Stock Analysis

Keeping Up with India’s Neighbours

Bangladesh

Bangladesh has been one of the nations severely impacted by climate change in the last couple of decades. Rising sea levels has been one of the many dangers of climate change and the effects of this would greatly affect a country like Bangladesh, because it is largely low-lying and has many waterways running through it. According to a report from the Global Climate Risk Index, Bangladesh ranks 7th among countries most affected by extreme weather events in the past twenty years.

Cyclones, floods, droughts, and the like have already disrupted lives of the inhabitants and forced them to change location. Rising sea levels have affected crop growth as well by increasing the salt content in the soil and hindering the growth of crops such as rice. The agriculture sector in Bangladesh is the largest employer of the workforce, and events like these have forced people to look for jobs elsewhere, especially those farming in coastal regions. The paradox is that the biggest emitters of greenhouse gases are countries such as USA and Russia, but the consequences are being faced by smaller countries like Bangladesh.

Source – Centre for Climate and Energy Solutions

The Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI) has come up with an innovative solution in the form of saline-resistant rice crops. Rice cannot grow in saline soil as the stalks are drained of energy. A climate expert stated, however, that this effort is only a ‘drop in the ocean’, and that a lot more needs to be done to shield Bangladesh against the dangers of climate change. Such efforts include rainwater harvesting, building up mangroves to shield against rising sea levels and cyclones, and developing industry to provide other employment opportunities to people.

Afghanistan

A major development in the last few months has been the rise to power by the Taliban in Afghanistan. On August 15, the extremist group took over Kabul, the capital, and became the de facto rulers of the country. This ended the nearly 20- year war in Afghanistan that was initiated when the United States invaded the country.

Afghanistan is currently in shambles and is facing severe economic and humanitarian crises. The economy was propped up on financial aid from other countries but this was withdrawn after the Taliban offensive. The US froze over $9 billion in aid which was enabling Afghan banks to meet needs of depositors and run the economy smoothly. Food prices have been rising and millions are going hungry. The Taliban is known for its fundamentalist views and has failed to consider the needs of women and other minorities in the country, especially with regard to politics. They made promises to civilians after coming to power which they have failed to keep.

Source – The New York Times

In recent news, Pakistan has hosted senior diplomats from the US, China, and Russia to discuss the crisis in Afghanistan which has caused many to flee to neighbouring countries. Pakistan’s foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi stated that Afghanistan’s economy is crumbling and the civilians are in desperate need ofeconomic assistance from Western nations.

India recently held a security dialogue concerning the future of Afghanistan. Countries such as Russia, Iran, Kazakhstan were involved. Ajit Doval, India’s national security advisor, said he was confident that the ‘deliberations would be productive and would help the people of Afghanistan and enhance everyone’s collective security.’

Time will tell if the situation in the country improves.

China

The big news in China in the last few months has been its tensions with Taiwan. Taiwan’s defence minister has said that the tensions with China were at their highest level in the last 40 years. The issue in question is the political status of Taiwan. China considers it to be a breakaway province while Taiwan considers itself to be an independent state. Military tensions between the two have been escalating, with numerous Chinese jets spotted in Taiwan’s air defence zone.

Chinese Military Exercises near Taiwan. Source – Financial Times

China has also not ruled out force or warfare to achieve its desired goal of unification. The Chinese capital, Beijing, is becoming increasingly concerned that the Taiwanese government is moving the island toward a formal declaration of independence and wants to prevent any such thing from happening. This is according to a report from analysts.

Despite the state of tension, the relations between the island and the mainland have not been as bad as they were in 1996, when China tried to disrupt presidential elections in Taiwan by conducting missile tests. The United States had to deploy aircraft carriers to the region to stop them.

Senior Chinese diplomat Wang Yi warned US Secretary of State Antony Blinken to not send any sort of positive signals to pro-independence Taiwanese forces. Australia has vowed to help the US protect Taiwan from Chinese strikes.

Written by- Aahan Tulshan

Edited by- Krish Sharma

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