Tensions on the India-Nepal border are high, and the pandemic has limited opportunities to work toward a resolution. In this context, a seemingly genuine request that Nepali citizens refrain from illegally entering Indian-claimed territory may be seen as attempt at intimidation.
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India and the nations of the South Pacific have long engaged in meaningful bilateral and multilateral relationships. With the re-introduction of the Indo-Pacific as a geostrategic reality, it becomes all the more important for India to expand its relations with the island nations of this region.
The challenges presented by COVID-19 will have vast and unprecedented effects on the Indo-Pacific region. The Morrison government must act on its commitment to supporting development in the region by reinforcing existing aid policies and leveraging Australia's status in regional multilateral organisations.