JULY 2020

Dear Friend,

Within an environment of growing tensions between India and China even while Covid-19 continued to proliferate across the world, the Institute of Chinese Studies (ICS) enhanced its outreach and facilitated understanding of the evolving situation in India’s relations with China and East Asia. We organized the flagship annual 14th Giri Deshingkar Memorial Lecture (GDML) by hosting it online. A new initiative has been launched in the month of July as ICS Translations. This project aims to introduce diverse opinions from scholars, commentators and analysts coming from across disciplines in China and make them available for Indian readership, to facilitate more informed understanding and perspectives. In July, we were also joined by our second batch of Virtual Interns from different parts of the country. .


In addition to the GDML, we also had four Wednesday Seminars, one ICS Conversation, and a Special Lecture.

The 14th Giri Deshingkar Memorial Lecture took place on 6 July, in collaboration with the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, and with ThePrint as the media partner. The lecture was delivered by Dr. Elizabeth C Economy, C.V. Starr Senior Fellow and Director for Asia Studies, Council on Foreign Relations, and a Distinguished Visiting Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University. The lecture was titled ‘U.S - China Relations in the Era of Donald Trump and Xi Jinping’ (SoundCloud) (YouTube).

We had a Special Lecture by H.E. Mr. Sun Weidong, Ambassador of the People's Republic of China to India on ‘India-China Relations: The Way Forward’ (SoundCloud) (YouTube). Happening in the backdrop of the sharp downturn in India-China relations, the lecture by the Chinese Ambassador and the Q&A that followed, was one of the most shared and viewed ICS events with wide participation.

The ICS Conversation on ‘India-China Relations: At an Inflection Point?’. (SoundCloud) (YouTube) featured Amb. Gautam Bambawale, former Indian Ambassador to China and Bhutan, and former High Commissioner to Pakistan, and Distinguished Professor, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Symbiosis International University, Pune; Prof. Rajesh Rajagopalan, Professor of International Politics, Centre for International Politics, Organization and Disarmament, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi; and Mr. Tom Miller, Senior Analyst, Gavekal Research, Hong Kong, and a former journalist.

Amb. Nirupama Rao, former Indian Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China and the United States of America, spoke on the theme ‘India and China: The End of a Chapter?’ on 22 July, 2020 (YouTube).

Dr. Govind Kelkar, Honorary Fellow, ICS and Professor and Executive Director, GenDev Centre for Research and Innovation, Gurgaon; Cai Yiping, Executive Committee Member, Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era; and Dr. Usha Chandran, Assistant Professor, Centre for Chinese and South East Asian Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University explored the theme ‘The Gender System and Women’s Agency in China in the Context of Covid-19’ on 1 July, 2020 (SoundCloud) (YouTube).

Prof. Ji Zhe, Professor of Sociology, Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales, Paris, and Director of the Centre d’études interdisciplinaires sur le bouddhisme (CEIB) in France, spoke on ‘Covid-19 and Two Determinisms in the PRC’ on 15 July. 2020 (SoundCloud).

Dr. T G Suresh, Adjunct Fellow, ICS and Associate Professor, Centre for Political Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, addressed the topic ‘Conscripting Kinsmen: Labour Contractors and Peasant Workers in India and China’ on 29 July 2020 (SoundCloud) (YouTube).


This month we had seventeen publications in total – two Occasional Papers, eight ICS Analysis, two ICS Research Blogs and five ICS Translations (all available on our website).

The following is the list of ICS Occasional Papers:

1. Prof. Rama V Baru, Honorary Fellow, ICS, and Professor, Centre of Social Medicine and Community Health, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, and Dr. Madhurima Nundy, Assistant Director and Fellow, ICS, on ‘Student Mobility for Higher Education: The Case of Indian Students Studying Medicine in China’.

