APRIL 2021

Dear Friend,

As India continues to battle the second wave of the Covid pandemic, the Institute of Chinese Studies (ICS) maintained a high level of programme and research activities through the virtual mode to disseminate informed analysis of China and East Asia.

Two major events were hosted by the ICS in April. The 18th Russia-India-China (RIC) Academic Trilateral Conference, a Track-II initiative was held on 22 and 23 April. The RIC trilateral academic conference is engaged in deliberation on deepening of cooperation in diverse areas like energy, environment, health, agriculture and education which contribute to transformative process in these countries. This year the RIC focused on three major themes: future of globalisation and the global economy in the post-Covid world; cooperation in the Security Council; and Afghanistan.

We also hosted the annual VP Dutt Memorial Lecture in April. The lecture was delivered by Prof. Andrew J. Nathan, on the topic Biden’s China Policy: Old Wine in a new Bottle?. Prof. Nathan argued that though the Biden Administration has continued the Trump Administration's declaratory policy identifying China as a "strategic competitor", Biden's China policy categorically differs in five important ways.

As the events of 2020 marked a watershed moment for Sino-Indian relations, we had Lt. Gen. DS Hooda (Retd.), Lt. Gen. Praveen Bakshi (Retd.),Air Marshal Anil Khosla (Retd.) discussing the LAC and the way ahead. Following the publication of the ICS Monograph titled ‘Countering Internal Security Challenges in Xinjiang’ in March, Dr. Debasish Chaudhuri and Mr. Atul Aneja discussed Xinjiang in the Xi Era.

In April, we had an active publication programme on diverse topics opening up new avenues of thought. We also welcomed the fourth batch of Virtual Interns from across the country. ICS expanded the Internship Programme to receive ‘virtual interns’ in order to extend the internship opportunity to those who may not be able to come to Delhi, but wish to connect with the Institute through online channels to pursue projects or short assignments that fit into their study programs, and receive guidance from the ICS faculty. The virtual internship programme has immensely helped in academically grooming young scholars interested in Chinese studies as more than 18 interns have successfully completed their virtual internship since April 2020.



The ICS conducted the 18th RIC Academic Trilateral Conference, the VP Dutt Memorial Lecture, an ICS-KAS Conversation and one webinar this month.

The 18th Trilateral Conference of Russian, Indian and Chinese Scholars was held on 22-23 April, in online mode. It was a closed-door event hosted by ICS in collaboration with the Institute of Far Eastern Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IFES RAS), Moscow & China Institute of International Studies (CIIS), Beijing. The theme of the 18th RIC was ‘Challenges and Opportunities in the post-Covid International Order’. The trilateral conference played a significant role in exploring global and regional issues that are pertinent to all the three countries. The conference was divided into three sessions with each session focusing on a special theme: RIC and the Future of Globalization: Restructuring of the Global Economy in the Post-Covid World; RIC Cooperation in the Security Council; and ‘RIC and the Future of Afghanistan’.

The V P Dutt Memorial Lecture – instituted in the memory of one of India’s leading Sinologists – took place on 28 April, in collaboration with the India International Centre (IIC).  The Lecture delivered by Prof. Andrew J. Nathan, Professor of Political Science, Columbia University, was titled ‘Biden’s China Policy: Old Wine in New Bottles’. ThePrint was the event’s media partner. (Transcript) (YouTube)

In partnership with Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS), we organised the ICS-KAS Conversation on ‘Ensuring Deterrence along the India-China LAC: The Way Ahead’ on 7 April. The panellists included Lt. Gen. D.S. Hooda (Retd.), Former GOC-in-C, Northern Command, Indian Army and co-founder, Council for Strategic and Defence Research, New Delhi; Lt. Gen. Parveen Bakshi (Retd.), Former GOC-in-C Eastern Command; Air Marshal Anil Khosla (Retd.), former Vice-Chief of Air Staff and former AOC-in-C Eastern Air Command. ThePrint was the event’s media partner. Lt. Gen. (Dr) VK Ahluwalia (Retd.) Director, Centre for Land and Warfare Studies, Former GOC-in-C Central Command, chaired the event. (YouTube)

Dr. Debasish Chaudhuri, Assistant Professor, Department of Foreign Languages, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, Punjab and Visiting Fellow, ICS and Mr. Atul Aneja, Editor of India Narrative.com and Former Strategic Affairs Editor, The Hindu spoke on ‘Xinjiang in the Xi Era’ on 14 April. ThePrint was the event’s media partner. Amb. Vijay Nambiar, Honorary Fellow, ICS, chaired the event. (YouTube)



This month we had nine publications in total – two Occasional Paper, three ICS Translations and four ICS Research Blogs.

