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Author: Vijeta Uniyal

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Vijeta Uniyal

Vijeta Uniyal is an Indian journalist based in Germany. He is Senior Distinguished Fellow at the Gatestone Institute.

China has been a global hub for manufacturing counterfeit electronics and consumer goods, but as the Asian giant asserts its dominance in the Asian Pacific and beyond, its defense establishment is using the same approach to modernise its vast armed forces.  Despite its large standing and reserve army, Chinese Armed Forces technologically lags behind US, Russian and NATO forces. China has decided to manufacture ‘counterfeit’ high-end defense technology on a large scale to overcome its existing strategic weakness. According to a recent report published by the US Naval Institute, China is using military espionage and reverse engineering to build a modern army with “cloned weapons.” Using cyber espionage and by making secret deals with US arms buyers, China has managed to obtain advance US weapons technology. China is reportedly also targeting Russia in its quest for high-end military technology. The Chinese often buy single units of Russian advanced military systems on a “trial” basis and reverse-engineer the weaponry to produce a large-scale Chinese version:

India’s largest corporate house Reliance Industries has announced its plans to make big and long-term investments in Israel. Reliance Industries, a Fortune 500 Company owned by billionaire Mukesh Ambani, is the largest private sector company in India with a market capitalisation of well over $40 billion. Founded in 1966, Reliance Industries made its initial fortune in oil and natural gas sector. Recently, the company has invested billions of dollars in building a telecommunications network across India. The state-of-the-art nationwide cellular network build at the cost of estimated $15 billion opens new possibilities in retail, finance and healthcare. The company is looking for Israeli know-how and talent to fully exploit these possibilities, creating services for 100-200 million potential customers across the Indian sub-continent. Talking to Israeli media, managing partner of the company’s venture capital arm GenNext, Vivek Rai Gupta said that his company was working to build a nationwide customer base and there would be “no limit” on company’s investment in Israel. Israeli financial news website Globes Einglish quoted Gupta saying:
"We want to hook up to the Israeli ecosystem, and to discover more innovative companies that can enhance the value of the cellular network whose deployment we're completing right now," GenNext managing partner Vivek Rai Gupta, currently visiting Israel, said in "Globes" interview. "The network [mobile network reaching 800 cities] we're setting up is only a pipeline, and we're looking for interesting things through which we can provide value for our users in India."
Mobile-based technology carries the promise of improving everyday life for millions of Indians living in rural and remotely accessible regions -- from proving healthcare, vocational education, banking to even coordinating disaster relief.

The landslide victory of the conservative party in Poland has delivered a big blow to the open border policy pursued by German Chancellor Merkel and unelected Eurocrats in Brussels. Poland’s ruling liberal Civic Platform has now become the first political victim of EU’s mass migration policy. The conservative Law and Justice Party won most of the seats in the Polish parliament, securing about 38 percent of the votes. If the initial figures are confirmed, it will be the first time in democratic Poland’s history that a single party has secured a majority in the country’s parliament. 52-year-old miner’s daughter, Beata Szydło (Law and Justice Party) is expected to replace the incumbent Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz, who belongs to the Civic Platform party. With Prime Minister Kopacz’s devastating defeat, Chancellor Merkel has lost her most important ally in Eastern Europe. Hungary's President Victor Orban is already leading an open charge in Eastern Europe against Markel’s pro-immigration policy.

Rapid industrialisation and population growth of recent years has increasingly put pressure in India’s limited water resources. Earlier this week, China’s announcement to construct a mega-dam on Brahmaputra river, that also runs through the eastern part of India, has revived regional tensions between the two Asian giants -- once again reminding that water could well be the source of future conflicts, just as oil and energy resources today. Securing water demand for a billion-strong population is one of the biggest challenges facing India today. In recent years, Israel has become India’s leading partner in water management and clean technologies. During Indian President Pranab Mukherjee's historic visit to Israel earlier this month, both countries signed series of agreements aimed at expanding this bilateral technological cooperation. Indian news website Boom Live described the extent of water scarcity faced by the country and need for further strengthening the cooperation with Israel in water technology:

British Prime Minister David Cameron has announced new measures to tackle the rise of Islamic extremism in the UK. With this new set of measures, the government wants to counter the influence of Islamic thinking on government-funded institutions, private charities and businesses. Britain is home to about 3 million Muslims, and many Brits have become concerned about the radicalisation of young Muslims taking place in schools and mosques. Today, some 500 to 1000 British Muslims are fighting in the ranks of the Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria. Additionally, Britain faces the threat of home-grown Islamic terrorism, as highlighted by the London bombings of 2005 that killed more than 50 people in the London public transport system during the rush hour. According to the domestic security service MI5, the home-grown terror plots are now at an all-time high. British broadcaster Channel 4 News quoted Prime Minister Cameron as describing Islamic extremism as "one of the great struggles of our generation."

