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  • Sino-ASEAN Strategic Partnership: The Missing Trust

    The China-ASEAN strategic partnership marked its 10th year recently but given China’s maritime assertiveness in South China Sea, mistrust remains between China and ASEAN, prompting many to review China’s rise.

    August 07, 2013

    Future of Golden BRICS

    With the successful holding of the fifth summit of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) in Durban during March 26–27, 2013, this influential group of emerging economies completed its first important phase of genesis and evolution. The idea was floated in 2001 as an ‘acronym’ created by an investment banker of Goldman Sachs, Jim O'Neil who believed that the fast-growing economies of Brazil, Russia, China and India would be the single greatest game changers in coming times.

    July 2013

    The Rise of Nationalism in Japan and China

    Both the Chinese and Japanese political leadership are whipping up angst and anger against each other and channelling domestic content into feverish nationalism.

    July 29, 2013

    Abhishek Gupta asked : Is there currently any reliable information on whether China plans to use Coco Islands of Myanmar for intelligence/military purposes?

    Sarabjeet Singh Parmar replies: There is currently no reliable information available in open sources on the Chinese plans to use Coco Islands for intelligence or military purposes. Some older reports, dating back to 1992, do refer to setting up of an electronic intelligence installation with antenna towers, radar sites and other related facilities. It was also reported that the Chinese were developing and expanding the air base on the Island. The issue was apparently taken up with Myanmar in 2009 and it denied the presence of the Chinese on Coco Islands.

    For more details, refer to the following:

    Significance and Implications of Shenzhou 10

    The launch of Shenzhou 10 is a crucial step towards fulfilling China’s plans of building a space station by the year 2020 and equally an important part of China's rise.

    June 24, 2013

    Does China Mix Business with Politics?

    China maintains a twin track relationship with most countries. While its political differences are handled diplomatically it has continued to engage such nations economically.

    June 21, 2013

    The Obama-Xi Summit

    Just as Mao had made the historic declaration that the Chinese people have ‘stood up,’ Xi now wants the world to acknowledge that China as a great power has ‘arrived.’

    June 18, 2013

    Redhu Sekhar asked: Are Russia & China supporting the Syrian Army? If yes, then why?

    Rajeev Agarwal replies: Both Russia and China are supporting the Syrian regime, and have made all attempts to see that efforts of the US-led lobby to force President Bashar al-Assad out of power, politically or militarily, does not succeed. They have not let any UN resolution pass against the Syrian regime till now.

    As regards their support for the Syrian Army, Russia has direct military interests in the Syrian Armed Forces. It is one of the biggest suppliers of arms to Syria including the often disputed S300 missiles. It would, therefore, be fair to assume some sort of moral and equipment support from Russia for the Syrian Army. Direct support in terms of getting involved in fighting with or for the Syrian Army, is not yet reported or come out. Also, Russia is not likely to take that choice as it could blow out into a regional military conflict.

    As regards China, it has supported the Syrian regime ever since the uprisings broke out. It however does not have any military interest and is unlikely to support the Syrian Army directly. Some kind of technological or intelligence support can't be ruled out. However, China's support for Syria seems to be more based on certain ideological fears and on political grounds, contours of which are quite different from the possibilities of a direct support to the Syrian Army.

    Srivatsan asked: Can we use the Tibet card as a bargaining chip against China? Was our tacit acceptance of Tibet as a part of China a mistake?

    Reply: Kindly refer to an earlier reply by Prashant Kumar Singh to a similar query, at

    Also, refer to the following publications:

    IDSA Task Force Report, “Tibet and India's Security: Himalayan Region, Refugees and Sino-Indian Relations”, 2012 (ISBN: 81-86019-99-5), at

    Mandip Singh, “Critical Assessment of China's Vulnerabilities in Tibet”, IDSA Occasional Paper No. 30, 2013, at

    Yeshi Choedon, “Transformation of Tibet Issue from Hope to Despair: What Next?”, February 12, 2013, at

    Shailender Arya, “Infrastructure Development and Chinese War Waging Capabilities in Tibet”, Journal of Defence Studies, Vol. 5, Issue 3, July 2011, at

    Dawa Norbu, “Chinese Strategic Thinking on Tibet and the Himalayan Region”, From the Archives, Strategic Analysis, Vol. 32, Issue 4, July 2008, at