Interaction with Intellisia Institute, Guangzhou, China
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The VIF hosted an interaction with a delegation from the Intellisia Institute, Guangzhou. The delegation consisted of the following members:-

  • Professor Dingding Chen, President of Intellisia Institute
  • Raj Verma, Director of Research & Senior Fellow Asia-Pacific, Intellisia Institute.;
  • You Wang, Assistant. to President Intellisia Institute;
  • Yu Xia, Assistant. Research Fellow

Dr. Arvind Gupta, Director, VIF presided over the interaction. He opened the floor for the Chinese delegation led by Prof. Dingding. The Chinese institute is relatively new and focuses on China’s foreign policy, U.S-China relations, maritime issues, and new technologies. Prof. Dingding mentioned that as the Institute focuses on international affairs, there is an increasing realisation in China that India will be a critical player not only for the region but for the world. There is an increasing effort to understand and work on India-China relations through bilateral academic meets hosted by Intellisia institute.

The Chinese delegation wanted more academic interactions between think tanks and academic institutions not only in New Delhi and Beijing but outside as well. A member of the Chinese delegation expressed his observation that in China, the people do not know much about India and by extension, South Asia. The Chinese delegation expressed hope that the Greater Bay Area and India can have deeper cooperation in the coming years.

The discussion was focused on technology, maritime issues, and economy. The Chinese delegation stated that Southern China had more freedom compared to the rest of China and is the economic hub of the country. Most of the start-up’s and high-end manufacturing is in the Greater Bay Area. While addressing trade issues, there is a general understanding in China that trade with India is imbalanced. Underlying trust is an important cornerstone of relations and strategic communities of both countries should work towards making sure that difference does not become a dispute. Members of the Chinese delegation see economic cooperation growing between India and China in response to the U.S-China trade conflict and see opportunities for India if it joins China in a partnership.

The Chinese delegation stated that the South China Sea was an important area for them for trade, and it was important for India too, as a significant portion of India’s foreign trade flows through its waters. The Indian side felt that there should be maritime dialogue between the two navies as India is an interested party in keeping sea lanes in the South China Sea open and the region tension free.

On Technology and Data, the Chinese side argued that traditional manufacturing is a thing of the past, and the future will be quite different and digital technology-oriented. Data is continuously compared with the value of oil, and using that logic China is the richest in the world, they said. India-China cooperation should also focus on the future of data and make new rules, making this a part of the agenda in high-level meetings between the two countries. The opportunities are many and will help transform their economy.

While answering the questions on Hong Kong, The Chinese delegation stated that it was an identity issue and, the citizens of Hong Kong see themselves as being different. From an economic point of view, the unrest in Hong Kong will not affect the Chinese economy as its importance has dwindled over the years, and today, Shenzhen makes a bigger contribution to China’s GDP. Prof. Dingding concluded the presentation by saying that India-China relations need to be more creative in the light of changing times.

The Director, VIF, concluded the meeting by saying that Indian strategic community’s understanding of China is limited to what the English newspapers from China and the think tanks from Beijing discuss as the political system there has made information opaque. To help take these discussions forward, VIF and Intellisia should enhance interactions and promote joint research projects.

Event Date 
August 6, 2019

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