturing.

About a trillion dollars of government funding have been set aside under the technology initiative,

Riaz Haq said...

Thanks to #Modi, #India Had a ‘State-Orchestrated Covid Massacre’, says popular #Indian comedian Kunal Kamra.“My people are needlessly dying,” Mr. Kamra says. “Our government has blood on its hands.” #BJP #Hindutva #Islamophobia #Covid

In the Opinion video above, Kunal Kamra, an enormously popular stand-up comedian in India, puts all jokes aside and takes a serious look at his government’s handling of the pandemic. His assessment is withering: He accuses the nation’s leadership, especially an overconfident Prime Minister Narendra Modi, of putting political vanity before common sense and opening the door to a devastating resurgence of coronavirus infections that have devastated the country.

India has been struggling for weeks amid this second wave, which has sickened millions, killed hundreds of thousands and overwhelmed the nation’s health care system. At the peak of the crisis, new infections numbered about 400,000 a day, a record-breaking pace.

Since then, the daily counts of infections and deaths have dropped. But Mr. Kamra says that had Mr. Modi and other political leaders responded more quickly and more effectively, a lot of lives and heartache would have been spared.

“My people are needlessly dying,” Mr. Kamra says. “Our government has blood on its hands.”

Riaz Haq said...

India shifts additional 50,000 troops to #China border in historic move. Although the two countries battled in the Himalayas in 1962, #India’s strategic focus has primarily been Pakistan over #Kashmir, since the #British left #SouthAsia. via @detroitnews

India has redirected at least 50,000 additional troops to its border with China in a historic shift toward an offensive military posture against the world’s second-biggest economy.

Although the two countries battled in the Himalayas in 1962, India’s strategic focus has primarily been Pakistan since the British left the subcontinent, with the long-time rivals fighting three wars over the disputed region of Kashmir. Yet since the deadliest India-China fighting in decades last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s administration has sought to ease tensions with Islamabad and concentrate primarily on countering Beijing.

Over the past few months, India has moved troops and fighter jet squadrons to three distinct areas along its border with China, according to four people familiar with the matter. All in all, India now has roughly 200,000 troops focused on the border, two of them said, which is an increase of more than 40% from last year.

Both the Indian Army and a spokesman for the Prime Minister’s Office in New Delhi didn’t respond to requests for comment.

Whereas previously India’s military presence was aimed at blocking Chinese moves, the redeployment will allow Indian commanders more options to attack and seize territory in China if necessary in a strategy known as “offensive defense,” one of the people said. That includes a lighter footprint involving more helicopters to airlift soldiers from valley to valley along with artillery pieces like the M777 howitzer built by BAE Systems Inc.

While it’s unclear how many troops China has on the border, India detected that the People’s Liberation Army recently moved additional forces from Tibet to the Xinjiang Military Command, which is responsible for patrolling disputed areas along the Himalayas. China is adding fresh runway buildings, bomb-proof bunkers to house fighter jets and new airfields along the disputed border in Tibet, two of the people said. Beijing also adding long-range artillery, tanks, rocket regiments and twin-engine fighters in the last few months, they said.

China’s Foreign Ministry “will not comment on unsubstantiated information,” a spokesperson said in response to questions.

The fear now is that a miscalculation could lead to an even deadlier conflict. Several recent rounds of military-diplomatic talks with China have made minimal progress toward a return to the quiet status quo that had prevailed along the border for decades.

“Having so many soldiers on either side is risky when border management protocols have broken down,” said D. S. Hooda, a lieutenant general and former Northern Army commander in India. “Both sides are likely to patrol the disputed border aggressively. A small local incident could spiral out of control with unintended consequences.”

The northern region of Ladakh where India and China clashed several times last year has seen the largest increase in troop levels, three of the people said, with an estimated20,000 soldiers including those once engaged in anti-terrorism operations against Pakistan now deployed in the area. The reorientation means India at all times will have more troops acclimatized to fight in the high-altitude Himalayans, while the number of troops solely earmarked for the western border with Pakistan will be reduced.

India has also obtained an offensive capability along the southern Tibetan plateau near the center of the border. In that more populated area, regular soldiers outfitted with machine guns have joined lightly armed paramilitary officers, the people said.

Riaz Haq said...

Sashi Tharoor: #India besieged by #Covid19, rising #poverty, falling #GDP growth & tensions with #China & #Pakistan. #Modi's embrace of the #Quad with the #US, #Japan and #Australia should be seen in this light: it is shield, more than sword via @scmpnews

The Hindu nationalist BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) government in India led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi marked the seventh anniversary of its ascent to power a little over a month ago without any of its customary fanfare. The subdued air around the government’s conduct reveals a country in many ways under siege.
First of all, the deadly coronavirus has besieged India, with the authorities’ response to a devastating second wave bordering between the inept and the irresponsible. So far, close to 400,000 people have lost their lives, though unofficial estimates place the toll much higher. More than 30 million people have been infected; many have had to struggle for basic supplies of medicines and oxygen in the last three months, as hospitals overflowed and the health-care system buckled under the pressure. Only 4 per cent of Indians are fully vaccinated, the government having failed to order sufficient doses even while it was boasting that it had done the world a favour by preventing a major calamity.
Next, the economy is under siege. The GDP growth rate has cratered, thanks in part (but not only) to the draconian nationwide lockdown imposed in March 2020 and fitfully renewed since. Some 75 million people were pushed below the poverty line in 2020 and 97 per cent of Indians reported becoming poorer during the last year. Unemployment figures are at the highest levels ever recorded. Tens of thousands of micro, small and medium enterprises (especially those employing fewer than twenty people) have been forced to close. India’s middle class is estimated to have shrunk by 32 million in the last year. It is clear that both lives and livelihoods have been in jeopardy since the Modi government’s re-election in May 2019.

Riaz Haq said...

#China wants to buy advanced #chip machine from #Netherlands. #US says NO. It's an ASML machine called an extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography system that is essential to making advanced #semiconductor #microprocessors. #silicon #technology via @WSJ

Beijing has been pressuring the Dutch government to allow its companies to buy ASML Holding ASML -2.35% NV’s marquee product: a machine called an extreme ultraviolet lithography system that is essential to making advanced microprocessors.

The one-of-a-kind, 180-ton machines are used by companies including Intel Corp. INTC -1.51% , South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co. and leading Apple Inc. supplier Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. TSM -1.52% to make the chips in everything from cutting-edge smartphones and 5G cellular equipment to computers used for artificial intelligence.

