C. Uday Bhaskar

C. Uday Bhaskar

Commodore C. Uday Bhaskar is director of the Society for Policy Studies (SPS), an independent think tank based in New Delhi. He was formerly head of two other major Indian institutions: the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA) and the National Maritime Foundation (NMF).

Latest from C. Uday Bhaskar

Opinion | Climate change and the pandemic loom large as world leaders obsess over politics and power

The global response to Covid-19 and climate change illustrates how the profit motive has blunted the human imperative. Instead of joining forces against existential threats, leaders are focused on geopolitical competition and securing political power.

The global response to Covid-19 and climate change illustrates how the profit motive has blunted the human imperative. Instead of joining forces against existential threats, leaders are focused on geopolitical competition and securing political power.

6 Jan 2022 - 5:56AM
Opinion | From Biden’s democracy summits to the Winter Olympics, a ‘contra-polar’ world is in evidence

Amid the US-China schism, contemporary geopolitics is rife with contradictions. This picture is in stark contrast to the optimism that all boats would rise together in the wake of the Cold War.

Amid the US-China schism, contemporary geopolitics is rife with contradictions. This picture is in stark contrast to the optimism that all boats would rise together in the wake of the Cold War.

2 Dec 2021 - 4:00AM
Opinion | With China and the US, Asean is still between a rock and a hard place

After excluding Myanmar from its latest summit, Asean announced a strategic partnership with China and a similar deal with Australia, the US’ security partner. Clearly, the bloc continues to walk a tightrope between the US and China.

After excluding Myanmar from its latest summit, Asean announced a strategic partnership with China and a similar deal with Australia, the US’ security partner. Clearly, the bloc continues to walk a tightrope between the US and China.

3 Nov 2021 - 9:15AM
Opinion | After Aukus, the Quad’s quiet resolve gives China much to think about

The latest Quad summit can be seen as a preliminary effort by the US and its partners to rewire the discourse on Indo-Pacific security. However, following the strong signalling of Aukus, the Quad has steadfastly avoided finger-wagging.

The latest Quad summit can be seen as a preliminary effort by the US and its partners to rewire the discourse on Indo-Pacific security. However, following the strong signalling of Aukus, the Quad has steadfastly avoided finger-wagging.

1 Oct 2021 - 8:55AM
Opinion | Post Afghanistan exit, US must confront the bitter truths of its global ‘war on terror’

The messy withdrawal, capped by a bomb attack at Kabul airport that killed dozens, is a sorry end to 20 years of America’s war in Afghanistan. A commission should be set up to bring to light the reasons for this debacle.

The messy withdrawal, capped by a bomb attack at Kabul airport that killed dozens, is a sorry end to 20 years of America’s war in Afghanistan. A commission should be set up to bring to light the reasons for this debacle.

4 Sep 2021 - 1:00AM
Opinion | ‘Code red’ climate crisis: leaders must wake up to the real threat to maritime security

Geopolitics and geoeconomics have dominated the discourse on maritime security for 500 years. But the latest UN report on global warming and irreversible ocean damage shows where true priorities lie.

Geopolitics and geoeconomics have dominated the discourse on maritime security for 500 years. But the latest UN report on global warming and irreversible ocean damage shows where true priorities lie.

16 Aug 2021 - 1:30AM
Opinion | What Xi Jinping’s speech marking the Communist Party centenary means for the world

Xi painted a benign image of China as a ‘peace-loving’ nation, but he also delivered an unambiguous warning to its adversaries. While India and contemporary Russia were not mentioned, they will affect Beijing’s options in managing the hegemony of the US and its allies.

Xi painted a benign image of China as a ‘peace-loving’ nation, but he also delivered an unambiguous warning to its adversaries. While India and contemporary Russia were not mentioned, they will affect Beijing’s options in managing the hegemony of the US and its allies.

