Dear Friend,


The first month of the year commenced on an eventful note at the Institute of Chinese Studies with the successful completion of the 13th All India Conference of China Studies (AICCS). In January, we maintained a high level of programme and research activities while continuing our remote working, to disseminate informed analysis of China and East Asia. We also had an active publication programme and increased our presence on various social media and digital platforms.




The ICS conducted the 13th AICCS, two webinars, and a one-day international conference this month.


The 13th AICCS was held virtually in collaboration with IIT – Madras, China Studies Centre from 28-30 January, 2021. The AICCS is the flagship event of the ICS, convened annually, with the principal objective of spreading interest in and strengthening research on China and East Asian Studies in India. The special theme of this year’s conference focussed on ‘China at the Crossroads: New Directions in Politics, Environment and Economy’. The highlight of the event was the keynote address by Hon’ble Dr. S. Jaishankar, Minister of External Affairs, Government of India. Dr. Jaishankar stressed that in order to stabilize India- China relations, the relationship should be based on “three mutuals– mutual respect, mutual sensitivity and mutual interests”. He proposed eight principles to handle ties with China, which were under exceptional stress following the events of last year and recent tensions along the border. The event received an overwhelming participation with 1260 registrations in total. It was also widely covered in the media with more than twenty news channels and newspapers covering the inaugural session, some of which include; The Times of India, Hindustan Times, Economic Times, Times Now News, Scroll.in, India Today, The Hindu, News 18, The Indian Express, NDTV, Asianet News, Mangalam News, Ann News, ANI, All India Radio, The Wire, Financial Express, India TV, Zee News, The Print, Business Standard, The Star, and Mint. The other sessions were also widely covered in various print and digital media. In total, there was a participation of 57 speakers and panellists from more than 30 institutions from 15 cities. The average attendance in sessions was more than 200 while the maximum attendance was seen in the inaugural session with more than 400 attendees (not counting those who attended YouTube livestreaming of sessions).


Among other events, Prof. Yu Xie, Bert G. Kerstetter '66 University Professor of Sociology and PIIRS at Princeton University, spoke on the topic, ‘Chinese Family in Transition’ on 6 January 2021. Prof. Patricia Uberoi, Honorary Fellow and Chairperson, ICS chaired the webinar (YouTube)


Amb. Arun K Singh, former Indian Ambassador to US, France and Israel and Senior Fellow, Asia program at the German Marshall Fund of the United States and Mr. Ananth Krishnan, China correspondent, The Hindu spoke on ‘US-China Relations Under the Biden Administration: Implications for India’ on 20 January, 202. I was in chair (YouTube)


An international conference on the theme ‘The True Story of Ah Q Centenary’ was held virtually on 13 January 2021. It was jointly organised by ICS and CCSEAS, JNU to mark 100 years of the publication of Lu Xun's seminal work, The True Story of Ah Q. Dr. Hemant Adlakha, Honorary Fellow, ICS and Associate Professor, JNU, New Delhi, was the convener. The conference was  held in three sessions with a total of seven distinguished speakers sharing their views on various aspects of the topic: Dr. DS Rawat on ‘The Image of Lu Xun in the Eyes of Hindi Writers’; Dr. Raman Sinha on ‘The True Story of Ah Q - Fiction or Metafiction’; Prof. Sebastian Veg on ‘Lu Xun, Ah Q and the Hidden Tradition of minjian Intellectuals’; Prof. Jiang Yixin on ‘The True Story of Ah Q - An anti-Sages Novel’; Prof. Senno Takumasa on ‘Exploring the Birth of Modern Literature from The True Story of Ah Q’; Prof. Alexey Rodionov on ‘On Five Translations of The True Story of Ah Q into the Russian Language’ and Dr. Hemant Adlakha on ‘1911 Revolution and Lu Xun’s A Madman’s Diary, Kong Yiji and The True Story of Ah Q Trilogy’ (YouTubeSession 1, Session 2, Session 3)




This month we had twelve publications in total – two Occasional Papers, one ICS Analysis, six ICS Research Blogs and three ICS Translations (all available on our website).

ICS Occasional Paper

  1. Prof. Madhavi Thampi, Honorary Fellow, ICS, Delhi on ‘Recent Initiatives to Promote China Studies in India: A Preliminary Report and Assessment
  2. Prof. Mahendra P Lama, Adjunct Fellow, ICS, Delhi and Professor, School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi on ‘Fledgling Sub-Regionalism in Eastern South Asia: Reasons for China’s Shift towards Bilateralism in BCIM’.

ICS Analysis

  1. Prof. Manmohan Agarwal, Adjunct Fellow, Institute of Chinese Studies, Delhi on ‘Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership: An Analysis of its Impact on the Indian Economy’.

ICS Research Blogs

  1. Dr. Hemant Adlakha, Honorary Fellow, ICS and Associate Professor, JNU, New Delhi, on ‘For undoing New Delhi’s US-backed ‘world power’ fantasy, Beijing must rethink on India’s SCO, BRICS membership: Chinese Scholars’, originally published as ‘Beijing must rethink on India’s SCO, BRICS membership’ on January 4, 2021 by NIICE
  2. Sudarshan Gupta, Research Intern, ICS on ‘China and the Effectiveness of Economic Sanctions on North Korea
  3. Mr. Abhyoday, Research Intern, ICS on ‘China-Japan Relations: From Economic collaboration to Strategic contestation
  4. Mr. KK Venkatraman, Research Fellow, ICS on ‘New PLA Commander Across Our Northern Border: What Does General Zhang Bring to the Table?
  5. Sreemati Chakrabarti, Vice-chairperson and Honorary Fellow, ICS on reviewed Xi Jinping, 2020. The Governance of China III (English Version)
  6. Ms. Megha Shrivastava, Research Intern, ICS on ‘A Critical Outlook on PLA’s AI Development Philosophy’.

