China’s approach and attitude towards political questions involve a securitisation strategy aimed at legitimising its historical claims, which is closely linked to its foreign policy goals. While this approach may seem distinct, it follows the normative trend of linking political questions to legality, like any other nation-state, through local norms creation. This discussion examines how China navigates the complexities of historical claims and security concerns through a range of measures such as Political Settlement, Domestication, National Integration, Balancing Local Political and Economic Culture, and Social Governance. These approaches are selectively employed based on China’s desired outcome, using tactics such as persuasion, intimidation, the use of force, and asymmetric power relations in response to other parties’ rejection of its claims. The Speaker also analyses how China uses exceptional measures and mobilises domestic public support to achieve its objectives. Using a trend analysis of the securitisation of political questions and tracing foreign policy content in China’s security debates and security content in its foreign policy documents and doctrines, the talk aims to offer an alternative understanding of China’s securitisation strategy in navigating the complexities of historical claims and security concerns in the geopolitical arena.
About the Speaker
Dokku Nagamalleswara Rao is a Research Assistant at the Centre for Land Warfare Studies (CLAWS) in New Delhi, India, where his research focuses on China, East Asia, and the Indo-Pacific region. He is also currently pursuing his PhD as a Doctoral Fellow at Shandong University in the People’s Republic of China, having received the prestigious Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) scholarship from the Indian government and the Chinese Government Scholarship for 2018-2023. Rao’s PhD thesis, titled “Strategic Culture Influence on China’s Approaches to International Security and Order”, is a culmination of his extensive research on the topic. In addition, he was selected as a G20 Fellow by the Centre for Financial Accountability in New Delhi.
About the Chair
Manoj Kewalramani is the chairperson of the Indo-Pacific Research Programme and a China studies fellow at The Takshashila Institution, a leading Indian public policy education center. His research interests include Chinese politics, foreign policy, approaches to new technologies, and addressing questions of how India can work with like-minded partners to deal with the challenges presented by China's rise. Manoj is the author of Smokeless War: China’s Quest for Geopolitical Dominance (Bloomsbury India, 2021), which discusses China’s political, diplomatic, economic, and narrative responses to the Covid-19 pandemic. He also writes a weekly newsletter, Eye on China, which tracks developments in China from an Indian perspective, and a daily newsletter analyzing news coverage and discourse in the People's Daily.
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