6 Jul 2021 - 8:30AM
Opinion | Why Asean-China relations will remain cordial, but not close

While China and Asean have pledged in their recent meeting to take their partnership to ‘new heights’, given China’s actions in the region, Asean’s wariness is understandable.

While China and Asean have pledged in their recent meeting to take their partnership to ‘new heights’, given China’s actions in the region, Asean’s wariness is understandable.

16 Jun 2021 - 4:39AM
Opinion | What Joe Biden’s Congress speech revealed about US plans for Asian foreign policy

America’s abiding strategic objectives have been relatively consistent since the Cold War’s end. While China remains a top priority, expect Iran, Afghanistan, North Korea, Taiwan and the South China Sea to also feature prominently.

America’s abiding strategic objectives have been relatively consistent since the Cold War’s end. While China remains a top priority, expect Iran, Afghanistan, North Korea, Taiwan and the South China Sea to also feature prominently.

8 May 2021 - 4:36AM
Opinion | How India’s coronavirus trauma is being made worse by vaccine challenges and feckless decisions

India is vaccinating at top speed and approving more vaccines but is still struggling with the challenge of its massive population – and is also letting large crowds gather. With hospitals already overwhelmed, experts expect the wave of infections to peak in May or later.

India is vaccinating at top speed and approving more vaccines but is still struggling with the challenge of its massive population – and is also letting large crowds gather. With hospitals already overwhelmed, experts expect the wave of infections to peak in May or later.

17 Apr 2021 - 9:45AM
Opinion | Why Joe Biden’s Quad summit is unlikely to find consensus on containing China

Domestic sociopolitical imperatives will blunt the Quad’s larger strategic choices in dealing with the China challenge. Engagement with China in certain domains while offering resistance in others calls for policy suppleness that might prove elusive.

Domestic sociopolitical imperatives will blunt the Quad’s larger strategic choices in dealing with the China challenge. Engagement with China in certain domains while offering resistance in others calls for policy suppleness that might prove elusive.

16 Mar 2021 - 12:25PM
Opinion | Joe Biden’s still evolving China policy is a tough balancing act

That the US conducted a two-carrier naval exercise in the South China Sea shortly after Biden pledged to be open to ‘result-oriented engagement’ with China signals continuity rather than radical change. However, to build on its edge against China, the US would have to engage with Beijing in the economic and trade domain.

That the US conducted a two-carrier naval exercise in the South China Sea shortly after Biden pledged to be open to ‘result-oriented engagement’ with China signals continuity rather than radical change. However, to build on its edge against China, the US would have to engage with Beijing in the economic and trade domain.

18 Feb 2021 - 10:59AM
Opinion | Biden’s China policy tweaks could bring fresh tensions for India and Russia

A more collective US approach to dealing with China will force India and Russia to rebalance power relations, especially in a post-pandemic world requiring greater cooperation. India will increasingly be caught between the tug and pull, as closer ties with US fray relations with Russia.

A more collective US approach to dealing with China will force India and Russia to rebalance power relations, especially in a post-pandemic world requiring greater cooperation. India will increasingly be caught between the tug and pull, as closer ties with US fray relations with Russia.

18 Jan 2021 - 3:08AM
Opinion | How Indo-Pacific tensions reflect a post-coronavirus new world order of conflict and contradiction

We are heading for a ‘contra-polar’ world, where contradictory policy pursuits and contrarian impulses are the norm. China’s ability to avoid becoming the glue that provides cohesion to the US-India partnership will shape the next decade’s geopolitics.

We are heading for a ‘contra-polar’ world, where contradictory policy pursuits and contrarian impulses are the norm. China’s ability to avoid becoming the glue that provides cohesion to the US-India partnership will shape the next decade’s geopolitics.

10 Dec 2020 - 9:49AM
Opinion | China-India border clash: civil words cannot hide the lack of trust

The joint statement released after the Chinese and Indian foreign ministers met in Moscow reiterates old formulations, and the divergence in media reports on it only highlights the bitterness that has built up since May.

