Rishi Gupta

Research Associate, Vivekananda International Foundation, New Delhi

Rishi Gupta is a research associate at the Vivekananda International Foundation (VIF) in New Delhi, India. He has recently submitted his PhD to the Center for South Asian Studies, School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, India. He is a also a visiting fellow at the Nepal-based Asian Institute of Diplomacy and International Affairs (AIDIA). He has a MPhil in Foreign Policy Studies from the Institute of Foreign Policy Studies, Kolkata, and a master's in South Asian Studies from the UNESCO Madanjeet Singh Institute for South Asia Regional Cooperation at Pondicherry University. He was a visiting fellow at the Institute of South Asian Studies, Sichuan University in Chengdu, China. His areas of interest include the Indo-Pacific, South Asian regional security, Himalayan politics and India’s national security. 

 

Student activists hold torches and shout slogans during a protest over hike in fuel prices in Kathmandu, Nepal, on 20 June 2022. (Prakash Mathema/AFP)

The US-China contest in Nepal

While the last thing it wants is to be caught up in the crosshairs of US-China competition, Nepal is in the spotlight with the recent passing in the Nepali parliament of the US$500 million MCC-Nepal compact with the US. The US and Nepal have both denied that this grant is tied to the US’s Indo-Pacific strategy, but China is riled up as India watches closely.
A picture of Chinese President Xi Jinping overlook a street ahead of the National People's Congress (NPC), in Shanghai, China, 1 March 2021. (Aly Song/Reuters)

The US gets it wrong again

Rishi Gupta gives a critique of the strategy paper “The Longer Telegram: Toward a New American China Strategy”, by “Anonymous”, which was recently published by the Atlantic Council. He says that judging from the paper and several other important geostrategic content released by the US recently, the US has not read the situation in China and its leadership correctly, and hence has a skewed understanding of how it can draw strength globally to compete with its "most serious competitor".
Small cargo boats docked by Male harbour, Maldives. (iStock)

Maldives: Even a tiny state in the Indo Pacific has a big role in China-US competition

The Maldives is well aware that it is of a geostrategic importance to powers seeking to dominate the Indian Ocean and what some term the Indo-Pacific. It has responded well to China’s overtures in the past, but with political pushback against China, and other suitors, not least India and the US, calling on its door, how best should it play its cards?
Residents wait to watch the processions of the 'Ropain' or rice plantation festival and the 'Gai Jatra' Hindu festival at Khokana village on the outskirts of Kathmandu on 5 August 2020. (Prakash Mathema/AFP)

India losing Nepal as China-Nepal relations strengthen

Nepal, an erstwhile land-locked country wedged between India and China, was famously called “a yam between two boulders” by the founder of modern Nepal, King Prithvi Narayan Shah. It has always had limited options in terms of foreign policy, but refusing to let geography dictate its fate, it is placing a larger bet on China with the hope that it will gain more leverage and avoid being squashed.
This photo taken on 11 July 2020 shows competitors during an archery competition at the annual Naadam sports festival near Ulaanbaatar, in Mongolia. (Byambasuren Byamba-ochir/AFP)

Wary of Sino-Russian influence, Mongolia seeks better ties with the US

The ruling Mongolian People’s Party (MPP) won a strong mandate in recent elections where it secured 62 seats out of 76. While it has done well to manage the Covid-19 crisis in Mongolia, its foreign policy room for manoeuvre remains limited due to the need to juggle demands from its closest neighbours, China and Russia. How will it keep the balls in the air with the US thrown into the mix?