China wants the $150-million machines for domestic chip makers, so smartphone giant Huawei Technologies Co. and other Chinese tech companies can be less reliant on foreign suppliers. But ASML hasn’t sent a single one because the Netherlands—under pressure from the U.S.—is withholding an export license to China.

The Biden administration has asked the government to restrict sales because of national-security concerns, according to U.S. officials. The stance is a holdover from the Trump White House, which first identified the strategic value of the machine and reached out to Dutch officials.

Washington has taken direct aim at Chinese companies like Huawei and has also tried to convince foreign allies to restrict the use of Huawei gear, over spying concerns that Huawei says are unfounded. The pressure aimed at ASML and the Netherlands is different, representing a form of collateral damage in a broader U.S.-China tech Cold War.

ASML Chief Executive Peter Wennink has said that export restrictions could backfire.

“When it comes to targeted, specific, national security issues, export controls are a valid tool,” he said in a statement. “However, as part of a broader national strategy on semiconductor leadership, governments need to think through how these tools, if overused, could slow down innovation in the medium term by reducing R&D.” He said in the short to medium term, it is possible that widespread use of export controls “could reduce the amount of global chip manufacturing capacity, exacerbating supply chain issues.”


That currently isn’t on the table inside the Biden White House, people familiar with the matter say. The U.S. is trying to put together alliances of Western countries to work jointly on export controls, people familiar with the matter said. The move could also have ramifications beyond ASML, further roiling semiconductor supply lines already under strain around the world.

ASML spun out of Dutch conglomerate Royal Philips NV in the 1990s. It is based in bucolic Veldhoven, near the Belgian border. It specializes in photolithography, the process of using light to print on photosensitive surfaces.

Photolithography is key to chip makers, which use light to draw a checkerboard of lines on a silicon wafer. Then they etch away those lines, like a knife carving into wood, but with chemicals. The remaining silicon squares become transistors.

The more transistors on a piece of silicon, the more powerful the chip. One of the best ways to pack more transistors into silicon is to draw thinner lines. That is ASML’s specialty: Its machines print the world’s thinnest lines.

The machines, which require three Boeing 747s to ship, use a laser and mirrors to draw lines five nanometers wide. Within a few years, that is expected to shrink to less than a nanometer wide. By comparison, a strand of human hair is 75,000 nanometers wide.

Riaz Haq said...

#TSMC eyes expansion in #US & #Japan to meet high chip demand. Expansion plans come amid concern over the concentration of chipmaking capability in #Taiwan. #China does not rule out the use of force for Taiwan's most advanced #semiconductor #technology.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd (TSMC) (2330.TW) signalled on Thursday plans to build new factories in the United States and Japan, riding on a pandemic-led surge in demand for chips that power smartphones, laptops and cars.

TSMC, which posted record quarterly sales and forecast higher revenue for the current quarter, said it will expand production capacity in China and does not rule out the possibility of a "second phase" expansion at its $12 billion factory in the U.S. state of Arizona.

The world's largest contract chipmaker and a major Apple Inc (AAPL.O) supplier also said it is currently reviewing a plan to set up a speciality technology wafer fabrication plant, or fab, in Japan.

TSMC's overseas expansion plans come amid concern over the concentration of chipmaking capability in Taiwan, which produces the majority of the world's most advanced chips and is geographically close to political rival China, which does not rule out the use of force to bring the democratic island under its control.

Taiwan and TSMC have also become central in efforts to resolve a pandemic-induced global chip shortage that has forced automakers to cut production and hurt manufacturers of smartphones, laptops and even appliances. read more

"We are expanding our global manufacturing footprint to sustain and enhance our competitive advantages and to better serve our customers in the new geopolitical environment," TSMC chairman Mark Liu told an analyst call.

"While our overseas fabs are not initially able to match the costs of our manufacturing operations in Taiwan, we will work with governments to minimise the cost gap," Liu said.

He did not give details of its plans in America and Japan, adding the company was working to "firm up" wafer prices to reflect cost increases.

Reuters reported in May TSMC was eyeing expansion in Arizona beyond the one currently planned. read more

Liu said TSMC was also planning a capacity expansion in China's Nanjing due to the "urgent need" of clients, using the mature 28 nanometre semiconductor manufacturing technology.

It is scheduled to enter production next year and will eventually reach a production of 40,000 wafers per month by mid-2023, he said.

Revenue for April-June at TSMC , Asia's most valuable manufacturing company, climbed 28% to a record $13.29 billion.

For the quarter ending in September, TSMC forecast revenue of $14.6 billion to $14.9 billion, compared with $12.1 billion in the same period a year earlier.

TSMC said the auto chip shortage will gradually reduce for its customers from this quarter but expects overall semiconductor capacity tightness to extend possibly into next year.

The Taiwanese firm, which also makes chips for Qualcomm Inc (QCOM.O), had previously flagged a $100 billion expansion plan over the next three years, as fifth-generation telecommunications (5G) technology and artificial intelligence applications drive global demand for advanced chips. read more

Riaz Haq said...

Michele Flournoy, an undersecretary of defence in the Obama administration, has previously talked about sinking the entire Chinese Navy (PLAN) fleet in 72 hours.

In an article in the journal Foreign Affairs in June, Flournoy said that as Washington’s ability and resolve to counter Beijing’s military assertiveness in the region declined, the US needed a solid deterrence to reduce the risk of “miscalculation” by China’s leadership.

Get the latest insights and analysis from our Global Impact newsletter on the big stories originating in China.

“For example, if the US military had the capability to credibly threaten to sink all of China’s military vessels, submarines, and merchant ships in the South China Sea within 72 hours, Chinese leaders might think twice before, say, launching a blockade or invasion of Taiwan; they would have to wonder whether it was worth putting their entire fleet at risk,” Flournoy said.

Defence and diplomatic observers said that realising that idea would come at huge cost but appointing its advocate would signal that the US would keep piling military pressure on China.

Collin Koh, a research fellow from the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University, said one point was certain no matter who took office.

“Irrespective of who’s in the White House, the ability to sustain credible deterrence and if necessary, defeat [People’s Liberation Army] aggression against Taiwan in line with the Taiwan Relations Act, would have been seen as a given,” Koh said.

Riaz Haq said...

#India, #US to raise #military interoperability, agree to establish Indo-US #Industrial #Security Joint Working Group for defence industries of the two nations to collaborate on cutting edge military technologies. #Russia #China #Pakistan @deccanherald

(Gen Bipin) Rawat and (General) Milley discussed a range of issues, including ways to ensure regional security and their respective roles as principal military advisors to civilian leadership. They also agreed to continue cooperation in training exercises and creating opportunities to increase interoperability between the two militaries, Col. Dave Butler, a spokesperson of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, said.

