The People's Liberation Army aspires to be a ‘world class’ military by 2049 in support of China's goal of becoming a global power. Within the PLA, the People's Liberation Army Navy's (PLAN) transformation and expansion is a critical and visible area which needs to be understood. In just three decades, PLAN has grown from a ‘brown water’ to a 'blue-water’ navy with the tag of “largest navy in the world” to boot. Countries, both within the Indo-Pacific and outside are responding to this development. This webinar proposes to delve into current and future developments of the PLAN that are of concern to India. The broad themes of discussion are current and future (2035) capabilities of the PLAN in the Indo-Pacific, responses by other nations in the Indo-Pacific and India's response to PLAN development.
About the Speakers
Rear Admiral Michael McDevitt, US Navy (Retd) is a Senior Fellow at CNA, an Arlington based non-profit research and analysis company. He has been involved in US security policy and strategy in the Asia-Pacific for the last three decades, in both government policy positions and, following his retirement from the US Navy, as an analyst and commentator. He served as a congressionally appointed Commissioner on the US-China Economic and Security and Review Commission (2017-19). His book China as a Twenty First Century Naval Power was recently published by the US Naval Institute Press. He is a graduate of the University of Southern California and Georgetown University where he focused on US East Asian diplomatic history.
Ms. Darshana M. Baruah is a fellow with the South Asia Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace where she leads the Indian Ocean Initiative. Baruah is also currently a visiting fellow at the Sasakawa Peace Foundation, Tokyo, where she is working on a book about the significance of strategic islands in the Indian Ocean region. Her primary research focuses on maritime security in Asia and the role of the Indian Navy in a new security architecture. Her work also examines the strategic implications of China’s infrastructure and connectivity projects as well as trilateral partnerships in the Indo-Pacific. Baruah has spent time in think tanks in Delhi, Tokyo, Canberra, and Sydney working on issues of maritime security, Indian Ocean, and the Indo-Pacific. She has a Masters degree in International Relations from Cardiff University.
Dr. Collin Koh is Research Fellow at the Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies which is a constituent unit of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, based in Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. He has research interests on naval affairs in the Indo-Pacific, focusing on Southeast Asia. Collin has published several op-eds, policy- and academic journal articles as well as chapters for edited volumes covering his research areas. He has also taught at Singapore Armed Forces professional military education and training courses. Besides research and teaching, Collin also contributes his perspectives to various local and international media outlets and participates in activities with geopolitical risks consultancies.
Captain Kamlesh Kumar Agnihotri, Indian Navy (Retd.) is a Senior Fellow at the National Maritime Foundation (NMF). Prior to this assignment, he was a Senior Fellow at the Centre for Joint Warfare Studies (CENJOWS), New Delhi, till his retirement in June 2021. His specialised field of work for the last 15 years has been in the Chinese Defense Forces, particularly the Chinese Navy. His current areas of Study include Chinese maritime and high technology issues, Indian Ocean security matters and the complex dynamics in the broader Indo-Pacific Region. His recent publications include Leveraging High Technology Developments in Chinese Military and Maritime Domains: Impact on The Indian Ocean Regional Security (2021); and Strategic Direction of the Chinese Navy: Capability and Intent Assessment (2015).
About the Chair
Vice Admiral Pradeep Chauhan, Indian Navy (Retd.), AVSM & Bar, VSM, is currently the Director-General of the National Maritime Foundation, New Delhi. The admiral had a varied four-decade-long career in the Executive Branch of the Indian Navy, during which he was commended three times by the Hon’ble President of India. He is visiting faculty of the higher-command establishments of all three of India’s defence services, and has also been advising the government through his interaction with the Integrated Headquarters of the Ministry of Defence (Navy), the Ministry of External Affairs, and the National Security Council Secretariat. He is a prolific writer with many published professional articles and papers, and is an Advisor and Fellow at several important think-tanks. He is an alumnus of the National Defence Academy, the Defence Services Staff College, the Naval War College, and the National Defence College, with BSc, MSc and MPhil degrees under his belt.
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