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  • Mahesh Belavi asked: What kind of advantages India has over China when it comes to engaging the African countries?

    Anand Kumar replies: India and China excel in different areas while engaging the African countries. China is better placed in terms of funding infrastructure development which it is doing at a massive scale in the continent. Africa has a major deficit of infrastructure and Chinese are presently trying to fill this gap, though questions have been raised about the costing of these projects. In view of limited options, Africa has been relying on Chinese companies to build their infrastructure.

    China’s Big Push for Solar Energy

    China has managed to establish an edge in solar energy manufacturing and technology, and any shift in its solar policy is likely to affect countries looking to increase their solar energy capacity.

    December 31, 2018

    Xi Jinping’s Politics and What it Means for India

    There is a need to close the perception gap in India’s assessment of the state of Chinese politics, to distinguish between transformation and conflict, and respond accordingly.

    December 20, 2018

    Sangita asked: How can India balance the growing Chinese influence in Bangladesh, Myanmar and Sri Lanka?

    Rup Narayan Das replies: Economic engagement in terms of trade, commerce and investment between two sovereign countries is always normal and legitimate, and no third country should have any qualms about it. Like apple and orange, it would be unfair to compare China’s economic engagement with Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Myanmar with that of India. China’s gross domestic product (GDP) is roughly five times that of India and it also has a robust reserve of foreign exchange, which it is investing through its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

    Vikram Chukka asked: Why is it felt that China poses threat to the “rules-based order”?

    Raviprasad Narayanan replies: International relations are going through an animated phase where the 'order' scripted by the United States since the second world war has reached a point of stasis with China emerging as an alternative in economic potential and ideas that do not speak of political values the 'free world' espouses.

    In other words, China is the new determinant, no longer the erstwhile variable inspiring misgivings to established actors speaking the language of irrational exuberance.

    Lan-shu Tseng asked: Why United States could de-hyphenate its relations with India and Pakistan but China couldn’t?

    Ashok Kumar Behuria replies: De-hyphenation is a policy adopted by countries to maximise their strategic returns from their diplomatic engagements/investments with two adversarial states, both of whom are of consequence to them. It insulates them in some way from the inadvertent turbulence that could result out of their possible hostile interaction and, thus, affect their relationship with both.

    Prasad MC asked: What are the implications of China’s attempts at cultural appropriation in South and Southeast Asia?

    Parama Sinha Palit replies: Given the definition of the term ‘cultural appropriation’ as the “adoption of elements of a minority culture by members of the dominant culture”, I don’t think it can be applied in China’s case with respect to these two regions. It is more an attempt to influence culturally with an eye to fashion a diplomacy which is both benign and tactical.