Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear power plant, 12 March 2011.
Photo: STR/AFP/Getty Images
A week after the 11 March earthquake and tsunami in Japan, there were already 7000 confirmed deaths with over 10,000 people still missing. This disaster was compounded by the nuclear accidents at four out of the six reactors at the Fukushima-Daiichi plant, in the country’s northeast, and the continuing threat of widespread radioactive contamination. Radiation levels close to the reactors have been above the legal limit, while traces of radiation have arrived on the West Coast of the United States, 5000 miles across the Pacific Ocean. There are many lessons for Southasia from the earthquake and tsunami about the need to be better prepared for natural disasters, to anticipate and take precautions in designing buildings, public infrastructure and communications, to assume that everything that can go wrong will go wrong, and to be organised and transparent. But there are as many lessons regarding the nuclear accident and what it means for Southasia.
Romila Thapar addresses invitees at the
Southasian relaunch of Himal Southasian,
IIC, New Delhi, January 2013.
China, Southasia and India
On May 19 2013, newly appointed Chinese Premier Li Keqiang arrived in New Delhi for a series of meetings with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The visit is Keqiang's first outside of China since assuming power in March.
From our archive:
Purna Basnet discusses Chinese engagement in Nepal vis-a-vis security issues in Tibet and broader geo-strategic plans in Southasia (April 2011).
Fatima Chowdury relates the story of Calcutta's Indian Chinese community through the lens of political and economic upheavals in Southasia and China (May 2009).
Simon Long notes the importance of the Sino-Indian relationship for the rest of Southasia (September 2006).
J.N Dixit ruminates on the strategic concerns of the 'Middle Kingdom' in the wake of India's 1998 nuclear tests (June 1998).