- India’s Prime Minister Modi expanded his cabinet [Reuters] yesterday and finally appointed a dedicated defense minister in the person of Manohar Parrikar, a former Chief Minister in the southern state of Goa whom the Economic Times describes as a “man with impeccable integrity.” Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had managed both ministries since Modi won the general election 6 months ago. DNA summarizes the top challenges facing Parrikar, and that’s an overflowing plate.
- Xi and Abe finally met under the auspices of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, a Star Trek convention for regional leaders, but their first handshake was ice cold [Bloomberg video] in a vivid illustration of the tensions between China and Japan. The pictures showing Presidents Obama and Xi together looks warmer, but the FT, Guardian or NYT all conclude that Xi will consider post-midterms Obama as a spent force. The official multilateral agenda in the region is likely to be contained to economic and administrative matters.
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