China’s Forum Diplomacy in South Asia

Naina Singh is a Research Intern at ICS and is pursuing MPhil at Centre for International Politics, Organization and Disarmament (CIPOD), School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University.

Although a lot has been said about China’s unique economic engagement with ASEAN countries, this article attempts to focus on China’s ‘forum tactics’ towards South Asia as part of its so-called ‘win-win cooperation’. China has constantly utilized the institutional platforms of ASEAN to channelize its growing economic interest in the region. The China-ASEAN Free Trade Area has established its own benchmark and now China seems ready to focus on South Asia – stretching from Afghanistan to Myanmar.

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Attracting International University Students: India & China

Ambassador (retd.) Kishan S RanaHonorary Fellow, Institute of Chinese Studies.

The Economist (19 March 2016) estimates that the global total of university students that go to foreign countries for studies is about 3.5 million, and estimates that the number may rise to 7 or 8 million by 2025. It also calculates the number of US students in foreign countries at 300,000, which could go up to 600,000 by 2020. China and India are two other major contributors to this form of ‘export’ of education services. China currently has about 500,000 that study in foreign countries, while India has sent out more than 300,000.

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Brand Image and Soft Power of India and China

Ambassador (retd.) Kishan S Rana, Honorary Fellow, Institute of Chinese Studies.

In the past 25 years new concepts have entered the lexicon of international affairs. In 1990, Joseph Nye gave us the notion of soft power (SP), the ability of a country to attract others, to attain its goals through inducement and gentle persuasion, rather than exertion of hard power.[1] We also learnt to think of countries as brands (CB), possessed of images akin to commercial brands; such attributes had earlier sometimes been seen as national stereotypes. The difference now was that we realized that like all brands, country images could be marketed, enhanced and manipulated. At the same time, public diplomacy (PD) emerged as a new activity, or rather as an old wine in a new bottle, describing effort by governments to reach out to publics, foreign and to an extent also one’s own people, to influence their perceptions on international issues. We realized that image and country marketing affected inflows of foreign tourists, and the way foreign businessmen viewed one’s country as a destination for business and investments. This gave salience to these new forms of public communication.

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