CUTS Washington Monthly Brief
#15, June 2019
Positive Signals from Osaka

The just-concluded (June 28-29) Osaka G20 Summit witnessed a conciliatory approach on the part of the US President Donald Trump on a range of issues threatening global peace and security. Not only that he agreed to resume talks with China to resolve their bilateral disputes over the treatment of trade and technology, he showed conciliation toward other pressing issues such as 5G technology, Iran. 

He even had an impromptu meeting with the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on 30th June at the demilitarised zone bordering the two Koreas. This underlines the fact that public opinion matters as evident from recent surveys on presidential ratings in the US and thus, there is triumph of diplomacy over rhetoric. 

After several rounds of discussions and deliberations among the global leadership, the Osaka Summit came out with a comprehensive Leaders' Declaration covering issues ranging from trade and digital economy to climate change to women' s empowerment. It sets the agenda for the recovery of global growth in a balanced and sustainable manner.

While the G20 Summit in Osaka ended on a positive note, our world will continue to face with similar and new challenges. It is up to the leadership of these countries and others to address them in a constructive and balanced manner by upholding the virtues of multilateralism. Otherwise, the second decade of this millennium may see deeper crisis as witnessed during the inter-war years a century ago. 

Other than the G20 group as a whole, the primary onus will be on the leadership of Saudi Arabia and Italy to take this process of forward over the next two years. In 2022, on the occasion of 75th anniversary of our independence, India will discharge its responsibility of G20 presidency. Let us make best use of this period to secure our national interests with prosperity and announce our elevation from an emerging to a major balancing power. 

Pradeep S. Mehta
P.S.  In spite of being a member of NATO, Turkey is buying Russian S-400 missiles and defence system. So what's wrong with India buying the same from its all-weather friend Russia? 

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This is the fifteenth edition of the Monthly Brief from the Center, which carries select published news or comments on a relevant issue. There are equally important issues which may have been missed out to keep the Monthly Brief short and swiftly readable. 

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Despite Trump-Xi Ceasefire, China Warns Trade Deal Still Long Way Off
China and the United States will face a long road before they can reach a deal to end their bitter trade war, with more fights ahead likely, Chinese state media said after the two countries' presidents held ice-breaking talks in Japan.
Trump China tariffs could cost billions for consumers: retailer study
If the United States does impose tariffs on another $300 billion worth of Chinese goods, it would cost U.S. consumers $12.2 billion more for apparel, footwear, toys and household appliances each year, the National Retail Federation (NRF) said on Friday.

China moves to shut spigot on rare earths for first time in 5 years
The Chinese government signaled Tuesday that it will take steps toward restricting rare-earth metal exports in its deepening trade war with the U.S., a step that could disrupt key supplies for high-tech industries even at the risk of isolation from the international community.

American Tariffs on China Are Being Blunted by Trade Cheats
Billions of dollars worth of China-made goods subject to tariffs by the Trump administration in its trade fight with Beijing are dodging the China levies by entering the U.S. via other countries in Asia, especially Vietnam, according to trade data and overseas officials.


India is cheapest solar energy producer; beats China, UK, US among others
India is now the forerunner in producing solar power at lowest cost globally and is far ahead of other nations in low average production costs, a report said. Beating countries like China, which usually is the cheapest manufacturer of everything, India has also left behind the US, UK, Canada and France among others.
The Dark Outlook For Non-OPEC Oil
The period from 2010 to 2014 witnessed the highest sustained oil price environment in recent memory, with Brent averaging $110 a barrel and WTI $95 a barrel. This high oil price era ushered a period of unprecedented capital investment in oil and gas extraction, as global capital investments rose from $500B in 2010 to $700B by 2014 (do note some of the increase is due to cost inflation, hence, the magnitude of the capital spending increase, and its subsequent decease, is tampered to some extent by changes in unit cost).

Climate change: Energy demand could rise up to 58% by 2050
In the next 30 years, the world will see a dramatic rise in energy demand due to the impact of climate change, say researchers. In a study published in Nature Communications journal, the researchers maintained that the energy demand would rise by at least 11 percent due to global warming by 2050.

Filling Iran oil gap in India: US supplies outshine Middle East crude
A surge in India's oil imports from the United States outpaced growth in shipments from its traditional suppliers in the Middle East, after Washington imposed sanctions on Tehran in November, according to tanker arrival data obtained from sources. 


Why India should not outlaw Huawei
In hot pursuit of the tech cold war, the Trump administration has been warning adversaries and friends alike not to do business with Chinese telecom giant Huawei Technologies and to avoid its fifth-generation mobile network equipment.

A different tent: on SCO summit
Terrorism, regional cooperation and the future of Afghanistan were major themes at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation' s Heads of State summit in Bishkek. The grouping, led by Russia and China, which includes Afghanistan and the Central Asian states of Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, inducted India and Pakistan in 2017, and has become an important forum for India' s Eurasian neighbourhood.
Discordant Notes: Naked pursuit of domestic interests robbing the G20 of its
The fourteenth summit of the Group of Twenty (G20) major economies in Osaka, Japan, on June 28-29 revealed more discord and weakness than unity and strength in the global governance architecture.  G20 summits are meant to underline international problems and address them through policy coordination and guidance from the highest political level of heads of state and government. 
The US and Iran Face-Off
The Face-Off between United States and Iran continues to worsen. It is now posing challenges to global peace, security and stability.   On this, a series of news/opinions published during the month of June are compiled by CUTS WDC for the ready reference of our readers.  


The Self-Destruction of American Power
Sometime in the last two years, American hegemony died. The age of U.S. dominance was a brief, heady era, about three decades marked by two moments, each a breakdown of sorts. It was born amid the collapse of the Berlin Wall, in 1989.
Globalization' s Wrong Turn
Globalization is in trouble. A populist backlash, personified by U.S. President Donald Trump, is in full swing. A war between China and the United States could easily boil over. Countries across Europe are shutting their borders to immigrants. Even globalization' s biggest boosters now concede that it has produced lopsided benefits and that something will have to change.
New York lawmakers pass aggressive law to fight climate change
New York state lawmakers passed early Thursday one of the nation's most ambitious plans to slow climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050.If signed into law, it would make New York the second U.S. state to aim for a carbon-neutral economy, following an executive order signed by then California Governor Jerry Brown last year to make that state carbon neutral by 2045.

India-US ties: Pompeo says great friends disagree, Jaishankar firm on S-400 deal
Playing down the divergences in the Indo-US economic relationship, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo Wednesday underscored their political points on strategic, regional and global issues that include the S-400 defence deal with Russia, approach towards Iran and China, and common cause on terrorism.