Mohan Kumar
Articles by Mohan Kumar

India transitions into a leading world power

India’s alacrity to secure a consensus has resurrected the G20’s credibility and signalled its transition from being a balancing world power to a leading power

G20 members agreed to a Green Development Pact, which they hope to achieve through mainstreaming the Lifestyle for Environment (LiFE) (PTI)
Published on Sep 11, 2023 07:59 AM IST

France needs to look inward to quell violence

France will bounce back. But it is in the abiding interest to look at the structural reasons for recent events and take remedial measures without delay.

The events of the last few days — large scale rioting, destruction of public property and anger towards law enforcement — bring back painful memories of 2005. (AFP)
Published on Jul 03, 2023 10:14 PM IST

Lessons from G7, Quad: Summitry remains key

Indian diplomacy faces two challenges: Ukraine and China. India’s participation in summit diplomacy will help it acquire some leverage to tackle both.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi meets Prime Minister of Japan, Fumio Kishida, on the sidelines of G7 Summit, Hiroshima (Mofa Japan twitter)
Updated on May 22, 2023 08:23 PM IST

What’s behind Europe’s balancing act with China?

Given Europe’s prevarication and desire to protect its interests in China, it is hard to avoid the impression that for now, China holds most of the cards.

A flurry of visits from the EU serves to burnish Xi’s foreign policy credentials, coming as it does soon after his visit to Moscow to meet Vladimir Putin. (Reuters)
Published on Apr 27, 2023 06:32 PM IST

Macron scripts a narrow win on pension reform, but jury on legacy still out

Macron may have scripted his political survival for now, but his quest for legacy will be decided by the reaction from the streets, which remains unpredictable

People stage a protest against the retirement bill in Paris, Monday, March 20, 2023 (AP)
Published on Mar 22, 2023 07:38 PM IST

Ukraine war: A year on, no end in sight

The prospects for dialogue and diplomacy have never seemed more distant than they are now. This is because both sides, rightly or wrongly, are hopeful of military gains and have scores to settle

It is fair to describe the current military situation as a “frozen war” characterised by a stalemate. (AFP)
Updated on Mar 07, 2023 07:55 PM IST

The China challenge will shape India and the world

It always gets worse before it gets better. So, brace yourself for 2023 even while remaining cautiously optimistic.

Engagement with China is necessary and unavoidable, but vigilance at the border will strain our resources. Can the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit in Delhi in mid-2023, chaired by India, be a moment for détente in Sino-Indian ties? (Shutterstock)
Updated on Jan 09, 2023 06:49 AM IST

Xi’s actions will impact international relations

In a world characterised by what the French philosopher Edgar Morin so presciently described as a polycrisis, China’s actions will touch every aspect of international relations. China is living up to the fact that we live in interesting times.

Xi Jinping will persist with his zero-Covid-19 strategy, the campaign against the tech companies, the commanding heights of the State in the Chinese economy and the war against inequality (AP)
Updated on Nov 21, 2022 08:19 PM IST

All major powers face two-front challenges

Like the US, Russia and China, India is also facing two-pronged challenges. but there is enough wiggle room. To be effective, India’s foreign policy must be pragmatic. till now, Delhi has done well in coping with the geostrategic challenges of Covid-19 and the war in Ukraine

The unipolar moment may have passed, but as the pre-eminent power, the US still has the wherewithal to determine the contours of the global strategic landscape. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Updated on Oct 19, 2022 08:05 PM IST

India’s trade policy faces a fork in the road

For India, the challenge is this: How can it simultaneously play a role in shaping a WTO which allows it adequate policy space, while devoting its limited resources to bilateral free trade agreements and plurilateral economic arrangements

The most important function of WTO — negotiating multilateral agreements based on consensus — has been defunct for some time. (Shutterstock)
Updated on Jul 08, 2022 08:50 PM IST

For Macron, the real challenge starts now

While Macron’s first task will be to win the June parliamentary polls, he will also have to co-opt disgruntled voters; neutralise Le Pen’s flock, and unite France behind his political, economic, and social agenda

French President Emmanuel Macron and French first lady Brigitte Macron celebrate with supporters in Paris, France, April 24, 2022 (AP)
Updated on Apr 25, 2022 05:57 PM IST

The political landscape in France has shifted irreversibly to the Right

In the context of how close this presidential race has become, the importance of the televised debate cannot be over-emphasised. Macron may well end up winning but he has his job cut out for him.

