East Asia: Publications

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  • Two to Tango: The US and China in the Asia-Pacific

    In the last decade, the dynamics of inter-state relations in the Asia Pacific have changed rapidly, largely due to the rise of China. Competition rather than cooperation has become the order of the day. In the East and South China Seas, freedom of navigation, competitive claims over maritime boundaries and air space security are experiencing an evolution of new brinkmanship between the US, an established super power, and the People’s Republic of China (PRC), an emerging super power, unfolding new challenges for the other potential regional players including India.

    July 2014

    Contemporary India–China Dynamics: From an Orthodox to an Autonomous Course?

    This review essay examines the significance of India–China relations against the background of the current phenomenon of a multipolar world in the light of four recent publications on the subject. Tien-sze Fang’s and Jeff M. Smith’s works discuss the current facets of India–China relations, while William Antholis’s and Carl J. Dahlman’s works deal with the character and standing that India and China bring to their regional and global discourse.

    July 2014

    China’s Tryst with the IORA: Factoring India and the Indian Ocean

    Engaging with a multilateral body requires constructive foreign policy forethought, especially for a country that is not a fully fledged member of that body. China’s overtures to the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) exemplify this approach. The Indian Ocean and India are the two most immediate elements in China’s policy approach to the IORA. With 20 member states, extra-territorial major powers as important dialogue partners, and the increasing importance of energy politics in the region, the IORA today is a significant multilateral body in China’s calculus.

    September 2014

    Nehru, Patel and China

    On November 7, 1950, Vallabhbhai Patel wrote his celebrated letter to Jawaharlal Nehru on India’s China policy. ‘The Chinese Government has tried to delude us by professions of peaceful intention’, he stated, referring to Beijing’s decision to move troops into Tibet. A new challenge confronted India as a result of the ‘disappearance of Tibet, as we knew it, and the expansion of China almost up to our gates’. ‘Chinese ambitions … not only cover the Himalayan slopes on our side but also include the important part of Assam.

    September 2014

    The Maritime Tiger: Exploring South Korea’s Interests and Role in the Arctic

    South Korea is not a traditional Arctic state, but it has several key interests in the region. This article explores the sources of those interests and the country’s commercial activities in the Arctic in the areas of shipping, shipbuilding and hydrocarbons. Since the country’s polar interests transcend commerce, however, attention is also paid to the importance of science and research and development in Korean culture.

    November 2014

    China’s Role in Arctic Affairs in the Context of Global Governance

    For nearly a quarter of the past century a series of notable changes have taken place in the Arctic. All of them, whether political, economical, environmental or climate-related, inevitably had an impact on regional and global governance. This commentary mainly focuses on the role of China in Arctic affairs in the context of global change and global governance.

    November 2014

    A Compromise with India’s Sphere of Influence

    Integrating the restive Tibetan minority with China has been the primary domestic challenge for Beijing. Thus far, its Nepal policy has been crafted essentially to address the Tibetan question. The idea of trilateral cooperation between India, Nepal and China apparently floated by Pushpa Kamal Dahal (Prachanda) in April 2013 was, in effect, first made by the former Chinese ambassador to Nepal, Yang Houlan, in 2012.

    September 2013

    Beyond the Rhetoric of Trilateral Cooperation

    Over the past few years, ‘trilateral economic cooperation’ and ‘vibrant bridge’ have become buzzwords in Nepal’s foreign policy discourse, and have also caught the popular imagination at home in India. These proposals have generated both curiosity and anxiety in Delhi’s diplomatic and academic circles that are otherwise largely indifferent to Nepal. The Chinese diplomats in Delhi also raising the issue with the Indian officials has added to India’s anxiety all the more. With some notable exceptions (e.g., C.

    September 2013

    China's Discursive Nationalism: Contending in Softer Realms by Bhavna Singh

    Chinese foreign and domestic policies cannot be understood without understanding the evolving nature of Chinese nationalism. Bhavna Singh's book on Chinese nationalism deals with this issue in a detailed manner. The Communist Party of China (CCP) has relied heavily on the notion of patriotism, which overlaps that of nationalism, for domestic and international legitimacy. All eyes are on the leadership transition in China and its implications for the world. It will be interesting to see how the new leadership deals with the growing nationalistic sentiment in the country.

    January 2013

    Hu Jintao: China's Silent Ruler by Kerry Brown

    Chinese economic and military growth in the last decade has heightened interest in the country's functioning and political system. The world at large is highly intrigued by the way the Chinese political system functions and there is also a curiosity regarding the strengths and weaknesses of this system.

    January 2013

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