2. Mr. Ravi Bhoothalingam, Treasurer and Honorary Fellow, ICS, on ‘What Future for India-China Economic Relations?’.

The following is the list of ICS Analysis:

1. Amb. Yogendra Kumar, Former Indian Ambassador to the Philippines and Tajikistan and High Commissioner to Namibia on ‘South China Sea Geopolitics and the Shadow of Covid-19’;

2. Dr. Sriparna Pathak, Assistant Professor and Assistant Academic Dean, Jindal School of International Affairs, O.P. Jindal Global University, Sonepat, Haryana, on ‘Domestic Imperatives Behind Chinese Aggression at the India-China Border in 2020’;

3. Dr. Veda Vaidyanathan, Visiting Research Associate, ICS, on ‘To Craft a Covid-19 Narrative, China needs Africa’;

4. Dr. P. K. Anand, Research Associate, ICS, on ‘Hazarding Hazards: An Assessment of China’s Workplace Safety Since Year 2000’;

5. Dr. Zorawar Daulet Singh, Adjunct Fellow, ICS, on ‘Are US and China on the verge of a Cold War 2.0?’;

6. Ms. Reena Bhatiya, Research Assistant, ICS, on ‘Sino-Indian Border Dispute: Explained in Constructivist Paradigm’;

7. Ms. Tanishka, Research Intern, ICS, on ‘The Emergence of a New Kingpin in the Pacific: China’s Initiatives’; and

8. Ms. Preksha Shree Chhetri, Research Assistant, ICS, on ‘Clash of Narratives: The US-China Propaganda War Amid the Global Pandemic'.

The following is the list of blogposts in ICS Research Blogs:

1. Ms. Asma Masood, Associate Member, Chennai Centre for China Studies, Chennai, on ‘The Business of Civilizations in Modern Times’; and

2. Mr. Arnav Batra, Research Intern, ICS, on ‘Party Influence in Chinese Economy’.

ICS Translations

A new initiative developed and launched in July by the ICS, is the ICS Translations. Helmed by Dr. Hemant Adlakha, Honorary Fellow, ICS, and Associate Professor, Centre for Chinese and Southeast Asian Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, and supported by five other colleagues, the ICS Translations intends to introduce diverse opinions from scholars, commentators and analysts, from across disciplines in China, that appear in Chinese language, and make them accessible to the Indian China watchers community. Five academic pieces have been translated in the month of July as the initial offering. The following is the list of ICS Translations presently available on the ICS website:

1. Mao Zedong on Sino-Indian Boundary Dispute

2. Liu Qiudi: China: Bubble that will never pop?

3. Wu Shicun: More frequent US military comes near us, more likely it is to cause “guns and misfires”

4. Wu Jinglian: Do we really need experts who only know “jargons?”

5.The Chinese View: China’s Long Range Missiles not threatened by Indian Air Defence Systems.



Amb. Shyam Saran, Member, ICS Governing Council, and former Foreign Secretary, Government of India, spoke in a podcast by Carnegie India titled ‘Understanding the Line of Actual Control’ on 2 July 2020. He also authored three pieces – for Business Standard on ‘Democratic India has an ideological battle to fight with China’ on 8 July 2020; for The Indian Express, titled ‘India should monitor ties between China and Iran, but must guard against hasty conclusions’ on 23 July 2020; and for The Tribune, on ‘Dealing with ‘Frankenstein’ on 28 July, 2020.

Dr. Hemant Adlakha, Honorary Fellow, and Associate Professor, Centre for Chinese and Southeast Asian Studies, JNU penned two piece for Indian Defence Review - on ‘The Chinese View’ on 1 July 2020, and on ‘The Chinese View: China’s Long Range Missiles not Threatened by Indian Air Defence Systems’ on 6 July 2020.

Dr. Zorawar Daulet Singh, Adjunct Fellow, ICS, was part of the podcast by the for Takshashila Institute, on ‘Crafting India’s China Strategy’ on 9 July 2020. He also authored commentaries - for the Hindi daily, LiveHindustan on 24 July 2020 and for Hindustan Times on ‘On the economy, don’t disengage with China’ on 27 July 2020.

Dr. P.K. Anand, Research Associate, ICS, contributed a piece for Scroll.in on the Chinese Ambassador's 'blitzkrieg' in the Indian media over the past one year, on 12 July 2020.

