The Chinese hard power juggernaut is moving in all directions and not even tiny neighbours are out of its ambit these days. In the latest instance of China’s hyperactive diplomacy, Beijing is vigorously pursuing one finger of its so-called “five finger policy” – Bhutan. The other four fingers are Arunachal Pradesh, Ladakh (both parts of India), Nepal and Sikkim; while the palm is Tibet. The Chinese objectives in Bhutan, a country with which it has been having a protracted border dispute, pose a major foreign policy and security challenge for India.
Pakistan is increasingly discarding its role as an ally in the war on terror that it used to get arms and funds from the West and has now launched a campaign of defiance, even as the US finalized its plans to quit Afghanistan at the NATO Chicago Conference on 21 May. In a display of brinkmanship and responding to aid cut by the US Senate, it has even resorted to heaping insults, almost daily, on the US.