June 2020

Dear Friend,

The Institute of Chinese Studies (ICS) proactively engaged with a diverse range of thought-leaders and experts even while the pandemic necessitated remote working and digital outreach. The escalation of border incidents between India and China in Ladakh bore multiple implications for stakeholders, including strategic, political and economic spillovers, apart from military endeavours and the tragic loss of Indian lives. As bilateral relations stood at an inflection point, ICS programmes and intensive discussions shed light on evolving developments and ICS scholars and experts offered thoughts and opinions on various foram.

Seeking to understand and provide insights into the continuing border incidents and other issues, ICS brought on its platform a range of perspectives, including from overseas experts. The Wednesday Webinars were well attended and special discussions and outreach along with media presence strengthened the ICS role as an institution for Chinese studies.

In June, our first batch of virtual interns successfully completed their internship with ICS. Our many publications opened up new avenues of thought and additionally, we increased our online presence on various social media platforms, including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Linkedin.


Three ICS Conversations and one Wednesday Seminar were conducted this month.

Amb. Shyam Saran, Member, Governing Council, ICS and Former Foreign Secretary of India anchored an ICS Conversation with Prof. Chen Zhiwu, Director, Asia Global Institute, and Chair Professor of Finance and Victor and William Fung Professor in Economics, University of Hong Kong; and Prof. Yao Yang, Director of the China Centre for Economic Research, and Dean, National School of Development, Peking University, Beijing on 17 June, 2020 on ‘Outlook for the Chinese Economy in the Covid Era’ (SoundCloud).

The ICS, in partnership with Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS), organized the ICS-KAS Conversation on ‘Evolving European Perspectives on China in the COVID Era’ on 24 June 2020. The panellists included Prof. Frank N. Pieke, Professor of Modern China Studies, Leiden University; Dr. Andrew Small, Senior Transatlantic Fellow, German Marshall Fund, Asia Program, Berlin; and Dr. Mareike Ohlberg, Senior Fellow, German Marshall Fund, Asia Program, Berlin. The discussion was moderated by Dr. Garima Mohan, Fellow, German Marshall Fund, Asia Program, Berlin (SoundCloud) (YouTube).

The third ICS Conversation with Lt. Gen. D.S. Hooda (Retd.), Former GOC-in-C, Northern Command, Indian Army; and Lt. Gen. S L Narasimhan (Retd.), Director General, Centre for Contemporary China Studies, and Member, National Security Advisory Board, Government of India, was held on 3 June, 2020 on ‘China's Defence Modernisation, Restructuring and Posturing In the Covid Era: Implications for India and Recent Developments along the India - China Border (SoundCloud) (YouTube). I anchored the event.

Dr. Andrew B. Liu, Assistant Professor of History, Villanova University spoke on ‘Tea War: A History of Capitalism in China and India’ on 10 June, 2020 (SoundCloud) (YouTube).  


This month we had eleven publications in total – one Occasional Paper, three ICS Analysis and seven ICS Research Blogs (all available on our website).

Ms. Jayshree Borah, Doctoral Candidate at Shanghai International Studies University, Shanghai, wrote an ICS Occasional Paper on ‘Analyzing China’s Mediator Role in MENA - More than Just a Global Responsibility?’.

The following is the list of ICS Analysis:

  1. Amb. Shivshankar Menon, Chairman, ICS Advisory Board, and former National Security Advisor, Government of India, on ‘India and China in the post-COVID World’;
  2. Dr. Hemant Adlakha, Honorary Fellow, and Associate Professor, Centre for Chinese and Southeast Asian Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi on ‘Pompeo Defies Covid-19 and Visits Jerusalem with ‘Mission China’ Agenda’; and
  3. Ms. Sanjana Krishnan, Research Intern, ICS, on ‘The Indo-Pacific: Concept, Contestation and Cooperation’.

The following is the list of blogposts in ICS Research Blogs:

  1. Dr. Veda VaidyanathanVisiting Research Associate, ICS, on ‘China’s Health Diplomacy in Africa during COVID-19: Discerning Prospects and Problems’;
  2. Mr. Mohd. Adnan, Research Intern, ICS, on ‘Rise of Anti-China Public Sentiments in Central Asia’;
  3. Mr. Karthik Satheesh, Research Intern, ICS, on ‘China’s Waning Export-led Growth: COVID-19 to Accelerate the Trend?’;
  4. Ms. Sanjana Krishnan, Research Intern, ICS, on ‘Can Taiwan’s COVID-19 Diplomacy Help It Make Permanent Friends?’;
  5. Mr. Akshit Goel, Research Intern, ICS, on ‘COVID-19: Chinese Dominance over Global Supply Chains under Threat?’;
  6. Mr. Hari Haran, Research Intern, ICS, on ‘Cross-Strait Relations amid COVID-19: Multilateralism with Chinese Characteristics’; and
  7. Ms. Bihu Chamadia, Research Intern, ICS, ‘The Case of Rising Divorces in China amid COVID-19 Lockdown’.