In 2017, there was a run-off between Macron and Le Pen in the second round, which the former won handsomely. The run-off on April 24 may thus seem like a repeat of the last elections in 2017. (AP)
Published on Apr 11, 2022 08:29 PM IST

The war in Ukraine has upended the existing world order

Given the precarious and evolving geo-strategic environment, India has, so far, avoided pitfalls and managed things well

Locals clean up debris from the cultural centre destroyed in shelling earlier this month, as Russia's invasion of Ukraine continues, in the village of Byshiv outside Kyiv, Ukraine, March 24, 2022 (REUTERS)
Updated on Mar 25, 2022 12:54 PM IST

The Sino-Russian joint statement is a crucial geopolitical development

The joint statement issued by China and Russia, following the visit of President Vladimir Putin to Beijing for the Winter Olympic Games inauguration could well be a game-changer

The countries declare they are “world powers”. China is, in fact, a global power. The newsworthy point is that Russia is back with a vengeance on the world stage, and China strongly supports this. (REUTERS)
Published on Feb 15, 2022 06:57 PM IST

Geopolitics reigned supreme this year

There is a symbiotic link between a country’s successful foreign and security policy and its trade and investment strategy

The fact is that India in 2021 still did a lot more balancing than leading. But balancing it did with some finesse (Wikimedia Commons)
Updated on Dec 30, 2021 08:38 PM IST
ByMohan Kumar

A new template for trade

The old trading arrangements are collapsing. India will need to embrace FTAs; an early deal with the EU could serve as a template

For India, the stakes are high, and having walked out of RCEP, success with the EU will help us regain credibility as an open and outward-looking economy. India must also be fully prepared to deal with new issues such as sustainable development, digital trade and labour standards (Hindustan Times Media)
Updated on Oct 18, 2021 05:33 PM IST
ByMohan Kumar

The emergence of a binary world order

The world is headed for two power centres — led by the US and China. But despite the latter’s rise, on all metrics, the US is far ahead at the moment

The impending binary world order will succeed in splintering the strategic landscape and, for that reason, could be intrinsically unstable (Shutterstock)
Updated on Sep 26, 2021 07:52 PM IST
ByMohan Kumar

The evolution of India’s pragmatic policy on foreign aid

Foreign aid, for the purposes of this article, will be construed to mean loans, grants, PL-480 type assistance and, of course, donations/gifts in times of distress

Kuwait releases a shipment of 282 oxygen cylinders, 60 oxygen ventilators and other medical supplies to help India amid Covid-19 on May 4. (File photo)
Published on Jul 05, 2021 06:52 PM IST
ByMohan Kumar

Where the G7 summit failed

On vaccines and climate finance, G7 countries disappointed. The silver lining was the shared commitment to democracy

Prime Minister Narendra Modi participates in the first outreach session of the G7 summit via video conferencing in New Delhi on Sunday. (ANI)
Updated on Jun 15, 2021 01:49 PM IST
ByMohan Kumar

WTO needs to get its mojo back. A new SDG round of negotiations would help

Organisations such as WTO need to demonstrate that it is on the side of the underdog and the vulnerable in the political battle being played out due to the backlash against globalisation and free trade

The WTO must carefully recalibrate the Special and Differential Treatment for countries that deserve it rather than junk the whole concept or excessively politicise it,(Bloomberg)
Published on Oct 22, 2020 11:00 AM IST
New Delhi | ByMohan Kumar

How China gamed the multilateral trading system | Opinion

Perhaps the most disturbing thing from a free market perspective is the role of state-owned enterprises in China’s trade policy.

