Dear Friend,

In October, the Institute of Chinese Studies, Delhi (ICS) held a series of online activities to stimulate informed analysis of China and East Asia, including the prestigious VP Dutt Memorial Lecture which received a high degree of interest. With as many as 6 webinars and 13 publications during the month, the ICS programme brought together leading experts to discuss key issues of contemporary relevance in China, Japan, Hong Kong and the region as a whole.


We conducted two Special Lectures, two ICS Conversations and two Wednesday Seminars.

The V P Dutt Memorial Lecture – instituted in the memory of one of India’s leading Sinologists – took place on 7 October, in collaboration with the India International Centre. ThePrint was the event’s media partner. The Lecture delivered by Amb. Shyam Saran, Member, ICS Governing Council and former Foreign Secretary, Government of India, was titled ‘India as Teacher by Negative Example: Chinese Perceptions of India During the British Colonial Period and Their Impact on Contemporary India-China Relations’ (SoundCloud) (YouTube).

Dr. Srabani Roy Choudhury, Professor, Japanese Studies, Centre for East Asian Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, delivered a Special Lecture on the topic 'Assessment of Abe Era and the Road Ahead' on 9 October. The Special Lecture was chaired by Amb. Deepa Gopalan Wadhwa, Member, Governing Council, ICS, Chairperson, India-Japan Friendship Forum and formerly India’s Ambassador to Japan (SoundCloud) (YouTube).

We organised an ICS Conversation on ‘Hong Kong’s Autonomy after the National Security Law: Challenges and Perspectives’ on 1 October. The panellists included Prof. Sebastian Veg, Professor, Intellectual History of Modern and Contemporary China, School of Advanced Studies in Social Sciences, Paris; Dr. Victoria Tin-bor Hui, Associate Professor, Political Science, University of Notre Dame, Indiana, USA; Dr. Samson Yuen, Department of Governmental and International Studies, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong; and Ms. Ilaria Maria Sala, Journalist and Writer based in Hong Kong. The Conversation was moderated by Dr. Hemant Adlakha, Honorary Fellow, ICS, and Associate Professor, Centre for Chinese and Southeast Asian Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi (SoundCloud) (YouTube).

In partnership with Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS), we organised the ICS-KAS Conversation on ‘PLA Navy’s Expansion in the Indian Ocean Region: Challenges and Opportunities for India’ on 28 October. The panellists included Admiral Sunil Lanba, Chairman, National Maritime Foundation and former Chief of Staff, Indian Navy; Lt. Gen. S L Narasimhan, Member, National Security Advisory Board, India and Director General, Centre for Contemporary China Studies, Delhi; and Ms. Darshana Baruah, Visiting Fellow, Sasakawa Peace Foundation and Non-resident Scholar, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. I chaired the event (YouTube). 

The ICS, in collaboration with the Gateway House, Mumbai, conducted a webinar on 21 October. Amb. Karl Eikenberry, Former U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan, and Faculty member, Schwarzman College, Tsinghua University, Beijing, elaborated on ‘The Growing Sino-American Military Rivalry’. I chaired and moderated discussion (SoundCloud) (YouTube).

Prof. Rama V. Baru, Honorary Fellow, ICS and Professor, Centre of Social Medicine and Community Health, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi; Dr. Madhurima Nundy, Assistant Director and Fellow, ICS, Delhi; and Ms Sowmya Ashok, Independent Journalist, highlighted issues on ‘Crossing the Border: Indian Students Studying Medicine in China’ on 14 October. Prof. N.V. Varghese, Vice Chancellor, National Institute of Educational Planning and Administration chaired the event (SoundCloud) (YouTube).


In total, we had thirteen publications – one ICS Working Paper, five ICS Analysis, three ICS Translations and four blogposts in ICS Research Blogs (all available on our website).

Mr. Samanvya Hooda, Research Assistant, ICS, Delhi, wrote a Working Paper on ‘The Future of Deterrence along the LAC’.

The following is the list of ICS Analysis :

  1. Amb. Shyam Saran on ‘India as Teacher by Negative Example: Chinese Perceptions of India During the British Colonial Period and Their Impact on India-China Relations’ (Based on the VP Dutt Memorial Lecture delivered by him on 7 October);
  2. Mr. Santosh Pai, Honorary Fellow, ICS, Delhi, and Partner, Link Legal India Law Services on ‘‘Deciphering India’s Dependency on Chinese Imports’;
  3. Col. K.K. Venkatraman, Research Fellow, ICS, Delhi, on ‘Interpreting the US’ China Military Power Report 2020’;
  4. Mr. Aadil Sud, Former Research Intern, ICS, Delhi, on ‘The Belt and Road Initiative in the Post-Covid-19 World’; and
  5. Ms. Adveetya Kachiar, Research Assistant, ICS, Delhi, on ‘Crises in the Subcontinent and Understanding Chinese Intentions’.

