Seminar: China’s Strategy and Foreign Policy in the Indo-Pacific Region
About the Seminar
The Indo-Pacific region is witnessing significant shifts in power balances partly fueled by the comprehensive rise of China, “rebalance” strategy of the United States, Japan’s re-rise, India’s Act East policy, revival of territorial disputes and contest over maritime, cyber and space commons. As the 2nd largest economy in the world, largest trading partner for over 130 countries and 2nd largest defence spender, China’s strategies have wide implications. The new political leadership in China since 2012 is seen as moving from Deng Xiaoping’s “keeping a low profile” [韬光养晦] to “accomplish something” [有所作为]. Through the 4th national foreign affairs work conference in November 2014 and the Chinese Military Strategy white paper of May 2015, China has firmly indicated its outward orientation. This is also reflected in the CICA summit of May 2014 (“Asian security for Asians”), preparations for One Belt One Road (in continental and maritime domains) and the establishment of AIIB and NDB of BRICS. From being the major recipient of FDI, China is moving towards an outward investment strategy of “going out” [走出去]. An estimated 30,000 Chinese companies have set up shop abroad and over 140 million Chinese tourists went abroad last year. In November 2015 China announced the Djibouti “supply facility” for its Navy and has since 2008 sent 22 naval contingents to the Indian Ocean. Its naval and air forces, by evacuating over 50,000 Chinese from war-torn regions of Libya, Egypt and Yemen in the last few years, demonstrated medium-lift capabilities some 10,000 km away from China. China is in the process of implementing a programme of protection of its interest abroad with enhanced military responsibilities. While overall China has abided by the multilateral processes, its recent responses at the ASEAN meetings and to the South China Sea verdict and its military preparations and outward postures suggest a firming of China’s role in the Indo-Pacific region.
About the Speaker
Srikanth Kondapalli is Professor in Chinese Studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU). He is Chairman of the Centre for East Asian Studies, School of International Studies, JNU. He has a background in Chinese studies in India and China with a Ph.D. in Chinese Studies. He learnt Chinese language at Beijing Language & Culture University and was a post-Doctoral Visiting Fellow at People’s University, Beijing from 1996-98. He was a Visiting Professor at National Chengchi University, Taipei in 2004; a Visiting Fellow at China Institute of Contemporary International Relations, Beijing in 2007; an Honorary Professor at Shandong University, Jinan in 2009, 2011, 2013 and 2015; at Jilin University, Changchun in 2014; and at Yunnan University of Finance and Economics, Kunming in 2016. He is the author of two books (China’s Military: The PLA in Transition in 1999 & China’s Naval Power in 2001); two monographs; and has co-edited three volumes (Asian Security & China in 2004; China and its Neighbours in 2010 & China’s Military and India in 2012) besides writing journal articles – all on China. He received the K. Subramanyam Award in 2010 for Excellence in Research in Strategic and Security Studies.