Sree Iyer: Namaskar, Today is July 14th, Wednesday, and Welcome to Daily Global Insights with Sri and Sree. This is episode number 203, because of technical reasons Sridharji is unable to have his video on, but he’s joining via audio. Sridharji, namaskar and welcome to episode 203 sir.
Sridhar Chityala: Namaskar, Good morning to everybody. My apologies I’m on audio rather than video but looking forward to the next 20 minutes.
Sree Iyer: Yes, sir. And let’s go into Global News, Indonesia overtakes, India to become Covid epicentre in Asia. Vietnam to tighten grip on Facebook and YouTube influencers. So, this thing is now making the rounds from country to Country sir, and now both Covid as well as social media curbs.
Sridhar Chityala: Yes, they seem to be having a common contagious epidemic and there seems to be always somebody, you know, there is a carrier and that seems to be no pun intended but that seems to be the indication. It’s quite sad in Indonesia that they have seen the rise in cases, resulting from probably more inflow of people, so more tightening of controls is going to happen. It’s also a warning to many countries which are trying to take this Delta variant, a little bit easy.
As far as Vietnam is concerned, you can see anywhere there is a grip on power and the grip need to be loosened, especially Vietnam putting up a red flag to China. Whenever you have a red flag to China, there seems to be coincidental but there seem to be some activities that that prop up. But I’m glad that Vietnam is combating early on.
Sree Iyer: And Biden is going to warn the US companies about the risks of operating in Hong Kong. Viewers, we have done several programs on this many months ago, as Hong Kong was being pulled into the mainstream of Chinese politics. And now, we are going to see more and more such warnings. In fact, we’ll be having a hang out with famous Hong Kong activists that will be airing very shortly. Sridharji, your thoughts and Japan now take up the Taiwan straits stability in its defence report for the first time ever.
Sridhar Chityala: Well, I think first in Hong Kong, as you rightly mentioned, we have had several discussions on this topic with increasing controls of the Chinese companies in the United States, especially the delisting and banning of some of the companies trading here. The repercussions of that are going to be immediately felt and the best way to counter that is Hong Kong because, in Hong Kong, there is significantly the US footprint. So Biden’s warning, as we tighten here, those who are translating and Hong Kong be beware that they could be consequences. Not that China has announced anything imminent. But he says that they could be consequences. Japan has made Taiwan the red line that it is quite apprehensive about the United States and the United States daily dosage of inconsistencies you saw what, Kurt Campbell did on Taiwan. So I think Japan is taking a position. Taiwan is a no-show because what they didn’t see is that the Senkaku Island and then gradually making its way into Japan itself. That seems to be the Chinese pattern around the world. So I think now, they’re saying, we will have a very clear program in terms of, you know, what the approach is with regard to both Taiwan, as well as strengthening the defence mechanisms and also supporting Taiwan in their endeavours.
Sree Iyer: More than 140 Cubans have been detained or disappeared as the government crackdown takes its toll on anti-communist protest, this is in Cuba. Chinese raised red banner and flag as Indian celebrate Dalai Lama birthday in the border. Sir, taken together, China continues to cast a huge Shadow on all world events even today.
Sridhar Chityala: Well, China’s footprint is visible, its foot soldiers are diplomats who are used as wolf Warriors, their evidence is very, very, very, very prominent. Even in the case of the green Accord. We saw more than 48 organisations in the United States raising a red flag. None of these so-called left organizations even raising a blinker on Cuba whereas on the contrary there are many of the Cuban Americans who are in Miami and as well as the Republicans seem to be raising the issue, there are Democrats, you know, who are, who are raising a red flag on what’s going on in Cuba. This is I am talking about the traditional Democrats, not the Progressive Democrats, the Progressive Democrats are those that include people like Bernie Sanders, he has made no statement. AOC and such people have made, no statement. In fact, State Department, we reported this yesterday or the day before made a misguided statement that the violent protests were, as a result of Covid-19 and then they corrected themselves. So I think but they would be enough support for Cuba within the United States because many of them don’t support this socialistic and very repressive regime that has prevailed for decades.
Sree Iyer: Now, let’s take a quick look at India news; Adani Group takes management control of Mumbai Airport. This has been a bit of controversy, sir, because the Adani group has been taking over the operation of many Airports in India. The question here that needs to be asked, is what was it that was wrong or was it just a year-to-year bit and Adani just outbid everybody? That’s fair enough.
