Ep. 822: Chinese Democracy: Some Guns and Some Roses?

China has tried to define and project itself as a democracy as opposed to the general conception of China as an authoritarian political system. These attempts seem to be not just to highlight China’s democratic system, but also to highlight how different it is from the western conception of democracy. In this episode, Megha Pardhi talks to Dr. Sungmin Cho about China’s attempts to define its own version of democracy.

Dr. Sungmin Cho is a Professor at the Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies (DKI APCSS) since August 2018. His research interests cover China-Korean Peninsula relations, North Korea’s nuclear program, Korean unification, and the US alliance in East Asia. He also closely follows the domestic politics of China and North Korea.

Cleck here to read Dr. Cho’s paper on Why Non-Democracy Engages with Western Democracy-Promotion Programs.

Check out Megha’s newsletter here – China Tech Dispatch.

Ep. 804: China’s National Computing Network

The concept of computing power and the ability to handle large amounts of data in short intervals of time is of the utmost importance. Arjun Gargeyas talks to Megha Pardhi about what China’s recently announced ‘National Computing Network’ means for the country’s tech landscape.

Ep. 799: China’s Turn from One Child to Three Child Policy

China is incentivizing couples to have more children and has changed their one-child policy to three children. Megha Pardhi and Harshit Kukreja discuss China’s approach to population control, population dividend and lessons for India.

Suggested Readings:

  1. China-India population debate comes down to quantity vs quality after social media sparks storm
  2. Reaping India’s demographic dividend

Ep. 795: Implications of China’s Genetic Resource Guideline

What does China’s guideline on human genetic resources tell us about handling human genetic information? What are India’s position on collecting the human genome and its use? After the international controversy over the human gene-editing experiment, China has taken some stringent steps to ensure such debacles don’t happen again. In this episode, Megha Pardhi and Dr. Harshit Kukreja discuss ethical and practical aspects of human genetic resources.

Ep. 793: Wang Yi in Nepal: The Why and What of the Visit

In this episode, Shrey Khanna joins Aarthi Ratnam to talk about Chinese Foreign Minister, Wang Yi’s visit to Nepal. They raise two main questions: Why did Yi visit Nepal and more importantly what are the geopolitical implications of this visit? They look at the implications for Nepal, China, the US and India.

Suggested Readings:

  1. No agreement on Belt and Road Initiative as Nepal toughens stand amid Chinese FM visit
  2. Wang visit: Nepal, China sign nine agreements, none on BRI
  3. Nepal Compact

Ep. 748: Philippines gets BrahMos

The Philippines recently announced the procurement of the BrahMos cruise missile for its Shore Based Anti Ship Missile Programme. As the first export customer of the system, the Philippines will gain an important capability to counter threats to its interests in the Indo-Pacific.

Aditya Pareek joins Rear Admiral Sudarshan Shrikhande(Retd.) and Megha Pardhi to discuss the BRAHMOS weapons system’s capabilities, China’s response to the deal, and Russia’s role in the matter.

Rear Admiral Sudarshan Shrikhande(Retd.) is a retired flag officer of the Indian Navy and the former head of Naval Intelligence.

Ep. 733: Why China’s Technical Standardisation Strategy Matters

The talks of China’s ‘2035 Standards Project’ have materialised in the form of a guideline document released by the Chinese government. Arjun Gargeyas talks to Megha Pardhi about the recently released National Standardisation Development Outline document and the key takeaways from the proposed technical standardisation strategy of China.

Read Arjun’s articles on this topic here:

1. Why China’s quest to dominate global tech standards may be elusive for Beijing

2. India Can Take Lessons From China’s Technical Standardisation Strategy

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Ep. 732: A Year – End Review of China Tech

2021 was an eventful year for the technology sector in China. Milestones were reached and regulations were increased. Arjun Gargeyas talks to Megha Pardhi on the progress China made in certain critical and emerging technologies along with some landmark decisions taken by the Chinese government for its tech sector.

