Panel Discussion | Ukraine Crisis: A tightrope for Chinese Diplomacy? | 15th March @ 6:00 PM IST | Zoom Webinar

15 Mar 2022
Shyam Saran, Da Wei, Michael Klare, Anuradha M. Chenoy
Venue: Zoom Webinar
Time: 6:00 PM

The pounding of the Ukrainian capital Kyiv at 4 a.m. on 24 February by the Russian missiles has been called "the end of the post-Cold War" world order by one influential Chinese financial daily. Following the Russian military assault on Ukraine, China's "ambiguous" stance on the ongoing military action has been seriously questioned both internally and in the global press. On the one hand, notwithstanding President Xi asking President Putin to resolve the crisis through negotiations, China continues to avoid calling the Russian military action as "invasion." On the other hand, the ambiguity in the Chinese position on the war in Ukraine is manifested in the contradictory headlines in the different state-controlled media. As one pro-market, pro-liberal Chinese financial newspaper has already issued an edit headlined "Russian Assault on Ukraine."

Not to be ignored is China's annual "two sessions" this March where the PRC government is expected to set the GDP growth target for 2022 at just above 5%. With the war in Ukraine waging on, critics and investors are already hinting at Beijing's nervousness as to where Chinese markets are headed in the coming days. The proposed panel of experts will attempt to explain and put in perspective several questions facing China in the face of ongoing storming of Ukrainian people by the Russian troops: did China act too quickly in siding with Russia on the "war game" in Ukraine? Is Beijing facing a diplomatic dilemma in the Ukraine crisis? Is China trapped by President Putin in this Russian-Chinese "marriage of convenience"? What are the domestic implications of the so-called sudden change of the Russia-Ukraine "chess game" into "war game" for China? Why are some Chinese strategic affairs analysts calling it a failure of China in the "battle of world opinion" on Ukraine?


About the Speakers

Shyam Saran is a former Foreign Secretary of India and has served as Prime Minister’s Special Envoy for Nuclear Affairs and Climate Change. After leaving government service in 2010, he headed the Research and Information System for Developing Countries, a prestigious think tank focusing on economic issues (2011-2017) and was Chairman of the National Security Advisory Board under the National Security Council (2013-15). He is currently Life Trustee of India International Centre, Member of the Governing Council/Board of the Institute of Chinese Studies and Centre for Policy Research, a Trustee at the World Wildlife Fund (India) and Member of the Executive Council of the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI). He has recently published a book, How India Sees the World.

Da Wei is currently Professor in the Department of International Relations, Tsinghua University. He is also the Deputy Director of the Centre for International Strategy and Security (CISS) at Tsinghua. His research expertise covers China-US relations and US security & foreign policy. Prior to current positions, he used to be Assistant President of University of International Relations (2017-2020), director of the Institute of American Studies, China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations (2013-2017). He has written hundreds of policy papers for the Chinese government, and published dozens of academic papers in journals in China, the US and other countries.

Michael Klare, Five College professor emeritus of peace and world security studies, and director of the Five College Program in Peace and World Security Studies (PAWSS), holds a B.A. and M.A. from Columbia University and a Ph.D. from the Graduate School of the Union Institute. He has written widely on U.S. military policy, international peace and security affairs, the global arms trade, and global resource politics. Klare also teaches at Amherst College, Smith College, Mount Holyoke College and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. His books include Rogue States and Nuclear Outlaws (1995), Light Weapons and Civil Conflict (1999), Resource Wars (2001), Blood and Oil (2004), and The Race for What's Left (2012). His articles have appeared in many journals, including Arms Control Today, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Current History, Foreign Affairs, Harper's, The Nation, Scientific American, and Technology Review.

Anuradha M. Chenoy, is Professor and former Dean, retired from the School of International Studies, JNU. Currently she is Adjunct Professor, School of International Affairs, Jindal Global University. She has served as Chairperson and Director, Centre for Russian and Central Asian Studies; Chairperson, Forum for Indian Development Cooperation, (Research of Information Systems) 2013-2020. She has done short term consultancies with organizations like UNESCO; UN Peacekeepers; International Committee of the Red Cross, Action Aid; Asia Europe People’s Forum; Women in International Security and Peace etc. Her books include: Russia, Institutions, Structures, Politics (Springer Palgrave: 2018), The Maoist and Other Armed Conflicts (Penguin, 2010); Human Security: Concept and Implications (Routledge, 2006) (Co-authored with Shahrbanou Tadjbakhsh).


About the Chair

Hemant Adlakhais Associate Professor at the Centre for Chinese & South East Asian Studies, School of Language, Literature & Culture Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University. He is Vice Chairperson and Honorary Fellow at the Institute of Chinese Studies.

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