ICS Occasional Paper

  1. Mr. Santosh Pai, Honorary Fellow, ICS, and Partner, Link Legal India Law Services, on ‘Can Indian Para-diplomacy Harvest FDI Gains from China’s Loss in the post-Covid era?’.
  2. Ms. Shruti Jargad, Research Intern, ICS, Delhi on ‘Political Mobilization of Women by the CCP’.

ICS Research Blogs

  1. Dr. Hemant Adlakha, Honorary Fellow, Institute of Chinese Studies and Associate Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University, on ‘Do Bilateral Summits Mean Anything Anymore in Diplomacy?’ (Revised, updated version of an earlier article “Biden’s Summit Diplomacy: Who will he choose first, Xi or Putin?” published in Modern Diplomacy on 2 April, 2021)
  2. Amb. Vijay Nambiar, Honorary Fellow, ICS on ‘Xinjiang in the Xi Era: Preliminary Remarks’.
  3. Ananya Raj Kakoti, Research Intern, ICS onChina’s Art of Thwarting Democracy

ICS Translations

  1. Madhurendra Jha, ICS-HYI Fellow and Assistant Professor, Department of Chinese Studies, Doon University, translated ‘On a visit to the Soviet Union in 1957 Chairman Mao was shown three “secret films,” inspiring him to launch a top-secret mission on his return’.
  2. Dr. Hemant Adlakha, Honorary Fellow, Institute of Chinese Studies and Associate Professor, Centre for Chinese and Southeast Asian Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University translated ‘Divorce Application Turned Down 4 Times in 5 Years, Why is Divorce so Difficult in China?
  3. Dr. Hemant Adlakha, Honorary Fellow, Institute of Chinese Studies and Associate Professor, Centre for Chinese and Southeast Asian Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University translated ‘Are Chinese People Not Humans?’                                                                                                        


Amb. Shivshankar Menon, Chairman, ICS Advisory Board, and former National Security Advisor, Government of India authored a book entitled ‘India and Asian Geopolitics: The Past, Present’ published by Brookings Institution Press on 20 April. The book received extensive coverage and excerpts were published under various titles: Living with China published in Open on 16 April;  Is a China-centred World Order Inevitable? in The Times of India on 20 April; Modi’s India plans to be ‘vishwaguru’ but forgets soft power is useless without hard muscle in The Print on 20 April; Does China want to be the next United States? No, says Shivshankar Menon in his new book in The Scroll on 22 April; and Soviet invasion of Afghanistan to the Taliban: Understanding India’s geopolitical past in The News Minute on 29 April 2021. Amb. Menon participated in a Book Event organised by Harvard Kennedy School on 13 April, which was covered by The Print in its article titled India-China ties set for ‘hard times’ over next 5-10 years, ex-NSA Shivshankar Menon says on 14 April. He also spoke on the topic, India and Asian Balance’ in an event organised by Caucus Hindu College on 7 April and spoke at the Flagship Seminar organised by Centre for Social and Economic Progress on 28 April. Amb. Menon also penned a piece titled Why is China Aggressively Turning to the Sea Now? Former NSA Shivshankar Menon Explains for News18 on 21 April.  His interviews were covered by The Print in its article Off The Cuff with Shivshankar Menon on 16 April 2021; by CSDR & The Wire in Understanding 'India and Asian Geopolitics' with Shivshankar Menon on 18 April; The Hindu in China tore up the modus vivendi in 2020, the LAC is now live: Shivshankar Menon on 23 April and a podcast titled Shivshankar Menon on India and Asian Geopolitics on 25 April; The Times of India in China’s rising support for Pakistan and their collusion, may affect our interests: says former NSA Shiv Shankar Menon on 25 April and The Times of India Podcast in Shivshankar Menon on how India’s hyper-nationalism could backfire.