ICS Translations

  1. Dr. Hemant Adlakha, Honorary Fellow, ICS and Associate Professor, JNU, New Delhi, translated ‘A First Farewell (2018)
  2. Dr. Adlakha contributed another translation titled ‘Is there a Good China Hand in Biden Team?’ with Mr. Madhurendra Jha, ICS-HYI Fellow and Assistant Professor, Department of Chinese Studies, Doon University. This piece was also published in the Indian Defence Review, under the same title on 20 January, 2021.
  3. Arghya Jana, Research Scholar, Centre for Chinese and Southeast Asian Studies, JNU, New Delhi, translated ‘Why are people in Japan and South Korea rich but unhappy?




The Keynote Address by Hon’ble Dr. S. Jaishankar, Minister of External Affairs, Government of India during the 13th AICCS was covered in South China Morning Post in their article titled India has sent more troops to disputed China border, President Ram Nath Kovind says on 29 Jan 2021; The Hindu articles titled Events of 2020 have put India-China relationship under exceptional stress: Jaishankar on 28 Jan 2021 and Jaishankar suggests way forward for China ties after year of ‘exceptional stress on 29 Jan 2021; and ThePrint article titled China’s ‘duality of cooperation & competition’ was evident before LAC standoff — Jaishankar on 28 Jan 2021. Mr Sanjay Chadha, Additional Secretary in the Ministry of Commerce and Industry’s talk during the panel discussion on Reducing Dependency in Economic Engagement with China was published by ThePrint in their article titled China still India’s largest source of import for many critical sectors, says top govt official on 29 Jan 2021 and in a piece in The Hindu titled China still ‘largest source of critical items’ for India on 30 Jan 2021. The Wire also carried Mr. Chadha’s talk in their article titled Trade With China: 'India Still Engaged, But Looking at Domestic Manufacturing' along with references from an ICS Analysis authored by Mr. Santosh Pai, Honorary Fellow, ICS, and Partner, Link Legal India Law Services, on 30 Jan 2021. Ambassador Shyam Saran’s talk during the panel discussion titled, Reducing Dependency in Economic Engagement with China was covered by ThePrint in their piece titled India has a good story in terms of climate change action, says ex-diplomat Shyam Saran on 30 Jan 2021. Dr. Veda Vaidyanathan, Visiting Research Associate, ICS authored an article titled Towards a ‘healthy’ India-Africa partnership in The Hindu Business Line on 31 Jan 2021.




ICS Honorary Fellow Ambassador Vijay Nambiar, former Indian Ambassador to China, and Chef de Cabinet to United Nations Secretary General wrote a chapter entitled ‘The Belt and Road Initiative post-April 2019’ in ‘China’s Belt and Road Initiative: Strategic and Economic Impacts on Central Asia, Southeast Asia and Central Eastern Europe’ edited by Alfred Gerstl and Ute Wallenbock. An earlier version of this piece was published as ICS Occasional Paper Issue No 38 entitled: The Belt and Road Initiative Post-April 2019: Plus ça Change! Dr. Hemant Adlakha, Honorary Fellow, ICS and Associate Professor, JNU, New Delhi, presented a talk entitled ‘Building Brick by Brick: BRICS Ushers in its Second Golden Decade’ at the BRICS Forum 2020, organized jointly by Guangming Daily and China State Council Press Information Office at Beijing on 4 December, 2020. Dr. Adlakha also delivered a lecture on ‘From Chewing to Eschewing of Chinese Characters in East Asian Cultures’ at Rajasthan University HRDC/Academic Staff College, as a Resource Person on 23 Dec 2020 and participated as a Speaker at the VIF, New Delhi virtual panel discussion on ‘Likely Sino-US Relations under President Biden: Implications for India’ on 30 Dec 2020. On 28 January, 2021, Dr. Adlakha was invited to participate in an online book discussion on ‘The Good Women of China by Xinran’ by Wild China Book Club (London). Dr. Rajiv Ranjan, Adjunct Fellow, ICS, participated as a Panellist in a discussion entitled, Global Standoff- A Scenario of Modern Indo-Pacific Geopolitics, organised by Diplomacy Direct on 26 Jan 2021. Dr. Rityusha Tiwari, Visiting Fellow, ICS, and Assistant Editor, China Report participated as Discussant in a Book Discussion on China’s Search for ‘National Rejuvenation’: Domestic and Foreign Policies under Xi Jinping organised by Observer Research Foundation on 11 Jan 2021.


The ICS WebsiteFacebook and Twitter accounts are among the several ways you can get the latest on our publications and activities. You can also subscribe to our monthly newsletter to follow our events and publications as well as browse our YouTube and SoundCloud channels.


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


Please take care and stay safe and healthy.



Best regards,
Institute of Chinese Studies





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