India, world in middle of a ‘Third World War’
Why in News
- It’s now a “Third World War”.
- In the nineteenth century, Prussia’s Maj. Gen. Carl von Clausewitz had said: “War is a mere continuation of policy by other means”.
- That is what the People’s Republic of China is now engaged in — waging war in order to dominate the world.
- The Chinese strategy was simple – to subdue without shooting — and to bring India to its knees.
- This has now turned into a conflagration.
- New Delhi was totally unprepared and in 2020, the threat of the pandemic rose, it got caught up in health issues and couldn’t put adequate infrastructure in place.
- This monumental misjudgment led to vast numbers of Indians shivering down their spine, failing as usual to read Chinese malice.
- It’s not just India. The world is in the midst of a long-drawn, protracted “Third World War”, the first salvo of which was fired by Beijing’s dictator-for-life Xi Jinping from Wuhan in 2019, to fulfil the Communist Party of China’s twenty-first-century ambition of becoming the planet’s numero uno power.
- The seeds were sown at Wuhan, to showcase China’s new global ambitions.
- Remember the “Wuhan spirit” of 2018 – when Prime Minister Narendra Modi met the Chinese strongman in the aftermath of the Dokalam standoff earlier 2020. The prime target was, of the West, and specifically the United States; but Beijing then changed course towards the secondary target, India; decimating Delhi’s health and resources through a second-wave warhead that penetrated through the fragile firewall of Lutyen’s Delhi’s diplomatic gullibility, political vulnerability and strategic inability to retaliate against the CPC’s malice.
- This not only brought Delhi down, forcing it to kowtow to the world for aid and help, but now threatens the very existence of India’s demography.
China’s conspiracy towards India
- As fatalities rise across the land and corpses pile up, the killer epicenter of the war has ferociously revived across the whole of India, wreaking havoc of the kind not seen by Indians before.
- Without a bullet fire or a bomb dropped, the flames of war are about to send India’s economy and its health systems into the ICU.
- India’s defense and diplomacy are on a psychological ventilator, with the polity embarrassed and bruised for going into an avoidable and premature celebration to declare victory over the China-origin virus pandemic.
- The deathly blow of the Chinese-origin virus (Covid-19) is far worse than the physical devastation and destruction that India faced in either the First or the Second World War.
- The outreach of this virus has been more devastating than the poison gas in the First World War and the subsequent reduced use by combatants in the Second World War following the public revulsion caused after the 1914-1918 war.
- In the twenty-first century, however, the Chinese-origin virus has already affected around 320 million people globally and is now on an uncontrollable overdrive.
- Compared to the two world wars of the twentieth century, which were largely fought in Europe and other parts of the planet, this is the first “world war” in which India is one of the principal battlegrounds.
- Even at the height of the bloodshed between the belligerents, the First World War was a European war, leading to 30 million deaths.
- It happened mostly on the European heartland, Russia, Turkey, Mesopotamia and East Asia, in which a maximum of 40 nations were directly involved or affected.
- The 1939-1945 Second World War, however, killed 60 million people, double that of the First World War, with the devastation centered mostly in Europe, the Soviet Union, North Africa, Southeast Asia, East Asia and the Pacific islands.
- Mainland India survived a direct assault, along with most of the African continent, Australia, plus North and South America.
- Compare the Chinese-virus killer of the Third World War! It has spared no one, except perhaps the country of its origin, as is being claimed by the CPC in its centenary year. Hence, of the 223 countries (sovereign, semi-independent, autonomous, dependents) in the world, all are under attack except one! Isn’t it a World War of one (among 223) against 222?
- As far as Beijing is concerned, it can be emulating what then PM Manmohan Singh had done in 2004, in the aftermath of the tsunami, to politely refuse any assistance, at least from the CPC.
- India can seek or accept aid or help from any of the remaining 222, but not from the one that is actively trying to turn this country into a vassal state at a time of its distress.
- China has already proved that it is an existential threat to a large number of countries.
- Now the “Third World War” looms large, with the threat of the airborne “Made in China” germ/virus hovering over the planet.
GS PAPER – III
A TRIPS waiver is useful but not a magic pill
Why in News
- The United States has finally relented and declared its support for a temporary waiver of the Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) agreement for COVID-19 vaccines at the World Trade Organization (WTO).
- In October 2020, India and South Africa, at the WTO, proposed waiving Sections 1, 4, 5, and 7 of Part II of the TRIPS agreement (covering copyrights, industrial designs, patents, and undisclosed trade information) related to the prevention, containment, or treatment of COVID-19.
- This move was opposed by various developed nations such as UK, US, EU, Canada, but the United States has declared its support for a temporary waiver of the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) agreement for COVID-19 vaccines at the World Trade Organization (WTO).
- Hopefully, the U.S.’s decision would cause other holdouts like Canada and the European Union to give up their opposition. The stumbling block is the political will of the richer countries.
- Legally, the waiver is a possibility under Article IX of the WTO Agreement which allows for waiving obligations in ‘exceptional circumstances’ which the COVID-19 pandemic undoubtedly is.
Devil in details
- The devil would be in the details. The countries would now negotiate on the text of the waiver at the WTO.
- With the prior experience at hand of the 2003 waiver of TRIPS obligations aftermath of HIV/ AIDS crisis of 1990 did not yield expected results. This is due to the obligation contained in Article 31(f) of TRIPS that medicines produced under a compulsory license are predominantly for the domestic market of that country was waived, paving the way for the export of such medicines to a country that lacked manufacturing capability.
- However, it was subject to several stringent requirements such as the drugs so manufactured are to be exported to that nation only; the medicines should be easily identifiable through different color, or shape; etc. these cumbersome requirements, didn’t allow effective use of this waiver.
Developing world must watch
- The statement issued by Katherine Tai, (U.S. Trade Representative) states that the negotiations on the text of the waiver will ‘take time’ given the WTO’s consensus-based decision-making process and the complexity of the issues involved.
- This signals that the negotiations on the waiver are going to be difficult. While the U.S. would not like to be seen as blocking the TRIPS waiver and attracting the ire of the global community, but it will strongly defend the interests of pharma giants.
- The developing world should be conscious to ensure that a repeat of 2003 does not happen.
- Currently the IP waiver talks only about vaccines but India and South Africa also proposed a waiver on medicines and technologies related to COVID-19. But the latest statement of US representative has narrowed the approach to vaccines only.
Overcoming key obstacles
- While the TRIPS waiver would lift the legal restrictions on manufacturing COVID-19 vaccines, it would not solve the problem of the lack of access to technological ‘know-how’ related to manufacturing COVID-19 vaccines.
- Waiving IP protection does not impose a legal requirement on pharmaceutical companies to transfer or share technology. Coercive legal measures for a forced transfer of technology, would be too draconian and counterproductive.
- Therefore, governments would have to be proactive in negotiating and cajoling pharmaceutical companies to transfer technology using various legal and policy tools including financial incentives.
- Finally, a TRIPS waiver would enable countries to escape WTO obligations, it will not change the nature of domestic IP regulations.
- Therefore, countries should start working towards making suitable changes in their domestic legal framework to operationalize and enforce the TRIPS waiver.
- In this regard, the Indian government should immediately put in place a team of best IP lawyers who could study the various TRIPS waiver scenarios and accordingly recommend the changes to be made in the Indian legal framework.
- Notwithstanding the usefulness of the TRIPS waiver, it is not a magic pill.
- It would work well only if countries simultaneously address the non-IP bottlenecks such as technology transfer, production constraints, and other logistical challenges such as inadequacy of supply chains and unavailability of raw materials to manufacture vaccines and medicines.