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  • Maritime Strategies of China and Southeast Asia

    Maritime security in the Indo-Pacific (or the Indian Ocean–Pacific Ocean continuum) has acquired salience following the shift of the centre of gravity from the Atlantic. It has brought the focus onto the trade, resources and energy lifelines that run across it. The emerging power equations marked by an assertive China, a rising India, a resurgent Japan, together with a rebalancing United States make for a potentially turbulent region.

    January 2015

    Srivatsan asked: Is it justified to include China as a part of the “Global South” in the present context?

    Gunjan Singh replies: Global South represents the countries of Africa, South America, South Asia and other developing countries of the world. Even though China today is comparatively more developed, it can still be regarded as a part of the Global South. In the past few years, China has become increasingly active in organisations like BRICS that represent countries mainly belonging to the Global South. In fact, China aspires to lead groupings like BRICS rather than being part of the G2 as proposed by the United States.

    China Unplugged! Poised to Reshape the Geopolitics of the Asia-Pacific

    Within the first year of Xi Jinping’s elevation to the presidency, China has moved further ahead on its path to achieving primacy in the world. In the last week of November 2013, Beijing imposed an Air Defence Identification Zone (ADIZ) over the conflicted Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea, much to the consternation of its feuding neighbours such as Japan and South Korea. Their howls of protest found expression in the US attempt to challenge China to promulgate what it has done in deed.

    May 2014

    China 2013: One Year Rule of President Xi Jinping—An Assessment

    It is a matter of widespread belief that on assumption of supreme power, Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s overall ambition was to emerge as an iconic figure in the same league as Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping. At the very outset, Xi realised this would necessitate the elimination of any political challenge and his first step was therefore to consolidate an unassailable position within the Standing Committee of the Party Politburo (PBSC). To achieve this objective, Xi chose to emulate some of the policies and methods of the late Mao Zedong, albeit with modern underpinnings.

    May 2014

    China’s 2014 Defence Budget: An Assessment

    Following on Xi Jinping vision of ‘fight war, win war’, the Chinese military spending is shifting towards higher technology weapons and equipment and training and also illustrates its aim to institute reforms related to troop’s operational commands, organisation and training.

    April 21, 2014

    UNSC Vote on the Crimean Issue: Why did China Abstain?

    The reasons for abstention go far beyond the immediate issue at hand and are enveloped in deep Chinese strategic interests. The Chinese leadership is adamant that there can be no dilution of the concept of the principle of non-violation of the territorial integrity of nation states in the international system.

    March 21, 2014

    China at your doorstep: Looking east from India’s northeast

    Myanmar and India have followed separate political paths only to find it converging in recent times. Myanmar’s other neighbour China has had a much larger footprint in the country. India has to calibrate its engagement with Myanmar to not just effectively implement its Look East policy but also manage the contiguous border regions of Northeast India given the ground realities.

    March 18, 2014

    China and Xinjiang: Kunming incident

    The Kunming massacre is bound to have widespread repercussions within Chinese society, particularly for the Muslim minorities. In turn this will lead for calls for enhanced security measures and even more repressive policies towards the minority provinces of Xinjiang and perhaps Tibet.

    March 07, 2014

    The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation: India Seeking New Role in the Eurasian Regional Mechanism

    The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation: India Seeking New Role in the Eurasian Regional Mechanism

    India, in 2005, acquired the observer status in the SCO. It has also expressed its desire to join the SCO as a full member. It is believed that China would try and delay India's entry as full member in this regional organisation, whereas Russia along with the Central Asian countries would continue to support India's full membership in the SCO. New regional and global order would demand greater cooperation between India and China in future.


    Jacob Wiencek asked: In what ways is India strengthening its own geo-political position in South Asia in response to increasing Chinese assertiveness?

    S.D. Muni replies: India is strengthening its connectivity with neighbours, streamlining its economic engagement including assistance programmes, and is strengthening forces of democracy and secularism. There are also moves to reinforce security cooperation and ensure stability in the region. India's growing commitment to Afghanistan and Myanmar, as also trilateral security agreement with Sri Lanka and Maldives, are indicative of this effort. China no doubt has huge economic advantage over India in South Asia, but India's cultural roots and political access is second to none. India needs to employ its soft power in relation to the neighbours more assertively.

    Posted on February 18, 2014