(India-US Joint) working group to expeditiously align policies and procedures allowing defence industries of the two nations to collaborate on cutting edge military technologies.

Riaz Haq said...

The U.S. Military 'Failed Miserably' in a Fake Battle Over Taiwan

The U.S. military reportedly "failed miserably" in a series of wargame scenarios designed to test the Pentagon's might. The flunked exercises, which took place last October, are a red flag that the way the military has operated for years isn't going to fly against today's enemies.

Specifically, a simulated adversary that has studied the American way of war for decades managed to run rings around U.S. forces, defeating them decisively. "They knew exactly what we're going to do before we did it," Gen. John Hyten, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, revealed at an industry event.

While Hyten did not disclose the name of the wargame (it's classifed), he did say that one of the exercises focused exclusively on a brawl between U.S. and Chinese forces fighting over Taiwan—a scenario that seems increasingly likely.

He says there are two main takeaways for the U.S. military. The first involves the concentration of combat power—the American military, like many armed forces, tends to concentrate ships, planes, and ground forces for maximum efficiency and effect. Concentrating forces allows the military to mass firepower, operate more efficiently, and more easily resupply while in the field. In other words, it's easier for everyone on the good guys' side.

But the problem with concentration of mass is that it makes it easier for the enemy to find and kill you. If an enemy knows that American carriers always operate together, for instance, and an enemy discovers one carrier, it then knows a second carrier is close by. By the same token, an Air Force wing of 72 fighter jets operating from a huge, sprawling air base makes it easier to efficiently arm, fuel, and service the fighters, but destroying the base will take out the entire wing. And an Army infantry battalion concentrated in two one-kilometer grid squares is easy to control, but will suffer heavy casualties to artillery barrages.

Another takeaway is that the U.S. military's information dominance is no longer guaranteed, and would probably be in doubt in a future conflict. Since 1991, most of America's enemies have been relatively low-tech armies without the aid of satellites, long-range weapons, cyber forces, or electronic warfare capabilities. As a result, the U.S. military's access to communications, data, and other information has been very secure during wartime, giving friendly forces a huge advantage.

That won't happen in the next war. Potential adversaries Russia and China both have a strong motivation—and more importantly, capability—to attack the Pentagon's information infrastructure. Both countries are aware that U.S. forces are heavily reliant on streams of data, and in a future conflict will attack, jam, and disable the nodes that distribute that information (such as satellites and aircraft-based node) whenever possible.

What does that mean for U.S. forces? Hyten says that the Pentagon is pushing a new concept known as "expanded maneuver," and wants the entire military to adopt it by 2030.

Expanded maneuver is likely exactly what it sounds like—a greater use of mobility to keep U.S. forces out of the enemy's gunsights. Two aircraft carriers, for example, might sail a thousand miles apart while still working together. A wing of fighter jets might be spread out among half a dozen smaller airfields so the destruction of one won't mean the loss of all 72 warplanes. An infantry battalion's subunits might operate farther apart from one another and stay on the move to avoid destruction by enemy artillery.

Riaz Haq said...

#China is poised to militarily dominate the #Indian Ocean w/in a decade, the #US bet on #India is faltering. #China acquiring #military facilities in Horn of #Africa, on #Pakistan’s Indian Ocean coast, in #Myanmar & #UAE with access to Persian Gulf. #QUAD

By Sameer Lalwani

Why haven’t China’s increasing Indian Ocean capabilities raised more alarm bells in Washington, given the laser focus on China these days? One reason is that the U.S. has concentrated its efforts on East Asia, particularly the possibility of conflict in the Taiwan Strait. Another problem, however, is that the U.S. has long assumed India would be a counterweight to China in the Indian Ocean. Indeed, a deeper partnership with India — the world’s largest democracy, on an upward economic trajectory, seemingly perfectly positioned to counter China on land and at sea — has been something of a holy grail for at least four U.S. administrations.

Yet what former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton a decade ago called a “strategic bet” on India does not seem to be paying off. Indian naval and political power in the Indian Ocean region is faltering, giving way to influence by Beijing. Many of these problems are of India’s own making. But part of the problem is the way the U.S. has managed its relationship with New Delhi. The India relationship has become a case study of a partnership between two nations with naturally aligned geostrategic interests that is nonetheless faltering because of a lack of clear priorities, misaligned incentives, and a frequent inability to understand what the other side really wants.

Ultimately, it’s New Delhi that will need to make the most significant course corrections. But the U.S. can also help ensure this bet pays off, with clearer prioritization, incentives and expectations for what could be one of the most important security partnerships of the 21st century. To check China’s rising influence in the Indian Ocean, Washington needs a comprehensive strategy for the region and a revitalized approach to its partnership with India that prioritizes maritime security, bolsters India’s defense technologies and sets bold expectations for a country whose potential against the China challenge has yet to be realized.

Part of the reason the Indian Ocean hasn’t received as much attention as it should is that many U.S. defense experts assume or hope they can rely on India to automatically be a “counterweight” to China in this region. For over two decades, Washington has been enamored with the idea that India, at one point exceeding 8 percent economic growth annually, would become a military powerhouse that could “frustrate China’s hegemonic ambitions.” The U.S. Indo-Pacific Strategy released in February counts on India to be “a net security provider,” just as previous administrations officially banked on the Indian Navy taking a “leading role in maintaining Indian Ocean security.” Some former Trump administration officials even want to formalize a Japan-style alliance.

But India’s ability to play this role is in serious doubt. Indian officials had targeted a 200-ship navy by 2023, but today, the Indian Navy acknowledges it will be fortunate to reach 170 total ships sometime in the 2030s. Even if it does, analysts worry India may still be held back by a fleet that’s continuously underfunded and 60 percent obsolescent with serious deficiencies in equipment and manpower. As India’s navy slides in the opposite direction of China’s, it doesn’t help that India’s political influence in its neighborhood has also wobbled. Within a decade, India may not even be able to protect its own backyard against Chinese military coercion at sea just as on land.

Riaz Haq said...

#India's Size Illusion by Arvind Subramanian. #Indian policymakers should avoid succumbing to the illusion of size, and reconcile themselves with their country's current status as a middling power. #Modi #BJP #Hindutva #Russia #Ukraine #China @ProSyn

True, India’s economy is undeniably large. According to the International Monetary Fund, India is the world’s third-largest economy in purchasing-power-parity terms, with a GDP of $10 trillion, behind China ($27 trillion) and the United States ($23 trillion). At market exchange rates, its GDP of $3 trillion makes it the sixth-largest economy, behind the US, China, Japan, Germany, and the United Kingdom.