Sridhar Chityala: Well, I think that chasing truth in India is like searching for a needle in a haystack. So the story is that, you know, it’s possible that there’s a lot of deals that are going on between Adani group on a number of sectors with the government, there is a number of deals that are going on between the Reliance group at the government and wherever you see, you see these two groups. It doesn’t matter what spectre of the industry. So I think you’re raising some very good points as around, you know, people need to cut clarify the substantive issue behind it and once they come clean, everything is fine because everybody wants the airport to run clear. But the objective here is basically to say they seem to have taken management control of the airport and hope things will begin to move forward.
Sree Iyer: And it’s not a weather report but Covid and the government wants people to take it seriously as India watches a third wave come over. We have been warning about this in our Hangouts also. This is something that is supposed to be very, you know, it could affect children also. Sir, this third wave. How real is it? We are also talking about another one after that, isn’t it?
Sridhar Chityala: Yes, let’s just take on first the third wave. 10 countries were identified, India is one of them, So, India, UK, US, Indonesia, Thailand, Taiwan, Japan, Germany, France, Poland, there are 10 countries, we have listed. They have identified as those where there is a prevailing Delta variant. In the United States, more than 50% of active cases is Delta, in some states More than 70% is Delta Variant. In India, Yes, there is their percentages and numbers are not known. It is highly contagious as reported by China itself. China has experienced in the Southeast region of China, this Delta variant and having its impact. So, the warning signs are, hey, you know, don’t think that socialization Etc that has been allowed should be taken for granted and people should take extreme caution to make sure
- They get vaccinated.
- They follow the social distancing
- They still wear the mask.
- They are still taking all the preventive measures rather than crowding and grouping and so on.
So I think that’s how I would read it at least India seems to be better prepared in terms of its infrastructure relative to variant two.
Sree Iyer: Indian stranded in Chabahar seek government help in repatriation. The Chabahar port is in Iran. What is the problem in Iran?
Sridhar Chityala: I think that growing tensions and this probably also a bit of unrest brewing, there is also, you know, I think this is one of the reasons why Indian minister, minister for External Affairs visited is not just purely Afghanistan. The Afghanistan issues, could simmer there, he probably had some strategic discussions around what’s happening and whether that could spill over. And often, the consequence of this is some of these poor Indian people, you know, get stranded as a result. So I think they are stranded. So they also sought out help is not a big number. It’s a small number and I’m sure the government will respond.
Sree Iyer: Kerala reports its fourth case of the Zika virus. So, now Zika is also rearing its ugly head in Kerala. Sir, your thoughts on this is Zika to be taken seriously, as bad as Covid or it’s just one of those things that we have experienced before and know how to handle.
Sridhar Chityala: I think Zika is much more venomous relating to a much more fatalistic, relative to the others but that’s the story. So I think the fact that there’s a 4th case, the fact it is concentrated around one state. The next thing that happens is when you have tourism when you have travelled it begins to make its way. So, people are alerting that there is Zika virus around, so what precautions that one needs to take.
Sree Iyer: As India takes charge of UN presidency – Foreign secretary heads to the US for consultations. Is India going to be heading the UN presidentship? Who’s going to be the person who’s going to be doing that?
Sridhar Chityala: Not yet. I think that that name will be probably announced soon or if it has not already been announced. But the important thing here is the why the foreign secretary is visiting, is basically to make sure that the general policies of the government are one thing kept in mind but the presidency also to advise because there’s a lot of having very important Global issues that are likely to come up in the P15 or P5 plus 10. So, therefore, they are probably prepping and also meeting with some of the other diplomatic representatives to see. How many of the Contentious issues that are likely to come up during this period is addressed by India in its role as a president for a short period of time.
Sree Iyer: Amid Taliban surge – India’s External Affairs Minister will be meeting Tajik and Uzbek leaders. Sir, I think, is he stopping by their capitals or where is the meeting happening, sir?
Sridhar Chityala: It is the capitals. I think he’s meeting their leaders basically on his way back, I think he was G20, he was in Iran, then, he was in Russia, then, he went to Georgia, then, he is making his way back. He is meeting Tajik and the Uzbek leaders because there has to be a coordinated effort in Afghanistan terms of what is happening Yesterday or the day before yesterday, the news filtered that the Taliban did not lose any time, they executed 20 commanders of the Afghan Armed Forces. So you begin to see
Sree Iyer: When there were surrendering.