Check out our courses: https://school.takshashila.org.in/

Ep. 725: China’s Developments in Tibet

China is building civilian and military infrastructure in Tibet. Based on Takshashila’s recent publication, Suyash Desai and Manoj Kewalramani discuss the details of China’s infrastructure building and implications on the border dispute with India.

Read Suyash’s document here – Civilian and Military Developments in Tibet

Suggested readings:

Infrastructure Development in Tibet and its Implications for India

Should India worry about China conducting military exercises in Tibet?

Check out our courses: https://school.takshashila.org.in/

Ep. 719: The China Factor in the US – Australia Quantum Tech Agreement

The shadow of geopolitical competition with China looms large over the recent cooperation agreement on Quantum Science and Technology between Australia and the US. Megha Pardhi and Shrey Khanna discuss the Agreement, the role of China, and India’s initiatives to promote research in quantum technologies.

Subscribe to the China Tech Dispatch here.

Ep. 693: Digital Activism in China

How does digital activism work in China when the Internet is so heavily regulated? Netizens in China get creative when they have something to say online. Recent viral trends like “Lying Flat” and projects like “996ICU” are part of this creative tradition. In this episode, Ruturaj Gowaikar and Arjun Gargeyas join Megha Pardhi to discuss the nature of digital activism in China.

Subscribe to Megha’s newsletter “China Tech Dispatch” here.

Ep. 688: Cracks in CPEC

The China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is facing trouble on more than one front. These include China’s frustration with the lack of progress on the economic projects, the emerging security threat from a resurgent Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, and the growing anti-China sentiment in Pakistan. How will these challenges impact their all-weather strategic partnership? Suyash Desai talks to Shrey Khanna.

Ep. 678: What’s China doing in Africa?

Infrastructure projects and technology investments under BRI have led to a sustained expansion of China’s stake and presence across Africa. What is the aim of this engagement? Is there a larger power struggle between the West and China? Arjun Gargeyas talks to Ameera Rao about the possible implications of Chinese investments and influence in Africa.

Read Ameera’s articles here:

Firstpost – As China’s Belt and Road Initiative steams ahead in Africa, West plays catch up

Asia Times – India should cooperate with Africa in renewable energy

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Ep. 663: Younger Generals in the PLA

Over the last three months, Chinese leader Xi Jinping has appointed several new generals in the People’s Liberation Army. The head of the Western Theatre Command, which is responsible for India, has been changed four times in just the past year. Suyash Desai and Aditya Ramanathan discuss what’s driving these changes and what they might mean for India.

Ep. 641: The PLA and India

The People’s Liberation Army is a unified organisation of China’s land, sea, and air forces. It is one of the largest military forces in the world and traces its roots back to 1927. The PLA celebrated its 94th anniversary on August 1, and now, under Xi Jinping, it has undertaken military reforms intended to make it fully informatised by 2035, and a ‘world-class’ force by 2049.

Click here to read Suyash’s article in The Times Of India

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Ep. 620: China’s New Missile Silos

China has reportedly begun the construction of more than 100 new silos for intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) in a desert near the northwest city of Yumen. Pranav Satyanath and Suyash Desai join Aditya Ramanathan to discuss what this development means for China’s evolving nuclear strategy, and the US-China and Sino-Indian nuclear dyads.

Pranav Satyanath is a researcher and foreign policy analyst focusing on arms control, nuclear strategy and space policy issues.

Ep. 597: Apple, Network Effects and China

Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference was held earlier this month and had some interesting implications for both privacy and how the company is going to operate globally. Manoj Kewalramani talks to Rohan Seth to consider what this might mean for crucial markets like India and China.

Links mentioned in the podcast:

Ep. 589: Examining Nehru’s Approach to Tibet & China

The roots of the present tensions between India and China can be traced back to the years soon after the two emerged as modern nation-states. In this episode, Manoj Kewalramani speaks to AS Bhasin about his new book Nehru, Tibet and China to understand the challenges, limitations and failures of Indian diplomacy that led to the 1962 war.