China’s Environmental Governance: Opportunities and Challenges

Prof. Rajiv Ranjan, Associate Professor, College of Liberal Arts, Shanghai University; Prof. Weilin Pan, Associate Professor, Institute of China Studies, Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences; Dr. Shiran Victoria Shen, W. Glenn Campbell & Rita Ricardo-Campbell National Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University; Ms. Shagufta Yasmin, Doctoral Candidate, Centre for East Asian Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University.

Wednesday Seminar | Zoom Webinar |1 June 2022


In September 2020, speaking to the United Nations General Assembly, President Xi Jinping declared that China would peak its carbon emissions by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2060. Interestingly, China has always been an important player in the international climate change negotiations. It has played a vital role through its bilateral and multilateral co- operations in order to shape international treaties and agreements. However, with severe air- pollution, the existence of cancer-villages, and the vulnerability that China faces due to climate change, China’s environmental governance, policy implementation, and its efficiency to address environmental issues, is an interesting case study for both developed and developing countries. Furthermore, in the wake of COVID-19, China’s implementation of zero-COVID policy has further raised concerns of losing trust of the domestic population and also the international community. Undoubtedly, this challenges China’s position as a responsible stakeholder in the international climate change negotiations and other environmental forums. The commitments made by President Xi are quite ambitious. With the largest carbon emission in the world, largest population and still developing economy, the world is eager to know how China is going to achieve those commitments. Indeed, there is a challenge on how these green policies will translate to either readiness or commitment to encourage international cooperation on climate change. This panel discussion aimed to strengthen the understanding of China’s environmental governance including trends, patterns and challenges. 

Economic and Political Crises in Sri Lanka: Role of India and China

Mr. Michael Kugelman, Deputy Director, Asia Program & Senior Associate, Wilson Center; Dr. Chulanee Attanayake, Research Fellow, Institute of South Asian Studies, National University of Singapore; Dr. Deep Pal, Visiting Scholar, Asia Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

Wednesday Seminar | Zoom Webinar |8 June 2022


Sri Lanka is facing its worst economic crisis since independence, which has left the country unable to buy enough fuel, with people facing an acute scarcity of food and basic necessities. The anti-government protesters in Sri Lanka have rallied against a downward spiralling economy that has exhausted Sri Lankan foreign reserves. In the form of infrastructure loans, the Chinese economic footprint in the country has aided the lopsided economic reforms in draining the public finances. In addition to the economic downfall, the political instability in the country has not allowed the situation to improve either. Even as Ranil Wickremesinghe took oath as the new Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, the people are still demanding the resignation of Gotabaya Rajapaksa. Sri Lankans are not hopeful of Wickremesinghe to be able to reverse the economic mismanagement by successive governments over the last few years. Amid another humanitarian crisis in India’s neighbourhood, the country is trying to put in serious efforts to aid political stability and economic recovery. This seminar part of ICS’ China in South Asia Series, discussed the fluid situation of Sri Lanka along with responses by India and China as their assistance can lead to setting a precedent for the future role the two countries will play in South Asian geopolitics.



Book Discussion: How China Sees India and the World: The Authoritative Account of the India-China Relationship

Amb. Shyam Saran, former Foreign Secretary, Government of India; Member, Governing Council, Institute of Chinese Studies.

Wednesday Seminar | Zoom Webinar |15 June 2022


In his magisterial book, acclaimed diplomat Shyam Saran provides an authoritative account of the India–China relationship and how China perceives our country. Amb. Saran starts his story with the rise and fall of Buddhism and its spread through the trade routes that connected India to China and China to Europe through Central Asia. As he recounts this gripping story, he questions, too, the Chinese claim that it was the most important and influential civilization of the ancient world, arguing that it was India who played that role. As a work of history, How China Sees India and the World tells its story not just in big, bold strokes but also through entertaining nuggets such as the spread of the chopstick, or how the word ‘zen’ arose from ‘dhyan’. As a work of political analysis, especially of contemporary China and India, it is based on close readings of contemporary Chinese scholarship, CCP leadership speeches and writings, and through Saran’s own experiences as diplomat and Foreign Secretary. This book discussion provided a nuanced understanding of the book, straight from the author himself.  