But India’s economic size has not translated into commensurate military strength. Part of the problem is simple geography. Bismarck supposedly said that the US is bordered on two sides by weak neighbors and on two sides by fish. India, however, does not enjoy such splendid isolation. Ever since independence, it has been confronted on its Western frontier by Pakistan, a highly armed, chronically hostile, and often military-ruled neighbor.

More recently, India’s northern neighbor, China, also has become aggressive, repudiating the territorial status quo, occupying contested land in the Himalayas, reclaiming territory in the east, and building up a large military presence along India’s borders. So, India may have fish for neighbors along its long peninsular coast, but on land it faces major security challenges on two fronts.

Despite these challenges and its sizable economy, India has struggled to generate adequate military resources. Defense expenditure is notoriously difficult to estimate, especially for China and Pakistan, which have opaque political systems. But annual combined defense spending by India’s two adversaries is likely to be three times the $70-75 billion that India spends. And the effective gap is probably even larger, because India’s politically driven emphasis on military manpower has crowded out spending on military technology. In short, India may have a large economy, but dangerous geography and domestic politics have left it militarily vulnerable.

Then there is the question of market size. As Pennsylvania State University’s Shoumitro Chatterjee and one of us (Subramanian) have shown, India’s middle-class market for consumption is much smaller than the $3 trillion headline GDP number suggests, because many people have limited purchasing power while a smaller number of well-off people tend to save a lot. In fact, the effective size of India’s consumer market is less than $1 trillion, far smaller than China’s and even smaller relative to the potential world export market of nearly $30 trillion.

India needs to accept, and act in line with, its current status as a middling power. Over time, rapid and sustained economic growth could make India the major power it aspires to be. Until then, it must look past the illusion of size and reconcile itself with strategic realities.

Riaz Haq said...

German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck put the matter well: “The Americans are truly a lucky people. They are bordered to the north and south by weak neighbors and to the east and west by fish.” The Founding Fathers agreed.

Americans had the geographic luck of distance from Europe and its conflicts. Out of this ability to avoid unnecessary wars that jeopardized life and liberty, came the Founders’ caution. Before Jefferson’s aforementioned quip, George Washington stated the matter bluntly in his Farewell Address. “It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world.”

Such counsel contained a powerful strain of realism. Strict neutrality was the infant nation’s best hope for survival amid international turmoil. The global nature of the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars threatened to ensnare and destroy the republic with one misstep or ill-fated alliance. President James Madison nearly did just that in the War of 1812 when British forces burned Washington D.C.

In the republic’s harrowing early years, one should note the impossibility of isolation or having no foreign contact. The world war meant the U.S. needed diplomatic relations and readiness for conflict. Sometimes the two overlapped, such as when hostilities began in 1812 over the repeated impressment of American sailors into the Royal Navy. But, the key for the Founders was to comprehend foreign threats and respond appropriately.

Prescribed aloofness from European power politics never concerned diplomacy or trade. The Founders encouraged the latter, while the former became easier after Napoleon’s fall in 1815. Indeed, diplomacy was critical to bolstering U.S. security.

The Louisiana Purchase of 1803 did more than add land. It reduced the presence of France, and then Spain, in North America and secured American control of the Mississippi River. The Adams-Onís Treaty of 1819 built off of Jefferson’s work. It exchanged vague boundary claims in present-day Texas for Spanish Florida, and consolidated American control of land east of the Mississippi River. Moreover, New Spain (Mexico and Central America) became independent soon thereafter.

In 1823, President James Monroe warned European nations against re-colonizing Latin America. Such efforts would constitute a serious threat to U.S. security. Despite America’s inability to enforce the Monroe Doctrine, and whether by design or accident, Britain tacitly approved. Spanish re-conquest likely meant a reestablished mercantilist system. If the Royal Navy kept prospective colonizers out, those new markets would likely stay open. This overlap of British economic interests and American geopolitical interests benefited the United States immensely.

As Europe settled into peace, foreign crises abated and the market revolution began. Over the succeeding years, U.S. economic growth exploded, the restraints of weakness fell away, and politicians’ desire to exercise power grew. From 1815 to the Civil War, Americans made plenty of mischief abroad. The U.S. declared one war (against Mexico 1846-1848), threatened another with Britain over border disputes regarding Canada out west (1845-1847), and issued ultimatums to Spain about freeing Cuba (the 1854 Ostend Manifesto).

The justification for this belligerency may sound familiar, freedom. In July 1845, a young writer named John L. O’Sullivan published an editorial entitled “Annexation” in The United States Democratic Review. This piece mixed freedom with foreign policy, and turned a famous phrase. O’Sullivan opined about America’s “manifest destiny” to “overspread the continent allotted by Providence for the free development of our yearly multiplying millions.”

Riaz Haq said...

Should India insist on large warships after sinking of Russia’s Moskva?

Moskva rests at the bottom of the Black Sea and its loss could animate India’s maritime debate involving large naval ships. But the warning sign that must hang over it, is that its relevance to the Indian context can be different.

The loss of a key surface naval asset to cruise missiles provides fodder to buttress some arguments in an ongoing global debate within maritime powers. The debate is an offshoot of a larger debate on the survivability of large platforms like aircraft carriers due to their vulnerability to precision-guided munitions like cruise missiles. It is a debate that is particularly relevant to India and one that continues to animate the Indian Navy’s insistence on the continued relevance of the aircraft carrier.

Technological advancements in surveillance capabilities that are networked with missiles based on air, land, and sea platforms have certainly increased the vulnerability of surface naval assets. Accuracy is significantly improved by using a combination of Global Positioning Signals (GPS), laser guidance and inertial navigation systems. Simultaneously, the development of countermeasures also reduces the vulnerability factor. It is a cat-and-mouse game in technology development that mostly tends to favour the attacker over the defender. The obvious route for the attacker is to overwhelm the defender’s ability by firing a large number of missiles simultaneously on the same target. Also, the pace of development and cost of missiles that can penetrate the defender’s missile shield is quicker and cheaper than developing and fielding missile defences.

Riaz Haq said...

Air Force and independent think tank simulations show giant drone swarms are key to defeating China’s invasion of Taiwan.

"With all of this, our forces are going to be confronted with the need to not just gain air superiority, which is always a priority for the commander, but to actually reach into this contested battlespace, ...and find the enemy and engage the enemy’s operational center of gravity – those hundreds of ships carrying the amphibious forces across Strait, the airborne air assault aircraft carrying light infantry across the Strait," he continued. There will be a need to "do that even in the absence of air superiority, which is a very different concept of operations from what our forces have operated with in the post-Cold War era."