The Chinese flag flutters at the office of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in Beijing.(Reuters File Photo)
Updated on Aug 09, 2020 07:23 AM IST
ByMohan Kumar

For WTO, it is now or never | Opinion

With a whopping near-universal membership of 164 countries, big, small and all sizes in-between, WTO simply turned unwieldy. It became increasingly impossible to negotiate one common trade rule on the basis of the consensus, writes Dr Mohan Kumar, who retired as the Indian ambassador to France

There is little doubt that WTO is needed more than ever now when the Covid-19 has wrought havoc with global trade.(Getty Images)
Updated on Aug 01, 2020 07:27 AM IST
ByMohan Kumar

Post-Covid-19, the world will change. Here are 7 ways how this could happen

There is more than a reasonable chance that great power rivalry, parochial national interests and raw geopolitics rule the roost in a post-Covid-19 world, writes Mohan Kumar.

Artist Lionel Stanhope paints a mural in Ladywell depicting the Supper at Emmaus by Caravaggio with added protective gloves, following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), London, Britain.(REUTERS)
Updated on May 06, 2020 08:58 AM IST
ByMohan Kumar

Geostrategic paralysis in face of Covid-19 could open a role for India | Opinion

When the deadly coronavirus happened, China committed the cardinal sin of trying to cover up, writes Mohan Kumar, who retired as an Indian Ambassador to France

A mask wearing man standing near the No-Entry board at Shivaji Nagar, Mankhurd during the nationwide lockdown imposed in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic in Mumbai.(Satish Bate/HT Photo)
Updated on Apr 19, 2020 09:27 AM IST
ByMohan Kumar

Rejecting RCEP was the easy part | HT Analysis

The world is moving towards high-quality free trade deals, and India must follow that path too

New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha shake hands at the 3rd Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) summit in Bangkok, Thailand, November 4, 2019(REUTERS)
Published on Nov 10, 2019 07:05 PM IST
ByMohan Kumar

The PM’s recent meetings with Macron, Trump and Putin show Delhi’s diplomatic astuteness

At a time when the multipolar international order is characterised by fundamental instability, this augurs well for India.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with China’s President Xi Jinping in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, June 13, 2019. The complex game of strategic hedging will come full circle when Modi meets Xi Jinping in October(PTI)
Updated on Sep 09, 2019 09:28 AM IST
ByMohan Kumar

The US-China trade war will impact negotiation dynamics of the WTO

The US also has a major grievance with the WTO about its alleged inability to deal adequately with China’s brand of “hybrid state capitalism” and the latter’s potential to distort international trade. The WTO was conceived on the basis of free trade and comparative advantage and it is true that it was not designed to deal with economies such as China.

To paraphrase Mark Twain, reports of WTO’s impending demise may be both premature and exaggerated.(AFP)
Updated on Dec 10, 2018 07:17 AM IST
ByMohan Kumar

Hop on The Red Bull Tour Bus

Guitarist Warren Mendonsa will take the stage with his band Blackstratblues comprising Jai Row Kavi on the drums, Beven Fonseca on keyboards and Adi Mistry on bass.

One needs little coaxing to catch guitarist Warren Mendonsa, bass monster Nucleya and electro-fusion artist Karsh Kale playing under the same roof, or in this case, on top of a roof on Sunday October 16, as part of the 2016 edition of Red Bull Tour Bus – Off the Roof event at Hindu Gymkhana in Marine Lines.
Updated on Oct 15, 2016 09:47 AM IST
Hindustan Times | ByMohan Kumar K, Mumbai

Going to Israel feels like a holiday within a holiday

A sea that’s a lake, a fort with a tragic history, and an oasis in the Judean desert, going to Israel feels like a holiday within a holiday

Published on Jun 18, 2016 07:42 PM IST
ByMohan Kumar K

No TV Weekend: Cooking up a storm

An eventful Sunday marked the end of the No TV Weekend as the city teed off and got creative with recipes

The Culinary Premier League finalists battle it out at the Trident hotel at BKC on Sunday.(Satish Bate)
Updated on May 30, 2016 01:37 PM IST
Hindustan Times | ByMohan Kumar K, Mumbai
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