English Vocab : 28-10-2017

The new Asian game
An authoritarian, assertive China is a challenge for India. But it is premature to conclude that US will be its savior.
The 19th Chinese Party Congress, and the emerging shape of a US response, sharpens the edges of diplomatic confrontation in Asia. The Party Congress left no doubt about Chinese ambition and assertiveness (Confident and forceful behavior). The Congress reaffirmed China’s place in the
world. The markers around China’s territorial interests were clearly laid down. It was a call to rejuvenation (The action or process of making someone or something look or feel better). It left no one in any doubt about the distinctiveness of the Chinese political model.
The Communist Party will remain firmly in charge, demanding increasing ideological purity, but buttressed (any prop or support) by its claims to inheriting a 5,000 year-old civilisational legacy. Xi Jinping’s political theory gets recognition in the constitution and the centralisation of power continues. Economically, China will chart a distinctive trajectory (path followed by a projectile flying or an object moving under the action of given forces). Socialism with Chinese characteristics remains the mantra, where the market will remain firmly embedded in the needs of the state, and reform will mean a better state rather than handing over China’s destiny to anonymous market discipline. The Chinese model asserts China’s exceptionalism, but also hints it is a model to be emulated. And China has a development plan: Through the One Belt One Road (OBOR), to stitch Asia in a new set of interdependencies.
The Congress acknowledged China’s challenges, including uneven development and corruption. But the script was, not surprisingly, choreographed to paper over areas ofbrittleness (firm but easily broken) in the Chinese development model. The need to impose ideological conformity, and the turn towards greater authoritarianism (The enforcement or advocacy of strict obedience to authority at the expense of personal freedom) within China is a sign of those vulnerabilities. But it is hard to see those vulnerabilities posing a systemic threat to the Chinese model.
There will, doubtless, be crises. But so long as there is elite political unity, the state structures respond in unison, and enough nationalists rally around the party, it will be hard to envision change. The Congress was, if anything, an emphatic reassertion of the capacity and resolve of the Chinese state. The combination of greater authoritarian resolve, nationalism, faith in one’s development model and immense ambition will make for a more assertive China. This is a diplomatic reality for Asia.
The strengths and weaknesses of Rex Tillerson’s speech to the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) should be seen in this larger context. In India, the speech was, with some justification, welcomed as a vindication (The action of clearing someone of blame or suspicion) of India. India and the US are cooperating more on terrorism; the commitment to an “Indo-Pacific” order is music to Indian ears, as is deeper defence cooperation. India’s stand on the OBOR was vindicated. India was declared a more “responsible” power and a key element in Washington’s apparent desire to build a coalition against China. The speech was a sign of India’s handling of the Donald Trump Administration, which has been, under the circumstances, deft (Neatly skilful and quick in one's movements)
But the euphoria over the American embrace needs to tempered. The nature of leadership matters. Trump’s credibility and reliability is, to put it mildly, still an open question. The timing of Tillerson’s speech may be a coincidence. But in a status-conscious global order, it is not difficult to interpret this speech as one where the US decides to fire a salvo on China using India’s shoulders, just to coincide with the Party Congress.
China’s assertiveness may drive India to seek a deeper partnership with the US; India may have its own reasons to up the strategic play with the US. But it is risky for India, if India’s choices are consistently framed by the US in terms of a US narrative. This, in a sense, risks hijacking India’s choices for American purposes and makes Indian power projection more difficult. It is one thing to combat China for your own reasons, and to even seek partnerships to do it; it is another to be mischievously co-opted in a narrative of Sino-American competition in Asia that is not your own. The triumphalist and public ideological framing of an India-US entente does not help.
Tillerson’s speech hinted at alternative financing mechanisms to counter the OBOR. But there is no sign that the US is actually going to devote more resources to counter China’s development strategy. The OBOR is rightly criticised for being more a series of bilateral deals, put together in an ambitious Chinese framework and on terms that may not exactly favour the beneficiary countries in the long run. But the OBOR arose in a context where global development priorities paid short shrift (absolution or remission of sins granted after confession and penance) to the centrality of infrastructure, and global institutions were increasingly rendered irrelevant. There is very little evidence that the Trump administration has the commitment or wherewithal to renewing or creating new kinds of multilateral institutions that can give countries credible development options.
India is doing the right thing by trying to team up with countries like Japan, but without an invigorated (Give strength or energy to) multilateralism on development, it is hard to see it countering China. It is not clear the US will be an ally in this endeavour. China’s infrastructure financing remains important for the world (just ask how much of Digital India depends on it). The best hope of avoiding polarising conflict in Asia is to give China its intellectual due on the OBOR, while bringing it in a multilateral and collaborative framework. But this looks like an increasingly tall order.
The Iraq war was the first strategic windfall for the Chinese. Trump’s election has been the second. Xi Jinping was clear that China is also playing an ideological game. At the moment, the democratic model is on hard times. The decaying quality of democracy, both in the US and India, makes them less robust competitors in the ideological space. Freedom has always been a hypocritical currency in world politics, and sanctimonious grandstanding on democracy can be counterproductive. But by largely turning their back on values of human rights and humanitarianism (for example, in Myanmar), India and the US are letting China define the terms of engagement. It is a measure of how far the US’s credibility has fallen that when Xi talks about China being more the custodian of an open global order, and a custodian of “nature’s laws,” these words sounds less implausible.
Greater cooperation between India and the US is desirable. But as heartwarming as Tillerson’s words were to Indian ears, we should recognise their hollowness as well. They were the words of a power that has no conviction in its own values, and used a proxy to make a point. They are the words of a power that is not demonstrating the steadiness of a mature power. An authoritarian, assertive China is a big challenge for India. But it is premature to jump to the conclusion that the US will be the saviour in the Asian Game.