Amb. Gautam Bambawale former Ambassador to Bhutan, Pakistan and China and Distinguished Professor, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Symbiosis International University, Pune participated in a podcast titled, Should India change its policy toward China? | The Hindu In Focus Podcast interview for The Hindu 12 April. The interview was published as part of the article titled, India’s China policy needs new thinking in  The Hindu on 13 April. Amb. Bambawale was quoted in the South China Morning Post in an article titled A message for US and China as India and Russia put two and two together  on 30 April. The article was translated and published in Russian and Vietnamese by InoSMI and Voice of Vietnam.

Dr. Madhurima Nundy, Assistant Director and Fellow, ICS, was quoted in Media India Group on 25 April in their article titled, “We feel safe unlike Chinese citizens in India”: Indian diaspora in China - Indian students feel equally at home in China.

Mr. Santosh Pai, Honorary Fellow, ICS, and Partner, Link Legal India Law Services, participated in a podcast titled, How China's Digital Currency will change online payments hosted by The Hindu In Focus Podcast  on 3 April. The same was published by The Hindu Explains as How does China’s digital currency work? How is legal tender issued by the central bank different from payments guaranteed by a third-party operator? on 4 April.



Prof. Sreemati Chakrabarti, Honorary Fellow, ICS penned a piece titled A Window to understand Contemporary China for China-India Dialogue Vol 22, No 4. Prof. Alka Acharya, Honorary Fellow, ICS, and Professor, Centre for East Asian Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi participated as Panelist on Strategic Patience and Flexible Policies : How India can rise to the China Challenge in a webinar organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry on 29 April. Dr. Hemant Adlakha, Honorary Fellow, ICS, and Associate Professor, Centre for Chinese and Southeast Asian Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University delivered a lecture on Salient Features of how Covid-19 has impacted language, culture, and society in China as part of 3rd webinar of the China Studies lecture series, organised by Tezpur University. He authored two pieces for Modern Diplomacy: Xinjiang: The New Ideological Battleground between the US and China on 12 April and  Kerry’s China Visit: ‘A Weasel Paying a New Year Call to a Chicken’ on 19 April. He also penned two pieces for Nepal Institute of International Cooperation and Engagement(NIICE): No-show in Alaska: Diplomatic or Translation Failure? on 1 April and Nicholas Burns for China Envoy: Is Biden Sending Wrong Signals to Beijing? on 26 April. Dr. Madhurima Nundy, Assistant Director and Fellow, ICS, Delhi delivered a talk on Ageing, Family Structures, and Elder care at a Seminar on “Chinese Society in the New Era” organised by Centre for Contemporary China Studies (CCCS) and Chennai Centre for China Studies(C3S) on 8 and 9 April. Mr. Santosh Pai, Honorary Fellow, ICS, and Partner, Link Legal India Law Services, spoke on the topic ‘Law and Society’ at a Seminar on ‘Chinese Society in the New Era’ organised by Centre for Contemporary China Studies(CCCS) and Chennai Centre for China Studies (C3S) on 8 and 9 April. Dr. Rajiv Ranjan, Adjunct Fellow, ICS delivered a lecture on India-China Border Clash and Future of Bilateral Engagement as part of 2nd webinar of the China Studies lecture series, organised by Tezpur University on 12 April. Prof. G Venkat Raman, Adjunct Fellow, ICS, delivered a lecture on Assertiveness in Chinese Foreign Policy in the Covid Era: Is it Novel? in a webinar organised by Centre for Chinese Studies, Central University of Gujarat on 15 April. Dr. Veda Vaidyanathan, Visiting Research Associate, ICS, spoke in a podcast on India, Africa, and the U.S.-China Rivalry as part of The China-Africa Project on 9 April 2021. She also participated in a Panel Discussion on India, China, Africa: Emerging Transnational Politics in the Global South organised by The India-China Institute on 29 April. Mr. Nishit Kumar, ICS-HYI Fellow, presented a paper titled New China and its Cultural Understanding in the 1950s: An Indian Perspective at the American Comparative Literature Association Annual (ACLA) Conference 2021, held from 8-11 April. He also presented a paper titled One Prize, Many Stakeholders: Case of Mo Yan’s Literature Nobel at ‘The 2021 Languages, Literatures, and Cultures Conference’ (KFLC) held at University of Kentucky, U.S.A.  from 22-24 April.

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We look forward to your participation in our digital events and activities in the coming days and hope for your continued support.


Please take care and stay safe and healthy.


Best regards,

Ashok K. Kantha






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