Two Years of Crisis in Eastern Ladakh: The Way Ahead

Amb. Gautam Bambawale, former Ambassador of India to China, Pakistan and Bhutan; Lt. Gen. DS Hooda (Retd.), PVSM, UYSM, AVSM, VSM and Bar, ADC, former General Officer, Commanding-in-Chief, Northern Command, Indian Army; Senior Col. Zhou Bo (Retd.), former Deputy Director General, General Planning Bureau, Foreign Affairs Office, Ministry of National Defense of the People’s Republic of China; Mr. Sushant Singh, Senior Fellow, Centre for Policy Research.

Wednesday Seminar | Zoom Webinar | 4 May 2022


5 May 2022 marks the second anniversary of the current crisis in Eastern Ladakh, the deadliest, since 1962 and follows a series of such crises since 2013. On 5 May 2020, the first clash occurred resulting in injuries to several soldiers on both sides. This was followed by another major clash on the night of 15-16 June 2020 resulting in 20 Indian and four PLA soldiers getting killed in action. While the Chinese views over the current situation is ambiguous, the Indian side believes that the crisis was due to a deliberate action by the Chinese side. Despite several rounds of talks at the national, diplomatic and military levels over the past two years, the current crisis shows no sign of resolution. Existing Confidence Building Mechanisms have neither been able to prevent nor aid in resolving the current crisis. The panel discussion looked at the underlying causes of the crisis, developments over the past two years, the Chinese perspective and way ahead.

Book Discussion: The Comrades and the Mullahs: China, Afghanistan and the New Asian Geopolitics

Mr. Ananth Krishnan, China Correspondent, The Hindu; Dr. Stanly Johny, International Affairs Editor, The Hindu.

Wednesday Seminar | Zoom Webinar | 11 May 2022


The withdrawal of the United States from Afghanistan has left a lasting impact on both Afghanistan’s future and on Asian geopolitics. It has also brought China into focus. "The Comrades and the Mullahs" traces the emergence of China as a key player in Afghanistan and the evolution of China’s Afghan policy especially with respect to its relations with the Taliban. Beijing's dominant role in Afghanistan’s future is a potentially game-changing development in Asian geopolitics, even if questions remain about the former's appetite to step in to fill the void and the limits of its ambitions. In this talk, the authors Ananth Krishnan and Stanly Johny discussed their book, the situation in Afghanistan, what Beijing’s interests are and the drivers of its foreign policy.

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China and the Emerging Regional Supply Chain

Prof. Amita Batra, Professor of Economics and Chairperson, Centre for South Asian Studies, School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University; Prof. G. Venkat Raman, Professor, Humanities and Social Sciences Department, Indian Institute of Management Indore.

Wednesday Seminar | Zoom Webinar |18 May 2022


The ongoing trade war between the United States and China and the Covid-19 pandemic have highlighted the vulnerability of complex global supply chains to ongoing structural changes in the global economy resulting from rising labour costs, automation, protectionism and geopolitical tensions like the Ukraine crisis. These developments have prompted a critical re-evaluation of existing approaches to global sourcing and manufacturing activities to increase supply chain resilience and reduce external risks. While the rise of regional trade agreements is partly a response to desire for a more stable business environment, it also risks creating an unwieldy set of international trade rules that undercut rather than facilitate the ease of doing business transnationally. This seminar discussed some pressing questions such as, in the context of uncertainties generated by recent developments, what has been China's response as a major trading power? Further, what are the emerging supply chains sustaining the global trade and what can be done to ensure the smooth functioning of supply chains and increase their ability to withstand the impact of future global crises?




China-EU Relations in the Wake of the Ukraine Crisis

Mr. Noah Barkin, Managing Editor, China Practice, Rhodium Group; Dr. Gudrun Wacker, Senior Fellow, Asia Division, German Institute for International and Security Affairs; Amb. Arun K. Singh, former Ambassador of India to United States, France and Israel.

Wednesday Seminar | Zoom Webinar |25 May 2022


European Union (EU)-China ties have been strained in the last few years with ‘systemic rivalry’ becoming the defining prism of the relationship in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, US-China trade war and the closeness between Russia and China. Especially since the war in Ukraine, the EU and the United States have moved closer on tougher policies towards Beijing. China’s purported position of neutrality is being seen as tacit support of Russia and the joint statement inked by Putin and Xi which contained a critique of NATO has raised many eyebrows. There can now be seen a new found sense of leadership in Brussels after using its economic muscles through sanctions and provision of military aid to Ukraine. Moving away from classical diplomatic language, the EU is taking a tougher stance on China even as the considerable economic and trade relations continue. In this context, this seminar examined the evolving EU-China relations and the impact of the Ukraine crisis on redefining the transatlantic stance on China.



Volume 58| Issue 2 | February 2022





Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement- A Study of Cross-Straits Economic Integration

Siddharth Rai| Issue No. 89 | May 2022
China and Taiwan signed an interim preferential trade agreement – the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) in June 2010 to formalise the indirect and unofficial trade relations between both sides of the straits. Unlike other free trade agreements signed by the mainland, Beijing didn’t negotiate the ECFA via the Ministry of Commerce, in order to avoid recognising Taiwan as an independent country. The agreement met with a mixed response – with Taiwan’s nationalist party Kuomintang (KMT)-led camp supporting the agreement and the main opposition party Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) opposing the agreement.

China and the UNCLOS: The Legal Status of China’s Claimed Area in the East China Sea and its Implications Among the East Asian Countries

Kant Kumar | Issue No: 90 | May 2022
The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea(UNCLOS) sets out the legal framework applicable in demarcating the Maritime areas and activities in the oceans. However, since a couple of decades, the discovery of natural resources and national security concerns have made some countries to interpret the laws of convention based on their national interest and have resulted in overlapping claims and hostile situation. East China Sea is one of the hotspots for such claim, like Japan draws straight baseline for demarcating its maritime zones and China claims the major part of China seas on a historical basis. The overlapping maritime claims and hostile situation have resulted in military build-up in East China Sea, which is a matter of concern for the global community because China Sea is one of the mainstream sea route for the maritime transportation.



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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