The joint statement released after the Chinese and Indian foreign ministers met in Moscow reiterates old formulations, and the divergence in media reports on it only highlights the bitterness that has built up since May.

16 Sep 2020 - 5:56AM
Opinion | South China Sea dilemma: how can the US-led movement persuade China to act fairly?

Amid regional anxiety about China’s bullying and US commitment, Asean and Quad nations could administer a litmus test: a joint statement calling out Beijing for its ‘unlawful’ activities and demanding a course correction. How China responds would be instructive.

Amid regional anxiety about China’s bullying and US commitment, Asean and Quad nations could administer a litmus test: a joint statement calling out Beijing for its ‘unlawful’ activities and demanding a course correction. How China responds would be instructive.

4 Aug 2020 - 6:15AM
Opinion | After border clash with India, has China made a strategic miscalculation?

China seems to have decided it can bear the cost of its territorial assertion at the disputed border with India. However, the current gain might cloud the big picture for Beijing in the long term.

China seems to have decided it can bear the cost of its territorial assertion at the disputed border with India. However, the current gain might cloud the big picture for Beijing in the long term.

10 Jul 2020 - 11:17AM
Opinion | How rising tensions on the India-China border are dashing hopes of an ‘Asian century’

With China standing its ground, India determined to prevent a repeat of its 1962 humiliation, and tensions rising in the region, hopes of an ‘Asian century’ seem more elusive than ever.

With China standing its ground, India determined to prevent a repeat of its 1962 humiliation, and tensions rising in the region, hopes of an ‘Asian century’ seem more elusive than ever.

19 Jun 2020 - 9:47AM
Opinion | After Xi’s China and Trump’s America, Modi’s India is stepping up to battle the coronavirus

Modi has declared a 21-day national curfew and started a South Asian emergency fund, displaying leadership when global coordination against Covid-19 is lacking. India’s success could disprove the idea that authoritarian regimes are better placed than democracies to tackle a pandemic.

Modi has declared a 21-day national curfew and started a South Asian emergency fund, displaying leadership when global coordination against Covid-19 is lacking. India’s success could disprove the idea that authoritarian regimes are better placed than democracies to tackle a pandemic.

7 Apr 2020 - 11:54PM
Opinion | India and China may have border disputes, but they find common ground on dealing with protests

The Indian government’s authoritarian approach to dealing with protests against a recently introduced citizenship bill, including shutting down the internet in parts of the country, has found support in China.

The Indian government’s authoritarian approach to dealing with protests against a recently introduced citizenship bill, including shutting down the internet in parts of the country, has found support in China.

27 Dec 2019 - 9:29PM
Opinion | India’s Ayodhya verdict: can Modi harness religion for healing and reconciliation, not bitterness and bloodshed?

The Supreme Court ruling on a disputed religious site brings judicial closure but leaves some Muslims feeling abandoned. The Kartarpur corridor, allowing Indian Sikhs to visit a shrine in Pakistan, is a model of tolerance that should be replicated.

The Supreme Court ruling on a disputed religious site brings judicial closure but leaves some Muslims feeling abandoned. The Kartarpur corridor, allowing Indian Sikhs to visit a shrine in Pakistan, is a model of tolerance that should be replicated.

14 Nov 2019 - 8:50AM
Opinion | India shouldn’t make Bangladesh pick sides between it and China

Bangladesh has the potential to be an arena for cautious India-China engagement and coexistence, says C Uday Bhaskar, in contrast to how New Delhi views Beijing’s ties with Islamabad.

Bangladesh has the potential to be an arena for cautious India-China engagement and coexistence, says C Uday Bhaskar, in contrast to how New Delhi views Beijing’s ties with Islamabad.

2 Oct 2019 - 7:12PM
Opinion | Why India’s relationship with Russia is so special

With the Vladivostok agreements, India and Russia have deepened a relationship that dates back to the cold-war era. What makes it special is its kaleidoscopic polarity, with room to disagree on specific issues while staying the common strategic course.

