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Connecting the dots

Trump’s blitzkrieg diplomacy: downside and upside

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BY M.R. JOSSE KATHMANDU: Last week, this column argued that America, under President Donald Trump, continued to annoy and flummox friends and foes while maintaining her global status as being far too important to ignore. On the eve of his July 16 Helsinki summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin – …

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Trump’s America irritates, baffles but still dominates

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BY M.R. JOSSE KATHMANDU: According to J. Bradford Delong, a Western commentator, America under President Donald Trump is a “loser.” He maintains, categorically, that “it is already clear that the American century ended on November 8, 2016” when Trump was sworn in as US president. At that precise moment, he …

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Awaiting Helsinki – and 1950 Treaty on the mind

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BY M.R. JOSSE KATHMANDU:  The Eminent Persons Group (EPG) on Nepal-India relations has after nine presumably fecund meetings in Kathmandu and New Delhi spread languidly over two years concluded its mission. Yet, none of us are any wiser about what its stellar achievements might be! The world has been informed …

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A bland, low-key and singular China visit

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BY M.R. JOSSE KATHMANDU:  Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli, upon return from his China visit on Sunday, claimed, via a press statement, that its achievements exceeded its objectives, which included, among other goals, boosting mutual goodwill and the preparation of modalities for implementation of past agreements. On the other hand, …

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A tell-tale relegation and an incurious media

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By M.R. Josse KATHMANDU: Amid popular preoccupation with, and excitement over, the FIFA World Cup, 2018 football carnival now well underway in Russia, not very many may have noticed that Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli’s ongoing China visit had been relegated from a majestic ‘state visit’ status to the more …

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Telling summitry optics, rhetoric and policy moves

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BY M.R. JOSSE KATHMANDU: Last week, international relations buffs dined on a veritable banquet of delectable food for thought, marveled at a kaleidoscope of telling optics and policy moves as the G-7 summit in Quebec, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) conclave in Qingdao, and the apex U.S.-D.P.R.K meet in Singapore …

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From the SCO to the US Indo-Pacific Command

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BY M.R. JOSSE KATHMANDU: While awaiting breathlessly for the Trump-Kim summit slated for Singapore on June 12, 2018 – dubbed by some the ‘Summit of the Century’ – attention may be focused on less dramatic but still noteworthy geo-strategic goings-on here and there. Some are related to broader issues of …

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The dog that didn’t bark and more

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BY M.R. JOSSE KATHMANDU: Many readers of this column must be familiar with the Shylock Holmes story where a dog that didn’t bark provided a vital clue to unraveling a baffling murder mystery. Yours faithfully was reminded of it, interestingly enough, when mulling over some intriguing aspects of Nepal-China relations, …

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Communist unity: hopes, apprehensions and competition

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BY M.R. JOSSE KATHMANDU: In my email inbox, there was a terse item from a correspondent mulling whether – upon the amalgamation of the UML and Maoist Centre into the Communist Party of Nepal (CPN) – Nepal has become a South Asian ‘North Korea.’ Though I found that notion simplistic, …

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Modi’s ‘Hindu diplomacy’, shades of Tanakpur and all that

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BY M.R. JOSSE KATHMANDU: This new column grants prime cognizance to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s just concluded, bizarre two-day visit as it happened, coincidentally enough, soon after yours truly returned home following a year’s absence in the United States. Since much purple prose will inevitably flow on the supposed …

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