Sridhar Chityala: So you begin to see the behaviour pattern repeat. This is by all circumstances, as people have been raising Hue and cry in the United States, this is going to be another back to slaughterhouse barring, I think 20% of the area, Taliban effectively controls pretty much everything.
Sree Iyer: Let’s now take a quick look at the United States news. Texas Governor Abbott says, Democrats who fled the state will be arrested upon return. The special session will go on. Crenshaw slams the Democrats who fled to DC in a private plane. We touched upon this yesterday. Since then we’ve seen them fly out to DC. We have seen the pictures and everything. Now, the Texas governor is saying they are going to be arrested upon return. What is it that they did that caused them to be arrested, sir, when they come back?
Sridhar Chityala: They were one more step, they have now, issued arrest warrants. It is considered by Texas Constitution illegal when special sessions are called to en masse miss with a specific intent to break the quorum. Because they need a quorum to conduct the session. So by making an announcement and by flying in a chartered plane, according to at least the Texas governor, they have impeached law and they passed as well to that extent. And so they have issued an arrest warrant for breaching their responsibility. Of course, Democrats will say that we have committed no crime. Well, that’s up to the courts to decide as to how this warrant and arrest is handled by the Texas Administration.
Sree Iyer: Who is Crenshaw, sir?
Sridhar Chityala: Crenshaw is another Republican House member from Texas.
Sree Iyer: So, we’ll see how this thing plays out. Very interesting. We might tell you that Texas is one more Purple State and in case you’re wondering what a Purple State is, a Purple State is something that can either go red or blue or is in the process of flipping from one colour to the other. Anyway, there’s a lot of this stuff in my book ‘Who Painted my State Purple?’ House Majority Whip James Clyburn warned the defund police movement is a Chokehold around the Democratic party and is costing them elections. Sane voices in the democratic party and house representatives seem to agree. Defunding the police movement is a non-starter even among black people. Homicides and crime rates continue to rise across major American cities. We’ve been telling you about this. In fact, there are no-go zones in places like Portland where the police can’t even go. We also talked to you about what is happening in San Francisco. Sridharji, now, this defunding police is nonsense that has never ever been given the seriousness that it is now getting. But when is this madness going to stop, sir, in your opinion?
Sridhar Chityala: Everything everywhere, one must look at the subject in a holistic context. This has been going on since the pre-election. Let’s be very clear, it’s been going on since pre-elections. As you rightly said, we had Seattle, we had Portland, then it spilt into Chicago, then we saw this in Minneapolis to some extent, we saw the evidence of it in DC, then we saw it in New York. Various types of movements going against the police and the police movement and the policing policies. So the question, therefore, people keep asking, ‘Oh Biden was asked to clarify what’s his stance?’ But Biden can clarify, I am for it or am against it, that’s okay. But the fact is that no enforcement has happened and mass resignations are taking place of the police put a fair and square responsibility and accountability under his feet. That’s the first point. He has to basically tell his troops across the states. MInd you, this is a State subject. This is not a federal subject. Though, they’re trying the policy at the federal level and come up with rules and framework as to how the policing has to be done in the states while they wash up their hands, in terms of the specific events happening around the states. I appreciate and applaud Clyburn coming up and saying it’s time the Democrats stop this because the reason is if they don’t then they’re going to lose the elections. That one thing. Second, when I reached out to my own communities, they are saying that they need peace, they don’t need crime, they don’t need homicides happening where we live. Enough, we have dealt with. So he’s getting feedback and this is on a TV show where he has gone on public records. People can Google it and take a look at it. This is something. And Biden says take money from covid-19 funding. We gave you where the numbers are – covid-19 funding to augment and increase the police. But that’s inadequate, there has to be something, some kind of a statement issued which is to say, support the police. The only guy who has come out and basically stated is DeSantis, wherever you are not wanted, you please come to our state. We need law enforcement people. So I think it is much more than being I’m accountable, I’m not accountable. I made a statement, I didn’t make a statement, all this nonsense. They have to take this issue up and bring Law and Order to various states where this is becoming a problem as a daily living. People have to live here, people will have to live in specific cities to understand what this is rather than speculating what it can be based on where they don’t live.
Sree Iyer: I might ask that all these states have Democratic Governors and DC also has a Democratic governor, I could be wrong about that. But Biden plan for broadband internet is getting pushed back from more major companies. Of course, there’s no money in it for them, if he makes a Broadband plan, which is like, fixed-rate or something like that. Sir, your thoughts.