1. Assertiveness (noun): (Confident and forceful behavior)  (दृढ़ता)
Synonyms: Decisiveness, Conclusiveness
Example: The skill of assertiveness is very useful here—this implies the ability to say no.
Related words: Assertive: noun

2.  Rejuvenation (noun): (The action or process of making someone or something look or feel better, younger, or more vital) (कायाकल्प; पुनर्जागरण)
Synonyms: Renewal, Resurgence
Antonym: Destruction
Example: Summer is a time when we all seek opportunity for refreshment and rejuvenation.
Related words: Rejuvenative (adjective), Rejuvenator (noun) Unrejuvenated (adjective)

3. Buttressed (noun): (Any prop or support) (मजबूत)
Synonyms: Abutement, Column
Example: The political police were the main buttress of the regime
Related words: Buttressless, (adjective), Buttresslike (adjective)

4. Trajectory (noun): (The path followed by a projectile flying or an object moving under the action of given forces) (प्रक्षेप पथ)
Synonyms: Trail, Route, Course, Approach
Example: Since then it has been on an upward trajectory and now stands at over 20 per cent
Related words: Trajectile- Adjective
Origin: Late 17th century: from modern Latin trajectoria (feminine), from Latin traject- ‘thrown across’, from the verb traicere, from trans- ‘across’ + jacere ‘to throw’.

5. Brittleness (noun): (firm but easily broken) (भंगुरताआ)
Synonyms: Frailty, Delicacy, Crispness
Example: An overdose can be harmful to bones and skin, causing weakness and brittleness, even leading to fatigue and vomiting.
Related words: brittle: noun

6. Authoritarianism (noun): (The enforcement or advocacy of strict obedience to authority at the expense of personal freedom) (निरंकुशता)
Synonyms: Absolutism, Autocracy, Despotism
Antonym: Democracy
Example: These people who want greater transparency, greater accountability, are upset about the corruption and the dominant authoritarianism.
Related words: Authoritarian- adjective

7. Vindication (noun): (The action of clearing someone of blame or suspicion; Proof that someone or something is right, reasonable, or justified) (प्रामाणिकता)
Synonyms: Revenge, Exoneration, Compurgation
Example: Friends provided a vindication of his position.
Related words: Revindication (noun), Self-vindication (noun)

8. Deft (adjective): (Neatly skilful and quick in one's movements) (निपुण)
Synonyms: Agile, Clever, Adroit
Example:  He is a deft musician.
Related words: deftly (adverb), deftness (noun)

9. Shrift (noun): (Confession, especially to a priest; absolution or remission of sins granted after confession and penance.) (आचार्य के पास पाप का स्वीकार, पापमोचन)
Synonyms: Retribution, Atonement, Contrition
Example: He lost his place, his money, and at last came to beg for shrift andpunishment.
Origin: Old English scrift ‘penance imposed after confession’, from shrive.

10. Invigorated: (Give strength or energy to.) (ऊर्जित)
Synonyms: Enliven, Energise
Example: The shower had invigorated her.
Verb Forms: Invigorate, Invigorated, Invigorated
Related words: invigoratingly, (adverb)Invigoration, (noun) Invigorative, (adjective) Invigoratively, (adverb) Invigorator, (noun)
Origin: Mid 17th century: from medieval Latin invigorat- ‘made strong’, from the verb invigorare, from in- ‘towards’ + Latin vigorare ‘make strong’ (from vigor ‘vigour’).
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