Activities > Wednesday Seminars

Roundtable Discussion on China's Belt and Road Initiative: Assessment, Implications and India's Response

  • 07 Jun 2017

    Amb. Shyam Saran, Amb. PS Raghavan, Dr. Jabin T Jacob

    Venue: Conference Room, ICWA, Sapru House
    Time: 3:00 AM

Chair & Moderator: Amb. Ashok K Kantha, Director, ICS                   



of the

Special Issue of CHINA REPORT on India and China in Asia

Volume 53, Issue 2, May 2017

This Special Issue of China Report looks at the ramifications of China’s ambitious new connectivity project, across continental Asia and Europe, and the maritime canvas of the Indo-Pacific oceanic regions, which brings eastern Africa in its ambit. The essays carried here examine, from varied perspectives, the India–China relationship, contextualised against these evolving backdrops. They are intended to stimulate dialogue and research. 



In mid-May, China hosted its first heads of government/state-level event under its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Chinese president Xi Jinping outlined the objectives of the BRI as advancing North-South, South-South, and triangular cooperation, expanding economic growth, trade and investment, promotion of industrial cooperation, scientific and technological innovation, and regional economic cooperation and integration as well as strengthening physical, institutional and people-to-people connectivity. There are obviously important strategic drivers for China here in addition to economic ones that underpin its promotion of the BRI which need to be examined closely.

India, meanwhile did not participate in the BRI Forum with the MEA spokesperson in a briefing on 13 May pointing out that no country could accept a project that ignored its core concerns on sovereignty and territorial integrity. He further pointed out that India believed enhanced physical connectivity should bring greater economic benefits to all in an equitable and balanced manner. He further urged China to engage in a meaningful dialogue with India on its connectivity initiative. This roundtable discussion will examine both the nature and implications of BRI as well as India’s response.

The discussion will also examine how other countries view BRI and what grounds might be found for a common approach India can take with other countries in the matter. Finally, we will also examine in some detail the questions raised in Pakistan itself about the economic underpinnings of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.


About the Speakers

Ambassador Shyam Saran is an Indian career diplomat. He joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1970 and rose to become the Foreign Secretary to the Government of India. Prior to his appointment as the Foreign Secretary he served as India's ambassador to Myanmar, Indonesia and Nepal and as High Commissioner to Mauritius. Upon completion of his tenure as the Foreign Secretary he was appointed Prime Minister’s Special Envoy for Indo-US civil nuclear issues and later as Special Envoy and Chief Negotiator on Climate Change.

Ambassador PS Raghavan was a diplomat in the Indian Foreign Service from 1979 to 2016. He has served as Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs and as India’s Ambassador to Ireland, Czech Republic and Russia, in addition to other diplomatic assignments. He was Joint Secretary in the Prime Minister's Office from 2000 to 2004, dealing with Foreign Affairs, Nuclear Energy, Space, Defence and National Security. Since September 2016, Ambassador Raghavan is Convenor of the National Security Advisory Board, which advises the National Security Council of India on national security policies and strategies. 

Dr. Jabin T. Jacob is Fellow (Associate Professor) at the Institute of Chinese Studies (ICS), Delhi. He has also served as Assistant Director of the Institute from 2011 to 2016. He holds a PhD in Chinese Studies from the School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, and New Delhi and spent two years as a Chinese language student in Taiwan. He has been Hermès Fellow at Sciences Po, Bordeaux (2009-10), Visiting Research Fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (2012) and a visiting faculty at University of Bordeaux IV, France (2012).



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