Seminar on ‘Engaging China: Opportunities and Challenges’
Printer-friendly versionSend to friend

Vivekananda International Foundation held a day long seminar titled ‘Engaging China: Opportunities and Challenges’ on June 26, 2014. The seminar attempted to approach the issue of Sino-Indian relations from a multi-dimensional perspective and included sessions on Geopolitical and Regional Dynamics, India-China Economic Relations and a discussion on the Security Challenges faced by the two countries.

In his opening remarks General NC Vij, Director, VIF stressed the importance of India-China relations to the Asian regional landscape in particular and international political dynamics in general. Deliberating upon the concept of friendship between two equals, General Vij underscored the importance of an enhanced military preparedness on the part of India for peaceful engagement and co-existence with China.

In the session on Geopolitical and Regional Dynamics, Chairman Ambassador Nalin Surie stressed upon the critical importance of Sino-Indian relationship in the emerging world order. Thereafter, Ambassador TCA Rangachari dwelt upon the similarities in the challenges faced by both India and China in their respective immediate neighborhoods due to the geographical size and economic prowess of these two countries. Speaking further, Ambassador Rangachari maintained that if China wishes to emerge as the sole regional superpower in Asia-Pacific, it needs to engage into constructive engagement with the East-Asian countries and limit its constantly expanding concept of ‘core-national interest.’ Ambassador Rajiv-Sikri in his address focused upon the need for India to revive BIMSTEC and rejuvenate its ties with Japan as a part of its Look-East policy. China sponsored BCIM and New Maritime Silk Road initiatives needed to be treated with caution.

Seasoned Sinologist Jayadeva Ranade emphasized upon the inter-linkages between ‘China Dream’ and China’s Peripheral diplomacy and its repercussions for India. Mr. Ranade explained how the concept of ‘China Dream’ is geared towards restoration of territories to the PRC that it perceives as its own. As a soft policy approach within the entire notion of ‘China Dream,’ PRC’s peripheral diplomacy is posing immense security challenges for India in Lumbini, Nepal. According to Mr. Ranade, China’s presence in Lumbini is directed towards undermining the authority of the Dalai Lama and thus further weakening of the Tibetan cause. Moreover, Lumbini is of particular concern to India as it is located barely 25 Km from the Indian border.

The session on Economic Relations was chaired by Dr. Arvind Virmani, and included Dr. Surjit Bhalla, Dr. Nisha Taneja, and Prof. ML Agarwal as the speakers. In this session, the panel while underlining the importance of India-China economic relations to India’s economic interests also discussed the ways to overcome the deficit that has become the characteristic feature of Sino-Indian trade relations.

During the session on Security Challenges and Cooperation, Mr. RN Ravi stressed upon the fact that trade between India and China should not be used by the leaderships in the two countries to sideline the border issue. Mr. Ravi maintained that in spite of bourgeoning trade relations between the two countries, China is investing hugely in constructing infrastructure facilities along the India-China border. General JS Bajwa in his address highlighted the point that China has used the option of ‘war’ more often than any other foreign policy mechanism to resolve its border disputes. Deliberating upon the issue of South China Sea, Vice Admiral Anup Singh stressed that China’s claims in the South China Sea, based upon the nine-dash lines are invalid as under the principle of common public good, border demarcations in water bodies are not recognized. Admiral Singh further discussed the issue of China’s investments in the construction of naval facilities in the South Asian and African countries, and the prospect of these facilities being used by the PRC as wartime bases. As per Admiral Singh, these facilities would not operate as permanent bases, but as strategic ‘places’ bought out by China through its economic prowess.

Event Date 
June 26, 2014
Contact Us