With the Vladivostok agreements, India and Russia have deepened a relationship that dates back to the cold-war era. What makes it special is its kaleidoscopic polarity, with room to disagree on specific issues while staying the common strategic course.

12 Sep 2019 - 12:19PM
Opinion | In Kashmir, Modi’s India may have won the battle but lost trust

In the Indian political narrative, the Kashmir issue is arguably a mistake to be rectified. But the high-handed manner in which the government revoked the autonomy of Kashmir will not help the image of Indian democracy

In the Indian political narrative, the Kashmir issue is arguably a mistake to be rectified. But the high-handed manner in which the government revoked the autonomy of Kashmir will not help the image of Indian democracy

7 Aug 2019 - 11:31AM
Opinion | Doha resolution offers hope, however slender, for peace in Afghanistan

After two decades of strife, the Afghan Taliban and the Kabul government have struck a resolution to pave the way for peace, even as Donald Trump meets Imran Khan to encourage Pakistan, a Taliban supporter, to nudge the peace process along.

After two decades of strife, the Afghan Taliban and the Kabul government have struck a resolution to pave the way for peace, even as Donald Trump meets Imran Khan to encourage Pakistan, a Taliban supporter, to nudge the peace process along.

26 Jul 2019 - 6:23AM
Opinion | Wary of China, India draws closer to the US – just not too close, as the loss of its special trade status shows

The punitive trade move comes even as the US publicly embraces India as a key partner in its Indo-Pacific strategy against China. The contradictory moves are part of a long and uneasy alliance between the two countries.

The punitive trade move comes even as the US publicly embraces India as a key partner in its Indo-Pacific strategy against China. The contradictory moves are part of a long and uneasy alliance between the two countries.

6 Jun 2019 - 8:43PM
Opinion | India election: Can the country's tradition of diversity withstand a second 'Modi wave'?

A strong majority in parliament for the right-leaning National Democratic Alliance on results day would embolden the country’s Hindu right. Liberals fear sectarian divisions are being institutionalised by prioritising Hindutva, India’s aggressive form of Hindu nationalism.

A strong majority in parliament for the right-leaning National Democratic Alliance on results day would embolden the country’s Hindu right. Liberals fear sectarian divisions are being institutionalised by prioritising Hindutva, India’s aggressive form of Hindu nationalism.

21 May 2019 - 11:40AM
Opinion | In Indonesia, the genie of hardline Islamism has been let out of the bottle. Can Joko Widodo put it back in?

The case of Ahok, the ethnic Chinese governor who enraged hardline Muslims, still haunts Indonesia’s latest election. The question is whether President Widodo, the likely winner of the election, will use his term to restore ‘smiling Islam’.

The case of Ahok, the ethnic Chinese governor who enraged hardline Muslims, still haunts Indonesia’s latest election. The question is whether President Widodo, the likely winner of the election, will use his term to restore ‘smiling Islam’.

24 Apr 2019 - 9:00AM
Opinion | A battle for plural, secular India as 900 million people gear up to vote

The principles of liberty and citizen equality that are enshrined in the constitution are being threatened by a strengthening movement of Hindu nationalism under Modi’s rule. Yet, where is the credible alternative?

The principles of liberty and citizen equality that are enshrined in the constitution are being threatened by a strengthening movement of Hindu nationalism under Modi’s rule. Yet, where is the credible alternative?

17 Mar 2019 - 1:36PM
Opinion | Will terrorist tensions in Kashmir drive India and Pakistan to the brink of nuclear war?

How Islamabad responds to New Delhi’s ‘pre-emptive’ cross-border air strike will determine what the future holds for the nuclear-armed neighbours.

How Islamabad responds to New Delhi’s ‘pre-emptive’ cross-border air strike will determine what the future holds for the nuclear-armed neighbours.

27 Feb 2019 - 10:36AM