Doklam – The Legal and the Bilateral

Jabin T. Jacob, PhD, Fellow, Institute of Chinese Studies

The ongoing standoff between India and China in the Doklam area in Bhutan is the result of a disagreement over the terms of the 1890 Convention Relating to Sikkim and Tibet[1] signed by the colonial British government in India and the Qing empire in China.

Contrary to the Chinese stress today on “Mount Gipmochi on the Bhutan frontier” (Article I) as the beginning of the boundary between Tibet and Sikkim, India has pointed out that the specific trijunction point should be that point which adheres to the watershed as indicated in the same Article I of the Convention. Under the 2005 Agreement between India and China[2], the two countries agreed that “the delineation of the boundary will be carried out utilising means such as modern cartographic and surveying practices and joint surveys” (Article VIII) and that “[p]ending an ultimate settlement … the two sides should … work together to maintain peace and tranquillity in the border areas” (Article IX).

This clarifies several dimensions of this issue. Continue reading “Doklam – The Legal and the Bilateral”

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India’s Place in Chinese Foreign Policy: South Asia Bound

Jabin T. Jacob, Assistant Director and Fellow, Institute of Chinese Studies.

Originally published as ‘Boxing It In: China’s Approach to India’, The Quint, 13 August 2016.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s visit to New Delhi in mid-August was ostensibly in preparation for the G-20 summit in Hangzhou in September for which Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit China and the BRICS Summit  in Goa for which Chinese President Xi Jinping will visit India in October. However, high-level meetings no longer impact matters significantly as they used to. Nor even do they help maintain matters on even keel if the incursions during Li Keqiang’s and Xi’s visits to India in 2013 and 2014 respectively or China’s objection to India’s NSG entry despite Modi’s personal intervention with Xi are anything to go by.

Continue reading “India’s Place in Chinese Foreign Policy: South Asia Bound”

India and China: Perceptions of Strategic Culture and its role in the NSG membership issue

Kajari Kamal, PhD student, University of Hyderabad.

The debate on whether to include India as a member in the elite Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) or not, has brought the India-China-Pakistan dynamics in the limelight again. China’s resistance to India’s membership is seen by the Indians as clearly strategic, targeted at constraining the rise of India as a global power. While some observers of India-China relations believe that factors such as border disputes, power asymmetry, mutual distrust, and most recently, nuclear proliferation issues, are obstacles in the normalization of bilateral relations, some others strongly believe that there lies a fundamental clash of interests, rooted at a strategic culture level, which manifests in China’s determination to play a key role in world affairs, as it has done as a great power and a great civilization, in the past. In a dyadic relationship, the importance of the perception of each other’s strategic culture cannot be overemphasized. Andrew Scobell argues that China’s foreign policy and its tendency to use military force are influenced not only by elite understanding of China’s own strategic tradition but also by their understanding of the strategic cultures of other states.

Continue reading “India and China: Perceptions of Strategic Culture and its role in the NSG membership issue”

Indian students in professional education abroad: The case of medical education in China

Madhurima Nundy, Associate Fellow, Institute of Chinese Studies.

The commercialisation of medical education in India has led many students to study medicine abroad especially in China. The Indian medical education is in a state of crisis but there is no sense of urgency to address the serious issues of maldistribution of resources, the unregulated growth of the private sector, dearth of faculty, a lack of uniform admission procedures and dated curricula that needs to undergo a review. The commercialisation of medical education has raised concerns over issues of quality, regulation and increasing corruption in selection and recruitment procedures as has been exposed by the Vyapam scandal leading to the ‘criminalisation of medical education’.

Continue reading “Indian students in professional education abroad: The case of medical education in China”

Impressions of an Indian woman in China

Asma Masood is a Research Officer with the Chennai Centre for China Studies. This article is based on interactions with Chinese government officials and think-tankers during a visit to China as part of a delegation organized by the Institute of Chinese Studies, Delhi from 21-29 April 2016. 

“Don’t worry,” an Indian lady friend from Shanghai advised before my China visit. “This is Ram Rajya. You will be safe.” These words were reassuring, but I felt a smidgen of doubt. After all, living in India as a woman, one becomes accustomed to keep glancing over one’s shoulder.

Continue reading “Impressions of an Indian woman in China”