Although the 19th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party has been widely viewed as indicative of a more assertive China on the global chessboard in the coming five years, many foreign policy analysts in China believe it was during the past five years that the country’s global strategy achieved a ‘revolutionary’ transformation. On the one hand it (China’s foreign policy thinking) left behind the anti-hegemony era of Mao Zedong and the ‘hiding talent’ foreign policy era of Deng Xiaoping, respectively. On the other hand, the communist party led Peoples’ Republic of China has entered a new era in which China has for the first time presented itself – in both economic and political terms – as a model for other countries who wish to chart their own development path while maintaining their independence. Furthermore, it was during the past five years, China embarked upon Xi Jinping’s ambitious geo-economic, geopolitical global connectivity strategy of the Belt and the Road Initiative. Not unexpectedly, scholars in China perceive three countries as posing major opposition and challenge to the BRI – China’s self proclaimed globalization strategy. These are the U.S., Japan and India – what many in China describe as the past, present and future enemies of China. It is in this background, this talk first presents a brief overview of the ‘quiet revolution’ in Chinese diplomacy since the 18th Party Congress. This is followed by a quick glance at recent Chinese observations and media commentaries regarding India, not Japan, being a bigger threat to China in the future. Finally, I conclude with my own analytical observations.
About the Speaker
Hemant Adlakha, PhD, is professor of Chinese, Centre for Chinese and Southeast Asian Studies (CCSEAS), Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. He is also an Honorary Fellow, the Institute of Chinese Studies (ICS) Delhi. His areas of research include foreign policy debates and discourse in the PRC, modern Chinese literature, culture and cinema. His PhD dissertation was on ‘Modernization and the State in Contemporary China: Search for a Distant Civil Society’. He has published articles both in Chinese and in English. He is a member, International Editorial Committee, International Society for Lu Xun Studies, Seoul (ROK). His most recent publications include, ‘Confucius’ in Encyclopedia of Race and Racism, 2nd Edition, Gale Cengage Learning, Macmillan Reference, USA; ‘Simla, McMahon Line and South Tibet: Emergent Chinese Discourse on Fears of Losing Territory to India’ in 100 Years after the Simla Conference, 2013-14, ICS, Delhi (Forthcoming 2018); His chapter "BRICS: A Key Mechanism in Beijing's Global Governance Strategy" in BRICS and the Multipolar World, to be published in 2018 from the Academy of International Studies, The Jamia Milia Islamia University, New Delhi.
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