This book discussion will commence with the Chair’s introduction of the author and the book, followed by Amb. Sujan R. Chinoy’s brief talk for about 20 minutes about the nature and chief arguments of his book. Thereafter, the speaker and chair will have a conversation for 15-20 minutes. Finally, we will bring the participants into the discussion with a Q&A session.
Abstract of the Book and Talk
Following the brief transition from bipolarity to unipolarity in the closing decade of the last century, the world has drifted towards multipolarity. In an era of a rapidly shifting balance of power, the US, China and the EU are significant poles, but Russia, Japan and rising powers such as India are playing a crucial role in shaping the emerging world order. Power remains fractured today, with hedging and multi-alignment being the new norms. The Covid-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine have added to the fragility of the global consensus. This is an extraordinary moment for India to secure a strong pole position as it navigates a geopolitical landscape in flux. How is it playing to its strengths and maintaining its upward trajectory? How is India dealing with myriad regional and international challenges as it forges a new destiny? In this book, Sujan Chinoy brings his considerable diplomatic and security expertise to bear on the key question – how is India recalibrating its strategic thinking to deal with a tumultuous world that often, and increasingly, appears untethered and upside down.
About the Speaker
Sujan R. Chinoy is the Director General of the Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (MP-IDSA), New Delhi since 2019. A career diplomat from 1981-2018, he held several important diplomatic assignments, including as Ambassador to Japan. He is a specialist on China, East Asia, and politico-military and security issues. He was leader of the Indian delegation responsible for CBMs/peace and tranquillity negotiations related to the India-China boundary dispute between 1996-2000. On deputation to the National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS) from 2008-2012, his work covered external and internal security issues including the extended neighbourhood of the Indo-Pacific. He has served as Consul General in Shanghai and Sydney and also has extensive experience in trade, investment and economic issues. He is the Chair of the Think20 engagement group for India’s G20 Presidency. He writes regularly for newspapers and journals, besides lecturing on diverse subjects in India and overseas.
About the Chair
Ashok K. Kantha is an Honorary Fellow and former Director (2017- 22) of the Institute of Chinese Studies, New Delhi; a Distinguished Fellow at Vivekananda International Foundation, New Delhi; and Chair of the Core Group on China of the Confederation of Indian Industry. A career diplomat, Kantha was Ambassador of India to China until January 2016. Prior to this, he was Secretary (East) at Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi with responsibility for about 65 countries in India’s extended neighbourhood. His previous assignments include High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka and Malaysia, Consul General in Hong Kong, and Deputy Chief of Mission in Kathmandu (Nepal). Earlier, Kantha served in different capacities at Indian Missions in Singapore, China and the USA, and at headquarters in New Delhi. In his diplomatic career spanning over 38 years, Kantha specialized in India’s neighbourhood and Asian affairs, with a particular focus on China. Apart from three assignments in China, he served as Joint Secretary (East Asia) and Director (China) at Ministry of External Affairs for periods of four years each. He has an advanced certificate in Chinese language from National University of Singapore.
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