Nancy Pelosi teases dragon; Data bill taken off after Orwellian state fears; Trade deficit ballooning

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Opinion Watch

The Speaker of the House of the Representatives in the US Nancy Pelosi has flown to South Korea from Taiwan, after making the world glued to her movements in Taipei, raising the specter of World War III.

Most of the newspapers have carried editorials on the Pelosian saga in the Taiwan straits, digging deeper to make a sense of the event that jolted the world from the fixation of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The Times of India, Deccan Herald, The Indian Express and several Hindi newspapers have run lead editorials on Pelosi in Taiwan.

The Chinese warships and fighter jets have been in action, predictably, as Pelosi put Beijing’s muscular foreign policy on the frying pan and stepped up gas.

All the dailies have underlined that Pelosi is the highest ranking US official to visit Taiwan in 25 years.

The newspapers have also put spotlight on ‘One China Policy’ by which the countries, including the US, accept that Taiwan is a part of China.

But that’s conditional to the fact that China will not use force, which Beijing has already violated in the case of Hong Kong where the democracy activists have been sent to prisons and unprecedented crackdowns have been launched.

The even has come close to the 20th Congress of the Communist Party in China which will give another five years term to Xi Jinping as the President of the country.

Xi will indeed be under considerable pressure, noted the dailies, to assert his muscular policy, and that may jolt the dragon to fume fire against its neighbours.

Also, Taiwan, an island nation with a population of Gujarat, is the proverbial bird that’s laying golden eggs with her semi-conductor prowess. This aspect has also been examined by the dailies, as China may seek to forcibly annex Taiwan, which will incite the full might of Quad minus India, while New Delhi too will not have much option to be a bystander.

Data bill taken off after Orwellian state fears

The government on Wednesday withdrew the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019.

This was done after the Joint Committee of Parliament came up with as many as 81 amendments to the bill. The Committee was headed by Justice BN Balkrishna (Retd) had denounced the bill for violating personal liberty and privacy.

The bill sought to give the power to the government to look into any personal data of the people on the grounds of protecting the sovereignty of the country.

This would have indeed brought George Orwell’s Big Brother watching every action of the citizens of the country, as The Pioneer noted in its Edit “the bill was dangerous which could transform India into an Orwellian state”, quoting Justice Balkrishna.

The daily, however, listed the noble aims of the bill, which among others included the data localization, protecting privacy from the tech giants and so on.

But monsters too come as noblemen, as had been the case with Ravan, who abducted Sita while seeking alms as a seer.

Trade deficit ballooning

The July trade data is disappointing, as the exports dipped and the imports remained firm, giving India a trade deficit of USD 31.02 billion.

The Economic Times and The Hindu have taken note of the trade worries for India.

There are visible slowdown in India’s biggest trading partners such as the US and China.

The ET noted that seven of the top 10 goods items exported by India have seen declines in the month of July.

The daily points out that the trade deficit in July is three times that of the same month last year even while the government has a target of USD 500 billion with hopes pinned on the free trade agreements with countries such the UAE and Australia, while similar deals are in the pipeline for the European Union, the US and the UK.

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