Those operational realities present immense challenges for the U.S. military in responding to a potential future Chinese invasion of Taiwan. U.S. military wargames exploring potential cross-strait crisis scenarios in recent years has more often than not, to put mildly, produced less than encouraging results when it comes to the performance of the American side.

Ochmanek says that modeling that RAND has done, including simulations conducted in cooperation with the Air Force, shows that large numbers of unmanned aircraft, especially relatively small and inexpensive designs capable of operating as fully-autonomous swarms using a distributed "mesh" data-sharing network, have shown themselves to be absolutely essential for coming out on top in these wargames.

Riaz Haq said...

Air Force and independent think tank simulations show giant drone swarms are key to defeating China’s invasion of Taiwan.

The former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense outlined one broad, but still detailed scenario for how such a swarm of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) would be employed in the defense of Taiwan:

"We're doing some simulations that capture scenarios in which we’re trying to rapidly sink that invasion fleet in the Strait. We’re also trying to clear the skies of PLA [People's Liberation Army, the Chinese military] fighters, transports, and attack helos, [and] transport helos. So, think of this. Imagine 1,000 unmanned UAVs over Taiwan and over the Taiwan Strait. They are not large aircraft, but they are flying at high subsonic speed. You can imagine making their radar cross section indistinguishable from that of an F-35. And the UAVs are basically out in front. They’re doing the sensing mission. Manned aircraft are kind of hanging back. Imagine now being an SA-21 [S-400 surface to air missile system] operator on the mainland of China or on one of the surface action groups trying to project [power], your scopes are flooded with things that you gotta kill. If you don’t kill those sensors, we’re gonna find you. And if we find you, we’re gonna kill you. So, A, we’re creating defilade if you will, camouflage, for the manned aircraft to hide behind.

B, we’re potentially exhausting the enemy’s magazines of expensive SAMs, and on the right side of the cost-exchange ratio. C, you could put some jammers on a few of these UAVs, as well, to further suppress the effectiveness of the SAMs. And then, the key is, these UAVs create a sensing grid that tells you where the targets are on the surface, where the targets are in the air, so that the F-35s, F-22s can conduct their engagements passively. You never have to turn on your radar. You know what that means for survivability. So, we call these UAVs the pilot’s friend.

Now, I know there’s culturally there may be some sense of competition between manned and unmanned and so forth … from an operational perspective we do not see a downside in terms of the synergy between manned and unmanned in this model."

Riaz Haq said...

Air Force and independent think tank simulations show giant drone swarms are key to defeating China’s invasion of Taiwan.

What Ochmanek laid out are exactly the kinds of significant advantages an autonomous drone swarm has the potential to offer in terms of operational flexibility, as well as cost, over manned aircraft, something that The War Zone regularly highlights. Since the individual drones in an autonomous swarm are designed to collaborate with each other, this means that each individual platform does not automatically have to be configured to perform all of the desired missions that the group is collectively expected to carry out.

If a single unmanned aircraft only has to act as a sensor node, weapons truck, jammer, or datalink relay, among other things, it then also opens up the option to make that platform smaller and cheaper than it would be if it had to be a more exquisite multi-role platform. Of course, as Ochmanek himself points out, a swarm offers important additional benefits in a scenario in which it is teamed directly with manned platforms.

The video below, from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's Collaborative Operations in Denied Environment (CODE) program, depicts many of drone swarm concepts that Ochmanek described.

"For many, many years this country’s been on a vector of increasingly sophisticated, expensive platforms in ever-smaller numbers, and we’ve seen the inventory of combat aircraft in the Air Force decrease because of this ineluctable trend of increasing cost per platform. That had a strong rationale when we had technical and operational superiority over our adversaries and when in fact we were very concerned about attrition," Ochmanek said. "The advent of autonomy means that we have the opportunity now to flood the battlespace essentially with inexpensive platforms that can do the jobs that human beings have in the past done and done them actually more robustly than manned concepts."

Ochmanek highlighted how advances in machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI), and separate networked weapon concepts that the Air Force, among others, is working on now, will only add to a future autonomous swarm's capabilities in any context. He indicated that this had been an additional factor in the game-changing employment of swarms in Taiwan Strait conflict simulations.

Riaz Haq said...

Air Force and independent think tank simulations show giant drone swarms are key to defeating China’s invasion of Taiwan.

"We have not solved the problem of the missile threat to airbases. Our active defenses are expensive. They’re not impermeable. They can be overwhelmed by modest sized salvos," he said. "And yet we need to operate from inside the threat ring in order to generate the kind of combat power that is called for by these intensive operations."

Extensive Chinese strikes against U.S. facilities across the Pacific in the opening phases of a conflict over Taiwan is a common occurrence in wargaming this scenario. Just recently, NBC News' "Meet the Press" sponsored a series of independent Taiwan Strait wargame that was run by Washington, D.C.-based Center for a New American Security (CNAS) think tank, the outcomes of which were summarized during the show's May 15 broadcast. The 'red' team, representing the regime on mainland China, was able to seize at least some Taiwanese territory in each playthrough, despite suffering significant casualties and equipment losses. It's unclear whether a U.S. military drone swarm was factored into the CNAS-led wargaming or not.

Chinese strikes on U.S. bases, including those in Japan, as part of a Taiwan invasion operation were a key factor in these simulations. Members of the 'blue' team – representing the United States, Taiwan, and their allies and partners – were surprised by this aggressiveness and suggested that this was an unrealistic portrayal, with Chinese officials more likely to work up to an intervention after first making various feints and otherwise attempting to throw the international community off-balance.

However, Lt. Gen. Hinote subsequently told Air Force Magazine that this scenario "'rhymes' with many of the things we see in our more detailed wargaming" at "the strategic and operational levels." He added that the airspace "is likely to be contested over Taiwan in a way we have not seen in a long time."

During the Mitchell Institute talk, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Ochmanek said that swarms of unmanned aircraft, especially if they are runway independent, could be part of the solution to the problem of defending against or otherwise remaining resilient in the face of Chinese strikes in a defense of Taiwan scenario. He specifically cited Kratos' XQ-58A Valkyrie unmanned aircraft, which is launched and recovered without the use of a runway, and that the Air Force is using as a testbed for various advanced warfighting experiments now, as one example. Kratos has previously presented a concept for a containerized launch system for the XQ-58A, which would further enable it to be rapidly and flexibly deployed, even to remote or austere locations.

