4th India Forum on China @ Goa: CPC at 100 and China’s Future


3-4 December 2021


The 4th IFC was organised by the Institute of Chinese Studies (ICS), Delhi and Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) India Office with the support of Goa University at Goa on 3-4 December 2021. The theme of this Forum was "CPC at 100 and China’s Future". The keynote address was delivered by Prof. Rana Mitter, Professor of History and Politics of Modern China & Fellow, St. Cross College, University of Oxford. Experts and participants deliberated upon themes such as National Rejuvenation: Sustaining Authoritarian Legitimacy, Power Projection in the Indo-Pacific, Cultural and Intellectual Tradition, Great Power Competition, China’s Developmental Aspirations, Decoding China’s Regional Ambitions and CPC at 100.

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Globalisation and a Pandemic: Revisiting the Mongol Empire

Ravi Bhoothalingam

Wednesday Seminar | Zoom Webinar | 8 December 2021


The Mongol empire under Genghis Khan and his successors was an early and remarkable example of globalisation, brought about by what was once considered 'only' a nomadic civilisation. At its maximum expanse, the Empire stretched from the Sea of Japan to the gates of Vienna, and from Persia in the south to the Baltic Sea in the North. But from Inner Asia also arose the "Black Death"--the bubonic plague that wiped out nearly 40% of Europe's population. Today, as we experience both the benefits and the travails of globalisation, as also live through a global pandemic, revisiting the Mongol Empire may well reveal some insights for our times.



Panel Discussion: ICS-HYI Doctoral Fellowship in China Studies

Veda Vaidyanathan, Madhurendra Jha, Tiasangla Longkumer, Shanky Chandra

Wednesday Seminar | Zoom Webinar |15 December 2021


In collaboration with the Harvard Yenching Institute (HYI), the ICS inaugurated the Institute of Chinese Studies-Harvard Yenching Institute (ICS-HYI) Joint Scholarship for Doctoral Research in January 2014. Two scholarships for a period of five years each are awarded to selected candidates, enrolled in a doctoral Programme in Indian universities. In the first year, the selected candidate would strengthen Chinese language capabilities in India and thereafter spend one year in a Chinese university and the third year at the HYI in the United States. The recipients of the scholarship work across disciplines and are based in different universities in India. In the panel discussion, the panelists shared their journey as recipients of the prestigious fellowship and how it has helped them on their evolution and development as scholars/academics/researchers.




Japan’s Quest for Normalisation: A Case Study of Japan’s Arms Export Policy

Shahana Thankachan

Wednesday Seminar | Zoom Webinar |22 December 2021


It is difficult to define what a “normal” state is in the current global system. One of the more accepted definitions, however, of a “normal” state is one that has the ability and freedom to fulfill all its regional and global responsibilities proportionate to its stature in the global system. As per this definition, Japan fell short of being a “normal” state in many aspects. Japan’s status of being an “abnormal” state began changing in 1991, when it started the process of its security policy “normalisation”. Among a slew of measures, one of the major policy changes introduced in this regard was the removal of the ban on arms export in 2014. The paper presented at the Wednesday Seminar uses Japan’s new arms export policy as a case study to examine the process of Japan’s “normalisation” more closely. The case study is used to test the hypothesis that Japan has normalized in status but not in behavior. The attempt is also to identify the structural and non-structural challenges facing Japan’s defence industry and its export. The paper also provides some possible solutions to overcoming the challenges facing Japan as the latest entrant in the international weapons market. The larger aim is to identify the opportunities for strengthening India-Japan defence co-operation. The two countries can greatly benefit each other through such cooperation, as India is the second-largest arms importer in the world, while the Japanese defence industry faces an existential crisis unless it can accelerate its exports substantially. Finally, the paper also briefly analyses the impact of the pandemic and domestic political instability on the process of “normalisation”.

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Volume 57| Issue 4 | November 2021

Internal Drivers of China’s External Behaviour

Shivshankar Menon| Issue No. 81 | December 2021
While external factors are useful in understanding a country’s behaviour, they are not sufficient to account for many foreign policy decisions made by China’s leaders. Domestic politics have played a profound role in shaping China’s behaviour in the domestic and international realms. This paper suggests four crucial domestic factors which have driven China’s path: geography, internal stability, rising nationalism built on China’s imagined past, and China’s maritime concerns.

China’s Environmental Diplomacy: From Sovereignty to Authoritarian Environmentalism

Shagufta Yasmin | Issue No: 82 | December 2021
In December 2020, at the Climate Ambition Summit which was held to commemorate the fifth anniversary of the Paris climate accord, President Xi Jinping while addressing via video link, pledged to have carbon dioxide emission peak before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2060. Also, China is the first developing country to adopt and implement a national climate change program and submit its intended nationally determined contributions (INDCs) to the Unite Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). In June 2017, when President Trump decided to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, it led global climate governance into a transitional era. This situation not only created an opportunity but also posed a challenge for China, the largest emitter of greenhouse gases (GHGs), with the largest population in the world and also the fastest-growing trillion-dollar economy.

Looking Beyond the Crossroads: Rethinking China’s Ecological Civilization amidst the Covid-19 Pandemic

Saloni Sharma| Issue No. 83 | December 2021
The last decade witnessed major shifts in China's environmental governance. While it once seemed that China discounted environmental concerns for industrial growth, climate issues gradually became key components of both governance and propaganda. The awakening of this consciousness was marked by a milestone when China became a signatory to the Paris Agreement. In the 19th National Congress, Xi Jinping's Thought of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics in the New Era highlighted the vision of an ‘Ecological Civilization’ for the construction of a ‘Beautiful China’. However, at the closing of this decade, COVID 19 marks an unexpected shift in the epoch of the Anthropocene.

China’s Prospects in Afghanistan: Opportunities and Adversities

Ashu Mann | Issue No: 84 | December 2021
The United States invaded Taliban-run Afghanistan in the wake of the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York and The Pentagon in Virginia. After staying in the country for 20 years resulting in 2,448 deaths of American service members and 3,846 (Knickmeyer, 2021) military contractors until April 2021, the United States has pulled back from Afghanistan and the Taliban is back in power in Kabul. Amid the United States troop pullout, the Taliban takeover, and the ensuing chaos in Afghanistan most countries started to evacuate their citizens and embassies, but there were exceptions in the name of China, Russia, and Pakistan whose embassies continued to function as normal. This paper aims to analyse China’s interests in Post-American Afghanistan through the lens of Economic, Political, and Security interests.




The ICS Blog is a platform for an open dialogue that aims to inform and enlighten, especially young scholars and analysts on contemporary issues related to China and East Asia.
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