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  • 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

    China's White Paper on Human Rights: Some Reflections

    The context and timing of this policy document is significant as it surveys the wide spectrum of social issues and the challenges facing China.

    May 28, 2013

    Lure your enemy onto the roof, then take away the ladder

    In the context of recent Chinese assertiveness in Ladakh, it is important to not only understand Sun Tsu but possibly also to follow him.

    May 13, 2013

    Asian Strategic Review 2013

    Asian Strategic Review
    • Publisher: Pentagon Press

    It would not be a cliche to describe the strategic contours of Asia as being at the crossroads of history. A number of significant events are influencing the likely course that the collective destiny of the region could possibly take in the future. Some of the key issues and trends have been analysed in this year’s Asian Strategic Review

    • ISBN ISBN 978-81-8274-719-7,
    • Price: ₹. 1295/-
    • E-copy available

    China’s Defence White Paper 2013: Lessons for India

    Struggling to deal with a rigid China on the intractable border issue, India would do well to digest the core assertions of the white paper, including the growing reach of the PLA, its professionalisation, keenness to protect overseas interests, modernisation of the nuclear arsenal, and growing role in foreign policy making.

    April 25, 2013

    China’s Defense White Paper: An Assessment

    The latest White Paper differs from previous documents in notable ways. It has little to offer by way of greater transparency related to numbers and policies. The document suggests a more confident China positioning for greater activism in global affairs.

    April 22, 2013

    China consolidates claim in South China Sea

    China continues to pursue its agenda on the South China Sea, employing its political, diplomatic and military departments in a well-coordinated and planned manner.

    April 17, 2013

    National Interests and Threat Perceptions: Exploring the Chinese Discourse

    National Interests and Threat Perceptions: Exploring the Chinese Discourse

    The purpose of this study is to review the conceptualization and debates within China on its national interests and the threats perceived to these. It is hoped that an insight into how Chinese scholars and leaders view the current situation in their country and the world will help to better understand the motivations and constraints that China may face in formulating its policies – both domestic and foreign.