Riaz Haq said...

Air Force and independent think tank simulations show giant drone swarms are key to defeating China’s invasion of Taiwan.

All told, there is ever-growing evidence to support the immense and potentially game-changing value of autonomous drone swarms in any potential Taiwan Strait crisis, among other potential conflict scenarios. The U.S. government is now reportedly pushing the Taiwanese military to expand its fleets of unmanned aircraft, among other weapon systems purchases that American authorities believe would do the most to bolster the island's ability to at least resist a Chinese invasion.

This all comes as the U.S. Intelligence Community continues to assess that the Chinese military is aiming to be in a position by 2027 where it would feel confident in its ability to succeed in any future operation to retake Taiwan by force. Of course, U.S. military officials have also said that this does not mean that the People's Liberation Army would automatically launch such an intervention after that point.

It is worth noting that the Chinese military has been heavily investing itself in various advanced unmanned capabilities, including technology to enable networked swarms, and has arguably made more progress in fielding platforms than its American counterparts, as least as far as we know. A future conflict in and around the Taiwan Strait could very well see the People's Liberation Army employ its own drone swarms, launched from areas on the mainland or even ships at sea.

Regardless, concerns are growing that the long-standing potential for a conflict over Taiwan could turn into a reality. It remains to be seen whether the U.S. Air Force, or any other branches of the U.S. military, will take the necessary steps to be able to deploy an autonomous drone swarm if it becomes necessary to defend the island, which looks like it could be a decisive factor in the outcome of such a crisis.

Riaz Haq said...

Should #US lower its expectations of #India? Instead of investing in #humancapital, #nuclear & #renewable energy, or #healthcare, #Modi’s gov't focus is on “correcting” history textbooks, attacking #Muslims, extoll #Hindu "virtues"! #Hindutva #Islamophobia


India is reprising its Cold War-era strategy of walking the tightrope between Russia and the United States. During the virtual summit between President Biden and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in April, as well as the in-person Quad leaders’ summit in Tokyo in May, Biden requested India’s support on Ukraine. India has refused to stop purchasing oil from Russia, even if it has cancelled some Russian arms contracts.

India’s neutrality over Ukraine has dampened the enthusiasm even of those Americans who have projected India as the key American partner in its competition with China. Indians argue that they are only acting in their national interest and that even though their long-term interests remains tied to the U.S., they cannot forego the short-term advantage of neutrality towards Russia.

Instead of voicing frustration with India over its continued friendship with Russia, U.S. policymakers and commentators would do better to revise their expectations of India. The rhetoric about India being as important in U.S. plans for Asia as Great Britain was for standing up to the Soviet Union in Europe after World War II ignores India’s changing view of itself and the world.

Under Modi and his ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, India is in the process of redefining its nationalism, away from the legacy of Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru. India’s rising Hindu nationalism (which has overtaken the secular nationalism of India’s early years) is centered on reviving India’s ancient Hindu glory. Ancient India was notoriously insular and not particularly interested in partnering with distant peoples.

While Modi’s India still wants to be recognized globally with respect, it hopes to earn that respect through celebration of an International Yoga Day, not through confrontation with China or Russia. That fundamentally different view of what is entailed in India becoming a global great power makes partnership with the West in accordance with Western expectations unlikely.

India’s economy is not growing at a rate that would position it to be China’s competitor. The expansion of India’s middle class has slowed down. Americans hoping to tap India as the next market of more than 1 billion consumers will have to wait to see that dream become a reality, both on account of its slower economic growth and its over-regulation.

Disappointment will be even greater for those expecting India to field its large military forces against China. Declining investment in military capabilities have made India’s military rather inefficient and inadequately modern. India might be able to face off against Pakistan, but it is still far from being in China’s league.

Around 60 percent of India’s military equipment is of Russian origin, and while India plans to purchase more equipment, it is keen on boosting indigenous capability and having a diverse basket of suppliers. That runs contrary to American expectations of being India’s supplier of choice.

Meanwhile, the U.S. expectation of an influx of orders for American-made nuclear reactors from India, which formed an important basis for the 2008 civil-nuclear deal, remains unfulfilled.

India wants to trade and acquire technology with the U.S. on its terms, which it believes are mutually beneficial. But is not about to become the western partner that successive U.S. administrations and many scholars have imagined.

Riaz Haq said...

Foxconn and Vedanta to build $19bn India chip factory

Foxconn and Vedanta have announced $19.5bn (£16.9) to build one of the first chipmaking factories in India.

The Taiwanese firm and the Indian mining giant are tying up as the government pushes to boost chip manufacturing in the country.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government announced a $10bn package last year to attract investors.

The facility, which will be built in Mr Modi's home state of Gujarat, has been promised incentives.

Vedanta's chairman Anil Agarwal said they were still on the lookout for a site - about 400 acres of land - close to Gujarat's capital, Ahmedabad.

But both Indian and foreign firms have struggled in the past to acquire large tracts of land for projects. And experts say that despite Mr Modi's signature 'Make in India' policy - designed to attract global manufacturers - challenges remain when it comes to navigating the country's red tape.

Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendrabhai Patel, however, said the project "will be met with red carpet... instead of any red tapism".

The project is expected to create 100,000 jobs in the state, which is headed for elections in December, where the BJP is facing stiff competition from oppositions parties.

According to the Memorandum of Understanding, the facility is expected to start manufacturing chips within two years.

"India's own Silicon Valley is a step closer now," Mr Agarwal said in a tweet.

India has vowed to spend $30bn to overhaul its tech industry. The government said it will also expand incentives beyond the initial $10 billion for chipmakers in order to become less reliant on chip producers in places like Taiwan, the US and China.

"Gujarat has been recognized for its industrial development, green energy, and smart cities. The improving infrastructure and the government's active and strong support increases confidence in setting up a semiconductor factory," according to Brian Ho, a vice president of Foxconn Semiconductor Group.

Foxconn is the technical partner. Vedanta is financing the project as it looks to diversify its investments into the tech sector.

Vedanta is the third company to announce plans to build a chip plant in India. A partnership between ISMC and Singapore-based IGSS Ventures also said it had signed deals to build semiconductor plants in the country over the next five years.

Riaz Haq said...

If China Invaded Taiwan, What Would India Do?
The New Delhi government fears its expansionist neighbor but is deeply wary about getting in the middle of a brawl with Beijing.

