Praveen Donthi

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An Indian Air Force helicopter in the Ladakh region of India, September 2020. Danish Siddiqui / Reuters

High up in the mostly uninhabitable stretches of the Himalaya Mountains, the world’s two largest armies are facing off. The tensions at the disputed Chinese-Indian border, where around 100,000 troops are garrisoned at remote outposts, rarely makes international headlines. But it is one of the world’s most dangerous flash points. In 2020, clashes at the border left over 20 soldiers dead, marking the most significant fighting between China and India since the two countries fought a war in 1962.

Tensions at the roof of the world have persisted ever since. In the last four years, both sides have sought to build up infrastructure and position yet more troops along the border.…  Seguir leyendo »

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi meets with Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, political chief of Afghanistan's Taliban, in north China's Tianjin, 28 July 2021. Li Ran Xinhua via AFP

On 15 August, the Taliban capped their drive for power in Afghanistan by taking Kabul, the country’s capital, for the first time since they ruled most of the country from 1996 to 2001. With the previous government’s collapse, the group is now the de facto power throughout the country and is in the process of forming a new government and revamped state system. Questions are swirling about how they will govern, such as whether they will attempt to exercise a monopoly on power or give some roles to other political forces and whether they will try to reimpose the harsh social restrictions, including on women, that they enforced in the late 1990s.…  Seguir leyendo »