International Relations/Diplomacy
China’s Vaccine Diplomacy in Southeast Asia

The COVID-19 pandemic has unleashed power play amongst nations. The first year of the COVID-19 pandemic saw a race of sorts to provide essential medical supplies and in the second year, a competition for vaccines is underway. Vaccine diplomacy, as it is called, is believed to yield diplomatic dividends immediately as well as in the long term. Vaccines were also seen as a powerful tool to reward friendly countries (or otherwise). Southeast Asian states have always attached a great value to economic development.

Talk on China in Rajapakse 2.0: Ports and Geo-Political Challenges

On 02 August 2021, the Vivekananda International Foundation (VIF) organised a talk by Prof Asanga Abeyagoonasekera, author and Senior Advisor on Security and Geopolitics, Sri Lanka, on "China in Rajapakse 2.0: Ports and Geo-Political Challenges in Sri Lanka”. Dr Arvind Gupta, Director VIF, welcomed Prof Asanga Abeyagoonasekera and delivered the opening remarks. He stated that China-Sri Lanka relations are closely observed by India, as there are concerns in India about the scope of that relationship.

“India’s China Challenge: A Journey through China’s rise and what it means for India” by Ananth Krishnan, Harper Collins, 2021, pp.420, Price Rs. 599

No scholar following India-China relations in India or abroad can ever claim anonymity with Ananth Krishnan regarded as the most authentic interpreter of India-China relations for about decades as a correspondent filing despatches from mainland China. Reporting from China and that too on sensitive and delicate India-China relations and often at critical times is indeed quite a challenge.

China’s Cyber-Influence Operations

… With its growing assertiveness in the international arena, China uses new technologies to achieve its foreign policy goals and project an image of responsible global power … spending billions on influence operations across the world ... fits in with China’s larger aim of expanding its soft power alongside its growing economic and military power … reach of Beijing’s overseas media is impressive and should not be underestimated. But the results are mixed ...

China’s Nuclear and Missile Capabilities : An Overview

… creation of the theatre commands and the PLA’s emphasis on joint operations have catalysed the Rocket Force’s focus on jointness…. integrating Rocket Force units into dual-use missile systems and the possible collocation of conventional and nuclear missiles could create risks of unintentional escalation in a conflict ... more diverse and dispersed nuclear force could increase China’s confidence in the survivability of its second-strike capability, causing it to forego more assertive changes to its nuclear posture…

Defining China’s Intelligentized Warfare and Role of Artificial Intelligence

China feels that U.S. is its main adversary ... China is trying to match U.S. technological capabilities with its own strength in AI as a leap frog technology and a new concept of war ... But there will be lot of problems in implementing this concept of Intelligentization Warfare to reality. However, President Xi Jinping has thrown the gauntlet, and it is up to the U.S. the other adversaries and the rest of the world to follow this concept keenly.

Cyber DNA of China –Deep, Focussed and Militarised

The strategic goals reconfirmed by the CCP, in late 1970’s, included maintaining domestic stability; sustaining economic growth and development; defending national sovereignty and territorial integrity; safeguarding China’s interest world over. The focus of the Fifth, Sixth and Seventh Five year Plans, was on investing in export industries, infrastructure, adaption and investment in technology development. China began opening its economy to the outside world and embraced market forces. Since then, China’s growth and development have been spectacular.

The Curious Case of Huawei

China’s journey from being an agrarian economy to one of the largest economies with a strong military and cyber capabilities is commendable. However, its military and cyber capabilities are built upon relentless efforts to steal critical military and technical information of other countries, mainly the United States (US). Leading Chinese companies, including one of the telecom giants—Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. (hereafter Huawei), are taking advantage of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) projects to access the competitive neighbourhood nations.

The US-China Bout: Who’s on the Ropes

The world is witnessing momentous shifts in geopolitics, and in fact, in every facet of human life. The US-China zero-sum game for dominance may well define pathways nations take to bring prosperity to their people in the next decade. This paper attempts to track current issues of this ‘race’ especially after a change of presidency in the US. In particular, issues in the Indo-Pacific in terms of fast-changing policies of both powers are explored from the Indian perspective.

Chinese Data Collection- Domestically and Internationally - A talk by Professor Christopher Balding

Several reports—news media and research, has highlighted the Chinese government’s engagement in data collection at a massive scale across multiple domains, for various purposes—including enhancing State security/surveillance. For a better and in-depth understanding of the China’s tech-enhanced data collection—domestically and internationally; on 16 October 2020, the Vivekananda International Foundation (VIF) organised a virtual discussion with Professor Christopher Balding—an Associate Professor at the Fulbright University Vietnam.

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