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Message from Director General on the Occassion of 16 Years of C3S




Dear Readers, Well Wishers and Supporters of C3S,

The sustained efforts in the last one and a half decades have ensured that the China observers, policymakers and other stakeholders are constantly provided with high-quality inputs based on thorough research and analysis of identified issues by dedicated teams with guidance from the senior members of the think tank. This recognition would not have been possible but for the sustained support of our members from diverse backgrounds and the young research team that has spared no effort to be innovative, relevant and focused. After our tenth anniversary in 2018, many new initiatives were launched focusing on youth empowerment and revamping the processes for reaching out to the China observers.


In the year 2023, C3S organised a total of 36 events, including three national and three international conferences. The C3S Flagship event C3S Annual Security Dialogue commemorating the 15 years of C3S held on April 04th 2023, fostered dialogue among China scholars domestically and abroad, facilitating diverse perspectives on China-related matters The year witnessed many valuable National and International conferences. Notable among these were two international conferences spotlighting ASEAN-India connections held in 2023. The year also featured significant events such as the Founders Memorial Lecture conducted on February 11th, 2023, delivered by Ambassador T S Tirumurti, addressing counterterrorism, followed by a panel discussion on national security strategy. The Chennai Study Forum constituting of Chennai Centre for China Studies (C3S), Press Institute of India (PII), Institute of Contemporary Studies Bangalore and Foundation for Non-violent Action (FNVA) n association with Rashtriya Raksha University and National Maritime Foundation conducted its Two-Day National Conference on “Xi Jinping’s Third Term Implications'' on 18th and 19th August 2023, taking the associations goals and vision up. C3S regularly conducts the Science and Technology Conference every year. 2023 witnessed the 4th edition of its Two – Day National Science & Technology Conference on “High Technology '' held on 20th – 21st November 2023. The One Day International Conference on Global South held on 12th December was able to have greater interaction with scholars from India’s Neighbourhood allowing a better understanding of the ideas and recommendations from their side. C3S in association with the Centre for East Asian Studies, Christ Deemed to be University on 18th December conducted the second ASEAN conference titled “"ASEAN Centrality in the Indo-Pacific: Prospects and Challenges for Security, Peace, and Prosperity.” focusing on the security aspects of the ASEAN countries in the Indo-Pacific area, encompassing challenges and the potential for collaboration and conflict resolution.


To mention a few of these initiatives, the Young Minds of C3S is a vibrant group with over 280 members who are the beneficiaries of daily updates on China-related issues on a digital platform. They are free to engage in free-flowing discussions on the topics of relevance in this group. The internship programme is a huge success, and we have had over 100 successful interns with us to date. They have come from different universities and institutes both from India and abroad. Publications from interns push students to sharpen their research skills and make several drafts of their articles. The interns today are our brand ambassadors and are proud to be part of our initiatives.


The continuous high ranking of C3S since 2018 in international rankings as undertaken by the Think Tank Civil Society Programme under the aegis of the University of Pennsylvania, has brought in global recognition for C3S. In 2020, C3S was deemed the 1st among all independent Think Tanks by the TTCSP. The evaluation of global think tanks with the ranking system followed by TTCSP has since been suspended following the passing away of the founder of the Programme Professor James Mcgann.


I would like to place on record my gratitude to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) for supporting the only south-based think tank in China in its endeavours by providing necessary guidance in enhancing the levels of performance through constant review and visits. Last year saw Dr Sumit JS, PP&R and Mr Krupakar US visiting us for a review and interaction with the members. In 2023, Director of Policy, Planning & Research (PP&R) division, Ms. Kajari Biswas graced our Second Annual Security Dialogue commemorating 15 years of C3S on 04th April 2023 by delivering the valedictory address.


The most significant assets of C3S are the thirty senior distinguished members who have supported the think tank unconditionally and have pitched in with material, moral and unwavering intellectual support since its inception in 2008. The senior members have also made it a point to provide guidance to the interns based on the subject expertise and have ensured that there are no compromises in terms of the productivity of the researchers.


The setting up of the Governing Council, Academic Council and Executive Council has made it easy for the execution of tasks based on the concept of shared and collective responsibility. The dealing with China-related issues based on the six verticals, namely Geo-politics/strategy, Defence and Security, Science and Technology, Business and Economics, Party Politics and Society, and Culture and Soft power, has brought in a greater degree of focus in the way China is studied. The social outreach programme has yielded rich dividends, and it is heartening to note that the fortnightly China Watch and the Post Cards, has crossed a double century since its launch, and the imaginative video shots have enabled reaching out to a wider section of global audience. The subscriber base is growing by leaps and bounds. It is my bounden duty to acknowledge the unstinted support of our nonagenarian Patron, Sri BS Raghavan, who, despite his age and health, has been constantly engaged in the activities of C3S and continues to inspire all of us.


My special words of appreciation to the young research team, who has ensured that the tempo is maintained and is contributing to the think tank in an imaginative and creative way. Personally speaking, I have been in the driver’s seat for over a decade now and I must say that while extremely challenging, the long journey has been equally rewarding. As they say, there are miles to go, and greater heights to be scaled. I have no doubts that with the demonstrated prowess, core strengths and ability of the human resources, we will continue to contribute to a better understanding of China-related issues that impinge on internal and external dimensions of India's progress in the comity of nations. Both civilizational countries have no choice but to invest in efforts to understand each other better and address issues of mutual concern in an amicable manner. This is something that can be achieved by think tanks both in China and India.


On this occasion, we in C3S rededicate ourselves to the cause of promoting a better understanding of the nuances of India-China relations through in-depth studies, rigorous research and analysis. We extend our sincere gratitude to all our distinguished members, well wishers and followers of C3S for their continued support over the decade and we are positive that the continued support will provide us with the much required backing that is needed in order to look into China and bring out dispassionate analysis.


It is my great pleasure and honour to take this opportunity to wish each one associated with C3S a very happy 16th anniversary and many happy returns of this momentous day with greater success and glory in the coming decades.


Jai Hind!


Commodore R S Vasan IN (Retd.) Director General, Chennai Centre for China Studies



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