By Hal Brands

So how might India react if China attacked Taiwan? Although India can’t project much military power east of the Malacca Strait, it could still, in theory, do a lot. US officials quietly hope that India might grant access to its Andaman and Nicobar Islands, in the eastern Bay of Bengal, to facilitate a blockade of China’s oil supplies. The Indian Navy could help keep Chinese ships out of the Indian Ocean; perhaps the Indian Army could distract China by turning up the heat in the Himalayas.


New Delhi has a real stake in the survival of a free Taiwan. China has a punishing strategic geography, in that it faces security challenges on land and at sea. If taking Taiwan gave China preeminence in maritime Asia, though, Beijing could then pivot to settle affairs with India on land.

Expect a “turn toward the South” once China’s Taiwan problem is resolved, one Indian defense official told me. And in general, a world in which China is emboldened — and the US and its democratic allies are badly bloodied — by a Taiwan conflict would be very nasty for India.

But none of this ensures that India will cast its lot, militarily or diplomatically, with a pro-Taiwan coalition. Appeals to common democratic values or norms of nonaggression won’t persuade India to aid Taiwan any more than they have induced it to help Ukraine.

Armchair strategists might dream of opening a second front in the Himalayas, but India might be paralyzed by fear that openly aiding the US anywhere would simply give China a pretext to batter overmatched, unprepared Indian forces on their shared frontier.

The Modi government has been happy to have America’s help in dealing with India’s China problem but is far more reluctant to return the favor by courting trouble in the Western Pacific.

What India would do in a Taiwan conflict is really anyone’s guess. The most nuanced assessment I heard came from a longtime Indian diplomat. A decade ago, he said, India would definitely have sat on the sidelines. Today, support for Taiwan and the democratic coalition is conceivable, but not likely. After another five years of tension with China and cooperation with the Quad, though, who knows?

Optimists in Washington might take this assessment as evidence that India is moving in the right direction. Pessimists might point out that there is still a long way to go, and not much time to get there.

Riaz Haq said...

#Modi's #semiconductor #manufacturing plan flounders as firms struggle to find #tech partners. Modi has made it top priority for #India's economic strategy to "usher in new era in electronics manufacturing" by luring global companies. #MakeInIndia

NEW DELHI/OAKLAND, California, June 1 (Reuters) - Big companies including a Foxconn joint venture that bid for India's $10 billion semiconductor incentives are struggling due to the lack of a technology partner, a major setback for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's chipmaking ambitions.

A planned $3 billion semiconductor facility in India by chip consortium ISMC that counted Israeli chipmaker Tower as a tech partner has been stalled due to the company's ongoing takeover by Intel, three people with direct knowledge of the strategy said.

A second mega $19.5 billion plan to build chips locally by a joint venture between India's Vedanta and Taiwan's Foxconn is also proceeding slowly as their talks to rope in European chipmaker STMicroelectronics (STMPA.PA) as a partner are deadlocked, a fourth source with direct knowledge said.

Modi has made chipmaking a top priority for India's economic strategy as he wants to "usher in a new era in electronics manufacturing" by luring global companies.

India, which expects its semiconductor market to be worth $63 billion by 2026, last year received three applications to set up plants under the incentive scheme. They were from the Vedanta-Foxconn JV; a global consortium ISMC which counts Tower Semiconductor (TSEM.TA) as a tech partner; and from Singapore-based IGSS Ventures.

The Vedanta JV plant is to come up in Modi's home state of Gujarat, while ISMC and IGSS each committed $3 billion for plants in two separate southern states.

The three sources said ISMC's $3 billion chipmaking facility plans are currently on hold as Tower could not proceed to sign binding agreements as things remain under review after Intel acquired it for $5.4 billion last year. The deal is pending regulatory approvals.

Talking about India's semiconductor ambitions, India's deputy IT minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar told Reuters in a May 19 interview ISMC "could not proceed" due to Intel acquiring Tower, and IGSS "wanted to re-submit (the application)" for incentives. The "two of them had to drop out," he said, without elaborating.

Tower is likely to reevaluate taking part in the venture based on how its deal talks with Intel pan out, two of the sources said.

Riaz Haq said...

Are young Taiwanese prepared to fight mainland China?

“A lot of young people who signed up for the four-year volunteer force decided to pay a penalty and dropped out early because they say they had come for the money—not to fight and not to die,” said Alexander Huang, the Kuomintang’s director of international affairs.

Taiwan’s troubled history with its own armed forces is part of the reason. The Kuomintang-led army and government led by Chiang Kai-shek escaped to Taiwan when Mao Zedong’s Communist forces ousted them from the Chinese mainland in 1949. Chiang’s military dictatorship attempted to suppress Taiwan’s sense of identity, seen as tainted by decades of Japanese rule over the island, and engaged in decades of what has since been called a “White Terror,” during which thousands of dissidents were killed.


TAIPEI, Taiwan—People in Taiwan have been following every twist of the war in Ukraine. But, while their sympathy for the Ukrainian cause is near-universal, the conclusions for the island’s own future widely diverge.

To some, the takeaway is that even a seemingly invincible foe can be defeated if a society stands firm, an inspiration for Taiwan’s own effort to resist a feared invasion by China. Others draw the opposite lesson from the images of smoldering Ukrainian cities. Anything is better than war, they say, and Taiwan should do all it can to avoid provoking Beijing’s wrath, even if that means painful compromises.

These two competing visions will play out in Taiwan’s presidential elections, slated for January, and shape how the island democracy revamps its defenses as China’s military might expands. The soul-searching inside Taiwan, and the determination with which it will strengthen its armed forces, is also bound to affect the extent to which the U.S. will get involved militarily should Beijing try to capture the island, home to 24 million people—and most of the world’s advanced semiconductor production capacity.

While Taiwan has been living under a threat of invasion ever since China’s Communist Party took control of the mainland in 1949, the Russian thrust into Ukraine drove home to many Taiwanese that war can erupt with little notice. Chinese leaders have intensified their rhetoric around Taiwan, repeating that they won’t rule out using force to achieve what they call “national reunification.” Beijing has also ramped up naval and air probes around the island that wear out Taiwanese defenses. The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency estimates that Chinese leader Xi Jinping has set 2027 as the deadline for his military to be ready to take the island.

“What Ukraine has underscored is that it’s not a remote possibility that an aggressive neighbor can unilaterally decide to take action against you. It’s a wake-up call,” said Enoch Wu, founder of the Forward Alliance, a nongovernmental organization that has started training Taiwanese civilians in emergency response and first aid. “The threat that we face is an existential one, and so our defense mission has got to involve the entire society.”