As Indian President Pranab Mukherjee's 3-day historic visit to Israel comes to an end, Israel’s foreign policy is being redefined. During the first ever visit by an Indian head of state, both countries signed a series of agreements aimed at improving cooperation in commerce, technology and education. India, traditionally seen as a strong backer of the “Palestinian cause” at the world stage, has sharply changed its diplomatic position since Prime Minister Modi took office 17 months ago. Since his election, India has consistently voted against or abstained from anti-Israel resolutions tabled by Arab countries at UN and other international fora.  India’s recent pro-Israel stance has angered many Palestinians. During Indian President’s brief visit to the Al Quds University in Ramallah angry Palestinian demonstrators occupied the campus to register their protest. India, under Prime Minister Modi’s leadership, wants to further intensify cooperation with Israel, despite continued objections by the Palestinian Authority as well as Muslim and left-wing groups in India. Prime Minister Modi is also expected to visit Israel next year. Indian Prime Minister sees Israel as a key global partner in his drive towards a modern and prosperous India. Addressing the Israeli Knesset on Wednesday, October 14, the Indian President emphasised the need for closer cooperation between both the countries in the field of technology, research and higher education [Jerusalem Post, October 15, 2015]:

India-Israel diplomatic relations will turn a new chapter with the Indian President's historic state visit to Israel. Pranab Mukherjee became the first Indian Head of the State to visit the Jewish State. The state visit is an initiative of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s 17-month old government that seeks to strengthen commercial and diplomatic ties with Israel. However, right at the onset the Indian President’s visit was marred by a controversy, when media reports surfaced early this week that Mukherjee reportedly quoted Mahatma Gandhi during his stay to Jordan, saying, “Palestine belongs to the Arabs in the same sense that England belongs to the English and France to the French.” Jerusalem Post reports:
Speaking in Amman at the University of Jordan, [President Mukherjee said],“India’s traditional support to the Palestinian cause remains steadfast and unwavering while we pursue strong relations with Israel. Our bilateral relations [with Israel] are independent of our relations with Palestine.”

Remember President Obama’s open mic moment in Seoul, South Korea back in 2012, when he was overheard by reporters, promising Russian President Dmitry Medvedev more “flexibility” to Russians in Eastern Europe after his re-election? The NATO generals in Europe are now finding out the hard way what happens when you offer ‘harmless’ concessions to tyrants and imperialists. President Obama offered a bit of leg space to Comrade Putin in a fit of mindlessness and now you have Russian jackboots dangling all over Eastern Europe. Putin and his ex-KGB clique in control of Kremlin, have not forgotten humiliating Soviet retreat from the countries of Eastern Europe and are back from the cold to correct the 'historic injustice'. Today, Putin’s Russia is running a well-coordinated and highly effective campaign of propaganda and subversion in Eastern Europe that even communist-tyrant Stalin would be proud of. This “hybrid warfare” involves covert cyber operations, misinformation campaigns and psychological warfare to disrupt political and military decision making in Europe. Recently a leading NATO commander acknowledged the damage Russians are inflicting on U.S. allies in Eastern Europe:
Speaking at the Atlantic Council on Tuesday, US Admiral Mark Ferguson, who is in charge of the Allied Joint Force Command in Naples, Italy, said that Russia is developing military capabilities and hybrid method of war are designed to "cripple" the functional abilities of the NATO alliance, according to a transcript from US Naval Institute news. Russia's focus on hybrid and asymmetrical warfare, including its development of cyber and information warfare capabilities, is “designed to cripple the decision-making cycle of the alliance," Ferguson. "Their capabilities have focused on the creation of ambiguity.” Admiral Mark Ferguson explained the objectives of Russian tactics against the NATO member states, saying, "Russia exploits ethnic and religious divisions, makes use of an aggressive information campaign, and extensively uses misinformation and deception to delegitimize the forces under attack while confusing the attribution of their actions."

With news reports in Germany putting the number of migrants expected at 1.5 million, the opposition to Chancellor Angela Merkel's open boarder policy is rising. On Monday, about nine thousand people took to streets in Dresden at a rally called by the anti-Islamization group PEGIDA, or the Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West. The Federal and local governments are clueless on how to handle the uncontrolled influx of migrants into Germany. Some municipalities, like the City of Hamburg, want to confiscate private property to house new migrants.

