In brief

Exploring Avenues for and Obstacles to Cooperation between China and India

The Changing Asia 2017 conference offered new perspectives on regional and global cooperation.

China–India dynamics and relations dominated the Changing Asia 2017 conference, which was jointly organised by the GIGA and the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA) and held on 14–16 September in New Delhi. Formally opened with a keynote speech by MJ Akbar, the Indian minister of state for external affairs, the conference – attended by roughly 30 researchers from the GIGA and its institutional cooperation partners (the China Foreign Affairs University, the IDSA, and the University of Virginia) as well as other scholars from Belgium, Germany, India, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and New Zealand – discussed the implications of the rise of China and India for regional and global governance.

In keeping with the theme of the conference, a large part of the proceedings was devoted to exploring avenues for and obstacles to cooperation between Asia’s largest economies: China and India. This was also the subject of a lively discussion involving conference participants and the audience. The presentations emphasised the implications of the rise of these two Asian giants for the world order, polarity, and hegemony while also critically evaluating these concepts. More unit-level domestic and ideational drivers of foreign policies were also highlighted. GIGA researchers, in particular, brought to the fore the normative issue of fairness in international trade and climate negotiations, the role played by subnational governments in International Relations, and the influence of identity on diplomatic practices and foreign policies.

A key feature of the conference was that it fostered interaction between scholars and policymakers. This was complemented by a post-conference policy roundtable involving scholars and Indian policymakers at the India Habitat Centre in New Delhi on 18 September.

This was the second Changing Asia conference, following the successful inaugural event that took place in Hamburg in April 2015. The Changing Asia series is one of the GIGA’s key activities to strengthen cooperation between itself and its institutional partners in China, India, and the United States.

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