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

  1. Dr. Hemant Adlakha on ‘QUAD is the US “Latest Toy” to Thwart China’s Growth. But India Now More Keen to Play Along, say Chinese Experts’ (Originally published as ‘Is Quad the US “Latest Toy” to Thwart China’s Growth’);
  2. Mr. Kannan R Nair, Former Research Intern, ICS, Delhi, on ‘Harnessing the Untapped Potential: India-Taiwan Cooperation in Education’;
  3. Mr. Aadil Sud on ‘The Progression of Chinese Soft Power’; and
  4. Ms. Megha Pardhi, Former Research Intern, ICS, Delhi, on ‘How China Plans to Further its Technology Ambitions – A Snapshot from Semiconductor Industry’; and

The ICS Translations in the month – Dr. Hemant Adlakha contributed translations of three texts this month:

  1. ‘Sino-Us Conflict: What Realism?’;
  2. ‘Jack Ma Spin-off: “New” Finance vs. “Old” Regulations?’; and
  3. ‘India in 2020 is clumsier than in 1962!’.


Dr. Hemant Adlakha penned four pieces – for The Diplomat on ‘How Did Chinese People React to Trump’s COVID-19 Diagnosis?’ on 8 October and ‘Did China Join COVAX to Counter or Promote Vaccine Nationalism?’ on 23 October respectively; for Indian Defence Review on ‘Chinese View: Pompeo’s agenda in Japan, South Korea and Mongolia: Push Indo-Pacific Strategy to encircle China; to enforce Taiwan independence’ on 3 October and ‘Sino-US Conflict: What Realism?’ on 12 October.

On 29 October, Dr. Mirza Zulfiqur Rahman, Visiting Research Associate, ICS, Delhi, did a photo-essay for the Australian Himalaya Research Network titled ‘The Languages and Imaginations of Monsoon Rains below the Eastern Himalaya’.

Also on 29 October, Dr. Happymon Jacob, Adjunct Fellow, ICS, Delhi, and Associate Professor, Centre for International Politics, Organization and Disarmament, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, wrote a piece for The Hindu titled ‘The challenges of walking the Indo-Pacific talk’.

Dr. Rityusha Tiwari, Visiting Fellow, ICS, Delhi and Assistant Editor, China Report gave three interviews – for Channel News Asia 938 on ‘India-China Relations in the light of India-US 2+2 dialogues’ on 15 October and on ‘Australia’s inclusion in Malabar exercises’ on 21 October; and for Radio CGTN Special Report on ‘Shenzhen inspired SEZ in Gujarat’ on 15 October. She also spoke on “Azerbaijan-Armenia Conflict” on News24, on 7 October.

Dr. P.K. Anand, Research Associate, ICS, Delhi was quoted by News9 on the Chinese Ambassador to Canada’s  remarks on Ottawa’s stance on granting asylum to pro-democracy activists.


Prof. Kamal Sheel, Adjunct Fellow, ICS, Delhi, and Professor of Chinese Studies, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, gave a key-note address on ‘Salience of History, Culture and Language in India-China Relations: Long Duree and Courte Duree’, in a Webinar organised by the Central University of Gujarat, Gandhi Nagar on 29-30 September. He also spoke on the topic ‘Configuring India-China "Connectedness": Contributions of Xuanzang as an Internationalist Cosmopolitan’ in an International Webinar on ‘Contributions of Xunazang’ organised by the Xuanzang Research Centre, Xibei University, Xian, Shaanxi, China on 18 October.

Dr. Hemant Adlakha presented a paper titled ‘China and China Studies in the post-COVID19 World’ at the International Conference on 'Importance of China Studies in the Contemporary World' organised by the Academy of International Studies, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi on 13 October. He also chaired a session on ‘Understanding Society through Literature’ in the same conference on 14 October. Further, Dr. Adlakha also delivered a Special Lecture on ‘Why Study a language? Why Learn Chinese?’ at the International Conference/Webinar on ‘Chinese Language Education in a Global Scenario: Issues and Perspectives,’ organised by English and Foreign Language University, Hyderabad on 16 October.

Mr. M.V. Rappai, Honorary Fellow, ICS, Delhi, was a panel member in a webinar titled  ‘China’s Nuclear Doctrine’ organised by Indian Pugwash Society and Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, Delhi, on 20 October.

Dr. Ritu Agarwal, Honorary Fellow, ICS, Delhi, and Associate Professor, Centre for East Asian Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, presented a paper titled ‘Border Opening-Up in China’: Two Tales from Yunnan', at the International Conference on 'Importance of China Studies in the Contemporary World,' organised by the Academy of International Studies, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi on 13-14 October. Dr. Agarwal also spoke on the topic ‘Pandemic and Health Crisis in India’, in an online International Conference on 'Building a Community of India-China Health Partnership: Yunnan Dialogue’, organized by Yunnan Academy of Social Sciences, Kunming on 20 October.

Mr. Shanky Chandra, ICS-HYI Fellow, presented a paper titled ‘Chinese Science Fiction as a Teaching Method for Technical Degree Students to Learn Chinese’ at the Science Fiction Research Young Scholars Forum organised by the Institute for Advanced Studies in Humanities and Social Sciences, Chongqing University on 17 October. He also presented a paper on ‘Online Chinese Language Teaching Under Covid-19: Challenges and Scenario’ in a two-day International Webinar on ‘Chinese Language Education in a Global Scenario: Issues and Perspectives’ organised by EFLU, Hyderabad on 15 October.

I spoke at conferences and discussions organised by UGC China Studies Programme of Jamia Millia Islamia, Vivekananda International Foundation, ICWA and ASEAN-India Centre of RIS.

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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