As President Obama told the UN General Assembly that the principle of "might is right" was not the answer to the world's problems and then went on raising a toast to President Putin at a luncheon on Wednesday, September 28, Russian Armed forces where busy installing long-range air-defenses, claiming air superiority over area well beyond Syrian air space, denying access to US and NATO already conducting airstrikes against ISIS positions. Jerusalem Post quoted NATO's top commander, General Philip Breedlove saying Russia’s move to deny access to US and NATO forces in the Eastern Mediterranean was a "a growing problem." Russia’s first airstrike targeted non-ISIS Syria rebels rather than the dreaded Islamic State. BBC reports:
[Russia] launched air strikes in Syria for a second day. [Russian air-]strikes reportedly targeted positions in the north-west held by the Army of Conquest rebel alliance. Russia said it had struck four Islamic State (IS) facilities overnight, and destroyed a "terrorist HQ" outside Idlib and a command post near Hama. (…) Russia carried out about 20 missions on Wednesday. The US fears they targeted non-IS opponents of Russia's ally, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Obama administration's response was prompt and swift, issuing a 'strong statement' reminding Russia that by resorting to violence, it was 'throwing gasoline on fire.' Only thing those generals on Kremlin fear more, is a sternly worded letter from John Kerry.

Governments across Europe are complying with European Union directives to accommodate tens of thousands of migrants arriving each day. Germany, which became the driving force behind the recent influx of migrants after it suspended Dublin convention, refuses to put any cap to the number of migrants it can absorb. The rules of law and property rights are the first casualties of the EU push for a more 'generous' migration policy. Countries like Germany and Sweden are considering revising existing property laws to confiscate homes to house arriving migrants. Austria has changed its constitution to force provinces to accept higher quotas of migrants. The existing law restricted the intake of refugees more than 1.5 percent of the population. The country is expecting to receive about 80,000 asylum claims by the end of 2015. The Austrian news website The Local reports:
The move, mirroring EU efforts to oblige member states to accept more migrants, is aimed at relieving Austria's overcrowded main refugee centre at Traiskirchen, and comes into effect on October 1. It was put forward by Chancellor Werner Faymann's Social Democrats and the centre-right People's Party, which form Austria's governing coalition, and votes from the Greens gave it the necessary two-thirds majority.  (...) In recent months Austria has become a major transit country for tens of thousands of migrants entering from Hungary -- having travelled up the western Balkans -- bound for northern Europe, in particular Germany.

As Hungary confirmed the number of migrants heading towards Europe to be in the range of 30-35 million, Germany is still refusing to put an upper-limit to the number of migrants it can accommodate. Berlin, unwilling to change its open border policy, is urging EU member states to take in their “fair share” of migrants. Germany’s deputy Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel (Social Democrat) is calling for economic sanctions against East European countries, if they continue their opposition to Germany’s (and EU’s) generous stand on migrant intake. Back home, mainstream media is in lockstep with the political establishment. From the "Die Linke", successor of East-German communist party, to Angela Merkel’s conservative Christian-Democrats, all significant political parties back the current course. German politicians and commentators are now boasting of a “political consensus” on migration policy. Not satisfied with shutting down the debate on the political stage, German authorities are now taking on the dissent to its migration policy on internet and social media platforms. German government is pulling out all stops to ensure Facebook complies with its idea of acceptable speech. Wall Street journal reports:

German Chancellor Angela Merkel's grandstanding might have secured her accolades from the German left or bolstered her chances for the Nobel Peace Prize, but her moves have also mobilized millions of migrants from Middle East and North Africa towards Europe that now not only threaten European Union's integrity, but could also destabilize the Balkan countries by reigniting old border conflicts. According to Hungary's foreign minister Peter Szijjártó, 35 million migrants are now on their way to Europe. In his opinion, it is not a migrant crisis but “a massive migration of nations.” The minister defended his country’s decision to start the work on a second fence to deter migrants from entering its borders through the Balkans. Historically, the Balkans in south-eastern Europe has been the most volatile area in Europe; stretching back to the Balkan wars of 1912 and 1913 that eventually led to the WWI, and recently erupting into Yugoslavia Wars lasting over 10 year from 1991-2001.

Germany’s migration crisis just got even bigger. German authorities have been constantly revising their official estimates and have now concluded that by the end of 2015 over a million migrants would be settling in the country. What mass-migration would mean for Germany and Europe in the long run remains to be seen, but media and activist are already asking locals to adjust to the change. The first casualty appears to be the Munich’s traditional Oktoberfest, 16-day annual folk-fest held every year in September. With just less than a week to go, there are calls to cancel the Oktoberfest. Germany’s leading business daily Handelsblatt ran an article titled “Boycott Oktoberfest." Technology reporter Britta Weddeling lamented the fact that government was not doing enough and “the refugees [were] not invited [to the event].” She made a blunt call, urging readers that, “If you'd travel to Munich to celebrate Bavarian cosiness and hospitality, you'd support a lie. Don’t go. Boycott Oktoberfest.” If Frau Weddeling is not happy with the fact that refugees, predominantly Muslim, are not being given free entry the beer tents in Munich, some devout Muslims are petitioning to call for a ban on “Intolerant and Anti-Islamic Event of Oktoberfest” altogether.

