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Indonesian President Joko Widodo (R) hands over the G-20 presidency gavel to India's PM Narendra Modi (L) at the G-20 summit in Bali.

EYEPRESS via Reuters Connect

India's Modi seeks to burnish his legacy with G-20 presidency

On Dec. 1, India will assume the year-long rotating presidency of the G-20, a grouping that brings together representatives of the world’s largest economies to coordinate responses to the leading problems of the day. Prime Minister Narendra Modi wants to make the Indian presidency one to remember. In fact, he asked Indonesia to take India’s place in the scheduled G-20 rotation last year because he felt the country was behind on preparations that include rebuilding a portion of New Delhi, India’s capital city.

We asked Eurasia Group expert Pramit Pal Chaudhuri to explain why Modi is making such a big bet on the G-20 presidency and how he hopes to address some of the world’s challenges.

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Rishi Sunak Doesn’t Want To Hear It | PUPPET REGIME | GZERO Media

Rishi Sunak doesn’t want to hear it

With friends like these, the new UK Prime Minister hardly needs enemies.

Watch more PUPPET REGIME!

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US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and India's Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar hold a news conference in Washington, DC.

Saul Loeb/Pool via REUTERS

US warns India on dealing with Russia: “Pakistan is Plan B”

After years of favoring New Delhi, the US is now back to balancing between India and Pakistan.

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Ari Winkleman

What We’re Watching: US mulls China sanctions, Uzbek talks focus on ‘cooperation,’ US train strike averted

Will the US preemptively sanction China over Taiwan?

If you thought US-China ties couldn't get any icier, think again. Washington is reportedly mulling sanctions in a bid to deter Beijing from invading Taiwan — and nudging the EU to follow suit. No specifics yet, but the package would presumably target the Chinese military, which has upped the muscle-flexing ante near the self-ruled island since US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taipei in early August. Such a move would be similar to how the US and its allies warned Russia there would be a steep price to pay for invading Ukraine. Taiwan would welcome preemptive sanctions and has long called for the Americans and, more recently, the Europeans to do more to protect the island against Chinese aggression. But any sanctions would also rile Xi Jinping, who’s up for “reelection” next month and has vowed to reunite the island with the mainland before the 100th anniversary of the People's Republic in 2049 – by force, if necessary. While the White House has refused to comment, a sanctions plan could signal that US intelligence believes Xi might make a play for Taiwan sooner rather than later.

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Indian soldiers deployed in the Ladakh region bordering China.

REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui

The hedge edge: India’s savvy but selfish non-aligned diplomacy

After facing off in the western Himalayas for over two years, with more than 100,000 troops deployed in what is considered the world’s highest battlefield, the Chinese and Indian militaries are finally disengaging.

The latest breakthrough, announced Thursday, comes after 16 rounds of negotiations conducted since June 2020, when some 20 Indian soldiers and at least four Chinese troops were killed in a rare bloody skirmish. This was the worst fighting between the two sides there since a 1962 border war won by China and strained ties between Beijing and Delhi.

But while the Indians continue to negotiate with the Chinese, what does this mean for India’s perceived position as a natural “counterweight” to China? Indeed, since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Delhi has bolstered its relationship with Moscow, Beijing’s new partner “without limits.” Are the Indians in fact trying to play all sides by moving closer to the China-Russia axis while staying a US strategic partner?

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Modi attends an innovation conference with Israeli and Indian CEOs in Tel Aviv.

REUTERS/Oded Balilty

The promise and peril of Modi’s success

Narendra Modi’s political juggernaut seems unstoppable.

Through a series of maneuvers — some of them questionable, if not illegal — Modi’s Hindu nationalist BJP party last week took the reins of Maharashtra, India’s richest state. It was yet another victory for Modi in the run-up to elections in 2024, when he is expected to secure a third term.

But Modi’s take-no-prisoners style of governance, coupled with a weak opposition, a compliant judiciary, a supine press, and a society struggling with weakened civil liberties, is increasingly threatening the pillars of the world’s largest democracy.

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Marcos attends a news conference at his headquarters in Manila.

REUTERS/Lisa Marie David

What We're Watching: Marcos inauguration, Indian religious tensions, risotto shortage

Will Marcos 2.0 be kind to the Philippine media?

Weeks after winning the election in a landslide, Ferdinand Marcos Jr. (aka Bongbong, or more recently BBM) will be inaugurated on Thursday as president of the Philippines. He has a lot on his plate, including uniting — as he promised repeatedly during the campaign — a country deeply divided over the legacy of his father, the late dictator. One issue that'll surely pop up soon is how he'll handle the media, which was heavily censored under the elder Marcos’ martial law. On Tuesday, the Philippine SEC ordered the shutdown of Rappler, the news site run by Nobel Peace Prize laureate Maria Ressa, a vocal critic of outgoing strongman President Rodrigo Duterte. BBM will also face pressure to return a broadcast franchise to ABS-CBN, the country's biggest network, which Duterte canceled in early 2020 (and Marcos' dad also took off the air entirely in the 1980s). Supporters say Marcos 2.0 wants to kick off his presidency with a charm offensive to appease his enemies, but he may have more of a problem with his most powerful friend. Overturning two of Duterte's most controversial decisions would not go down well with the famously pugnacious outgoing leader — whose feisty daughter is … Marcos’s VP.

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How to Consolidate Power by Creating an Enemy | Full Interview with Gideon Rachman | GZERO World

How to consolidate power by creating an enemy

As things become more unstable in the world with inflation and rising food prices, and commodity prices, there is going to be more and more appetite with strong leadership.

Part of the pushback against globalization has been led by autocrats who reject things like free trade and the liberal international order. For them, globalization means losing control.

But the world today remains more interconnected than ever. So, do they want less globalization, or rather a version that fits their narrative? On GZERO World, Ian Bremmer speaks to Gideon Rachman, chief foreign affairs columnist for the Financial Times, who wrote a book about the rise of the age of the strongmen.

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