Amb. Shivshankar Menon, Chairman, ICS Advisory Board, and Former National Security Advisor, Government of India, gave a special interview to The Wire on Escalation by China to fundamentally alter status quo on 13 June. He spoke to Rediff on the topic ‘China expects us to behave in the way China would’ on 30 June.

Amb. Shyam Saran, Member, ICS Governing Council, and former Foreign Secretary, Government of India, spoke on ‘India's strategic and security challenges post Galwan’ for South Asia Monitor on 25 June 2020. Amb. Saran also penned three pieces – for Hindustan Times on ‘As the LAC heats up, reading China’s playbook’ on 2 June, for Economic Times on ‘Chinese Aggression’ on 20 June and for Business Standard on ‘Clash in Eastern Ladakh: A historical perspective’ on 21 June.

Prof. Alka Acharya, Honorary Fellow, ICS, and Professor, Centre for East Asian Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi wrote a piece for Mint titled ‘India's Kalidas moment: Are we hacking at a branch of the economy?’ on 25 June.

Dr. Zorawar Daulet Singh, Adjunct Fellow, ICS, authored a piece on How India could keep China in check for Hindustan Times on 25 June.

On 21 June, Mr. Ravi Bhoothalingam, Honorary Fellow, wrote for the Business Standard on ‘The Discontents of Decoupling’. He also spoke on the India-China-Russia Foreign Ministers meeting for South Asia Monitor on 24 June.

Mr. M.V. Rappai, Honorary Fellow, ICS wrote a piece in Malayalam for Manorama Online on 19 June.

Dr. Atul Bhardwaj, Adjunct Fellow, ICS, contributed a piece to The Wire titled ‘Trump Opens the Door for a Deadlier Arms Race, and the Danger of 'Limited' Nuclear War’ on 1 June.

Dr. Rajiv Ranjan, Adjunct Fellow, ICS, spoke on News Nation on LAC Issue on 26 June. He also wrote a piece for Scroll.in on the deployment of memes from Pakistani Twitterverse by Chinese users against India in social media on 23 June.

Mr. Samanvya Hooda, Research Assistant, ICS authored a piece for ThePrint on the need to develop an Intelligence gathering alliance by India, Japan and Taiwan to check China on 26 June.

I gave two interviews for ThePrint on ‘China has become more assertive in its territorial claims’ on 3 June and on ‘India, China need to break stalemate, greater challenges ahead’ on 16 June. I also gave an interview to CNBC on ‘India-China Tensions’ on 16 June and to ETV Bharat on ‘Sino-India clashes’ on 17 June. I participated in other TV discussions.

Faculty updates 

The Hindi translation of Honorary Fellow, Prof. Manoranjan Mohanty’s book, China’s Transformation: Success Story and Success Trap, titled Cheen ka Kayapalat: Safalta ki Daastan aur Safalta ka Phanda’, was published by Sage Publishing.

Prof. Rama V. Baru, Honorary Fellow, and Professor, Centre of Social Medicine and Community Health, Jawaharlal Nehru University published an article titled ‘Health systems preparedness during COVID-19 pandemic: China and India’ in Indian Journal of Public Health (Vol. 64, Issue 6).

Dr. Rajiv Ranjan, Adjunct Fellow, ICS, reviewed Guoli Liu’s Politics and Government in China’ for Strategic Analysis and published a chapter on ‘Covid-19 and China: National Strategies, Regional And Global Order' in M Mayilvaganan et. al (ed.), ‘COVID-19 Pandemic in the Indo-Pacific: How the Countries are Dealing Amidst Changing Geopolitics’ (Bengaluru: National Institute of Advanced Studies, 2020).

My engagements included participation in webinars organised by the Indian Council of World Affairs, Vivekananda International Foundation and India Foundation as speaker. I also addressed the China Research Group of the UK Parliament and chaired the Core Group on China of the Confederation of Indian Industry.

virtual internship

In June, our first batch of Virtual Interns successfully completed their three-month internship with ICS (1 April-30 June). Out of the seven virtual interns, three will be continuing their internship with us for another month. In a span of three months, the ICS virtual interns residing in various parts of the country have produced a total of nine research papers and research blogs under the valuable mentorship of Amb. Shyam Saran, Amb. Kishan Rana, Amb. Vijay Nambiar, Prof. Amita Batra, Mr. Santosh Pai, Mr. Ravi Bhoothalingam, and myself.

The ICS Website, Facebook and Twitter accounts are among the several ways you can get the latest on our publications and activities. You can also subscribe to our monthly newsletter to follow our events and publications as well as browse our YouTube and SoundCloud channels.

We look forward to your participation in our events and activities in the coming days and hope for your continued support. 


Best regards,
Institute of Chinese Studies





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