Demography: Trends in China and India

Ambassador (retd.) Kishan S RanaHonorary Fellow, Institute of Chinese Studies.

China’s decision to permit all families to have two children, announced on 29 October 2015, was long in coming. It was preceded by a concession earlier in that year, allowing those parents that were single children themselves to opt for a second child, after permission. The simple rationale behind all this has been a precipitous fall in the total fertility rate (TFR) (i.e. the average number of children per woman in her lifetime); this is now at 1.55, i.e. significantly below the ‘replacement rate’ of 2.1, which is what is needed for a stable population. This has several implications and consequences.[1]

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Process & Outcomes: Framing Strategic Objectives

Ambassador (retd.) Kishan S RanaHonorary Fellow, Institute of Chinese Studies.

In international relations, it is vital to distinguish between process actions that aim at getting to particular outcomes, and the outcomes, which are the end results that we seek to accomplish. Sometimes the boundary between the two may look blurred, but the basics are clear. Examples: if a business delegation, or a minister, visits China to promote trade or attract foreign direct investment (FDI), that is process. The actual trade that results, or FDI inflow, is outcome. If the foreign secretaries of India and Pakistan hold discussions, that is also process, but if that meeting produces an agreement that removes barriers to trade, or improves visa facilities for citizens of both countries, that is outcome.

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Sino-North Korea Relations: Handle With Care

Sanjeevan Pradhan, Masters in International Relations, Qinghua University.

The Asia-Pacific region has become the hotspot for international politics; IR scholars focus on the rise of China and its implications for the current status-quo. Many view China’s rise with suspicion and fear that it will result in a new form of a Cold War between the US and China.

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Analyzing the Establishment of and Responses to the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank

Madhura Balasubramaniam, Integrated Masters in Development Studies, IIT Madras.

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is a multilateral initiative announced by the Chinese President Xi Jinping to enable ‘economic integration in Asia’ and ‘cooperate with existing multilateral development banks’.[1] The startup capital of US$50 billion dollars was increased to US$100 billion. Beijing is the headquarters of the Bank and is headed by Jin Liqun, a former Vice President of the ADB.[2] The formal opening ceremony of the Bank was held on 16 January 2016.

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China’s Foreign Exchange Reserves

Ambassador (retd.) Kishan S RanaHonorary Fellow, Institute of Chinese Studies.

China’s foreign exchange reserves used to be $5 trillion, some three years back. Now they are down to $3.22 trillion. This has been the result of financial challenges that it has faced, including efforts to protect the value of the Yuan. The reserves are still huge, say 9 times larger than India’s $350 billion. But some may wonder if this is proof of economic decline.

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Interpreting Ma Ying-jeou’s Visit to Taiping Island

Jabin T. Jacob, Assistant Director and Fellow, Institute of Chinese Studies.

Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou’s visit to Taiping/Itu Aba Island in the Spratly Islands on 28 January 2016 was justified among other things on the grounds that he visited men and women in uniform before every Lunar New Year and that he was seeking to clarify the legal status of the island.[1]

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