‘Intelligentization’ in the People’s Liberation Army

Mr. KK Venkatraman, Research Fellow, Institute of Chinese Studies.

Wednesday Seminar | Zoom Webinar |22 June 2022


China has set as a goal for the People’s Liberation Army to become a world class military power by mid-21st century. Towards this, China changed its military strategic guideline (军事战 略方针) to ‘winning informatized local wars’ (打赢信 息化局部战争) in 2014 and further revised it to ‘Military Strategic Guidelines for the New Era’(新时代军事战略方针). The new military strategic guidelines are likely to emphasise on ’intelligentization’ (智能化) in future. What is ‘intelligentization’? How does it differ from Artificial Intelligence? How is the PLA likely to employ ‘intelligentization’? Where does it stand as on date? What are the envisaged future trends? This seminar looked at the doctrinal, technological and organisational changes in the PLA and attempted to answer the above questions.



China’s Foreign Policy Responses: During the Pandemic and Beyond

Dr. Rityusha Mani Tiwary, Assistant Professor, Shaheed Bhagat Singh College, University of Delhi; Ms. Wenjing Gao, Doctoral Candidate, Department of Political Science, Carleton University.

Wednesday Seminar | Zoom Webinar |29 June 2022


2022 is particularly important for China’s domestic and foreign policies since this is the year in which Xi expects to renew his second term of office, which also signals the beginning of his unlimited term of leadership. Xi is the man that aims to make China great again by delivering on the Chinese dream of national rejuvenation. In the last two years, there has been much turmoil both domestically and externally with the COVID-19 pandemic as well as increased tensions with neighbours and the West. In this background, speakers in the current panel proposed the framework of ontological security to understand China’s posturing on the issues of COVID-19 pandemic, the subsequent policy response of the party state and the India-China border dispute since 2020.  



Volume 58 | Issue 2 | May 2022

Creating Data by Negotiating: China’s Data Barons and Government Control

Arushi Singh | Issue No. 148 | June 2022
Chinese hi-tech companies have enormous access to data. Major technology companies in China such as Alibaba, Baidu and Tencent still retain their founders as leaders. These leaders exercise considerable control over and are guiding their companies’ data strategies. However, the Chinese government has been perturbed by the unhindered power and reaches of companies and has endeavoured to undertake measures to retake control. This has not deterred Alibaba, Baidu and Tencent who under their founders continue to find new avenues to data acquisition in conjunction with government priorities.

South China Sea: A Triangle of Dispute Between China, Southeast Asia and India

Khushboo Sen Dhuruv |Issue No. 91 | June 2022
The South China Sea is most disputed in terms of its geopolitical location and geoeconomic importance, making it strategically relevant in global politics. The South China Sea is a blue water strategic dispute for fishing and natural resources which involves territorial and maritime claims within the region. The South China Sea have the most longstanding dispute between China and Southeast Asian nations in international affairs. It is one of the busiest waterways and strategically crucial for commercial and military exercises. However, many non-claimant countries, including India and the US, want the South China Sea to remain an international water body in accordance with the United Nation’s freedom of navigation operation law. The region has been growing significantly for India’s trade-economic linkages with East Asian nations and the Asia-pacific region.

Foxconn, an iPhone Foundry in Zhengzhou, China is Sending its Staff to India to Train Indians, Should Beijing Start Worrying?

Hemant Adlakha| Issue No. 36 | June 2022
On May 30, Taiwan's "Economic Daily" reported that Foxconn's Zhengzhou (China) factory plans to send more than 20 employees during the Dragon Boat Festival holidays to the company's factory in India to train the Indian employees. Some people on the island pointed out that since Zhengzhou is the world’s largest iPhone production base, Foxconn’s move is aimed at strengthening the Indian supply chain production and enhancing iPhone manufacturing in India. This is “in line with Apple’s intention to ask foundries to expand non-mainland China production capacity.”




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.
Russia-Ukraine Crisis: China Looking for ‘Opportunity’ amid Ukraine War
Hemant Adlakha
8 June, 2022





A ‘Soft Position’ by the UN on China’s Uighur Camps
Srikanth Kondapalli
IMPRI | 1 June 2022
Indo-Pacific Economic Framework: Advantages for India
Gautam Bambawale
IMPRI | 5 June 2022




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