East Asia: Publications

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  • Expanding Role of PLAAF in China’s National Security Strategy

    China’s great power ambition and actions have been fuelled by its spectacular economic growth and military modernization. The need to sustain the economy and energy flow makes the East and South China seas vital to it. Its vulnerabilities also lie on its seaboard. To dominate the maritime spaces, it needs to own the contiguous airspace as well. The prescient Chinese leadership has transformed its Air Force into a strategic instrument of power, to protect its economic lifelines, geo-political interests and regional dominance.

    November 2020

    China’s India Policy in the 1950s: From Friendship to Antagonism

    What led to the Sino-Indian militarized confrontations in 1959? I argue that Hindi-Chini Bhai-Bhai became a victim of changed perceptions in China. As long as China’s external and internal environment was relatively secure, India was seen as a potential ally, and Sino-Indian relations thrived. As external and internal pressures on China mounted, India’s behaviour vis-à-vis the Dalai Lama’s flight from China and the territorial dispute was perceived by China as reactionary.

    November 2020

    A Road Through Pakistan, and What This Means for India

    Pakistan’s largest donor has been the United States of America, granting around $ 70 bn in aid. In 2015, China, as part of its One Belt One Road global ambitions, promised Pakistan $ 46 bn (since revised to $ 60 bn), for a road running from its border to the port of Gwadar. The China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), is being seen as a ‘fate-changer’ for Pakistan. CPEC could change Pakistan’s fate in more ways than one; this article explores the domestic and regional consequences of China’s involvement in Pakistan, and what this will mean for South Asia and for India.

    May 2019

    The BRI and Sino-Indian Geo-Economic Competition in Bangladesh: Coping Strategy of a Small State

    This article explains the Sino-Indian geo-economic competition in Bangladesh in the wake of the former’s launching of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in 2013. Beijing intends to fund various large-scale infrastructure projects in Bangladesh under the BRI which has prompted India to make its own offer of economic assistance to counter the Chinese initiative. The Sino-Indian competition has created challenges and opportunities for Bangladesh. Dhaka is pursuing a balanced policy to manage the competition and advance its own interests.

    May 2019

    India’s Policy Response to China’s Investment and Aid to Nepal, Sri Lanka and Maldives: Challenges and Prospects

    Regional strategic dynamics in South Asia is in a state of flux since the announcement of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). China emphasises on the economic aspect of investment in infrastructures and energy projects, but strategic underpinning are very much apparent. China loan has created indebtedness in these countries and has helped Beijing to gain strategic foothold in the region which India considers as core to its security. India’s aid programme though focuses on the neighbourhood, it remains small compared to China and suffers from delivery deficit.

    May 2019

    India-China Relations: 1947–2000 – A Documentary Study (5 Volumes)

    Generations of scholars and analysts working on India-China issues will be grateful to Mr. Avtar Singh Bhasin for the extraordinary service he has done to them by bringing into the public domain, in five volumes, important texts on the subject—over 2,500 of them—including many that are still not declassified by the Ministry of External Affairs and transferred for public access to the National Archives of India. He was able to do so because he got ready access to material classified as ‘secret’ or ‘top secret’ in the papers lying with the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library.

    July 2019

    Xi Jinping’s China

    There are several significant events which preceded China’s constitutional amendment of March 2018 that removed the presidential term limit boosting Xi Jinping’s standing as China’s prospective leader-for-life. Born to a revolutionary leader, Xi Zhongxun, Xi Jinping spent most of his life serving the government, gradually working his way up the hierarchy. His precedence in the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and authority over all political institutions of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) have arguably placed him at par with Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping.

    July 2019

    Korea’s Para-diplomacy with States in India: An Analysis of the ‘Caravan Events’

    In the arena of international relations nation-states have been regarded as the primary actors. However, the constituent units of nation-states have also become active in forging relations with the political units which are located outside the national borders through ‘para-diplomacy’. Since the 1990s the states of Indian union have been playing a significant role in India’s foreign affairs. The Narendra Modi government in New Delhi has also established a ‘States Division’ in the Ministry of External Affairs.

    September 2019

    Geopolitics of Western Indian Ocean: Unravelling China’s Multi-dimensional Presence

    The Western Indian Ocean (WIO) is now attaining centrestage in the geopolitics of the Indian Ocean. Apart from France and the US, China holds significant interests in the WIO. China’s interests with the WIO states could be divided in four categories: dual-use infrastructure building, politico-diplomatic focus, connectivity-access and military activities. All four are interconnected and facilitate China’s desire to project power. For China, activities in the WIO serve the purpose of ensuring energy supplies, maintaining economic growth and securing military interests.

    September 2019

    Actions Speak Louder than Words: China’s Consultative Peacekeeping in Africa

    Existing concepts (e.g. ‘non-interference’ and ‘pragmatism’) remain too vague to provide explanations for China’s increasingly assertive security policy. To avoid this pitfall, this article adopts a narrower focus on Chinese security policy towards Africa.

    September 2019

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