Recently, refusing to take any Syrian refugees, Fahad Alshalami, a senior official of Kuwait explained to the media that “it is not right for us [Kuwait and other Gulf States] to accept a people that are different from us. We don’t want people that suffer from internal stress and trauma in our country.” Alshalami glossed over the fact that 800,000 migrant Indian workers living in his country too might be suffering from the same “internal stress and trauma.” About 40 percent of Kuwait’s 4 million population comprises of Asian workers. In total about 7 million Indians work in the 6 oil-rich nations of the Gulf Cooperation Council (Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Bahrain). They are often at the mercy of their employers and work under dangerous conditions. According to an investigative report published by IndiaSpend, at an average an Indian living in Saudi Arabia, Qatar or Kuwait is “at ten times the risk of death, compared to an Indian living in the US”:
On an average, there are 53.6 deaths per 100,000 [expat Indians] annually. However, this number conceals a sharp discrepancy. The average for the six GCC nations is 69.2 deaths, while the figure for rest of the world is 26.5 deaths, almost 60% lower. Saudi Arabia, UAE, Oman and Kuwait report between 65 and 78 deaths per 100,000 Indian workers.
Indian government that heavily benefits from remittances, worth billions of dollar from Gulf States annually, is reluctant to raise concerns about the safety and wellbeing of its citizens.

With many European campuses and lecture halls serving as training grounds for anti-Israel activism and boycott campaigns, Universities and research institutions in India are queuing up to cooperate with Israel. This week, Tel Aviv University signed cooperation agreements with three leading academic institutions in India. University of Mumbai, Wellingkar Institute of Management and Amity University agreed on series of joint programmes including short-term faculty exchange, holding joint research workshops and exchanging doctoral candidates. This move would strengthen Tel Aviv University's existing extensive cooperation with Indian educational institutions. Engineering students from India already attend summer courses in cyber security and entrepreneurship at Tel Aviv University -- both areas of vital importance to India. India too brings its own set of strengths on the table. Indian educational and research institutions offer a talent pool that is comparable to any major developed country in the world. Recently, Israel's IDC Herzliya also signed wide-ranging agreements with several leading Indian universities and academic institutions. India, once dubbed as the “23rd Arab State” for its unwavering support for the “Palestinian Cause”, has moved closer to Israel in recent years.

As if biting off a big chunk off Ukraine in Crimea wasn’t enough, Putin is now putting Russian troops on the ground in Syria. Counting on President Obama’s continuing Foreign Policy paralysis on Syria, Russian army is reinforcing Dictator Bashar al-Assad’s air and ground forces. Neither Russia nor Assad’s Syria have any real intentions of destroying the Islamic State (ISIS) in the region. Their primary aim is to restore and maintain territorial control. Emboldened by America’s retreat under President Obama’s reign and the recent rise of its regional ally Iran in the Middle East, Russia feels confident opening up a new front in the Arab heartland. A story by Michael Weiss in The Daily Beast confirms that Russian troops are playing combat role in Syria. Previous reports from the Syrian frontlines dating back to 2013 had indicated Russian presence amidst the ranks of Assad’s Syrian Arab Army (SAA). Michael Weiss writes:
Russian pilots are gearing up to fly missions alongside the Syrian air force, dropping bombs not just on ISIS but on anti-Assad rebels who may or may not be aligned with the United States or its regional allies. Several sources consulted for this story said the Pentagon is being unusually cagey about Russia’s reinvigorated role in Syria. A former U.S. military officer told The Daily Beast, “I’m being told things like, ‘We really can’t talk about this.’ That indicates to me that there’s some truth to these allegations.”
After Iran gets access to over $100 billion of frozen reserves as a signing amount for the nuclear deal, Regime in Tehran is setting about carving out a new map of the Middle East -- tightening its hold on Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen. Russian want to play a bigger role in this scramble for the Middle East.

The United Nations has declared a war on racism and slavery. Not on real slavery, as practiced by Saudi Arabia and Qatar with an immigrant labour force, but as practiced by the people of Netherlands during their Christmas festivities.  The U.N.’s self-proclaimed “Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination” told the Netherlands to end its "Black Pete" Christmas tradition, in which Dutch people wear blackfaces, calling it a “reminder of slavery.” The actor portraying “Zwarte Piet”, as the jovial companion of Santa Claus is called in Dutch, usually puts on blackface make-up along with a fancy hat and Renaissance attire. (As the Dutch folklore goes, Santa’s companion is a Moor from Spain.) But the crusaders against racial discrimination at U.N. are not having any of it. According to the New York Times:
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