The main opposition Nationalist Party, known as the Kuomintang, holds a different view. “We want to talk to the Chinese. We believe that we can have a dialogue with the Chinese. That will certainly de-escalate the tension, to make sure no accidental war, and for sure no intentional war, happens,” Kuomintang vice chairman Andrew Hsia said in an interview before departing on a trip to China in June, his second this year.

Ukraine’s tragedy has made an outreach to Beijing even more vital, he added: “In the past we talked about war, but now for the first time we saw in our living rooms, on television, all this destruction. Are we ready for that? I don’t think we are, I don’t think we are that resilient.”

The Kuomintang’s presidential candidate, Hou Yu-ih, pledged this week that he would return the compulsory military service length to four months after improving ties with Beijing.

Riaz Haq said...

India can aim lower in its chip dreams

BENGALURU, July 5 (Reuters Breakingviews) - India’s semiconductor dreams are facing a harsh reality. After struggling to woo cutting-edge chipmakers like Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (2330.TW) to set up operations in the country, the government may now have to settle for producing less-advanced chips instead. Yet that’s no mere consolation prize: the opportunity to grab share from China in this commoditised but vital part of the tech supply chain could pay off.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi wants to “usher in a new era of electronics manufacturing” by turning India into a chipmaking powerhouse. So far, the government has dangled $10 billion in subsidies but with little to show for it. Mining conglomerate Vedanta’s $19.5 billion joint venture with iPhone supplier Foxconn (2317.TW) has stalled; plans for a separate $3 billion manufacturing facility appear to be in limbo, Reuters reported in May. In a small win for the government, U.S.-based Micron Technology (MU.O) last week announced it will invest $825 million to build its first factory in India in Modi’s home state of Gujarat, though the facility will be used to test and package chips, rather than to manufacture them.

Even so, the Micron investment could pave the way for the country to move into the assembly, packaging and testing market for semiconductors, currently dominated by firms like Taiwan’s ASE Technology (3711.TW) and China's JCET (600584.SS). It’s not as lucrative as making or designing them but global sales are forecast to hit $50.9 billion by 2028, according to Zion Market Research.

An even bigger opportunity awaits in manufacturing what are known as trailing-edge semiconductors. Recently, New Delhi expanded fiscal incentives for companies to make these lower-end products in the country. It’s a far more commoditised part of the market but there’s much to play for. Analog chips, for example, are vital for electric cars and smartphones. Last year, sales grew by a fifth to $89 billion, per estimates from the Semiconductor Industry Association, outpacing growth for memory, logic and other types of chips.

The majority of the world’s trailing-edge semiconductors are currently made in Taiwan and China. So rising geopolitical tensions between Washington and Beijing, as well as worries of military conflict in Taiwan, will make India an attractive alternative for companies like U.S.-based GlobalFoundries (GFS.O) that specialise in this segment. Booming domestic demand is another factor: the Indian market is forecast to hit $64 billion by 2026, from just $23 billion in 2019.

Aiming lower could be just what India’s chip ambitions need.

Follow @PranavKiranBV on Twitter

(The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own. Refiles to add link.)

U.S. memory chip firm Micron Technology on June 28 signed a memorandum of understanding with the Indian government to build a semiconductor assembly and testing plant, its first factory in the country.

Construction for the $2.75 billion project, which includes government support, will start in August, according to Ashwini Vaishnaw, India’s minister of electronics and information technology in an interview with the Financial Times published on July 5, with production expected by the end of 2024.

Riaz Haq said...

Terry Gou, the billionaire founder of Foxconn, announced his candidacy for Taiwan's presidency in January elections. Gou said he wants to unite the opposition and ensure Taiwan does not become "the next Ukraine". He said he will bring 50 years of peace to the Taiwan Strait and build a foundation for mutual trust. Gou also criticized the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) for policies that have put Taiwan at risk of war with China. China claims Taiwan as part of its territory.

Gou says he can use his experience working in China to protect Taiwan's security. He said he will not allow Taiwan to become "the next Ukraine". However, a researcher at National Chengchi University in Taiwan said Gou's candidacy could make it harder for an opposition leader to defeat the DPP.

Riaz Haq said...

A new Huawei phone has defeated US chip sanctions against China

The new Kirin 9000s chip in Huawei’s latest phone uses an advanced 7-nanometer processor fabricated in China by the country’s top chipmaker, Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp. (SMIC), according to a teardown of the phone that TechInsights conducted for Bloomberg.

Huawei’s latest smartphone, the Mate 60 Pro, offers proof that China’s homegrown semiconductor industry is advancing despite the US ban on chips and chipmaking technology.

The new Kirin 9000s chip in Huawei’s latest phone uses an advanced 7-nanometer processor fabricated in China by the country’s top chipmaker, Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp. (SMIC), according to a teardown of the phone that TechInsightsconducted for Bloomberg

A brief recent timeline of US chip sanctions against China
August 2022: The US Congress passes the CHIPS and Science Act, a law that approves subsidies and tax breaks to help jumpstart the production of advanced semiconductors on American soil.

September 2022: The Biden administration bans federally funded US tech firms from building advanced facilities in China for a decade.

October 2022: The US commerce department bars companies from supplying advanced chips and chipmaking equipment to China, calling it an effort to curb China’s ability to produce cutting-edge chips for weapons and other defense technology, rather than a bid to cripple the country’s consumer electronics industry.

November 2022: The US bans the approval of communications equipment from Chinese companies like Huawei Technologies and ZTE, claiming that they pose “an unacceptable risk” to the country’s national security.

May 2023: Beijing bans its “operators of critical information infrastructure” from doing business with Micron Tech, an Idaho-based chipmaker.

“In the AI garden, the seeds are the AI software frameworks—which China already has access to. The plants in the garden are the AI models in use, which again are already available to Chinese AI companies. Nvidia provides the best shovels and pruning shears to tend the garden, but not the only means to tend it. So it doesn’t make sense to try to build a high wall around it...[T]o over-regulate these chips creates the risk that the US could fumble away its technology leadership. Would you rather have Chinese AI customers continue to fuel Nvidia’s growth and success? Or would you rather they spend their yuan to fuel the growth and success of Chinese suppliers?”

—Patrick Moorhead, a tech analyst, writing in Forbes in July 2023

One big number: China’s hoard of Nvidia chips
$5 billion: The value of orders that China’s tech giants have placed with Nvidia for its A800 and A100 chips, to be delivered this year, according to an August report by the Financial Times. The biggest internet giants—Baidu, ByteDance, Tencent, and Alibaba—have placed orders totalling $1 billion to buy around 100,000 A800 processors. Given that the US is mulling new export controls, Chinese companies are rushing to hoard the best chips on the market to train their AI models and run their data centers.