Sridhar Chityala: Well, I think that there is a lack of business viability. Just simply imposing something the businesses cannot deliver. You can subsidize the payments but they’re going to force the companies to cut the cost. In remote locations where there is a very thin population there’s a cost of rolling this out and the businesses are saying, ‘We need to get this thing together and don’t just impose and let us at least cover the cost.
Sree Iyer: A federal judge blocks Tennessee law requiring public places to post a sign outside restrooms warning of transgender usage. I’m trying to wrap my head around this, sir. I haven’t seen a sign yet, at least in California about these. What is this judge talk about?
Sridhar Chityala: As you can see, this is in Tennessee, in one of the malls or somewhere there was a sign which says that this is a gender-neutral toilet. There was some kind of an incident which, nothing adversarial but you can imagine if you have a gender-neutral toilet. So people have raised a hue and cry and the arguments were made that suppose you take this out, it affects the morale of the transgender people. So, therefore, that was the plea that was made and the federal judge has blocked it.
Sree Iyer: Ben Carson says that he is glad Democrats are pushing Critical Race Theory and it is waking people up. Ben Carson is Adam is a Republican, right? Ben Carson is a Republican. He’s one of those few Republicans who happen to be African-American and in fact, he ran for president in 2016 if I remember correctly. Sir, your thoughts.
Sridhar Chityala: I think that just as Clyburn, Ben Carson is saying that he is glad that the Democrats have raised this issue about Critical Race but I don’t know what he means by saying whether he wants this to be the way policy to be implemented. The way the Democrats are implementing almost make it like guilt or sin. What he’s saying is that people must regret such things that did happen, rather than washing them away. And he’s thanking his Democratic colleagues or Democratic party members for bringing this issue up.
Sree Iyer: Jill Biden will be attending Tokyo Olympics’ opening ceremonies and 85% of the Olympic Village is going to be vaccinated. So the Olympics are on, perhaps without any crowd. It is going to be an unusual game, sir.
Sridhar Chityala: Very unusual games but I think the spirit up Olympics is likely to be preserving and this brings together people from various Nations. People have got used to seeing these things on the television, but nothing like watching it at the stadium. But at least it brings the world together in a sense of camaraderie and tries to bring about unification and forget all the challenges that the world is facing.
Sree Iyer: Congressional Democrats are satisfied with Biden’s performance, and are giving a pass on oversight and accountability for him. Sir, with your permission, let us quickly look at Market, before we do a wrap. There are inflation fears and Lauren Summers, a Democrat himself has flagged it. He did it a few months ago. They were saying, ‘oh, you are being a hawk and so on, but now he is being proved right, isn’t it?
Sridhar Chityala: I think, it is proved right. The inflation shot op to 5.4%. It’s probably the highest in the past 30 years or so. The Consumer Price Index inflation shot up 30%. That’s up 5.4% which is having a big impact, especially on gas and food prices. But the belief still is that this is a temporary phase and we will be able to weather this storm. As get past 2021 into 2022, there is a tremendous amount of supply shortages and there is a tremendous amount of liquidity in the system, which is causing this asymmetric inflationary pressure. At least this is the belief based on the data that the Fed and others are saying, The markets have not adversely though it was down a little bit yesterday and to this new inflation number.
Sree Iyer: I am standing in front of another iconic Silicon Valley company Tesla. And the reason I’m standing in front of it is that Tesla is one more company that is moving its headquarters from Silicon Valley to Texas. We talked about Oracle yesterday. So many of these companies are moving away from Silicon Valley. The prime reason that is believed to be Wokism has spread into the office campuses here. They’re very concerned that despite, of course, cost is always the most important thing. But also there’s a Woke culture that is taking root and many companies feel like it is something that might be detrimental to the overall functioning of the company. This is only something that I’m hearing from people. It’s not an official statement. But I’m just observing that there is something happening in Silicon Valley and we as Silicon Valleites need to take cognizance of that.
Sridharji, thanks for joining us remotely and viewers, we apologize for not getting the video feed of Sridharji. Your audio came through perfectly clear and loud, sir. Thank you very much. Namaskar and see you tomorrow. Bright and early as usual. Thank you.
Sridhar Chityala: Thank you so much and thanks to everybody for putting up with this bit of inconvenience. Have a wonderful day. We look forward to be back, live in person tomorrow morning.