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One Day National Seminar: “Changing Asian Landscape: Role of India and China”, Venue: Stella Maris

The 21st century is an Asian Century. The combined might of India and China will bring a transformation in the continent. This will be in terms of equations related to regional economic integration and impact on security, stability and connectivity.

Connectivity is already being revolutionized as seen by the One Belt One Road (OBOR) venture. Via OBOR, China is embarking on a mega-project to connect three continents (Asia, Europe and Africa). This can have significant effect on the rest of the world. Economic and integration quotients will also be redrawn. With the GDP projections being made for India and China, there is scope for competition, cooperation and conflict. The two countries will jostle for power and influence in Asia and the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).

As far as the overland aspect of OBOR is concerned, there will be capacity to add to the economy of Central Asian Republics. On the other hand, the maritime route will make waves in the IOR.  On the bilateral front, the India-China border dispute will continue to remain unresolved. However as both countries are conducting engagements in other fields, the conflict resolution has been deferred to a later stage.

On the internal dynamics front, corruption in China is at the top of Xi Jinping’s agenda. However there are also other social factors undergoing modification such as greater accessibility to the internet, environmental factors, etc.

China is also very concerned about spread of ISIS. Xinjiang province is seeing draconian measures being taken by the regime to ensure there is no radicalism. Xinjiang, by having external links to extremist groups, faces more impediments than Tibet: Uyghurs in neighbouring countries can incite trouble there. It is not clear in what form can these suppressions of the minority group can erupt.

India’s internal landscape is witnessing some interesting dynamics as well. There are laudable objectives being promulgated, such as Make in India, Digital India, Swachh Bharat, etc. Nevertheless it is too early to define what direction these maneuvers will take.

From the external point of view, India does not seem to have any credible answer to China’s ambitious measures as Beijing possesses enormous economic clout and is displaying traits of the Middle Kingdom. The Indian ‘Mausam’ and ‘Spice Route’ ventures have hardly taken off, and this does not inspire confidence.

Maritime disputes in the region are also a relevant topic of concern. While China is the number two economic power in the world, it is bogged down by territorial disputes in the South China Sea and East China Sea. China has compelled the Southeast Asian neighbours to take reciprocating measures, such as military modernization. The Philippines has even gone to the extent of taking its case for legal arbitration by the International Court of Justice. Meanwhile, China is trying to establish sovereignty within the 9 dash line, apart from constructing artificial islands. Some of these even have runways built upto 3000 meters.

It is necessary to examine the extra-regional angle as well. U.S.A as a Pacific power has been quite active as demonstrated by its recalibration of the ‘Pivot to Asia’ policy. Washington is to increase its maritime presence in the region by upto 60 per cent.

In the backdrop of all these developments, most of the countries are deeply engaged in business with China. However there is a huge trade deficit in China’s favour which raises disconcerting questions. It is imperative to find a solution to this obstacle.

Amidst these observations, the one day national seminar aims to look at the changing landscape of Asia. This will be seen through the lens of the various initiatives being embarked upon by both India and China. Such actions propelled by these Asian powers would impact the existing structure of Asia. The seminar seeks to engage in discussion which will throw light on the flux currents in Asia, vis-à-vis India and China.


09:30- Registration

Inaugural Session

10:00 – 10:10-  Welcome Address by Dr. Sr. Jasintha Quadras fmm, Prinicipal, Stella Maris College (TBC).

10:10 – 10:25 – Inaugural Address by Cmde. R. S Vasan IN (Retd.), Director, C3S.

10:25 – 10:40 – Keynote Address, by Shri B. S. Raghavan, Former Policy Advisor to UN (FAO), Chief Secretary, State, Governments of West Bengal and Tripura, Secretary to the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, GOI, & Patron, C3S

10:40 – 10:55 – Theme Address by Dr. Claude Arpi, Geopolitics Expert, Puducherry.

10:55-11:00 – Vote of Thanks, Shri D. S. Rajan, Former Director, Cabinet Secretariat, GOI , &  Distinguished Fellow, C3S.

11:00 – 11:20 – Tea

Plenary Session I– Military and Strategic Dimensions

Chair- Ambassador Ganapathy, Former Secretary (West), Ministry of External Affairs, India & Member, C3S

11:20 – 11:35 – Maritime Dimensions of Sino-Indian equations in Indian Ocean Region,

Cmde. R. S. Vasan, C3S

11:35 – 11:50 – China’s Internal Dynamics, Shri D. S. Rajan, C3S

11:50– 12:05 – Strategic Implications of the Disneyland of Snows, Dr. Claude Arpi, Puducherry

12:05 – 12:20 – Meta-geopolitics of India and China, Mr. Vithiyapathy P., Research Officer, C3S

12:20 – 12:40 – Open House

12:40 – 13:40 – Lunch

Plenary Session II- Economic Dimensions

Chair- Ms. Aarthi Santhanam, H.O.D, Department of International Studies, Stella Maris College

13:45 – 14:00– China’s Internal Economic Trends: An Analysis, Mr. K. Subramanian, Former Joint Secretary (Retd.), Ministry of Finance, GOI,  &   Member, C3S

14:00 – 14:15 – Can China and India become superpowers?, Dr. Rajneesh Verma, Asst. Prof. of International Relations, School of International and Public Affairs, Jilin University

14:15- 14:30-     Is China’s Economic Decline India’s Gain? , Mr. T.V. Krishnamurthy, Management Professional & Member, C3S

14:30 – 14:45 – India’s and China’s quest for Sub-regional Cooperation in South-East Asia: Another

battleground for Regional Leadership?, Ms. Jayshree Borah, Doctoral Candidate, China Studies Centre, Department of Humanities and Social Science, IIT Madras

14:45-15:05- Open House

15:05-15:25- Tea

Plenary Session III- Science, Cultural and Social Dimensions

Chair – Prof. Suryanarayan, Former Nelson Mandela Professor for Afro-Asian Studies, Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam;  Former Director, Centre for South and South East Asian Studies, University of Madras ; & President, C3S

15:25 – 15:40 – Changing the Asian Landscape: The Role of Sciences and Technology, Mr. L.V. Krishnan,    Former Director – Safety Research Group, Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research, Kalpakkam, & Member, C3S

15:40 – 15:55 – Addressing Environmental Concerns in the Changing Asian Landscape: Role of India and China, Ms. Raakhee Suryaprakash, Founder-Director at Sunshine Millennium, & Associate Member, C3S

15:55 – 16:10 – India’s Soft Power: A Case Study, Ms. Asma Masood, Research Officer, C3S

16:10 – 16:30 – Open House

16:30 – 16:45 – Summing up by Shri D. S. Rajan, C3S.

16:45 – Vote of Thanks by Cmde. R. S. Vasan, C3S.


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