EU – China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment

Prof. Gulshan Sachdeva

Wednesday Seminar | Zoom Webinar |10 February 2021


After seven years and 35 rounds of negotiations, the EU and China have finally agreed for a Comprehensive Agreement in Investments (CAI). Compared to bilateral investment treaties, the CAI will put in place a single EU-China investment framework. As both the EU and China are economic heavyweights, the economic and strategic significance of the deal cannot be underestimated. The CAI is not an FTA. But it will serve an important tool to open Chinese market for EU companies. Despite all the talk of ‘geopolitical’ EU and a common transatlantic front against assertive China, the deal has once again shown that what matter most to its member states is economics. Some EU countries may also like to project it as a sign of their strategic autonomy from the US. Moreover, CAI linked with recently signed RCEP is such an opportunity, which the EU could not ignore easily. With prospects of liberal investment opportunities in a lucrative Chinese market, ‘decoupling’ from China narrative will become weaker in Europe. The EU not naïve about timing and political significance of the deal. However, despite labelling China as a ‘systemic rival’ and ‘economic competitor’, Brussels does not want to be on the wrong side of a rising power. The CAI deal rather shows that it is ready to take advantage from an emerging geopolitical dynamic in the Indo-Pacific.

Book Discussion | China’s Search for “National Rejuvenation’: Domestic and Foreign Policies under Xi Jinping

Jabin T. Jacob, Hoang The Anh, Cu Chi Loi, Ngeow Chow Bing

Book Discussion | Zoom Webinar |17 February 2021


The book discusses key domestic forces driving current Chinese growth ranging from economic reforms to governance practices, and analyses their impact and influence at home as well as on China's foreign and security policies in its near and extended neighbourhood. It also looks at specific themes - technology, agricultural development, reform of state-owned enterprises and the use of Party bodies to engage in foreign propaganda work among other issues to offer examples of the merging of Chinese domestic political and foreign policy interests. In the process, the volume offers its readers a better idea of China's place in the world as the Chinese themselves see it and the implications over time for China, its neighbourhood and the wider world. The book uniquely has an all-Asian cast of experts on Chinese domestic, foreign and security policies.



China – Pakistan Economic Corridor: Taking Stock

Amb. Sujan R. Chinoy

Wednesday Seminar | Zoom Webinar |24 February 2021


The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has been earmarked as a flagship project of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which is described as Chinese President Xi Jinping's signature foreign policy initiative and a grand strategy aimed at restoring China's "rightful'' great-power status in the world. It is a major plank in China's geo-strategic and economic architecture for the region, using Pakistan to secure an exploitative strategic perch in South Asia and the Arabian Sea, overlooking the crucial Persian Gulf, the west coast of India, and the east coast of Africa. Pakistan's economic distress, friction between Islamabad and Washington in recent years, and, its enduring tensions with India, provide Beijing an opportunity to draw Pakistan even closer into its strategic orbit. It is increasingly clear that not only will the CPEC extract a high price from Pakistan in terms of its sovereignty, it will also entail a substantial, if not downright usurious, economic cost. China intends to use Pakistan to hem India in, within the South Asian region and limit its elbow room in the Indian Ocean. The CPEC is viewed in Balochistan as an endeavour to exploit the province's natural resources at the cost of the local people, spurring the insurgency. Elsewhere too, it gives rise to misgivings among the local residents. The opaque nature of the CPEC and its geostrategic underpinnings detract vastly from any economic growth and development that it may deliver.

Volume 57 | Issue 1 | February 2021

US-China Relations in the post-Trump Phase

Amb. Arun K Singh | Issue No. 128 | February 2021
The outbreak of coronavirus has shaken the world with more than 1,443,804 deaths and millions of infected patients.
ICS Occasional Paper

Strategic Stability between China and the US in the Age of Artificial Intelligence

Megha Shrivastava |Issue No. 129 | February 2021
Artificial Intelligence (AI), an emerging dual-use technology, which holds the potential to change the nature of warfare, has the profound capability of reshaping the ongoing great power rivalry. From diplomatic engagements to traditional methods of warfare, AI may be leveraged to change the nature of warfare as well as redefine the concepts of strategic stability, deterrence, and balance of power.
ICS Occasional Paper

India’s Role in the Indo-Pacific Region in the post-COVID 19 World Order

Ananya Raj Kakoti |Issue No. 67 |February 2021
With the Indo-Pacific becoming the new arena of the great powers’ power projection, India’s role as a chief actor in the region has also become increasingly significant. India’s unique strategic location and its increasing influence in international politics make it a significant player in the region, making India’s position a determining factor in the formulation of various countries’ foreign policies, such as the United States of America, Australia, and Japan. They see the area strategically important enough to decide the future of the current world order and COVID-19 pandemic has further accelerated the dynamic geopolitical shifts, which were already in the making, forcing India to develop its maritime space proactively. This paper will look at three aspects.

Imagine China, If Mao was Gandhi

Prashant Kaushik| Issue No:24| February 2021
Someone once asked: “If Gandhi, and not Mao Zedong, was born in China, what would it be like?” In fact, the answer is simple – look at India today! That is, the lower class lacks the spirit of resistance, so they have all along remained oppressed, forming a strong class division in society, and resulting in extremely low degree of class mobility.

Bukharin Inspired Deng Xiaoping to Change China

Hemant Adlakha| Issue No:25 | February 2021
Nikolai Bukharin (1888 – 1938) unjustly died in prison, Deng Xiaoping too eventually passed away. Bukharin did not succeed in bringing about reforms in the Soviet Union, but he did influence Deng enough to “rescue” China.

‘Mutual Aid Sanitary Napkin’ Groups: A Small Step, Giant Leap to End ‘Menstrual Shame’

Tanvi Negi| Issue No:26 | February 2021
Women must openly “talk about menstruation,” In order to let women “talk confidently about menstruation” and to pay attention to “her problems”, we need to break away from the taboo thinking and we must treat “menstruation” a normal, everyday issue.



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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Hemant Adlakha
February 2021
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Megha Srivastava
February 2021







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