Dr. Rajiv Ranjan, Adjunct Fellow, ICS, wrote a piece for the Hindi daily, Prabhat Khabar on 13 July 2020.

Dr. Mirza Zulfiqur Rahman, Visiting Research Associate, ICS, spoke on NDTV Prime Time on 20 July 2020 on the yearly occurrence of floods in Assam, and practices on river Brahmaputra. He also wrote a piece for Scroll.in titled ‘What counts as a catastrophic flood in the Brahmaputra river basin now?’, on 29 July 2020.

Dr. G Venkat Raman, Adjunct Fellow, ICS and Associate Professor, Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Management, Indore, co-authored a piece for The Quint titled ‘In Bid to Counter China, India Must Stay Wary of Western Alliances’, on 28 July,2020.

Dr. Rityusha Tiwari, Visiting Fellow, ICS, and Assistant Editor, China Report, appeared was quoted in four media interviews – for Channel NewsAsia, Singapore on India's migrant labour crisis and implications for economy on 1 July 2020; on SkyNews Arabia on the impact of boycotting Chinese product by Indian government on supply lines of Indian industry and the Indian labour force on 2 July 2020; for News24 on China-US trade war and Xi's two birds policy on 12 July, 2020, and for NewsAsia, Singapore, on Job Woes in India due to Covid and ongoing ban on Chinese apps on 17 July 2020. She also appeared on NewsX on 6 July 2020 on Nepal-China-India relations, as well as on Bhutan-China-India boundary disputes; on China's role in the unfolding situation in Nepal on NewsX on 8 July 2020; on Germany's backing of One China Policy on NewsX on 13 July 2020; and on the Uighur issue in China on News24 on 21 July 2020. She authored two pieces - ‘Seema Vivad: Mansha aur yatharth’ explaining the India-China border dispute in the Hindi daily, Rashtriya Sahara’s special feature Hastakshep, on 11 July 2020, and in Vikalp.in on 12 July 2020, titled, ‘India-China Border : What does it represent?’.

I gave an interview for India Today on India-China Relations on 8 July 2020.

Faculty Updates

Prof. Manmohan Agarwal, Adjunct Fellow, ICS, and former Professor., Centre for International Trade and Development, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, published an article titled ‘The IMF and Its Operation till the Breakdown in the 1970s: Implications for International Liquidity and Adjustment’ in the RIS Discussion Paper Series, Issue No. 251.

Dr. Rityusha Tiwary, Visiting Fellow, ICS, and Assistant Editor, China Report, moderated two online sessions - with Mr. Jayadeva Ranade and Maj. Gen. Shashi Asthana on ‘Sino-Indian Relations: Challenges and Opportunities’, organized by the Department of Political Science, Miranda House, University of Delhi on 15 July 2020, and in the International Women’s Summit organized by Nepal Institute of International Cooperation and Engagement, Kathmandu, Nepal, on 18 July 2020. Dr. Tiwary also spoke on 'Rebooting the Chinese economy during a pandemic' at a webinar titled ‘Impact of the #COVID19 pandemic on international relations’ organized by the Jindal Centre for Global South, at the Jindal School of International Affairs, OP Jindal Global University on 21 July 2020.

My engagements included an address to the 2018 batch of IAS officers at the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration, Mussoorie and participation in webinars organised by Vivekananda International Foundation and India Foundation as speaker. I also chaired the Core Group on China of the Confederation of Indian Industry.


In July, we were joined by our second batch of Virtual Interns. They are: Mr. Sayantan Haldar, Presidency University, Kolkata; Ms Neha Mishra, University of Delhi; Ms. Megha Pardi, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi; Mr. Kannan Nair, Pondicherry University; Mr. Amitava Banik, Insurance Institute of India; and Mr. Aadil Sud, Sciences Po, Paris. These interns at ICS have the unique opportunity to be mentored by some of the most reputed scholars and experts on China.. 


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

We look forward to seeing you at more of 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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